Throwback Adventure – Willard Brook State Park – 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!

Willard Brook State Park is a publicly owned Park between the towns of Ashby and Townsend, Massachusetts.  It is 2,597 acres and includes a fast-running brook, and Trapp Falls.  It has a swimming pond, numerous trails, and opportunities for camping and picnicking.

Shadow, Buster and I had many, many Adventures to Willard Brook State Park, a lovely local State Park.  We have been in every season and with many others throughout the years.  I even visited as a kid, went on a date, and took our 2014 Christmas photographs at this fabulous location.  Willard Brook Park is a special place with lots of memories.  The Park has many trails, a fresh brook for dips and sips, sticks for lots of dog chewing, and many places to relax and play.  We have also enjoyed spending time near the tiny Trapp Falls, definitely a seasonal waterfall.  One of our preferred hikes has been the trail along the Brook as it is quite scenic and also has provided many opportunities to cool down.  The park has several simple, but scenic bridge which as you may guess I have enjoyed photographing.  I have put together too many photographs below from many different visits over the last eight years.  We will have to get there again as I do not believe Wilma has been there yet.  A beautiful local Park to explore! (Rating:  4).


August 19, 2019 – Lost Pond Trail – New Hampshire

Today Shadow, Wilma, and I Adventured to the Lost Pond Trail in Goreham, New Hampshire.  The Lost Pond Trail beings at the AMC Visitor Center, and is officially part of the Appalachian Mountain Trail.  It follows the Ellis River and ends at Lost Pond, providing distant views of Mount Washington.

We had a wonderful Adventure to the Lost Pond Trail on a warm summer morning.  We headed out early, planning this as our feature Adventure on a day full of many. The Lost Pond Trail began across the street from the AMC Visitor Center. It was marked with a sign, before beginning down a boardwalk, and across a marsh. Immediately there were spectacular, jaw-dropping views. This reminded me exactly why we journey on long drives for day trips to the White Mountains, like Lost Pond.

From the boardwalk the trail veered toward the right following the white and blue blazes. The trail paralleled the Ellis River, often from high above. On several occasions we headed over and through the River, cooling down in the clear River water. There were yellow wildflowers, bright mushrooms, and berries along the trail. Some sections of the trail that had boardwalks and small bridges, and there were continual rocks throughout. At one point I thought I had taken a wrong turn as the trail started gaining elevation, but soon after this gain we spotted Lost Pond from the distance.

Upon arrival at Lost Pond Shadow and Wilma posed on a rock as they checked out the views. From there we traversed down the side of the Pond, lots of large rocks, making for an interesting hike. The views were beyond picturesque the pond scattered with rocks, lilies, and breathtaking mountain views. Shadow loved his swims, and water-sitting, while Wilma continually hopped on rocks. She sometimes threw me off-balance with her athletic, and unexpected jumps. This place was so absolutely beautiful words really cannot explain. I loved that the trail followed the River, providing opportunities to wade, and lead to the beautiful Lost Pond with glorious views. The trail was very quiet, and on several occasions I thought I heard some animal voices in the distance. The only downfall was that a good portion of the trail was close to the main road, providing sounds of vehicles zooming bye. However, I can definitely say this was one of my favorite White Mountain hikes. So glad we took the trip to the Lost Pond Trail (Rating: 4.5)

July 9, 2019 -Bowers Springs – Massachusetts

Yesterday Shadow and I Adventured to Bowers Springs in Bolton, Massachusetts.  This is the second time we have been there as Shadow, Wilma and I had been previously.  Bowers Springs is conservation land that includes a pond, trails, and grassy fields.  It is a popular destination for dog walking, and fishing.

We had a water-filled Adventure to Bowers Springs.  I decided to bring Shadow on a solo Adventure today knowing he would love a swimming Adventure and thinking there might be many uncontrolled dogs romping about.  And although Wilma probably would be fine off leash I still feel there is some on leash work to do before crossing into that world.  So I had a bit of a guilty conscious today but working two days a week, and knowing it is a good thing to for Wilma to have moments without her big brother (as she really does rely on him)….  we carried on…

Upon arrival at Bowers Springs I was surprised to find a full parking lot.  I parked in a nice shady parking spot and we headed off on our Adventure.  There immediately were loud, enthusiastic voices, which I later learned were likely summer campers.  We ambled down the shady trail, lined by trees., and surrounded by fields.  As soon as Shadow saw a glimpse of water he he began trotting, soon swimming, sipping, and refreshed.  Throughout our Visit I let Shadow lead the way and often just stood and watched as he swam.  The trail looped around the pond which was filled with lilies, fish, frogs, and I even spotted a snake (yuck!)  It was tranquil, and although a warm day, the shade made it pleasant.

About three quarters around the pond we joined a large group of dogs at the beach area.  Shadow was very excited to make some new friends, and of course to get some treats from some generous owners.  It was adorable seeing him so happy to socialize with some furry friends .  He was so excited he almost forgot about swimming, but eventually  did wander back.  I chatted with the other dog parents for a bit, and smiled as I watched Shadow enjoy the moment.  We stayed for a bit before one dog was getting to be a little too excited so we decided to continue on our walk.  Shadow continually found places to go into the water and swim.  It was great to be able to let him swim wherever and whenever he wanted.  I sat down for a bit in one location, sneaking a peak at Wilma napping on my home cameras.  Such a nice little private Adventure for Shadow, and although we missed our Wilma Mae, we think it was the best afternoon plan for all.  If you are a dog lover in the area, I would highly recommend you visit this quiet location (Rating:  3.5)

PS – I unfortunately could not locate any photos from our first visit, although I am wondering if I may not have taken any??  If they do appear I may share another time.








As you can see by this spy cam photo below (little girl on the left in the corner)…Wilma was quite alright!  🙂  I apologize that I did not fix up the couch blankets and straighten the rug before sharing!


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.




May 13, 2019 – Farandnear Reservation – Massachusetts

Today Shadow, Wilma, and I Adventured to the Farandnear Reservation in Shirley, Massachusetts.  The Farandnear was the former estate of Arthur Banks who was a well known professor and political scientist.  It includes 2.7 miles of trails, and an Arboreteum.  The Park is owned and managed by the Trustees of Reservations.

We had a bird-singing Adventure to Farandear Reservation on a very cool spring day.  I was excited to explore a new local spot.  Upon arrival, and throughout our visit I could not have been more impressed.  We began in the Arboretum, however, decided to explore the trails first before finishing up with the flowers.  There were maps available, and the trails were clearly marked, even full photo maps along the trails.  We were greeted by the proud landscaper/property manager who gave us some fun tidbits about the reservation, and was very friendly.  The property was absolutely perfect from start to finish!  There was a singing ravine, adorable boardwalk bridges, meadows, paths through the reservoir, and bogs.  It was another spectacular Trustees of Reservation property, where around every corner a new landscape appeared.  We enjoyed the lovely wildflowers, and lots of green framing the trails.  We even saw beaver dams, a heron flying by, and of course soaked in the continual songs of birds.  There was not a sole around and the reservation was so peaceful, and therapeutic, awing at all of nature’s creation.

After exploring the trails for some time we headed over to the Arboretum.  There were bright color flowers, fun trees, lots of tulips, benches to relax, and landscape features along the way.  There was even a spot for learning, and inspiring those little minds you may have in tow.  We sat in the Arboretum and relaxed savoring the smells, sights, and fresh air.  We did not want to leave but our Adventure eventually came to our end.

If you may be wondering, I located The Farandnear through the Trustees of Reservations.  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 Farandnear Reservation and will definitely be back (Rating:  4).








May 4, 2019 – Ravenswood Park – Massachusetts

Today Shadow, Wilma, and I Adventured to Ravenswood Park in Gloucester, Massachusetts.  Ravenswood Park is a 600 acre nature reserve made up of over 10 miles of trails.  It is owned and managed by the Trustees of Reservations.

We had a dreary, yet inspiring Adventure to Ravenswood Park on another rainy morning. Expecting to have the place almost to ourselves, it was a surprise to arrive with not one parking space available.  Luckily we soon found a guest leaving so we were able to park and begin on our journey, quickly grabbing a map as we entered the reserve.  I was disappointed to have to weave through some out of control dogs before we began exploring.  However the moment we arrived on our first trail we felt at peace in the great outdoors.

We began our hike on the Magnolia Swamp Trail, then traversed some small trails in between before finishing on the Ledge Hill Trail.  The Trails were clearly labeled, a common and helpful perk of the Trustees properties.  It was thrilling to see the bright green of spring, even feeling joy from seeing weeds, moss, and “normal” leaves.  There were boardwalks surrounded by Fiddlehead Ferns and beautiful Canadian May flowers. Throughout the Park we observed boulders off all sizes, one even appearing to have green hair, causing me to chuckle.  As you may guess my favorite aspect of the Park were the long boardwalks throughout the swamp area. One unusual feature we also located was a mini quarry along the trail.  There was even a spot with a view of Gloucester Harbor from afar.  It was as if the more you walked the more diverse the experience became.

Yet another dreary, walk in Massachusetts, but still a wonderful hike in Ravenswood Park.  If you may be wondering, I located Ravenswood Park through the Trustees of Reservations.  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.So glad we could visit Ravenswood Park today (Rating:  3.5).


October 20, 2018 – Lincoln Woods – New Hampshire

Yesterday Shadow, Wilma, and I Adventured to Lincoln Woods a location in Lincoln, New Hampshire, along the Kancamangus Highway. We have been there before with Buster, and with My Mom. Lincoln Woods is a scenic area with many trails that enter the Pemigewasset Wilderness of the White Mountains. It is one of the first stops on the East side of the Kancamangus Highway.

Shadow, Wilma, and I had a refreshing Adventure to the Lincoln Woods trail. We have been there in just about every season, and it is one of the most extraordinary trails I have found, maybe even my favorite location for an Adventure. The area is absolutely gorgeous, beginning with a suspended bridge, to trails along the Pemigewasset River to streams along the way, to splendid mountain views, to scenic trails throughout. I would guess I have been there about five times and each time am awed by the beauty.

On today’s hike I was overjoyed to find another bridge across the River, as on our last visit Shadow almost did not make it across the suspended bridge. He appeared quite unstable with the swinging of the bridge and completely froze about halfway across. Therefore, I was extra pleased to find an alternate route. This alternate route also provided us a new and scenic angle of the River and suspended bridge. After crossing the bridge and enjoying the views we headed on our hike. Highlights of today’s Adventure included: time at the River’s edge, for some digging, and rock climbing, some sips from the streams along the way, colorful fall foliage, and and magnificent mountain views along the trail. It was a very cool day, but our hiking kept us warm and enthused. Although crowded this time of year the many trails helped mask the numerous number of tourists. One of those Adventures that I really cannot put into words, as you MUST Adventure this incredible location. As you might guess I would recommend a Fall visit in the colorful foliage of New England. I will include photographs from various trips we have taken and may add some on the future (Rating: 5).

Yesterday, October 20, 2018

August 2018

March 2018

LW 2018 March

October 2017

October 2014

Art photo 2