February 13, 2021 – Crowninshield/Brown Island – Massachusetts

Today Wilma and I Adventured to Crowninshield Island in Marblehead, Massachusetts, also referred to as Brown Island. The Island is managed by the Trustees of Reservations. It has trails, a sandy beach, and rocky shores. It can only be reached by a walk at low tide or by boat.

We had a gorgeous sun-rising Adventure to Crowninshield Island. I was excited to plan our Adventure thoroughly studying the tide and hoping we would arrive accordingly. Upon arrival I found the parking situation very confusing. Shadow, Wilma, and I actually had tried once to visit but never found parking. I drove around for some time before finally guessing on what seemed like an appropriate and legal spot. We had finally arrived to begin our Adventure!

We locating some stairs down to the beach and off we headed to Crowninshield Island! Wilma appeared quite joyful darting back and forth as we trotted along, and of course sniffing the remnants of low tide. The view of the Island in sunrise was just spectacular, so thrilling to head toward it. I knew there was another Island nearby but upon arrival we located the Trustees of Reservation signage and map notifying us that we had officially arrived at Crowninshield Island. We began down the trail, stopping at every lookout to check out the lovely colors in the sky. The rocks surrounding the Island were snow covered creating quite the scene. We walked along the trail which was marked with footprints in the snow, actually so well that I did not even watch for any sign markers. Wilma loved the Island smells and was quite curious of her new surroundings. Although we did not rush through the Island I was careful not to be too leisurely, quite aware of the necessity of low tide to return to shore safely.

After finishing the trail portion we wandered over to the south side of the Island, which appeared to be the sandy beach location. There was a massive rock, lots of snow, beautiful trees, and the sun was now rising. We explored the area finding a frozen scene. From there we headed back, the water definitely rising, but not at a pace that was concerning. Wilma ran circles around me, tried digging in the ice and just was as fun and enthusiastic as ever. Maybe she knew my excitement and appreciation for this unique Adventure. We only saw one other person, and his dog, who kindly asked about unleashing his dog as he noticed Wilma on leash. That was a nice way to end our perfect morning, and off we headed to our next Adventures (Rating: 4.5 – Although the superb sunset may have inflated this rating).

June 7, 2020 – William Cullen Bryant Homestead – Massachusetts

Today Wilma, My Uncle and I Adventured to the William Cullen Bryant Homestead in Cummington, Massachusetts.  William Cullen Bryant was a well known poet and the owner of this estate for many years.  He also helped to inspire the Land Conservation Movement, and often wrote about nature. The William Cullen Bryant Homestead has almost three miles of trails and the home is open for tours.  The property is a National Historic Landmark and is managed by the Trustees of Reservations.

We had a poetic Adventure to the William Cullen Bryant Homestead.  I was quite excited to have My Uncle join us on our first Adventure of the day.  We arrived to an empty parking lot, immediately spotting the gorgeous red barn, vibrant in color.  We then headed over to Bryant’s home. The home was just lovely, well taken care of and quite grand in style.  After wandering around the homestead we headed out on our walk.

We began our walk on the Rivulet and Pine Loop Trails.  The Trail began through the field with beautiful mountain views, and wild flowers scattered throughout.  The Trail was lined by a rock wall, creating a gorgeous scene.  We walked past a small pond, and soon crossed a road to continue on the Trail.  The Trails were simple, but having great company reminded me how many more things you can discover.  We found some unique mushrooms, a bridge, granite rocks, and awed at the immense trees.  We could hear the birds singing, and were surrounded by the peace of nature.  Throughout the Trails there were several postings of Bryant’s poetry, an interesting feature along the way.  At some points the Trail paralleled the Rivulet, the theme of one of Bryant’s well known poems.

After completing these Trails we headed over to the Sugar Bush Trail.  This Trail was a bit wider in size, and highlighted the intricate system of maple syrup collections, plastic tubing winding trees to one another.  Although I am quite naive of this process, this was far from anything I have seen before.  On the Sugar Bush Trail we enjoyed a variety of discovers, including:  an old Chevrolet, an orange salamander, the ruins of the Sugar House, and several more poems posted along the route.

As per her usual Wilma appreciated a nice, long walk with new smells, often preferring to lead the way.  And although I found the Trail to be quite simple overall, I loved exploring the estate grounds, appreciated the beautiful mountains views, and the wonderful company.  We enjoyed catching up, and appreciating the little details of nature.  So glad we could explore the William Cullen Bryant Estate today (Rating:  3.5, Company:  Perfect!)




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!) 


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).








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).


April 13, 2019 – Holmes Reservation – Massachusetts

Today Shadow, Wilma, and I Adventured to Holmes Reservation in Plymouth, Massachusetts, a property of the Trustees of Reservations. This conservation area is an open grassy area with no official trails or paths. It is known for views, the abandoned tracks of the Old Colony Railroad, and a beach. It was part of the “Muster Ground” for the Plymouth militia during the American Revolution.

We had a rainy, and short Adventure to Holmes Reservation, a stop on the way to our main destination. Our visit began with a stroll along the along the railroad trail, a paved trail perfect for a bike ride or a run. We quickly became waterlogged, but carried on determined to explore this new destination. We quickly located a trail to the beach and veered off in that direction. The beach was beautiful, covered with rocks, and providing lovely views. There was even a lighthouse off in the distance. We walked around the beach for a bit, the scenery helping to mask the dreary weather.

After spending some time on the beach we headed back over to the open field and wandered around the property. The grass was bright green, and scattered with various birds including seagulls and Canada geese. Wilma had a couple head turns with the sites and sounds, creating a humorous moment. We walked around a bit making sure we could stretch our legs before heading on our journey.

Glad to visit Holmes Reservation, and although a short visit we seemed to cover the entire property. If you may be wondering, I located the Old Town Hill 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. It is unlikely we will be back, but gad we visited Holmes Reservation today (Rating: 3).





April 7, 2019 – Old Town Hill – Massachusetts

Today Shadow, Wilma and I Adventured to Old Town Hill in Newbury, Massachusetts. Old Town Hill is a property of the Trustees of Reservations. It has approximately three miles of trails which includes a mix of tidal river, salt marshes, fields, and woodlands.

We had a lovely Adventure to Old Town Hill on yet another spectacular spring day. We drove down the entry road into a scenic area that appeared to consist of salt marshes and the tidal river. This made us especially eager to start our morning’s journey at this unique spot. Sadly we were greeted by some rather rude visitors, appearing somewhat entitled, however soon were swept away into the splendor of the grand outdoors. Our walk started with exploring the tidal River, while soon were traversing fields, and then wandering into the forest. I was able to peak at the map on my phone, so could mostly figure out where we were located. I was pleased to find the occasional Trustees map along the way, identifying our exact location the map. This is one of the features of The Trustee’s properties that I really do appreciate.

Mid-hike we took some time to sit and rest in the field as Shadow seemed a little tired and warm, however he soon appeared revitalized and began his rolls in the grass. Besides this little break we mostly enjoyed a steady stroll along the various trails. Highlights of our visit included: synchronized double rolls in the grass, the adorable boardwalk bridge, swims in the swamp marsh, and the continual change of landscape, adding surprises around the corner.

The trails we traversed on our Adventure today, included: The River Trail, Adams Pasture Trail, The Boardwalk Trail, the North Loop and The Switchback Trail. The property was unique in that it had such varied landscapes, almost almost appearing to combine several parks into one. This really helped us to ignore the dull browns of early spring and appreciate the continual changing scenery.

If you may be wondering, I located the Old Town Hill 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. It was fun to explore this unique property (Rating: 3).