Throwback Adventure – Stanley Park – August 2016

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 August 2016 Shadow, Buster, and I visited Stanley Park in Westfield, Massachusetts.  Sadly Buster has passed away since, but he definitely enjoyed his share of adventures.  He was an amazing boy, and will always be missed.  Stanley Park is a non-profit, privately owned park, that is approximately 300 acres in size.  It includes:  gardens, trails, playing fields, and a duck pond.  The park was established in 1945 by philanthropist Frank Stanley Beveridge.

We stopped at Stanley Park after a wonderful visit with family.  The park was beautifully landscaped, and highlights of our visit, included:  a variety of bridges, an old working mill, the duck-filled pond, an old rustic church, and even a live swan!  We enjoyed walking along the trails, and photographing the gorgeous scenery.  This was as stop that I planned, but did not do any detailed research, so we wandered around without a map.  However, I do think we found some of the highlights of this magnificent park (Rating:  4).

 

 

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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 5, 2018 – Massachusetts – Russell Mill Pond and Town Forest

Tonight we went for a local hike at the Russell Mill Pond and Town Forest in Chelmsford, Massachusetts.  The Forest contains 132 acres of land, including land on the east side of Russell Mill Pond.

I often enjoy exploring local conservation land, and this trail was a great find.  It was simple, yet beautiful.   We mostly followed the trail along the Pond, but also veered toward some of the inner forest trails.  There were a couple of simple bridges, a little bubbling stream, and a wealth of bright green ferns lining the trails.  We did not see any other dog walkers, but the area was clearly popular with mountain bikers.

I highly encourage you to seek out conservation land in your area.  Lovely trails and scenery, with no cost involved.  You really cannot beat that.  (Rating:  4)