Tag Archives: Riverbend farm uxbridge

Bats boxes at Riverbend Farm

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Getting bat boxes ready at Riverbend Farm

It was an afternoon program during school vacation, and several families showed up to Riverbend Farm to learn about bats.  We saw no live bats (it was a daytime program, plus a little early for the bats to start coming out) but in fact, we were learning about bats, not getting up close and personal with the critters.

Amanda Melinchuk, Bat Research Monitor with Massachusetts Division of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) brought a slideshow of Myths and Facts, to help educate us about bats in general, and local bats in particular, and also to increase understanding about the challenges bats face. Continue reading

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Winter Walks-West Hill Dam, Stony Brook, and Riverbend Farm

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Ice alongside the trail

I’ve taken a few pictures recently, but truthfully, the outdoors has looked pretty dreary since rain washed all our snow away. There’s been ice on lots of trails, so getting out has been challenging. But we headed to West Hill Dam to get outside, and found some amazing ice, and thankfully, most of it was NOT on the trails! Continue reading

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Make Your Own Story Book Hike-Riverbend Farm in January

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Heading out on the tow path on our Make Your Own Story Book hike

Working collaboratively is such an exciting experience. I’ve found that ideas bubble up when I open myself to others’ ideas, listen to what another person has in mind, and together we come up with something I’d never have thought of on my own. That may have been what happened when I met up with Kathryn, who works with programming at Riverbend Farm in Uxbridge. Continue reading

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Finding Easy Walks Around the Corner-Blackstone Bikeway and Riverbend Farm

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A favorite picture spot along the Blackstone Canal

Life has been moving rather slowly around here as one of us recovers from a back injury, the other from pinched nerves in the shoulder. What this has meant in practice is that we’ve stayed very close to home, rejoicing in the presence of local wildlife in the pond our home overlooks, but not straying far from home. Continue reading

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On the Road-MA Walking Tour visits Uxbridge

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Riverbend Farm, from the tow path

The thing about the Massachusetts Walking Tour is that they, well, walk from town to town, kind of like those troubadours of old, only these talented musicians are not that old.  Continue reading

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Massachusetts Walking Tour is coming to the Blackstone Valley!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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, “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

https://www.amazon.com/Easy-Walks-Massachusetts-2nd-Northbridge/dp/0989204340

http://tinyurl.com/MTH-More-easy-walks

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Finding Friends

 

 

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Stopping to learn about pine cones chewed by squirrels, at Riverbend Farm, Uxbridge

The weather has been pretty stunning this week, hard to believe it’s February, but there you have it–60+ degrees and bright sunshine. Snow is melting, trails are opening up. What a perfect time to get outdoors on a blue-sky day! My challenge is that I don’t walk alone. My “usual suspects” were unavailable, but when I stopped by the Blackstone Heritage Corridor, Bonnie Combs and Suzanne Buchannan urged me to stop back by Riverbend Farm where ranger Kathryn Parent was leading a walk. I felt sure I’d miss Kathryn, but she and a group of families with very young children were in the visitor center getting ready to head out. Success! Continue reading

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Hiking with friends

On the SNETT in Douglas, MA with group walk sponsored by the Douglas Library and Sr. Center

On the SNETT in Douglas, MA with group walk sponsored by the Douglas Library and Sr. Center

I make it a practice to always head out on the trail in the company of others. Most often with just one other person, which makes for nice conversation as we explore a trail, and occasionally with groups as well. I’ve had a series of injuries this spring and summer and I’d gotten out of the habit of planning these outings, but the cooler weather is coming and people are checking in to see if I’m up to walking. Thankfully, my latest shoulder injury causes me no pain while walking. In fact, my walking sticks seem to be great therapy as my shoulder heals.

On Delcarte's floating bridge with Pam

On Delcarte’s floating bridge with Pam

I headed out to Delcarte Conservation area in Franklin last week with Pam, Continue reading

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