Dog friendly hikes and exploring, mostly around New England. Our Adventures includes: waterfalls, the beach, conservation land, lighthouses, state parks, the woods, the mountains, statues, and castles.
Category: Arboretums, Gardens, and Sculpture Parks
Today Wilma and I Adventured to the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, in the area of Boston, Massachusetts. The Arnold Arboretum was established in 1872, and encompasses 281 acres of land. The Arboretum maintains a record system of which all plants on the ground are tracked, while research is ongoing. The Arboretum is free and open to the public, offering outreach enrichment to people of all ages. It is part of the Emerald Necklace, a system of parks in Boston.
I first posted about the Arnold Arboretum over two years ago when Shadow, Wilma, and I first discovered it. Little did I know it would become one of my favorite local parks. Wilma and I generally visit weekly, and have experienced it in all seasons. Almost every single time we go I find something new. We recently experienced our first after snowstorm visit which was a spectacular winter wonderland. I love the Arboretum as it is full of culture, and diversity, individuals, and families, it really is an environment that fits all. The Arboretum has bridges, streams, ponds, hills, trails, and gardens. As you may expect Wilma absolutely loves chasing the squirrels and can often be found attempting to climb a tree. We even have seen a snapping turtle, although thankfully Wilma did not even notice. Since it had been years since I blogged about it, and I have snapped constant photographs I thought I would put together this collage of photographs. Such a special place, which has become our therapeutic oasis. The Arnold Arboretum is definitely a must in New England, and it is a given that we will be back (Rating: 4.5).
Today Wilma, My Mom, and I Adventured to Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Cape Cod is a peninsula in the Atlantic Ocean off the southeastern corner of Massachusetts. It is a popular summer destination known for the laid-back lifestyle. Cape Cod draws tourists for its beaches, lighthouses, ponds, villages, and the seafood shacks and restaurants.
We had a relaxing Adventure to Cape Cod today. We were able to visit: the Green Briar Nature Center, Highfield Hall and Gardens, Nobska Lighthouse, and Nobska Beach. We have visited all of these locations previously, although it was Wilma’s first for several. These locations included: gardens, a fabulous lighthouse, and a lovely beach. Unfortunately the Lighthouse was under some construction, but we still enjoyed our visit. I decided to do a photo collage of all of these four stops combined all in one! If you have any questions about the photographs, or locations feel free to contact me on the contact form, or in the comments. A beautiful day with wonderful company (Rating: 4).
Today Wilma and I Adventured to The Mount, The Edith Wharton Estate in Lenox, Massachusetts. Edith Wharton was an author who designed both the home and the grounds. The property included: gardens, numerous trails, and the estate. There are tours of both the gardens and home, and The Mount also hold various cultural events.
We had a pristine Advantage to The Mount. I had done minimal research but had confirmed that The Mount was dog friendly. Upon arrival I was surprised to see the simplicity of the property but that did not last long as we soon were wandering into a wonderful scene. We began walking into the woods past the “Stable” before arriving at the main home. The home was beautiful, and quite immense. We admired the home before heading to the nearby gardens.
The garden was bright and colorful, highlighted by a beautiful fountain in the center. We strolled around taking photographs and appreciating the bright variation of colors. From this flower garden you could pass through a tunnel of perfectly pruned trees to the next garden which was more ivy based, and also contained a lovely fountain. Surprisingly I enjoyed the less colorful garden most, quite unique.
Besides the gardens we spent time exploring the endless trails, even arriving at a pond, I believe it was the Beaver Pond. The trail along the Pond was just beautiful, scattered with wild flowers! That was definitely my favorite part of the trails although we also enjoyed hiking through the woods, finding several small bridges, and streams. Some parts of the trails were labeled but they were a bit confusing without a map. However we were quite pleased to take a long walk in addition to exploring the gardens and estate. We even located the Pet Cemetery, a dedication to Wharton’s best friends. A special and sad little spot on our visit.
We also took some time to sit, relax and enjoy the environment, although Wilma generally preferred to lay down on her time, not on my planned “sitting time” – my funny girl. Although there were many visitors and voices they were pretty well spread out and it was sill a peaceful place. Such a beautiful day to enjoy The Mount (Rating: 4)
Today Wilma, My Mom and I Adventured to Wickham Park located in Manchester and East Hartford, Connecticut. Wickford Park is a private, non-profit foundation. It is 280 acres in size and has a vast amount of opportunities including: gardens, playgrounds, sports facilities, and ponds. It is also a popular location for community events and private weddings.
We had a fragrant Adventure to Wickham Park. I was very happy to find yet another dog-friendly garden! We arrived at the Park at around five and explored until it closed at eight. The Park had beautiful gardens, decorative features to highlight the garden theme, boardwalks, bridges, and more. We walked and walked, I believe exploring every garden in the Park. Throughout the evening we often smelled the fragrance of flowers, including the lilacs, my favorite smell of all!! We approached each turn eagerly, looking forward to the next garden. And of course we took plenty of time to relax, enjoy the scenery, and take photographs.
Besides the beauty of the gardens, we were quite awed by the sky, blue with beautiful clouds. The sun was streaming through the trees, creating a fantastic sunset. It was really the perfect way to end a wonderful evening. We absolutely loved our visit to Wickham Park and hope to be back in the future (Rating: 4).
Today Wilma and I Adventured to the Connecticut College Arboretum in New London, Connecticut. The Connecticut College Arboretum is an Arboretum and collection of botanical gardens. It provides opportunities for research, teaching, conservation, education and recreation.
We had an eccentric Adventure to the Connecticut College Arboretum. I had heard about the Arboretum back on our last visit to the area and was quite excited to head back to New London. After some confusion with parking, we eventually arrived on Williams Street and parked at the gate entry. Soon after heading in there was a map on a kiosk, but it did not have a detailed trail routes so we decided to wander with no specific plan. We soon arrived at the Azalea garden, finding pink, orange, red, and various other colors. From there we came upon a pond, hearing the bullfrogs chirping loudly, and birds singing. We located a dock-like area and of course had to head out to the end. Wilma seemed slightly uneasy at the shaking of the dock, but overall was quite brave and curious at this floating feature. There were lily pads throughout, and rocks protruding. After exploring the pond we headed on to the trails.
I loved the trails at the Arboretum, feeling as though we were transferred into another environment. Along the trail we found large boulders, views from atop of a ravine, a dock like boardwalk through a bog, and lots of greenery and trees. Although I found the Trails a bit confusing we always ended up figuring out where we had been and where to go next. There were numbers on several parts of the trail, but I was not sure what they were indicating, my guess is a self-guided tour. We walked, walked, and attempted to traverse all the trails we could find.
After enjoying endless walking we found various areas of the Arboretum including the wildflower garden, and the conifer collection. I actually found myself appreciating not having a map as we never knew what we might find around the corner. Wilma enjoyed a nice long hike and as always was eager for some exercise and new terrain. We spent about two and a half hours at this spectacular Arboretum. Definitely a fun place to explore (Rating: 4).