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
Tag Archives: MA walking tour
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
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 🙂 Continue reading
When you have books to sell, you need good advice. I have come across great advice in following Joan Stewart, AKA “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
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: Finding the Sacred in Everyday (and some very strange) Places.
She has been a freelance writer for numerous local, regional, and national publications for the past 20+ years, has helped numerous families to save their stories, and has recorded multiple veterans oral histories, now housed at the Library of Congress. She is a co-author of the recent community history, Bellingham Now and Then.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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, “Easy Walks in Massachusetts 2nd edition,” and “More Easy Walks in Massachusetts.” 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’s History Project. http://www.marjorieturner.com