February 9, 2019 – Fruitlands Museum – Massachusetts

Yesterday Shadow, Wilma, and I Adventured to Fruitlands Museum in Harvard, Massachusetts.  Fruitlands Museum is a museum celebrating multiple visions of America on the site of a utopian community.  It connects nature and culture with a variety of exhibits.  It is on 210 acres of property which also includes hiking trails, a store, special events, and a cafe.

We enjoyed a gusty Adventure to Fruitlands Museum, a place we have been to on at least on two other occasions.  We started off in the museum area, with lovely views, perfectly shaped buildings, and unique statues along the road.  The area is always perfectly groomed, although little landscape to see in the winter months.  We walked through the exhibits heading down the hill, the wind incredibly breezy, almost pushing us back.  We appreciated the museum area visually before heading to the trails.

We spent most of our time exploring the trails on the property.  The trails were marked well with color, winding through the woods, up and down some hills and through a field.  We saw some deer from afar, enjoyed some boardwalk trails and dodged slippery ice patches along the way.  The trails were very simple, and somewhat blah in the brown of winter.  There were kiosks along the way providing information, and numbers to label different parts of the trails.  We especially enjoyed the hike through the field adding a variety in the color, with some perfect hay-like grass for Wilma and Shadow to partake in some synchronized rolls.  The hike was somewhat eerie with squeaking trees, not a person in site, and gun shots from afar.  Although I had called to make sure there was no hunting at this site, the sounds caused some worry, and masked the “normal” relaxation of the hike.  However, we carried on and were glad to get some exercise on this February winter day.

So as you know, we only explore part of the Fruitland Museums property as the Shadow and Wilma were not invited into the museum buildings.  Therefore we will not rate this Adventure for our readers, but definitely a unique local spot for an Adventure.  Below you will see photographs from our visit yesterday, and a past visit with Shadow, Buster, and My Mom (although this past visit was more a relaxing time viewing the sunset, versus exploring.)

 

February 9, 2019

 

 

Fall 2016

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February 2, 2019 – Norris Reservation – Massachusetts

Today Shadow, Wilma and I Adventured to the Norris Reservation in Norwell, Massachusetts.  Norris Reservation is a 129 acre park run by the Trustees of Reservation.  The Reservation includes:  boardwalks, ponds, a small brook, a boathouse, and many trails.  Some of the trails parallel the North River.  The area is popular for walking, snow shoeing, dog walking and fishing.

We had a wonderful Adventure to the Norris Reservation on a chilly February day.  I recently had been reading about the wonderful parks under The Trustees of Reservation and was excited to check out the Norris Reservation, free of charge.  We started off our hike along the main trail, walking past an icy-filled babbling brook, and a frozen pond.  We soon veered to the right eager to follow the Gordon Pond trail, complete with boardwalks!  Although occasionally you could see the road to the right, overall the trail was lovely, many boardwalks, benches, bridges, and some square stones grooming the trails.  The ice was making cracking, and gurgling sounds, one feature I love in the frigid New England weather.

From the Gordon Trail we looped around on the outer loops of the various trails which followed the North River before looping back to the parking lot.  The River was a bright blue framed by tan grass along the shore.  We walked out to the River’s edge on several occasions checking out the ice, and water.   Shadow and Wilma were enthused with this detour often rolling in the grass and engaging in energized play.  Along the way we also found the beautiful boathouse.  We sauntered through the house enjoying the windows with the perfectly framed scenery and the view from the front porch.  Quite a lovely and unique structure along the way.

The trails were simple but the features, and water along the way made for an absolutely lovely hike.  It was nice to see maps available at the entrance, and along way to guide your way.  Throughout our Adventure we saw numerous dog walkers, and others out on this cold day, many stopping to chat and say hello.  It was a refreshing day at this special Reservation.  I do hope we will be back again (Rating:  4).  (The videos are currently having difficulty downloading, so may be added at a later date).

February 2, 2019 – Hemlock Gorge Reservation – Massachusetts

Today Shadow, Wilma, and I Adventured to the Hemlock Gorge Reservation in Newton, and Needham, Massachusetts.  Hemlock Gorge Reservation is an urban state park that is approximately 16 acres in size.  It is on the Charles River and is especially known for the Echo Bridge, and a waterfall.

We had a unique Adventure to the Hemlock Gorge Reservation on this dark and chilly February day.  I found this Reservation when planning a visit to the Echo Bridge, soon finding that the Bridge was located in the Hemlock Gorge Reservation.  We began our journey following a very simple, snow covered trail.  The trail was in close range to the Charles River, located to our right.  The trail weaved up and around, soon leading us to a lovely waterfall.  The waterfall sang a beautiful song, and was framed by frozen ice, and snow covered icicles, quite the picturesque scene.  We enjoyed the sound of the falls, and the winter scene before turning to our left where we saw the Echo Bridge.  The Bridge was grand in size, with arches below.  We walked to the water’s edge to get a better view as Shadow and Wilma enjoyed the ice and some sips from the River.

We then headed to the top of the Bridge and noticed we could walk across the top, displaying a lovely view from above.  We met a nice young lady, with a sweet little dog named Charlie.  The dogs said hello and she filled us in on the area, which was great as there really was little detailed information available.  We then continued over the Echo Bridge, down the stairs, and across the street to the well known platform said to have a special “Echo”.  I was completely awed at the grand echo from my voice, and quite humored by the dogs’ reaction looking around as they heard their names.  I attempted a video below, but the echo is very faint in the video.  It was quite the fun moment, definitely meeting all my expectations from my readings.

After enjoying the echo for a bit we headed back to a trail over to the “Island”.  We took a wrong turn before finding the trail leading to the “Island”.  There was a simple, but beautiful snow-covered bridge crossing over to this location.  We walked around a bit checking out the view of the River and the Echo Bridge from afar.  The busy roads were not far, reminding us that we were in an urban park, however there were very little visitors making it quiet in its own special way.

Although the Hemlock Gorge Reservation was a very simple urban park, it really did exceed my expectations.  I still am awed by the echo, loved the walk high atop the bridge, and enjoyed the picturesque winter waterfall.  If you are in the area definitely a fun little place to check-out (Rating:  3).

 

Throwback Adventure – Conservation Land – 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!

Shadow, Buster and I enjoyed many Adventures to an untitled, suspected conservation trail in Sterling, Massachusetts. These particular photos were from our visit in June 2014, although I am guessing I may have other photographs tucked away in my files. We absolutely loved visiting this trail. It was near ponds, streams, up hills, and through the woods. We rarely saw any other hikers and several times even saw beavers on our visits. There was a little waterfall nearby, and lot of spots for the boys to run and swim. It was a special location which really made you feel like you were deep in the wilderness. We often would branch of the trail and find secret spots to explore. It was an amazing and new Adventure each and every time, and carved many fun memories in my heart.

So if you are one of my followers, or visitors who is inspired to visit stops on our Adventures, you might be disappointed as I cannot provide you an exact location. However I again encourage you to enjoy your location conservation land. Many spectacular, and quiet spots to explore (Rating: 4).

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January 26, 2019 -Borderland State Park – Massachusetts

Today Shadow, Wilma and I Adventured to Borderland State Park in the towns of Easton and Sharon Massachusetts.  Borderland State Park is a 1843 acre Park known for its history and recreation.  The Park has over 20 miles of trails and is popular for hiking, biking, fishing, horseback riding, boating, and disk golf.  It also includes the Ames Mansion built in 1910, and owned by Oakes and Blanche Ames who created a nature preserve.  The State of Massachusetts later acquired the property and opened it as a state park.

We had an ice-filled Winter Adventure to the Borderland State Park.  This was our second, or possibly third visit to Borderland State Park.  We spent about three hours at this magnificent Park, starting at the Ames Mansion.  We walked around the lovely structure checking out the unique architecture, and the landscaped property.  Memories of previous visits with Buster, and my Mom flashed into my mind on a much colder and snowy day.  A simple, but lovely mansion.

From there we headed to the Pond Walk Trail, map in hand.  We soon arrived at the Swamp Trail, and although not quite swampy on this Winter day, there was mud filled ice along the way, and several boardwalk bridges, many plastered with ice.  I was thankful to keep my balance, and to have worn my waterproof boots.  We soon arrived at the Pond Edge Trail, before following various trails along the way.  One of the features I love on a hike is a water view, so that often guided our turns.  The trails were lovely, many parallel to the water, through the fields, and often lined by trees and boulders.  We found several bridges, and even a mini-waterfall along the way.  There were many dog walkers out enjoying the trailers.

Highlights on today’s Adventure included:  Wilma playing and digging in the ice, Shadow rolling in the grass, lots of new smells, muddy ice, fun little bridges and of course enjoying some exercise in the great outdoors.  We also enjoyed the continual water views, the Ames mansion, and the little waterfall along the way.   Definitely a Park we will return to in the future, hopefully sooner then later (Rating:  4).

 

January 2016

 

Throwback Adventure – Noanet Woodlands – June 2014

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 June 2014 Shadow, Buster, and I Adventured to Noanet Woodlands in Dover, Massachusetts. Noanet Woodlands has approximately 600 acres of trails featuring woodlands, ponds, a peak, and a former mill site. It is popular for skiing, hiking, biking, and bird watchers.

We had a refreshing Adventure to Noanet Woodlands in June of 2014. If you follow my blog you are well aware that my Throwback memory can sometimes be limited in detail. This visit was definitely one of those cases as I amazingly I do not remember it all! However, it is clear by the photographs I have gathered that we had a pleasant trip, that would be beneficial to share with others who love dog-friendly outdoor spots. The pictures I tracked down indicate a swim-filled Adventure, with lots of off-leash fun, woodsy trails, and a stop to the peak. We even found a unique rock along the trails. It was so fun watching my boys swim, and hike together, and this journey was no exception. We sure do miss our Buster, leading to another reason I love to share my Thursday Throwback Adventure, even the simple ones. Below you will see the photographs I could locate from our Adventure to Noanet Woodlands. I think a likely spot we will return to in the future (Rating: Unavailable).

November 25, 2018 – Maudslay State Park – Massachusetts

Yesterday Shadow, Wilma and I Adventured to Maudslay State Park in Newburyport, Massachusetts. This was our second visit to the Park as Shadow, Buster and I had Adventured there back in May 2015. Maudslay State Park is the former estate of the Moseley family, and is located along the Merrimack River. It is known for its 19th century gardens, meadows, pines, and as one of the largest naturally-occurring stand of mountain laurels in Massachusetts. It is popular for hiking, cross country skiing, picnicking, horseback riding, and summer concerts.

We had a nice Adventure to Maudslay State Park on a sunny, Fall day. We arrived to find the parking lot packed with people, many with dogs in tow. Soon out of the car I was greeted by a woman searching for a missing dog. I viewed the photo and hoped for the best, keeping my eyes out for sweet little Ellie, throughout the day. My heart weighed heavy as we began our afternoon hike.

We peaked at the map before following the masses, pleased to soon find ourselves away from the crowd on a woodsy, tree-lined trail. I had printed a map, which clearly labeled the trails but soon found we were on a complex trail system with no names,or colors to direct us in our hike. So I decided to remember where we had walked, noticing little details along the trail. I was thrilled to eventually find the water, and a trail leading to the shore’s edge. We ambled along the water trail, finding a cute little bridge with a River view. The water’s edge was iced, as well as some of the rocks along the shore. It crackled as we walked bye, adding sweet nature sounds to the air. This was my favorite part of our hike today, adding color, and variety to the trails.

Throughout our visit I found the trails to be very dull, and quite confusing. I even had a brief moment of worry in finding the trail back with numerous turns in all directions. I was able to use my Nature Warrior (haha) skills, and continually headed back the the starting point until we chose the correct path. This however did not dampen our energized pace as we explored a new Park. My thought is this Park might be quite beautiful in the spring, but definitely bland and brown this time of year. I guess that will be the theme for the next six months in New England, but this will not slow us down. It is funny that Shadow, Buster, and Shadow visited this Park before as I do not recall specific details. However my photos reminded me that Shadow and Buster enjoyed a dip in the water on a much greener journey. We definitely will plan a trip back to Maudslay State Park in the warmer months of the year (Rating: 3)

November 2018

May 2015