Tag Archives: MA walking tour

Massachusetts Walking Tour visits Mansfield


Walking Tour musicians on stage in Mansfield, with concert goers joining in to dance and sing

Yes, the Massachusetts Walking Tour continues to walk, and arrived in Mansfield in the company of several fellow walkers who joined the troupe for the entire day. Participants range in age from about 4 to folks in their 80s at the concerts, and walkers are aged about 9 to folks in their 70s. Children with special needs have taken part in the festivities, and been fully included. Continue reading

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MA Walking Tour 2019 First Concert-Holliston


A gift from super Walking Tour groupie Ruth and her husband, T-shirts to celebrate the 2019 walking tour.

And so it begins. After nearly a year of preparation, the first free concert of the Massachusetts Walking Tour is done. Continue reading

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2019 Mass Walking Tour is Off and Walking


The Massachusetts Walking tour and friends ready to set off

What a beautiful bright, sunny morning greeted our musicians as they set off at the start of the 2019 edition of the Massachusetts Walking Tour. Continue reading


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Scoping out Knuckup Hill, Wrentham


Wide open views from the top of Knuckup (some know it as Sweatt) Hill

As part of the Massachusetts Walking Tour, there will be an “open to the public Easy Walk” to the top of Knuckup Hill in Wrentham, just before the concert that will take place in that same neighborhood in Wrentham. The concert will take place June 23rd from 6-8PM at the Wrentham Senior Center on Taunton Street, and folks heading out on the Knuckup Hill walk will meet at this same Senior Center at 4PM. The plan is to be back in time to enjoy the concert after the walk ūüôā Continue reading


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Partnering-Guest Blog Post, L.L. Bean, and more

group photo blackstone 2017

The Massachusetts Walking Tour, one of the great partnerships that have happened because of the Easy Walks book series

When you have books to sell, you need good advice. I have come across great advice in following Joan Stewart, AKA “The Publicity Hound.”


Joan Stewart, The Publicity Hound

When I heard from L.L. Bean that they wanted me to offer a workshop on Easy Walks at one of their stores, I gave Joan a heads-up about the news, and she worked with me to create this great guest blog post that tells the story of how my partnership with L.L Bean came about. In the post you’ll learn about how this, and several other great partnerships that have also occurred over the past several years. You’ll also learn about the back story of how I came to write the Easy Walks book series, news about a new book I am working on about Finding Easy Walks Wherever You Are, (now available on Amazon) along with important lessons learned. Check out our upcoming schedule of Events for opportunities to join us in person, at L.L. Bean in Mansfield, MA in June 2019, and other opportunities along the trail!

Here’s the entire story–right here


beech cliffs 2018

Marjorie Turner Hollman is a writer who loves the outdoors, and is the author of Easy Walks in Massachusetts, 2nd edition, More Easy Walks in Massachusetts, 2nd edition, Easy Walks and Paddles in the Ten Mile River Watershed, and Finding Easy Walks Wherever You Are. Her memoir, the backstory of Easy Walks, is My Liturgy of Easy Walks: Reclaiming hope in a world turned upside down.

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Connecticut River Views w the Massachusetts Walking Tour


At the Summit House in Hadley, overlooking the connecticut River, with the crew of the Walking Tour

We spent last year following the Massachusetts Walking Tour day by day, since they had come to our back yard (almost literally).¬†But this year the Walking Tour has been in the Connecticut River Valley–in the river itself, paddling down the river from Northfield to Longmeadow, and highlighting the opportunities to enjoy the river that are available along the Connecticut River Paddlers Trail. Continue reading

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Getting out the Word About the MA Walking Tour–Milford, MA


David gets some practice in sharing postcards for the Massachusetts Walking Tour

My grandson was available to join me today as we headed to Milford to hand out posters and postcards, encouraging folks to join us for the upcoming Massachusetts Walking Tour http://masswalkingtour.org/ David climbed aboard and off we went to let the folks in Milford know of the fun event that is about to happen in their town. Continue reading

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Massachusetts Walking Tour is coming to the Blackstone Valley!


Starting off at Riverbend Farm, Uxbridge

Cooperating and working together with like-minded folks is so satisfying on so many levels. After learning about the Massachusetts Walking Tour, I knew this group of hiking musicians needed to come to the Blackstone Valley. I cheered them on for a couple of years through social media, encouraging their efforts virtually. But it was when we met up in person that the relationship began to change.


Raianne and Kathryn Parent at Riverbend farm, going over a few details of the upcoming MA walking tour.

I let¬†Mark Mandeville and Raianne Richards¬†know I wanted to work with them to help bring the tour to the Valley. In fact, I hoped they would also come to Bellingham, as well. After a few more conversations, we agreed last summer to start working on this year’s 2017 tour. They used¬†my book, Easy Walks in Massachusetts¬†as the basis for planning their tour of the Blackstone Valley, and soon¬†the tour¬†will be a reality.

But in the meantime, there are so many details still to consider. Mark and Raianne wrote up the grants that would provide funding for the two week project. Thanks to the many local Cultural Councils who approved funding for this project. Concert venues, and camping sites needed to be confirmed. Routes from one town to the next were chosen. The search for local musicians to come join in the fun has begun.


At the stone bridge, top of the tow path near Riverbend Farm.

The couple, Mark Mandeville and Raianne Richards, along with several other skilled musicians, backpack from town to town, offering free community concerts in each town they visit. The first part of the concert is open to area musicians, storytellers, and others to share their gifts with the community. Interested? Let us know! The second half of the concert is provided by the backpacking musicians. After the concert, the crew camps out, and in the morning picks up their packs and heads off on foot to the next, neighboring town.


Looking across to Goat Hill (from Hartford Avenue) the west bank of the Blackstone River

Lately we’ve been reviewing routes, and today Raianne and I¬†met¬†up at¬†Lookout Rock, leaving my car there, and drove to Riverbend Farm in Uxbridge to walk back to the lookout. We wanted to make sure¬†the¬†proposed¬†route for their walk¬†in this area¬†was workable.

The sun was out, the weather this morning was cool, and the¬†trail¬†offered, for the most part,¬†easy walking. The most challenging part of the walk was crossing the stone bridges on Hartford Avenue to get from the Riverbend Farm tow path over to Rice City Pond. Traffic slowed down for us, gave us room on the narrow stretch of road, and soon we were back off the road and on our way to travel along the east bank of the Blackstone River, from Hartford Avenue up to Northbridge-Quaker Street. Our destination–Lookout Rock, and views of the Blackstone Valley!


Much of the trail was very easy walking quite near the river

It had been years since I walked this trail, and I was pleased to see how pretty it was in so many sections. Piney woodlands gave way to more open trail with views of the floodplain.


Snake hanging out in the sunshine, just off shore

It was a little cool for turtles, evidently, but one rather large snake sprawled across the top of a large sunny rock just offshore, unfazed by our presence.


Views of the river from the trail

The rolling terrain alternately took us quite close to the river, and then up higher for better views. The dirt¬†path made for easy walking and Raianne and I had the time to get much better acquainted, one of the true “fringe benefits” of spending time with others on the trail.


A challenging section of trail

Several sections of trail had roots, and a very few somewhat steep slopes, and Raianne proved to be a solid hiking partner. At each section of more challenging trail she offered her shoulder to support me through the uncertain footing, then stepped back and allowed me to proceed independently once we reached more level ground.


A very modest waterfall crosses under the trail

I was tickled to discover a small waterfall, with the sweet sound of cascading water burbling downhill over rocks and through lots of lush skunk cabbage. Recalling a previous walk taken long ago, I hoped to avoid ending up underneath Lookout Rock. That long ago hike required the help of an energetic dog to pull me up the steep slope, with friends pushing me from behind to get up to the view. I planned to avoid that route this time!


The view! looking down the Blackstone Valley

We found our way up the more gentle incline, confirmed that my car was still¬†in the parking lot where we’d left it, then strolled over to the lookout. The water is still high in the Blackstone River, the leaves are not fully out, so the river was in plain view. In no rush to leave, we pulled out some snacks and enjoyed the sunshine and cool breezes, taking in the views.

There is still much to do in the coming month. Now comes getting the word out, inviting folks to the multiple events, and hoping¬†people will understand what a special opportunity this is for the towns that will be part of this year’s¬†Massachusetts Walking tour. Check out the entire schedule¬† here http://masswalkingtour.org/

Marjorie Turner Hollman

Marjorie Turner Hollman is a personal historian who loves the outdoors, and has completed two guides to Easy Walking trails in Massachusetts, ‚ÄúEasy Walks in Massachusetts 2nd edition,‚ÄĚ and ‚ÄúMore Easy Walks in Massachusetts.‚ÄĚ A native Floridian, she came north for college and snow!¬†On the board of directors of¬†the Association of Personal Historians, she is a Certified Legacy Planner with LegacyStories.org, and is the producer of numerous veterans interviews for the Bellingham/Mendon Veteran‚Äôs History Project. http://www.marjorieturner.com




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