Tag Archives: nature

A Visit To Hopedale Parklands

By Marjorie Turner Hollman (courtesy of Bellingham Bulletin)

Hopedale Parklands, or “The Parklands,” as it’s locally known, is located at 162 Dutcher Street in Hopedale, and offers nearly four miles of walking trails on 273 acres, which surround Hopedale Pond. The broad open pathways give one the sense of walking on the carriage trails of Acadia National Park, which was being formed around the same time as “The Parklands,” at the turn of the last century. But rather than requiring a six-hour drive to Maine, it’s an easy trip on Route 140 to nearby Hopedale to reach this lovely outdoor space.

The Parklands has three entrances. The main entrance, where the town swimming beach is located, is on Freedom Street, easily accessed directly from Route 140. (Directions are included at the end of the article.) Continue reading

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A Winter Walk Along The Blackstone River Bikeway

Check out my new book, Easy Walks in Massachusetts: Bellingham, Blackstone, Franklin, Hopedale, Medway, Milford, Millis, Uxbridge, Wrentham, and Woonsocket, RI. A book of 30 walking trails in 10 towns; includes directions, trail conditions, length of trails and more. “Like” us on Facebook at “Easy Walks in Massachusetts” for updates about new trails and all things outdoors.  https://www.createspace.com/4333275?ref=1147694&utm_id=6026

By Marjorie Turner Hollman  (courtesy of Bellingham Bulletin)

Winter weather should be no barrier to enjoying the outside; the right clothing (lots of layers, well-fitted boots, extra changes of clothes) and caution about icy conditions will take you a long way toward having a good time regardless of the weather.

We ventured out recently on a sunny, albeit brisk winter afternoon to visit the Blackstone River Bikeway, which presently reaches from Woonsocket to Valley Falls, RI. The fourteen miles of bike trail along the Blackstone River are almost completely uninterrupted by road crossings.The Bikeway, part of the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor, ties in to River’s Edge Recreation Complex in Woonsocket, with parking adjacent to the Hamlet Street Bridge. Continue reading

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A Visit To The West Hill Dam

100_5379West HillCrystal palace

By Marjorie Turner Hollman (courtesy of Bellingham Bulletin)

On a cold, bright, sunny day in February, snowshoes in hand, we ventured forth. I had many ideas of places to walk, but they were all under three feet of snow. However, West Hill Dam, in Uxbridge, is run by the Army Corps of Engineers, and I felt that if any trail was going to be accessible, it would be an Army Corps site. Thankfully, we arrived to a well-cleared parking lot. Continue reading

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A Visit To Joe’s Rock & Birchwold Farms

Reprinted courtesy of the Bellingham Bulletin

(note: This was written as one in a series of articles, under the title “Naturally New England” in the Bellingham (MA) Bulletin. So many people have searched for “Where’s Joe’s Rock?” and found this article that I finally realized there was a hunger for this kind of information. Several years later, people still find my website looking for “Where’s Joe’s Rock?” )

View from top of Joe's Rock

View from top of Joe’s Rock

Southern New England is not known for its spectacular views, but there are a few special places in this area that provide nice overlooks, and Joe’s Rock in Wrentham, MA is one of them. Four hundred ninety feet in elevation, Joe’s Rock provides an unrestricted sightline northeast toward Boston and southwest over the Rhode Island countryside. Directly below Joe’s Rock lies a small pond. On a recent visit we saw in the water over thirty ring-necked ducks and a lone bufflehead. A flock of wild turkeys scurried through the woods. A nearby wetland sheltered countless wood frogs that filled the air with their duck-like calls. Continue reading

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Enjoying The Wonders Of The Blackstone Gorge

 

Marjorie Turner Hollman (courtesy of Bellingham Bulletin)

There are wild places in New England, and settled areas, but rare are the locations where the two are as closely nestled together as at the Blackstone Gorge in Blackstone, MA. One must drive through a densely settled neighborhood before reaching the large, well-marked parking lot next to the spillway at the Gorge. The contrast of civilization next to apparent wilderness never ceases to surprise me. Continue reading

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Walkers Can Enjoy Stall Brook Trail

By Marjorie Turner Hollman  (courtesy of Bellingham Bulletin)

The Stall Brook Trail head is located directly behind Stall Brook Elementary School, in the north end of Bellingham, MA, just north of Maple Street on Rt. 126. The broad, somewhat level trail is accessible to families with children of all ages. Continue reading

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Southern N.E. Trunkline Trail Runs From Franklin To Douglas

By Marjorie Turner Hollman (Courtesy of Bellingham Bulletin)

The Southern New England Trunkline Trail (SNETT) has its beginnings in Franklin, MA, on Grove Street, and continues through Bellingham, Blackstone, Millville, and on into Douglas and beyond. A nearly 60-mile-long proposed trail system, it would also have connections to the presently 14-mile-long Blackstone Canal Bikeway heading south into Rhode Island from Woonsocket, with plans for connecting trails north to Worcester. Continue reading

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Lake life: taking lessons from the local inhabitants

(Article Courtesy of The Christian Science Monitor)

I have the heart of a world traveler, but the body and temperament of a day-tripper. While I love to hear of others’ travels, I have thrived by staying closer to home. By studying one place as it has changed with the seasons and the years, I have learned much about where I live and about myself as well.

Henry David Thoreau noted wryly, “I have traveled a great deal in Concord.” Over the years I have echoed his sentiments as I have “traveled a great deal” around Silver Lake, my home of these past 30 years. This small lake community, south of Boston, has helped me not only to understand but to welcome, or at least to make peace with, the relentless change in my world.

Read article on The Christian Science Monitor

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