Tag Archives: finding easy walks

Access to the ocean, Plymouth, Scussett Beach

Shifting Lots Preserve, Plymouth

We headed out toward Plymouth on a late summer day to see if we could find a place to walk along the shore. We had heard of Ellisville Harbor State Park, but learned once we arrived that the shoreline is actually about a one mile walk to reach the water. I will be fine walking this far in cooler weather, but despite being on the coast, which is always cooler than inland, the day was too warm for me to make this trek the day we visited. We wandered some more and stumbled across Shifting Lots Preserve, not far from Ellisville Harbor, held in trust by the Wildlands Trust, which also has a number of other conservation properties along the south shore.

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Shining Sea Bikeway, Falmouth, MA

Great Sippewissett marsh

We tend to avoid the Cape during the summer months. Parking is difficult, beach access is restricted in places to residents or those with visitor passes, but after Labor Day everything opens up and is simply easier to visit. With this in mind we headed to Falmouth, just over the Bourne Bridge, and found the northernmost parking area for the Shining Sea bikeway, where we set up our tandem bike and headed out.

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What a difference some rains makes–Salmon River, Comstock Bridge and Airline Trail CT

One of the multiple cascades we enjoyed on our visit to the Salmon River and Airline Trail after a recent hurricane

We took our adaptive tandem bicycle to the Salmon River State Forest in Colchester and East Hampton, Connecticut and found such a different place from our visit a few years back. Typically the Salmon River is wadeable in late summer, a small almost stream that cuts its way through steep banks of rock.

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Beavertail State Park, Jamestown, RI

Fisherfolk (and others) seek out this rocky outcrop jutting into the ocean

I have visited Beavertail State Park since before it was a state park. Years ago, it was a cool rocky shoreline with a lighthouse. The access road was dirt, with lots of potholes. Visiting here was an adventure, for sure! The area was not accessible except by those who enjoy rock hopping. When I was younger, that worked fine. Not so much these days.

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The importance of maintenance-Upper Charles Trail Holliston

Our newly poweder coated adaptive tandem, ready to ride at the Upper charles Trail Holliston

Maintenance is a fact of life. As much as we’d like to simply have things work, there are times we have to spend time (and money) and effort to maintain things we depend on. We had put off getting our adaptive tandem repainted, but rust is a serious concern on a steel bike, so off it went last month to Pike Powdercoating of Allston, in an effort to protect the bike from rust. It was wonderful to get it back and take it for its first test ride, out on the Upper Charles Trail in Holliston.

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Sachuest in summer, Middletown, RI

Fisherman hoping for a catch even as the waves grew higher

We have visted Sachuest National Wildlife Refuge a number of times, but typically in the winter, and often because we have been nearly certain we will spot snowy owls at some point during our visit. Because of impending rain, we hoped this popular spot would be less crowded, even though it was a holiday weekend in mid-summer. We were surprised, however, at the number of others who had the same idea we did, even as storm clouds threatened.

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Along the Pemigewasset River, Bristol, Franklin NH

Great views of the Pemigewasset River for miles along this path in Franklin Falls Dam Recreation area

We visited the Franklin Falls Dam recreation area and found a great six mile long trail (basically a fire road) alongside the Pemigewasset River. The trail is in good condition, offering views of the river along almost the entire length of the path. Besides a great spot to enjoy the natural history of the area, we realized we had stumbled into some fascinating cultural history as well.

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Finding birds in varied places

Seagulls windsurfing along the shore at East Beach, Westport, MA

We have the best luck spotting birds when we visit shoreline spots we are familiar with. Again and again we find our way back to Gooseberry Island in Westport, MA and know we will see birds feeding just offshore on the rocky ocean bottom that offers great places for tasty creatures that diving birds are great at finding.

We visited Westport on a few outings in early spring and chose not to try Gooseberry Island, seeing a steady stream of cars crossing the causeway to the small spit of land jutting out into Long Island sound. But our most recent visit was on a day when rain was forecast. Perhaps it would be less crowded? Turns out, the answer was a resounding yes.

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Snowing at Joe’s Rock

Joe’s Rock in winter

We planned to walk in the open field at Birchwold Farm in Wrentham, just as the first flakes began falling in what turned out to be an all day affair, dropping a foot of snow hereabouts. Seeing a number of cars in the icy parking lot, we moved on, and spotted, just across the street at Joe’s Rock, an empty parking lot. Whoo-hoo, time to #avoidcrowds!

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Blackstone Greenway in Blackstone-winter walk

View of the Blackstone River from one of the many bridges along the Greenway

We have squeezed in as many walks as we can manage for our Cable TV show, “Finding Easy Walks Wherever You Are”. We met in Blackstone at the Blackstone Greenway, an essential section of bike path that will some day link many of the towns in the Blackstone Heritage Corridor. View the episode we taped, including some amazing drone footage of the area along the greenway here.

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