Tag Archives: SNETT Bellingham

Ice opening up-spring is coming

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Beautiful view of Trolley Crossing Farm in Bellingham, from the SNETT

What a strange winter we have had in southern New England. Snow (expected) followed quickly by rain (not so nice) since the rain turned everything into heavy, ice-filled landscape. And then we received almost fourteen inches of snow overnight–a joy to see, but it was so deep (for me) and soon crusted over. Thoughts of outings in deep, crusty snow were not very appealing for me, and those of us who have balance issues.

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My crocuses are croaking 🙂

But that last big snow storm has been steadily melting, exposing the landscape. And my crocuses are now croaking with joy in the nearly spring sunshine! Silver Lake is opening up, with less ice remaining each day. I hear multiple red-winged blackbirds, their metallic croakings filling the air.

We got out in the sunshine this weekend to two very local railtrails, and found both of them quite walkable. Granted, ice still fills the woodlands, but the trails themselves offered easy walking. The remaining ice was mushy and easy to clomp through.

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Stone dust trail of the SNETT is mostly clear, but remnants of our last snow storm remain in shaded areas

We headed out close to home, starting on Lake Street in Bellingham, to walk on the higher section of the SNETT (Southern New England Trunkline Trail) between Lake and Center Streets. In swing season times, it really helps to have walked on the trails in the past. We knew this section of trail, packed stonedust, is high, with no chance of having pooled water or mud.

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Remaining snow on the SNETT will soon be gone, at least on this mostly sunny section of trail. The rest of the SNETT from Lake to Center in Bellingham was completely clear.

What a joy to get out and stretch in the sunshine and not fear sliding and crashing on ice. We walked all the way to Center Street, then turned back, about a two mile round trip. The sight of blue sky and white, puffy clouds fills my heart, and tells me–get outside!

The biggest challenge on this walk was crossing Lake Street–the sight lines are limited when attempting to cross from the parking area to across the street. Traffic whizzes by, often going at least 40 MPH. As we returned from our walk, the police had pulled someone over right near the cross walk on Lake Street. I hope it was for speeding, and double hope it means one less person who speeds down the street in this section of the road.

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Blackstone River WAtershed Council building

We headed to the Blackstone River Bikeway, also nearby, the following day. Rather than start in Woonsocket, we headed just a little south into Lincoln, RI on Old River Road, at the end of which is another parking area along the bikeway. It is also where you can access the headquarters for the Blackstone River Watershed Council’s building and canoe launch.

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Water is high on the Blackstone, and the paved railtrail is almost completely clear

From this parking area it is a short walk (less than a quarter mile) north to one of the multiple dams along the river. We stopped to enjoy the sounds of the thundering water over the dam, then returned and headed south,

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The river runs right next to the trail in this section of the Blackstone River Bikeway. Remaining snow is easily avoided

to a particularly beautiful stretch of the Blackstone River. We also found a small culvert allowing for spring melt to enter the river from upland adjacent to the river.

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Little waterfall next to the trail, a culvert allowing for snowmelt to flow directly to the river

Again, we saw limited ice along the very edges of the bike path, but otherwise, mostly clear pathway the entire distance we walked. A few bikes passed us, and one or two walkers. On a bright, sunny, cold, almost spring afternoon, the path was nearly deserted. As warmer weather arrives, this will change, for sure.

Spring is coming–happy trails!

Marjorie

beech cliffs 2018

Marjorie Turner Hollman is a personal historian who loves the outdoors, and has completed three guides to Easy Walking trails in Massachusetts, “Easy Walks in Massachusetts 2nd edition,”  “More Easy Walks in Massachusetts,”  and edited “Easy Walks and Paddles in the Ten Mile River Watershed.” 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

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

More Easy Walks in Massachusetts

Easy Walks and Paddles in the Ten Mile River Watershed

 

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Easy Walks, No Ice–Holliston Rail Trail and SNETT in Bellingham

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Enjoying the story walk along the HOlliston Upper Charles Trail

While we have had some snow already, the trails at the moment are ice-free. The past several days we have been able to get out on our local rail trails with no boots needed. The Holliston section of the Upper Charles Trail is packed stone dust, as is the Bellingham section of the SNETT,  from Center St. to Lake Street and over to Prospect Street, which some folks may think is not quite finished. What I  have learned is that the crushed stone dust surface is much easier on my feet than pavement. I can wear sneakers or street shoes and be quite comfortable. The trails are clearly marked, and while not crowded when we visited, both trails had plenty of other walkers also using the paths. Continue reading

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Preview of the Walking Tour

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Goat Hill, Uxbridge, just one gorgeous spot along the trail

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The stone bridge over the Blackstone River, inspiration for this year’s wonderful publicity poster

Have you ever worked on a project for a long time and finally see it all coming together? If so, you can imagine our excitement as the beginning of the Massachusetts Walking Tour nears. http://masswalkingtour.org/ I met with the founders, Mark and Raianne, last summer at Booklover’s Gourmet Café in Webster http://www.er3.com/book/ to talk about how this year’s tour might work, how they might use the Easy Walks in Massachusetts book series to help them plan out their route, and how best we could work together. Very soon, they will hit the road, and I’ll join them as often as I can manage. Continue reading

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Progress on the SNETT

[Reprint, courtesy of the Bellingham Bulletin, Dec. 2015 edition]

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Parking, and entrance for SNETT at Center Street in Bellingham

You may have noticed a lot of construction activity happening on Center Street lately. Perhaps you’ve started to notice moms with children in strollers parking in the small parking lot next to Fox Run Road, then crossing the street. What’s going on? Continue reading

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