June 18, 2019 – Bear’s Den – Massachusetts

Yesterday Shadow, Wilma, and I Adventured to Bear’s Den in New Salem, Massachusetts.  Bear’s Den includes a short trail to a scenic waterfall, a stream, a secluded gorge, and contains ruins of an old mill.  The waterfall is a cascade falls, approximately twelve feet in height, and is sourced from the Swift River.  The Reservation was given its’ name due to a black bear being shot on the property.  Bear’s Den is owned and managed by the Trustees of Reservations.

We had a rainy Adventure to the Bear’s Den Reservation.  We were quite thrilled to have a weekday Adventure as our three days off in the summer has begun!  I expected the weather to become rainy, but we were determined to visit Bear’s Den, so we carried on!  I was pleased to arrive at a small and empty parking lot.  I had read there was hunting at this location so decided to adorn the pups in their bright orange armor!  We headed down a green surrounded trail into the great outdoors.  There was an informational kiosk a bit down the path with a map.  Soon we heard the singing of the stream, and headed straight to the water.  Shadow of course attempted a dip in the shallow water while Wilma found a fallen tree to climb, and a stick to chew.  We took our time in this area walking around the shore, jumping on the rocks, and wandering around the mill remains.

The trails were not clear, however we followed the sounds and quickly located the waterfall from high above the gorge.  We were pleased to find a path down to bottom of the gorge, and directly in front of the waterfall.  The gorge area was spectacular, with caves in the rocks, lovely green, and the tall boulders surrounding us as we peered at the waterfall.  The Falls had two main sections, separated by rocks in the middle.  It was small, but yet just right.  We relaxed for awhile taking in the scene.  Both Shadow and Wilma spent some time sitting, while Wilma also enjoyed some rock jumps, and Shadow often could be found searching for the quickest path to the water.  Wilma seemed a bit uneasy at times looking around cautiously, my mind repeatedly expecting a bear sighting  Thankfully we did not see a bear!

Bear’s Den was a peaceful and special location.  It was hard to capture the Falls in photographs, so I would encourage you to view the videos below.  So glad we could Adventure to this location (Rating:  4).















Throwback Adventure – Palmer Island Lighthouse – Massachusetts

I will have sections of my blog that I will title “Throwback Adventure”, and will plan on posting them every Thursday. These are journeys we have taken before I started the blog, but are well worth sharing. Many of these Throwback Adventures will include our Buster, who was known for his crazy tail, his happy howl, and his zest for life. We miss him dearly…he is forever in our hearts!

In January 2017 Shadow and I Adventured to the Palmer Lighthouse in New Bedford, Massachusetts.  The Palmer Lighthouse is located in the Acushnet River at the entrance to New Bedford Harbor.  It was built in 1849.  The Lighthouse is twenty four feet high and is made out of stone rubble.  It can be reached by foot at low tide through the hurricane wall in New Bedford Harbor.  The Palmer Lighthouse is no longer a working lighthouse.

We had a wild Adventure to the Palmer Ligthouse on a cool winter day.  We had many Adventures in New Bedford on this day, and the Palmer Lighthouse was one of our most scenic stops.  I do not remember doing much research but found that we could make our way to the Lighthouse as the tide was low.  Having no idea what the tidal patterns were we decided to journey to the Lighthouse, closely watching the water.  We met a nice family along the way that adored Shadow, while also ran into some teenagers in the appearing to be up to some trouble.  I was quite disappointed at all the trash in the area, I guess left behind from the tide.  However we carried on, sometimes on rocky footing, but soon arrived at the Palmer Lighthouse.  The Lighthouse was quite stunning, bright white and uniquely stone.  There was a stone-like pathway directly to the Lighthouse so we were able to climb to the door to check out this beautiful Lighthouse.  We really lucked out finding low tide on this visit, but did not stay long unsure what to expect upon our return.  A fun, and memorable Adventure to the Palmer Lighthouse (Rating:  3).



June 8, 2019 – Brooks Woodland Preserve – Massachusetts

On June 8, 2019 Shadow, Wilma, and I Adventured to Brooks Woodland Preserve in Petersham, Massachusetts.  The preserve includes over thirteen miles of trails, rivers, brooks, forestland, and wetlands.  The property was previously home to the Nipmuc Indians, while later being cleared for pastureland, and farms.  The land was named for James Wilson Brooks.  Brooks Woodland Preserve is owned and managed by the Trustees of Reservations.

We had an invigorating hike at the Brooks Woodland Preserve on a lovely spring morning.  I was wondering if we would make it to the property, as with no exact address we drove down a rocky country road.  However, we were pleased to find the bright blue official Trustees sign and arrive at the trailhead.  I confirmed that no hunting was permitted but yet became concerned to find a nearby sign stating “However…” warning you to be aware that hunters still could be around the area or on the property.  I was thrilled to find one of Shadow and Wilma’s reflector vests in the car, slightly reducing my anxiety with this information.   I often joke how I have one dog that looks like a bear, and one that looks like a deer, so therefore avoid properties known for hiking.  Still a bit anxious with this warning, I covered by pups with bright orange, and decided to continue on our Adventure.

We began down a slightly overgrown trail hopping over two large trees that had fallen over the path.  The trail opened up to a gorgeous field-like area, beautiful green colors spanning our view.  We soon entered the woods and arrived at a gorgeous stream, and bridge.  Shadow quickly found a path down to the water while Wilma and I watched from above (see the first video below).  We relaxed at this singing brook for some time until Shadow was ready to leave the cool flowing water and journey on to the trail.  Our hike mostly followed the yellow loop trail, although we veered off in some locations to check on various scenery, often a bridges over a singing brook.  We met one couple on and off throughout our hike who appeared to be traversing the same trail.  They were very nice, and seemed to appreciate some “hellos” with Shadow and Wilma.  Besides this couple we found ourselves alone with nature.

This trail was quite special as the town it was located in was in the country, leading to a true natural hike.  There was constant birds chirping, and oftentimes you could hear the singing of streams.  Not a chance that you could hear the highway from this location, so tranquil and serene.  Shadow seemed quite energized on this hike, often speeding ahead of us, I am sure quite enthused from the many, cool stream dips!  My favorite parts of this hike were:  trail that paralleled the stream, the picturesque bridges, watching Shadow’s joyful swims, lush green landscape, and being one with nature at this serene location.  Besides my worries of the nearby hunting, we really enjoyed our visit at the Brooks Woodland Preserve.  As you may guess I found this property through the Trustees of Reservations.  Definitely a wonderful visit to this lovely property (Rating:  3)










June 1, 2019 – Crescent Ridge Dairy – Massachusetts

Today Shadow, Wilma and I Adventured to Crescent Ridge Dairy in Sharon, Massachusetts.  Crescent Ridge Dairy is a Farm that includes a shop, farm animals to view, and an ice cream stand.  They specialize in local produce, and homemade products.

We had a mouthwatering Adventure to Crescent Ridge Dairy after our nearby hike at The Bradley Estate.  It was great to arrive at this ice cream stand to find no lines!  I checked out the menu and quickly decided to choose cookie doe ice cream with whip cream, and of course a dog ice cream for my two best friends.  Once our order was ready we headed over to a shady area to gobble up our ice cream.  So tasty!  I was actually unable to finish my ice cream, however packed it up for a future treat.  We walked around the property and found some benches in the back, and farm animals on the side.  Wilma was thrilled to see the goats, and it appeared as if she wanted to play with them.  It definitely brought a smile to my face.  Shadow was more interested in trying to find leftovers under the tables, my always hopeful boy!  We were quite happy to visit Crescent Ridge Dairy today (Rating:  4, Dog Ice Cream:  5)

June 1, 2019 – The Bradley Estate – Massachusetts

Somehow this blog posted before I finished it so I have deleted that, and here is the final blog posting…

Yesterday Shadow, Wilma, and I Adventured to The Bradley Estate in Canton, Massachusetts.  The Bradley Estate was inherited by Doctor Arthur Tracy Cabot before being acquired by his niece Eleanor Cabot Bradley in 1945.  It is a 90 acre property that includes the estate, fields, woodlands, and gardens.  The Estate is a popular location for weekend weddings.  It is owned and managed by the Trustees of Reservations.

We had a peaceful Adventure to The Bradley Estate.  We arrived to find the property almost empty from visitors.  There was as $5 parking fee, but yet our admission was free due to our Trustee membership!  I had researched the property ahead of time so had known that dogs were not allowed in the formal gardens, but were permitted on the trails.  We decided to head over to the front of the Estate to take some photographs.  There were flowers of varied colors along the paved road, many with unique shades.  I took numerous photos before soon arriving at the Estate.  The Estate was lovely with gardens on either side.  Although there were no “no dog” signs I decided not to venture too far adjacent to the property unclear of the forbidden boundaries.  Instead we then veered over to the trails and began on our hike.

I was quite pleased to find some more flowers along the trail, many adorning the rocks.  This provided quite the picturesque scene. There were Azalea’s, Rhododentron, wildflowers and more.  We wandered past what appeared to be a farm, and some fields before heading into the woods.  The trails were simple, but tranquil, birds chirping, and an occasional smells of fragrant flowers flooding the air.  There were several moments when the sounds of busy roads overtook the nature walk, however overall it was quite serene.  The trails were not labeled, and somewhat confusing but having studied the map before our journey I figured I was in the right general direction.  At one point we arrived at the back of the Estate, a nice surprise along the way.  This helped me to know we were on the right track to our trip home.

Throughout our hike Shadow and Wilma often trotted side by side seeming to be energized on this beautiful morning.   Some of my favorite parts of the trails were:  the colorful flowers along the path, the bright greens of spring, the tall ferns on the trail, and a rustic fence along the way.  So as you may guess this is yet another property I discovered through the Trustees of Reservations.  Although I was bummed that we could not explore the gardens, we definitely had a lovely Adventure to the Eleanor Cabot Bradley Estate (Rating:  3).













March 25, 2019 – Dinosaur Footprints – Massachusetts

Today Shadow, Wilma, our two friends, and I Adventured to Dinosaur Footprints in Holyoke, Massachusetts.  Dinosaur footprints is the location of more than 130 tracks carved into sandstone.  Researchers believe this prints are from two-legged carnivorous dinosaurs, by the great Tyrannosaurus rex, and from various fossils.  The property is owned and managed by the Trustees of Reservations.

We had a paleontological Adventure to the Dinosaur Footprints on a warm spring day.  We were excited to have friends along with us on today’s Adventure!  We followed a short path down to the sandstone where we found numerous dinosaur prints engraved in the rock.  Some of the prints were small and others were large, some hidden, and some clear.  It was fun to imagine their paths as they walked many years ago.  There were informational kiosks along the way providing lots of information about the site.

We continued walking where we found water streaming through two cement holes and down, forming a scenic, rocky area.  We hopped along careful not to slide on the slippery rocks.  We did not find any additional tracks in this area but enjoyed exploring.  From afar we could see the Connecticut River, a large River with flowing current.  It was the perfect backdrop to this unique location.

So as you may guess this is yet another property I discovered through the Trustees of Reservations.  We enjoyed our lesson in history today at this distinctive site.  So glad we could visit the Dinosaur Footprint property today (Rating:  3, Company – Perfection!) 


Throwback Adventure – Wendell State Forest – Massachusetts

I will have sections of my blog that I will title “Throwback Adventure”, and will plan on posting them every Thursday. These are journeys we have taken before I started the blog, but are well worth sharing. Many of these Throwback Adventures will include our Buster, who was known for his crazy tail, his happy howl, and his zest for life. We miss him dearly…he is forever in our hearts!

In August 2013 Shadow, Buster, My Aunt, My Uncle, My cousin, My cousin’s son, and I visited Wendell State Forest in Wendell, Massachusetts.  Wendell State Forest is 7500 acres of forest land which includes several ponds, streams, and trails.  It is popular for swimming, fishing, hunting, and biking.

We visited Wendell State Forest almost six years ago on two lovely days.  I was picking up my cousin’s son Cameron for the weekend so we choose Wendell State Forest to meet as it was centrally located.  Wendell State Forest ended up being a great find as we had a wonderful time.  There were two main activities we especially appreciated.  First, we spent plenty of time on the beach!  Cameron enjoyed some swimming, hunting for salamanders, and catching guppies.  Shadow and Buster loved sitting in the beach and of course the cool water, while I was able to catch up with family.   There was not a sole around which made the beach especially tranquil.  Nearby we found a bridge where Cameron located a variety of snakes sunbathing in the rocks, although far from my favorite site, it was fun seeing Cameron’s excitement in these long scaly creatures.

Our second main activity was a hike around the pond, also quite barren from guests.  Cameron often walked ahead with Shadow while the rest of us mostly walked a bit behind with Buster.  We found some picnic benches along the way, a little wooden bridge, and plenty of natural scenery.

It was a fantastic Adventure, especially as we also were also able to visit with our extended family. Really the perfect location for children to learn and appreciate nature.  Cameron is growing up to be such an amazing kid, now fifteen and such a kind teen, so fun to spend time with!  He recently was accepted as a camp counselor soon to be leading excited young ones on Adventures of their own.  We will always have found memories of our Adventures to Wendell State Forest.