June 24, 2019 – White Mountains – New Hampshire

Today Shadow, Wilma, and I Adventured to the White Mountains in New Hampshire.  The White Mountains cover one quarter of the state of New Hampshire, and actually run into a small part of Maine.  The mountains are popular for hiking, skiing, and Fall foliage seekers.

So I usually do not post about locations I have blogged about previously, however I could not resist sharing today’s Adventure in the White Mountains, one of my absolute FAVORITE spots to explore.  Today our Adventure involved locations we have ventured to before, including:  The Basin, The Basin-Cascades Trail, the Pemi Trail, and Echo Lake.  Although we have been to these spots previously they NEVER disappoint.  From the fresh-clean-clear water, to the waterfalls, to the rushing Brook, to lakes surrounded by spectacular mountain views, it is a genuinely natural experience.

We began today’s Adventure noticing that one of the trails was closed, quite disappointing.  We took the time to explore different paths, leading us in and out the gorgeous River and cascades.  We walked around for awhile before finding a sandy spot to sit in the sun and relax.  From there I figured I would try one more direction to locate the Basin-Cascade Trail, and I was thrilled to find a pathway to this Trail, one of my favorites.  The Basin Cascades Trail, slowly ascends with lots of roots and mud along the path.  Throughout this trail there are many spots to walk over to the Cascade Brook, whether it be an official waterfall, or just gorgeous water flowing with spectacular views.  Many of the time you could choose to climb up the rocks along the water before veering back to the trail.  We found a cave like area after walking through the water and hung out for awhile, just perfect.

There were lots of water features to explore along the way and we did our best to visit every one.  My favorite one was Kinsman Falls, a taller falls then many of the others along this trail.  We made a steep hike down to get a bit closer for of course some selfies, pictures, and rock climbing.  Shadow seemed a bit disappointed that he could not climb up-high, but enjoyed some sips while I got a little closer with Wilma.  Just a spectacular site.  We cautiously climbed back up to the Trail above the falls before continuing along the trail.  Much of our time today was spent on the Basin-Cascade Trail.  So beautiful and peaceful.

After spending almost four hours at this first location we drove to Echo Lake to make sure Shadow could get in an official mountain-lake swim before heading back home.

Some of my most memorable moments of the day included:  watching Shadow enjoy constant fresh water swims, hearing the sounds of rushing water, finding a little cave area to relax, walking through the rushing water to get to desired locations, and the visual beauty of these special locations.  I continually am impressed at eleven-year-old Shadow’s endurance, and appreciated seeing my recent training work with two-year-old Wilma in action today.  I cannot put into words what these two amazing pups mean to me!  The best company I could ask for!

If you would like to read more about our past visits to Echo Lake (Fraconia Notch State Park) and The Basin please search for them in the “search box” for more information on this Adventure.  (On a mobile phone you can find this at the very bottom of the page, and on the computer you can find it to the right of the blog.)

A beautiful Adventure today in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, not a doubt we will be back (Rating:  5).












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)










Throwback Adventure – Fraconia Falls – New Hampshire

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 October 2017 Shadow, Wilma, and I Adventured to Fraconia Falls in the town of Lincoln, in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.  The Falls is a series of cascades that is sourced from Fraconia Brook.  Fraconia Falls is a popular area for swimming and sliding down the Falls.

We had a wonderful Adventure to Fraconia Falls on a gorgeous Fall day.  The hike to Fraconia Falls begins at Lincoln Woods, one of my favorite hikes of the White Mountains.  We were excited to journey on an extra long hike, all the way to the Falls.  The trail turned left when we arrived at a scenic wooden bridge, right about where we noticed the sign leading us to Fraconia Falls.  We decided to first traverse this bridge and view the Brook before turning around and heading on the trail to the Falls.  We then began hiking along the trail which paralleled the Brook.  We soon located a scenic area to stop, relax, and have a snack, such a peaceful oasis along the shore.  After a restful break we continued on to the Falls.  The Falls was simple, and unique in its own way.  We posed for some photographs, standing on the rocky platform, and viewing the area off to the right.  I actually wondered if it was the true Falls as I was expecting a much larger, and more elaborate natural creation.  I still sometimes ponder this question but we did follow the sign and arrived at this Falls, so how could we be mistaken??

The Falls was our last stop before turning around to return to our car.  We had spent the day wandering the trails of Lincoln Woods and exploring various spots along the way.  Another perfect day in the White Mountains (Rating:  Lincoln Woods:  5, Fraconia Falls:  3).

Below please enjoy some pictures from the Falls, the trail from the bridge, and one from right before the Falls trail.  If you would like to read more and see photos about Lincoln Woods search for Lincoln Woods in the “search box” for more information.  (On a mobile phone you can find this at the very bottom of the page, and on the computer you can find it to the right of the blog.)


Weekly Video/Photo

If you regularly follow my blog, and the weekly/video photo I would recommend skipping on to paragraph three, specific to this week’s video/photo.  I have decided to add a weekly video/photo section to my blog.  This blog will display a video or photo, usually highlighting an Adventure, while I might also sneak in some that are humorous, adorable, or just other fun dog moments.

So if you have followed my blog from the beginning you will know that I adopted Shadow as a puppy, and about a year later adopted Buster as a puppy.  We had many wonderful years together before experiencing the devastating loss of Buster at just seven.  It took a long time for our hearts to heal, but almost a year later we welcomed little Wilma into our world.

Today’s feature is a video from a wonderful Adventure that Shadow, Wilma, and I took in Lincoln Woods in the White Mountain of New Hampshire.  This is absolutely one of my favorite places to hike!  It starts with an amazing bridge over the Pemigewasett River and follows the River for much of the hike, opening up at various spots for extra-ordinary views.  The Fall, of course, is my favorite season to visit this spectacular location.  Please search for Lincoln Woods in the “search box” for more information on our many visits to Lincoln Woods.  (On a mobile phone you can find this at the very bottom of the page, and on the computer you can find it to the right of the blog.)

Hope you can make a visit of your own!  Enjoy!


April 21, 2019 – Francis William Bird Park – Massachusetts

Today Shadow, Wilma, and I Adventured to the Francis William Bird Park in Walpole, Massachusetts.  The Francis William Bird Park is owned and maintained by the Trustees of Reservations.  There are approximately 89 acres of landscaped property, open fields, recreation areas, and several ponds.  The Park has approximately three miles of walking trails.

We had an overcast Adventure to the Francis William Bird Park on this Easter afternoon.  I was thrilled to find this lovely little Park, unique in so many ways.  We arrived at the main parking lot, crossed the street, and landed in an open field.  We were greeted by The Trustees of Reservation kiosk which provided paper brochures with maps and information.  The initial plan was to follow particular trails, but the paths were not labeled creating more work to view the map continually.  Therefore we chose to wander aimlessly allowing our snouts and eyes to direct the route.  Our first highlight was the “Music Court” probably my favorite non-nature aspect of the Park.  It was a classic and distinctive architectural structure allowing oneself to imagine being at an outdoor event.  There were even some sweet little ones appearing to perform a show of their own.  A simple, yet scenic feature of the Park.

From there we strolled to various locations throughout the Park.  I adored the flowering trees, distinct “footbridges”, Beech trees, gurgling brooks, and water features.  Wilma loved watching the ducks, while both Shadow and Wilma relished the ponds, and attention from as many visitors as they could real in.  The trails varied from cobblestone to rocks to dirt, adding variety.  There were additional labels and information kiosks around the property which was very helpful, and also educational.  Lastly, I was quite pleased to find a place where ALL of the dogs we encountered were under voice, or leash control of the owners.  Sadly this is not always the case, and it is something I really do appreciate.

If you may be wondering, I located The Francis William Bird Park through the Trustees of Reservations which I have been learning about in the last several months.  I would encourage you to check out the Trustees of Reservations, as you can search for properties in your area.  Many of the land, trails, and properties are absolutely lovely, and the Trustees of Reservations does wonderful work to preserve the land and history throughout Massachusetts.  I was quite fond of The Francis William Bird Park and expect to be back to visit (Rating:  3.5)




July 20, 2018 – Ahern State Park – New Hampshire

Today Shadow, Wilma, and I visited Ahern State Park in Laconia, New Hampshire.  Ahern State Park is a 128 acre park, which includes a shoreline on Lake Winnisquam.  It is popular for beach goers, bikers, hikers, fishers, and boating (non-motorized).

We were quite pleased to explore a new park on a “not-too-hot” summer kind of day.  We drove down a long gravel road before arriving at the beach, and parking area.  We started down the trail parallel to Lake Winnisquam.  The trail was very quiet, with the distant sound of children swimming, and boaters enjoying their morning.  We found several trails down to the shore, for some Shadow swims.  As usual I wished I had brought my suit, but instead Wilma and I watched Shadow float around, cooling down and relaxing.  The trails were a little unclear, so I avoided any complex loops.  We found some fun rocks along the way, allowing us to view the lake from above.  The trail had a little more mosquitoes then preferred, but we did our best to ignore them, and carried on our happy way.  There really was not a lot to see at the park, but as per our usual adventure we reveled in the new smells, and overall experience (Rating:  3).



Throwback Adventure – April 2015 – Cliff Walk

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 April 2015 Shadow, Buster, and I journeyed to Cliff Walk in Newport, Rhode Island.  Sadly Buster has passed away since, but he definitely enjoyed his share of adventures.  He was an amazing boy, and will always be missed.  Cliff walk is a 3.5 mile trail that borders the shoreline.  It is a National Recreation Trail in a National Historic District.  Cliff Walk runs behind some of the mansions in the area, and includes:  tunnels, paved paths, rocky shoreline, and beach areas.

We decided to choose one of the first spring weather days to journey to Cliff Walk.  It was still a “winter-dark” kind of day, yet spring was in the air.  We enjoyed walking on this picturesque trail, on the paved trail, through the tunnels, and onto the shore.  It was neat to see such unique structures, and architecture on our walk, combining with the gorgeous rocky shoreline.  We even found a nice, quiet area to picnic on the rocks.  I am sure the walk is even more beautiful when the green color, and flowers are out in the spring in summer.  However, it was nice to avoid the tourists, crowds, and to relax enjoy this gorgeous location.  I think I will plan a visit again in the future (Rating:  4).










July 14, 2018 – New Hampshire – Beecher and Pearl Cascades

On Saturday we journeyed to the Beecher and Pearl Cascades in Carroll, New Hampshire.  The Cascades are part of the Crawford Brook, on the Cascade Loop Trail of the White Mountains National Forest.  The Beecher Cascade is a 35 foot plunge, while the Pearl Cascade is a 20 foot plunge.  The trail begins behind the Crawford Depot which is an active station of a scenic railroad.  Follow the “Avalon Trail” which will lead you to the Cascade Trail Loop.

We were elated to start our afternoon with a trip to the Beecher and Pearl Cascades.  The trail was not clear, but again, the research let me know exactly where to locate to the trailhead.  We started following the trail signs to the Avalon trail, before connecting to the Cascade Loop trail, and then to the first Cascade, the Beecher Cascade.  The trail was quite uninspiring, but the anticipation, and nature, allowed us to relish every moment.  We easily located the sign to the Beecher Cascade and followed to sign down to this Cascade.  This Cascade was a beautiful gorge-like cascade, with a powerful stream flowing down the rocks.  There was a little area to hang out in for Shadow to nap, while Wilma posed on some rocks.  I am always delighted when I can get close to a Cascade, a true connection to nature.

The second Cascade on the trail was the Pearl Cascade.  We actually missed this Cascade, and began hiking uphill for awhile, along the very rocky trail.  We found a little area of the Brook where we were able to sit and relax a bit, and revel in the peace of nature.  I eventually decided to ask a fellow hiker and he informed me that we were trekking up on the “A-Z” trail.  We quickly turned back, and eventually made it to the Pearl Cascade.  I am still unsure of how this miscue happened, but we definitely added a good work-out to our day.

The Pearl Cascade was difficult to see from the trail, so we climbed down to the Crawford Brook to check it out.  Somewhat distant in site, the Cascade had minimal water streaming down the rocks.  I was disappointed in this Cascade, but glad we were able to find it before departing.   (Rating, Trail:  3, Beecher Cascade:  4, Pearl Cascade:  3)


Cascade Loop Trail


Beecher Cascade




Cascade Trail



July 14, 2018 – New Hampshire – Ammonoosuc Lake Trail and the Red Bench Trail

Yesterday we went for a hike on the Ammonoosuc Lake Trail (officially referred to as the Around-The-Lake Trail) and the Red Bench trail in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire.  These trails begin behind the AMC Highland Center on Route 302.  The Ammonoosuc Lake trail is a less then two mile hike that goes around the Ammonoosuc Lake, and at mid-point you can choose to branch onto the Red Bench Trail.  The Ammonoosuc Lake is small, approximately two acres in size, and has views of the mountains from the shore.

It was a little dreary, and cool on this summer day, but we were quite pleased to not get caught in a downpour.  This is a trail I attempted to find before, but never was able to locate it.  However, I decided to email the AMC Highland Center, who quickly responded, allowing me to easily locate the trail.  I immediately fell in love with this gorgeous trail.  Although close to society with an occasional sound of traffic, it really provided a remote feel.  There were several areas where Shadow could swim, and we were able to view picturesque views of the mountains.  The trail ran slightly above the Lake in most sections.  It was maintained well, and perfectly gorgeous.  We traversed the loop twice, and on the second round decided to check out the Red Bench trail.  We followed this trail uphill for a bit, crossing the railroad tracks, before finding an actual Red Bench at the little overlook.  I was disappointed not to see a view (likely from the lush summer landscape), however was quite pleased and surprised to find a real Red Bench.  Quite an amusing and exclusive aspect to this trail.

I am guessing this is not a well known trail as our first loop we had the entire Lake to ourselves.  On the second lap we saw a young family, and also what appeared to be an AMC guided tour for families and their pre-school children.  Definitely a hike that is perfect for young children, and of course others who enjoy a charming, and scenic walk.  I expect to be back at this trail again in the future.  (Rating:  4)



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).