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.