Tag Archives: Massachusetts walking tour

French River, Webster and Dudley, MA


Views of the French River from the trail

In this time of “all things virus-related” worries, we decided to explore a small trail in Webster last weekend along the French  River, the French River Greenway, site of the former Perryville Cotton Mill. Continue reading


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Massachusetts Walking Tour gets to Plainville


Walking Tour musicians take the stage outside, with the Ten MIle River nearby

The entire theme of this year’s Massachusetts Walking Tour has been 10 years, and the Ten Mile River Watershed. The musicians have finally arrived at the Ten Mile River Watershed, and in fact are camping right next to the river itself as it flows through Telford Park in Plainville. Continue reading

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Walking Tour 2019 Concert #3, Norfolk


The Unlikely Strummers, one of the local musical groups, fill the stage of the Federated Church of Norfolk

Now that the Massachusetts Walking Tour has started, it feels like the pace has picked up considerably, even though it’s mostly a walking pace. But night after night we have great music, surprising stories, and sweet moments. Continue reading

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Massachusetts Walking Tour 2019, Tenth Anniversary-The Fun Begins!

group photo blackstone 2017

In Blackstone at the end of the 2017 walking tour

We partnered in 2017 with the Massachusetts Walking Tour, a group of musicians determined to walk and present free music concerts in every town in Massachusetts. We met lots of wonderful folks, heard great music, and explored a lot of very local trails. While summer is still here, 2018, we are already looking ahead to June, 2019, when the Walking Tour will return to Easy Walks territory.  Continue reading

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Making Friends Along the Trail


Liz Harkins with Mike Spurling, her crack camera crew, stop for just a moment so I could get their picture

I met Liz last year when we were publicizing the Massachusetts Walking Tour, which came through Milford on its tour of the Blackstone Valley and nearby towns. She works for the Milford Cable TV station and conducted an interview with the folks of the Walking Tour, and with me as well.

She got really excited when she learned about the Easy Walks in Massachusetts trail books I author. We kept talking about doing some kind of video taping along the trail to help publicize my books and to help viewers understand what a gift we have right in our own backyards in this area. Continue reading


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Walking the SNETT in Blackstone


Water views along the SNETT in Blackstone

Last summer the Massachusetts Walking Tour used the SNETT trail to travel between Bellingham, Franklin and Blackstone, avoiding a lot of road walking by using this still being developed trail system. I was able to confidently assure the group about much of the trail, but the section in Blackstone near Farm Street was not an area I had visited. Continue reading


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Progress on the SNETT Lake Street to Prospect Street, Bellingham-Franklin


Lake Street Entrance to the SNETT-older, town-made sign on the right, and newer, DR sign at trailhead on the left

The SNETT is within walking distance of where I live in Bellingham, and thus I’ve been able to keep a pretty close eye on any progress, or lack thereof, in making this section of trail more useable. Continue reading


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End of first leg of the Massachusetts Walking Tour

group photo blackstone 2017

Saying goodbye for now…

After nearly a year in the planning, the ten days of the Massachusetts Walking Tour’s visit to the Blackstone Valley and the Upper Charles River watershed is done. Now I’m hearing from those who missed the concerts in their towns, who had hoped to participate but were prevented for various reasons. Continue reading

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Too much to say–The Walking Tour’s visit to Bellingham


The Walking Tour hanging out at High Street Fields in the shade

I’ve been hoping the Massachusetts Walking Tour would come to Bellingham for over three years now. The past year has been an intense time of planning, working together with Mark Mandeville and Raianne Richards. And the reality has been as fun as I could have hoped. Continue reading


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Just another day on the Massachusetts Walking Tour-Milford


Each concert starts with an accapella number by the Massachusetts Walking tour

We’re at the mid-point of this year’s Easy Walks, Massachusetts Walking Tour,  which has brought the tour from the Blackstone Valley to a sojourn in the Upper Charles River watershed. It was a relatively short walk for the troupe from Hopedale into Milford, so they stopped for supplies, had lunch in downtown Milford, then headed to the home of their hosts Beth and Skip Farwell, where they set up tents for the night.


Beth Farwell, hostess for the Walking tour for the night, with Raianne, just prior to the concert

Part of the work of planning the tour is arranging for the musicians to have a place to stay each night. Mostly they camp. One night a friend put them up in real beds! It’s been fun for me to share my local friends with the musicians, and wonderful for these friends to open their yards for one night of camping, to provide a place to stay, showers, and sometimes even a hot meal.

The recent storm occurred the evening they performed at the Hopedale Unitarian Church, and thankfully there was ample room for the travelers to set up their beds indoors, high and dry, with a kitchen to cook breakfast in, to boot.


MacLeod and Ladd

Milford’s concert took place at the Milford Senior Center on North Bow Street, right at the terminus of one portion of the Upper Charles Trail. Each concert is unique, as different community musicians appear during the first half of the shows, which are all from 6-8PM. Milford’s concert was no exception–we were treated to “MacLeod and Ladd” fiddle and guitar music, a mix of Irish, jazz, and other tunes.


Mudville Madrigal Singers, from Holliston

The Mudville Madrigal Singers from Holliston brought accapella music, tight harmonies, from 16th century tunes to modern day music. Although I had nothing to do with their appearing, each group of community musicians turned out to include dear friends of mine, who I had not seen in a long time. What a sweet chance to catch up with them, and to enjoy their music as well.


Lots more great music, this time in a function room at the Milford Sr. Center–great acoustics!

And of course, the WAlking Tour played–their harmonies are getting sweeter with each evening’s performance, the “patter” that is a characteristic of these concerts seems to include more humor each night. The warmth and affection the musicians share for each other is fun to see and be part of.


Jennifer (far left) becomes part of the Massachusetts Walking Tour as they set out from the Milford Sr. Center

8AM the next morning the Massachusetts Walking Tour returned to the Sr. Center to meet up with folks who were interested in joining them on the trail. Jennifer, another friend of mine and ace trail finder, arrived bright and early and ready to walk. (A number of trails in Easy WAlks in Massachusetts are included because of Jennifer’s sharp eye in discovering small local trails, and her willingness to set out on trails at 7AM so I could beat the summer heat!)


Heading out on the trail

The Upper Charles Trail near the Sr. Center is actually a short dogleg portion of the Upper Charles trail, and the spot where you need to make the turn to head northeast toward Holliston, rather than Northwest toward Hopkinton is marked, but still easy to miss.

lost our way

Small signs point to Holliston leg or Hopkinton leg of the trail. Raianne attempts to text the wayward travelers who got ahead of us

Mark and Vito often get ahead of the rest of us when we walk,


Amy hangs out at the trail junction waiting for Mark and Vito to return

and this leg of the journey was no exception.


A friendly woman picking mulberries along the trail

They blew past the turn, but stopped shortly afterwards to chat with a woman picking fruit along the trail. Turns out the mulberries are ripening, and she kept picking while they chattted, letting the guys know the berries were good to eat. The”Other” Mark caught up with Mark and Vito and pointed them back in the right direction and we were soon on our way.


Hanging out at the bridge over the Upper Charles, taking in the view

After a quick view of the Upper Charles from a bridge that crosses the river,


The view–Upper Charles River


Jennifer uses her new walking stick to grab some branches with mulberries

and a stop to grab some mullberries,


Raianne grabs some mulberries

DSC00932.JPGwe headed on to the original trailhead of the Upper Charles Trail,


Note the walking tour poster at the trail kiosk–and the “Other Mark” gets into the picture

at a municipal parking lot at Rt. 16.


Mark with the original trailhead marker

To aid travelers, the Upper Charles Trail folks painted a bright yellow stripe from the original trailhead, through the parking lot, then to the crosswalk at Rt. 16.


Testing their balance on the yellow striped trail through the parking lot, headed toward Rt. 16

From there walkers and bikers must cross the road, travel down Beach Street and get back on to the paved trail that runs parallel to Rt. 16. While in the planning phase, this section of trail was called “the Missing Link” since there were two unlinked portions of trail, but no way to easily connect between them. With a lot of forethought, work, money and care, the two unlinked portions of trail are now connected.

After pointing out the “yellow brick road” as it were, to the walkers, and sending them on their way, Jennifer and I headed back to the Sr. Center, but we’ll see them again in Medway tonight for their concert at the Medway Library–6-8PM. Next stop–Bellingham!


Upper Charles Trail near Fino Field in downtown Milford

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! Marjorie 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




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