July 1, 2018 – New Hampshire – The Basin and the Basin-Cascades Trail

Today we visited the Basin, and traversed the Basin-Cascades Trail in the Fraconia Notch State Park.  The Basin is situated along the Pemigewassett River.  It is a curved waterfall which flows through carved rock, ending in a pool of water.  The area has various water areas to explore.  The Basin-Cascades Trail follows the Cascade Brook, and provides views of various waterfalls and cascades, including:  Kinsman Falls, and Rocky Glen Falls.

We have been to the Basin, and the Basin-Cascades Trail numerous times, with my Mom, Shadow, Buster, and Wilma. Upon parking you immediately hear the sound of crashing water.  It is absolutely beautiful spot, with bridges, beach-like areas, streams, cascades, lots of rocks and boulders, and waterfalls.  As you embark on the trail it slopes up slowly, with beautiful cascades and waterfalls along the trail.  There are many rocks to lounge, relax, and enjoy a snack.  It is amazing as the more you walk the more exciting it becomes.  The water in the summer is more flowing, while the Fall is especially beautiful with colorful foliage.  I highly recommend a visit to this gorgeous stop in the Fraconia Notch State Park.  I will include photographs from some of our visits (Rating:  5)

June/July 2018:


June 2017:


October 2016:


October 2014:



May 27, 2017 – Connecticut – Campbell’s Falls

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.

On May 27, 2017 Shadow and I journeyed to Campbell’s Falls in Norfolk, Connecticut.  (Wilma had not yet joined our world).  Campbell’s Falls is located in the Campbell Falls State Park Reserve.  It cascades nearly 100 feet, and is a part of the Whiting River.  The Whiting River starts in Massachusetts, and the waterfall lands into Connecticut.

We visited the Campbell’s Falls at the end of a full day of adventures (hence the end of the video).  We found a parking lot that led us to a short, but steep walk to the Falls.  The Falls was absolutely breathtaking.  The roar of the water, the mist of the Falls, and the singing of the flowing brook led to a true nature experience.  We sat by the brook for a bit, and relaxed, taking in the sounds, smells, and sights.  We then climbed halfway up the waterfall, taking some photos in the perfect little spot.   I love finding landmarks of nature that provide the full sensory experience, and this definitely was one of those moments.  The Campbell’s Falls was one of the most beautiful waterfalls I have seen, and I highly recommend a visit (Rating:  5).








June 24, 2018 – Massachusetts – Moore State Park

Today we visited Moore State Park in Paxton, Massachusetts.  Moore State Park is approximately 400 acres, and was a former home to grist and saw mills.  Portions of the park are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  It has a pond, trails, and various “Mill Village Features” on the grounds.

This is actually the second time that we have been to Moore State Park, the first time was with Shadow and Buster in July 2013, and the second trip today, with Shadow and Wilma.  My GPS was not too cooperative today, but we were able to locate the Park after an unplanned detour.  We started our journey down a paved road, with beautiful, natural landscape adorning the sides.  We soon arrived at the pond where there were several rustic wooden rocking chairs, picnic tables, and a gazebo-like structure to sit and enjoy the view.  The more we walked I began to have some flashback memories of our initial journey, remembering that we had been caught in a downpour, before relaxing for a bit in the gazebo-like structure.  I believe that visit was a shorter stop, while today we spent about two hours exploring.

I decided to start on some trails, before coming back through the viewing area.  The trails were not well marked, but I was quite glad I had printed a trail map, which helped me navigate the forest, and not worry about getting lost.  We started on Judy’s Secret Garden Loop Trail, and then connected to the Stairway Loop Trail.  The trails were kind of blah, but we enjoyed walking along the pond, and finding some cute rock benches along the way.  The trails were very peaceful, with the sounds of birds singing.  Shadow enjoyed some swims, while Wilma jumped onto all large rocks in her path.  The trails were very quiet, and we only saw one couple walking their dog.  It is always nice to find a tranquil nature trail, away from the bustle of society.

After our walks on the trails we headed to various areas of the park to find some of the “Mill Village Features”, and take some photographs.  These included:  the Old Sawmill, the Bat House, the Chalet Foundation, the Enchanted Bridge, and the Artist Overlook.  I took photographs of four of these “Features” which you can view below.  This was one fun component of the Park.  Definitely a unique Park to explore (Rating:  3)




July 2013:

June 23, 2018 – Massachusetts – Greycourt State Park

Today we visited Greycourt State Park in Methuen, Massachusetts.  This Park is a recreation area that covers 24 acres atop the partially restored ruins of the Charles H. Tenney estate.  Grey Court, which is also referred to as Tenney Castle, was built in 1893.  It was the centerpiece of the Charles H. Tenney estate.  The Tenney family were a successful business family, world known merchants in the business of hats.  The Tenney Castle was later destroyed by fire in 1978.

This Park was not easy to find, but luckily I had done some research ahead of time, and knew exactly how to locate it. We parked at City Hall, and hiked from the Historical Society down the paved road to the park.  It did not take long to locate castle ruins up on the hill.  Many tall trees and green landscape surrounded this spectacular landmark.  The paved trail took us up a small hill, and directly to the ruins.  We strolled through the beautiful architecture, taking many photos.  I was awed by this castle ruins, and enjoyed studying the many architectural features.  There was an old water fountain, lots of holes to peer through and beautiful arches, and pillars.  Standing in the ruins really made me feel like I was on an international journey, almost magical.

Once we had finished wandering the ruins we sauntered past and found some dirt paths.  There were no markings, or directors, but we weaved in and out of the trails.  I found them a bit humdrum, and was disappointed to hear clear sounds of cars and construction.  However, we found some unique trees, and were able to get some always valued exercise.

After we finished at the trails we headed back to the castle ruins for one last visit.  We sat for a bit next to the ruins, where Shadow and Wilma enjoyed their normal rolls, and some time playing together.  We only saw a couple people on our visit, mostly locals walking through the area with their dogs.  It was a fun little spot, and definitely a cool ruin to explore (Rating:  3).


Throwback Adventure – Echo Lake (Fraconia Notch State Park)

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.

Echo Lake is a beautiful lake in Fraconia Notch State Park in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.  It is 38.2 acres and sits at 1,931 feet elevation.  It is on the northern side of the Fraconia Notch and offers breathtaking views of the Lafayette and Cannon Mountains.  The water of the lake flows toward the Connecticut River.  There is a swimming beach, and a trail around the Lake.

We have frequented Echo Lake many times over the years.  It is an absolutely gorgeous location, especially in Fall.  Often we have stopped just to relax and take photos, while on one journey my Mom enjoyed some time painting, while Shadow, Wilma, and I traversed the Lake trail.  We mostly have visited the Lake during Fall, but just this past Winter we traveled to view the scenery.  A much duller scene in the Winter, but yet I was humored as the Lake appeared no where in site, covered in snow.   It is quite magical to view the changes of season, unique to our beautiful New England.  I would highly recommend exploring Echo Lake.  I will include photos from three of our adventures below (Rating:  5).


October 2016:



I had to include this amazing photo that my Mother took of Shadow, Buster, and I.  It is one I will treasure ALWAYS!  Little did I know that less then a week later Buster would leave our word, at just seven years old.  He was an amazing love in our life, and I miss him so much!  A wonderful memory forever graved in our hearts!


Buster card 2


October 2017:

Echo Lake Oct 2017 4




March 2018:


June 16, 2018 – Connecticut – Mansfield Hollow State Park

Today we visited Mansfield Hollow State Park in Mansfield, Connecticut.  The Mansfield Hollow State Park is a State Park in Connecticut, and is considered a “recreation area”. The Mansfield Hollow Lake is approximately 500 acres, and there are 251 acres of recreation area on the western edge of the Lake.  Popular recreational opportunities include:  hiking, dog walking, fishing, boating, mountain biking, and cross-country skiing.  There is no fee to enter the Park, quite the perk for a social work budget.

Immediately on arrival our eyes were drawn to the beautiful blue, sparkling water of the Mansfield Hollow Lake, as a refreshing cool breeze lightened the air.  Gazing over the Lake we viewed many canoes, kayaks, and fisherman.  We found a trail near the boat launch, and began wandering the trails, many parallel to the Lake.  The scenery varied from beautiful lake views, raised trails, footpaths winding throughout the woods, to even fields with bright colored, tiny, wild flowers .  There were many families enjoying an afternoon picnic, and dogs strolling down the trails.  Throughout the day we stopped several times to sit in the shade and relax.  Shadow and Wilma enjoyed rolls, and naps in the bright green grass.  The Park appeared quite immense, providing many quiet, uninterrupted spots to lounge and enjoy.

We spent about three hours exploring the Mansfield Hollow State Park.  The dog rules were not clear, nor stated, but we did our best to observe those around us.  However, on our second stop at the park (which appeared to be the main parking lot), we noted a sign indicating dogs must be leashed.  We then” leashed-up” and continued exploring (so we do apologize for this overlook.)  It was a warm, yet relaxing day at Mansfield Hollow State Park (Rating:  4).


Throwback Adventure – Bash Bish Falls – 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.

In May 2017, Shadow, my Aunt, my Uncle, and I visited Bash Bish Falls in Mount Washington, Massachusetts.  (Wilma had not yet joined our world).  In my blog today I cannot help but note how fortuitous I am to have such a wonderful Aunt and Uncle.  They are encouraging, kind, and giving, and always make me feel special and loved.  It was fun to have their company, on this spectacular spring adventure.

Bash Bish Falls is located right on the border of Massachusetts, and New York, and is the highest waterfall in Massachusetts.  The Falls include a series of cascades that are approximately 200 feet tall.  The final cascade is 80 feet tall, split into two, by a large protruding boulder.  Bash Bish Falls begins in a spring on Mount Washington, although is technically located on Bash Bish Mountain.

We started our journey to the Falls from the Massachusetts trail.  The parking lot was difficult to find, but the trail was clear on arrival.  The trail is approximately two miles in length.  It sloped up slowly, running besides the beautiful, singing, babbling Bash Bish Brook.  Shadow therefore was able to enjoy some sips and dips in the brook along our journey.  On the opposite side of the brook we noted some cabins, which likely were part of the Bash Bish Falls State Park.  I was amused by a sign along the way indicating the Massachusetts, New York border, and was quite diasppointed that I was not able to locate a photograph.  However, it was a lovely trail, and quite the nice perk to fill the hike with great company, and conversation, catching up on all the moments of life.

Upon arrival at the Falls we witnessed a stunning, and dramatic view, the Falls roaring, and immense.  As expected a crowded area, with ongoing snaps of photography.  There were picnic tables, and of course areas along the rocks to sit an enjoy the site.  A beautiful day enjoying nature’s magnificent beauty (Rating:  5)