June 18, 2019 – Bear’s Den – Massachusetts

Yesterday Shadow, Wilma, and I Adventured to Bear’s Den in New Salem, Massachusetts.  Bear’s Den includes a short trail to a scenic waterfall, a stream, a secluded gorge, and contains ruins of an old mill.  The waterfall is a cascade falls, approximately twelve feet in height, and is sourced from the Swift River.  The Reservation was given its’ name due to a black bear being shot on the property.  Bear’s Den is owned and managed by the Trustees of Reservations.

We had a rainy Adventure to the Bear’s Den Reservation.  We were quite thrilled to have a weekday Adventure as our three days off in the summer has begun!  I expected the weather to become rainy, but we were determined to visit Bear’s Den, so we carried on!  I was pleased to arrive at a small and empty parking lot.  I had read there was hunting at this location so decided to adorn the pups in their bright orange armor!  We headed down a green surrounded trail into the great outdoors.  There was an informational kiosk a bit down the path with a map.  Soon we heard the singing of the stream, and headed straight to the water.  Shadow of course attempted a dip in the shallow water while Wilma found a fallen tree to climb, and a stick to chew.  We took our time in this area walking around the shore, jumping on the rocks, and wandering around the mill remains.

The trails were not clear, however we followed the sounds and quickly located the waterfall from high above the gorge.  We were pleased to find a path down to bottom of the gorge, and directly in front of the waterfall.  The gorge area was spectacular, with caves in the rocks, lovely green, and the tall boulders surrounding us as we peered at the waterfall.  The Falls had two main sections, separated by rocks in the middle.  It was small, but yet just right.  We relaxed for awhile taking in the scene.  Both Shadow and Wilma spent some time sitting, while Wilma also enjoyed some rock jumps, and Shadow often could be found searching for the quickest path to the water.  Wilma seemed a bit uneasy at times looking around cautiously, my mind repeatedly expecting a bear sighting  Thankfully we did not see a bear!

Bear’s Den was a peaceful and special location.  It was hard to capture the Falls in photographs, so I would encourage you to view the videos below.  So glad we could Adventure to this location (Rating:  4).















June 1, 2019 – Crescent Ridge Dairy – Massachusetts

Today Shadow, Wilma and I Adventured to Crescent Ridge Dairy in Sharon, Massachusetts.  Crescent Ridge Dairy is a Farm that includes a shop, farm animals to view, and an ice cream stand.  They specialize in local produce, and homemade products.

We had a mouthwatering Adventure to Crescent Ridge Dairy after our nearby hike at The Bradley Estate.  It was great to arrive at this ice cream stand to find no lines!  I checked out the menu and quickly decided to choose cookie doe ice cream with whip cream, and of course a dog ice cream for my two best friends.  Once our order was ready we headed over to a shady area to gobble up our ice cream.  So tasty!  I was actually unable to finish my ice cream, however packed it up for a future treat.  We walked around the property and found some benches in the back, and farm animals on the side.  Wilma was thrilled to see the goats, and it appeared as if she wanted to play with them.  It definitely brought a smile to my face.  Shadow was more interested in trying to find leftovers under the tables, my always hopeful boy!  We were quite happy to visit Crescent Ridge Dairy today (Rating:  4, Dog Ice Cream:  5)

June 1, 2019 – The Bradley Estate – Massachusetts

Somehow this blog posted before I finished it so I have deleted that, and here is the final blog posting…

Yesterday Shadow, Wilma, and I Adventured to The Bradley Estate in Canton, Massachusetts.  The Bradley Estate was inherited by Doctor Arthur Tracy Cabot before being acquired by his niece Eleanor Cabot Bradley in 1945.  It is a 90 acre property that includes the estate, fields, woodlands, and gardens.  The Estate is a popular location for weekend weddings.  It is owned and managed by the Trustees of Reservations.

We had a peaceful Adventure to The Bradley Estate.  We arrived to find the property almost empty from visitors.  There was as $5 parking fee, but yet our admission was free due to our Trustee membership!  I had researched the property ahead of time so had known that dogs were not allowed in the formal gardens, but were permitted on the trails.  We decided to head over to the front of the Estate to take some photographs.  There were flowers of varied colors along the paved road, many with unique shades.  I took numerous photos before soon arriving at the Estate.  The Estate was lovely with gardens on either side.  Although there were no “no dog” signs I decided not to venture too far adjacent to the property unclear of the forbidden boundaries.  Instead we then veered over to the trails and began on our hike.

I was quite pleased to find some more flowers along the trail, many adorning the rocks.  This provided quite the picturesque scene. There were Azalea’s, Rhododentron, wildflowers and more.  We wandered past what appeared to be a farm, and some fields before heading into the woods.  The trails were simple, but tranquil, birds chirping, and an occasional smells of fragrant flowers flooding the air.  There were several moments when the sounds of busy roads overtook the nature walk, however overall it was quite serene.  The trails were not labeled, and somewhat confusing but having studied the map before our journey I figured I was in the right general direction.  At one point we arrived at the back of the Estate, a nice surprise along the way.  This helped me to know we were on the right track to our trip home.

Throughout our hike Shadow and Wilma often trotted side by side seeming to be energized on this beautiful morning.   Some of my favorite parts of the trails were:  the colorful flowers along the path, the bright greens of spring, the tall ferns on the trail, and a rustic fence along the way.  So as you may guess this is yet another property I discovered through the Trustees of Reservations.  Although I was bummed that we could not explore the gardens, we definitely had a lovely Adventure to the Eleanor Cabot Bradley Estate (Rating:  3).













March 25, 2019 – Dinosaur Footprints – Massachusetts

Today Shadow, Wilma, our two friends, and I Adventured to Dinosaur Footprints in Holyoke, Massachusetts.  Dinosaur footprints is the location of more than 130 tracks carved into sandstone.  Researchers believe this prints are from two-legged carnivorous dinosaurs, by the great Tyrannosaurus rex, and from various fossils.  The property is owned and managed by the Trustees of Reservations.

We had a paleontological Adventure to the Dinosaur Footprints on a warm spring day.  We were excited to have friends along with us on today’s Adventure!  We followed a short path down to the sandstone where we found numerous dinosaur prints engraved in the rock.  Some of the prints were small and others were large, some hidden, and some clear.  It was fun to imagine their paths as they walked many years ago.  There were informational kiosks along the way providing lots of information about the site.

We continued walking where we found water streaming through two cement holes and down, forming a scenic, rocky area.  We hopped along careful not to slide on the slippery rocks.  We did not find any additional tracks in this area but enjoyed exploring.  From afar we could see the Connecticut River, a large River with flowing current.  It was the perfect backdrop to this unique location.

So as you may guess this is yet another property I discovered through the Trustees of Reservations.  We enjoyed our lesson in history today at this distinctive site.  So glad we could visit the Dinosaur Footprint property today (Rating:  3, Company – Perfection!) 


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 18, 2019 – Long Hill – Massachusetts

Today Shadow, Wilma, my Mom and I Adventured to Long Hill and Sedgwick Gardens in Beverly, Massachusetts.  This property is a 114 acres in size, the former estate of Ellery and Mabel Sedgwick.  It is currently owned and managed by the Trustees of Reservation.  The property includes:  gardens, the brick estate, trails, an orchard, a child’s garden, the “Food Project”, and a library specializing in horticulture.  Tours are available in certain seasons.

We had a fragrant Adventure to Long Hill on a gorgeous, sunny spring day.  It was exciting to find yet another dog friendly garden, what has become the theme of our recent journeys.  Upon arrival we located printed property maps and started on the nearby path.  Almost immediately we were greeted by a beautiful tulip garden, although a bit past peak, lovely in is own way.  We walked around leisurely finding many colorful blooms, and a bright red tower feature, highlighting the Japanese gardens.  There were footways in different directions leading to unique landscape features and just about every color that you could imagine, from yellow, to pink, to blue, to purple, to white.  We soon arrived at the brick estate, as expected surrounded by flowers, trees, and lovely landscaping.  It was almost a magical experience as if we had been transferred into another culture.

We found a perfect, shady seating area next to the estate to relax and enjoy the gardens.  We conversed for a bit before Wilma and I decided to take a hike on some of the trails, while Shadow rested in the shade with my Mom.  Shadow and Wilma were not too pleased to be separated, but we felt this was a good for both of them, as Shadow appeared a bit warm in the heat, and Wilma quite energy-filled.  So we carried on with the plan knowing it was best for both.  The trails were simple, and overall well-marked.  There were maps along the way and signs marking various trails.  Somehow we became a bit lost when missing an expected turn but soon found ourselves back on a familiar trail.  As planned our walk was fast paced and energetic.  We soon returned with Shadow and Wilma quite thrilled to be reunited with one another.  Sweet kisses for all!

After our walk we savored a picnic as we smelled the aromatic flowers and gazed the beautiful property, watching visitors passing through.  My Mom rocked her sun-hat fitting right in to the lovely scenery.  While Shadow particularly enjoyed a cool dirt corner, Wilma chased after some bubbles floating by.  It was therapeutic, peaceful, and quite tranquil.  From there we ventured to our last stop, an area scattered with flowering fruit trees.  We sauntered through the gorgeous trees, many of them exceptionally fragrant.  Shadow, Wilma, and I sat under the trees as my Mom snapped some photographs.  It was hard to leave not wanting the spectacular Adventure to end.  However, we eventually headed out, another memorable Adventure.

So as you may guess this is yet another property I discovered through the Trustees of Reservations.  We loved our Adventure to Long Hill and will expect be back (Rating:  Gardens – 4, Trails – 3).

PS – A rolling video just for you Liz!




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).