Friday, June 26, 2015

Happy Trails for Everyone in South-Central Massachusetts

Thanks to Marjorie Turner Hollman for offering this Guest Post! Marjorie Turner Hollman is a personal historian who loves the outdoors, and has completed two guides to Easy Walking trails in Massachusetts, Easy Walks in Massachusetts, and More Easy Walks in Massachusetts. She shares with us 3 of her favorite places to walk, including a Massachusetts State Park! Keep up the great work of helping people find easy walks Marjorie!

I’m a Florida girl who moved to New England to ensure I would see snow, (yes, I’ve seen quite a bit!), but I fell in love with the rocks and hilly terrain that make up southern New England, and I have never left.  My enjoyment is perhaps a little different from that of many people because paralysis in my right foot and ankle have challenged me to find outdoor places I could visit and enjoy safely.

 My professional work as a personal historian has taught me to create books—initially for individuals wanting to share family stories with the next generation. Now, with the publication of two walking guides to south central Massachusetts, I’ve written for a wider public. At first, “easy walks” for me were simply an assortment of local places that my family and I enjoyed visiting for short walks. I found many pretty spots; some offered views, others were simple loop trails around ponds, and still others were railtrails whose paved or crushed stone surfaces allowed my husband and me to ride our tandem bike. Two books later, I’ve catalogued 25 contiguous towns and 65 trails in south central Massachusetts.  I’m still seeking out Easy Walks to enjoy and share with others. Here are a few of my favorite places near where I live.

Hopedale Parklands, Hopedale, MA

Hopedale Parklands combines the things I love best—history, water views, and easy walking. One hundred years ago, the town of Hopedale finished a carriage road around Hopedale Pond, creating a place for area residents to get out and enjoy the outdoors. The carriage road is hard-packed gravel, not paved. The wide path is a little rough in a few spots; there are boulders of various sizes along the way, with lots of spots to get great views of the pond as you travel through the woodland that surrounds the area.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Adaptive Golf Carts and Opportunities

At DCR's annual Adaptive Recreation Fair last month in Boston, I investigated 3 different adaptive golf carts on display. Although I'm not a golfer, this was a unique opportunity to find out more about golf adaptations for people with mobility impairments. Learning more about adaptive golf carts lead me to discover that golf has been adapted for people with autism and visual impairments too! I also found out that adaptive golf, just like any other adaptive recreation activity, has profound power to transform people's lives.

The SoloRider on left and the ParaGolfer on right.
Since golf is especially popular among older adults, it follows that adaptations have long been part of the game. The golf cart is an adaptation for the original game of golf, allowing players to conserve energy as they move through the course. Naturally it is the "perfect vehicle" for further adaptations to allow even more people to play, including those who cannot stand on their own.