Category Archives: park

Winnekenni Park (Haverhill, MA)

Date Of Visit:July 15, 2018

Location: 347 Kenoza Ave, Haverhill, MA (about 45 minutes north of Boston, MA or 50 minutes southeast of Concord, NH)

Hours: open daily sunrise to sunset

Cost: Free

Parking: There are about 20 parking spaces at the main entrance. Parking is also allowed on the side of the road past the main entrance. There are also additional parking lots throughout the park and trail (see attached map)

Trail Size/Difficulty: 700 acres of roughly 10 miles of trails/easy to moderate

Handicapped Accessible: Some areas of the park and playground are. But the trails are not.

Dog Friendly: Yes

Highlights: castle, lake, wildlife, trails, playground, scenic

Fun Facts:

  • Winnekenni (pronounced “winnie kinny”)is an Algonquian Native American term for “Very Beautiful”
  • The castle was built between 1873-1875
  • they host several events throughout the year at the castle or at the park
  • Kenoza Lake, which is encircled by the main trail, was originally known as “Great Pond.” It was later renamed in 1859 by John Greenleaf Whittier as “Kenoza Lake”, which means “Lake of the Pickerel”
  • Winnekenni Park became Haverhill’s first public park during the early 1800’s

Tips:

  • check out plug pond and the basin (see map) for scenic views off the beaten path
  • some of the side trails are tricky
  • they usually dissuade people from parking at the castle unless you have a function there
  • take the castle trail to go to…the castle

Website: Winnekenni Park

Winnekenni Park (2)

Trail Map: Winnekenni Trail Map

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Formerly the home to Dr James Nichols, who used the area to test his experiments with chemical fertlizers, Winnekenni Park offers a variety of scenic views and difficulty levels of hiking or running.

The main trail which goes around Kenoza Lake (Dudley Porter Trail) offers some pretty views and active wildlife.

The trail to the castle was fairly easy and quick. I found myself at the castle within 15 minutes after entering the park. In fact, I was a bit disappointed that it was so easy to find. I would later wish everything was this easy to get to.

The castle, which was built between 1873 to 1875 is still used today for weddings, reunions and other social events. The day I visited it was being used. So I was unable to gain access.

There are a couple of memorials, of the many at the park, at the castle. This memorial is dedicated to Dorothy M. McClennan, a Haverhill native and benefactor to the castle.

According to his obituary, Nicholas Jay Morani, of Methuen, MA, died unexpectedly at the age of 25 in March, 2017. It’s always sad to see lives cut short at such a young age.

If you came to see just see the castle, which I had originally planned, your visit could be a very short one. You could hike or walk up to the castle and back to your car in an hour and most likely 30 to 45 minutes. Of course, I wanted to see more.

The trails at Winnekenni Park are mostly easy and wide.

I am always looking for treasures. One of the secrets to most visitors too the park are the trails off the main trail. Take the Plug Pond Trail foe some scenic views, pretty flowers and tall trees.

I must admit I got a little lost going on the side trails and the map I had didn’t seem to help much on the side trails. In any case, somehow I found myself in this clearing. It offered some pretty views but I don’t think i was supposed to be there. Eventually, I got out of there and made my way back to the main trail.

As you walk along the trails you will see a few more memorials, beautiful views and some other interesting things. Do be careful, especially if you travel some of the side trails or lesser used trails. Horses are apparently frequent visitors to the park.

This memorial was another one of the monuments I noticed along the trail. It appears it was recently visited based on the items left on the bench.

This memorial is dedicated to Ralph J Potter Jr.

Another memorial along the trail is this bench which is dedicated to Dudley Porter, who the main trail is named after. Porter was a successful business man. His wife dedicated the memorial to him after he passed away in 1905. It was actually built as a fountain and bench. But, the fountain no longer works as the main water connection has been disabled.

This memorial is located near the main entrance. it is dedicated to Christopher J Laubner. The garden and short walkway is called “Christopher’s Corner,” Originally from Lawrence, MA, Christopher moved to Haverhill where he lived until his death. He was only 31 when he passed away in 2014.

Winnekenni Park is a dog friendly park and I saw many cute dogs during my hike there.

Ziya is a 13 month old German Shepherd.

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Luna is a 2 year old pitbull.

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Not only is she adorable. She also loves to fetch!

Lily (or Lilly – her mom and dad spell it differently) is a 3 year old mixed breed.

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Mira is a 2 year old German Short Haired Pointer.

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Princess is a 1 and a half year old pitbull mix.

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Underground At Ink Block (Boston, MA)

Date Of Visit: July 12, 2018

Location: 90 Traveler St, Boston, MA

Hours: Accessible all day except between the hours of 1 a.m. and 5 a.m.

Cost: Free

Parking: There are 175 parking spots (parking at Underground Ink is not free) and additional street parking and parking garages nearby

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Website: Underground At Ink Block

Highlights: art, bar, dog park, scenic

Fun Facts:

  • there is over 100,000 square feet of wall art at Underground Ink
  • the park is located under I-93 (Interstate 93)

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Boston’s newest hot spot doesn’t have a cover charge nor does it have a dress code.  It doesn’t even have a roof.  Well, it sort of does.

Located under the I-93 overpass, Underground Ink Block blends art, entertainment and beauty in a most unlikely place.

One of the more beautiful aspects of the park are the murals.

There are  several murals at the park.  This mural, which appears on the wall at the entrance to the park, was painted by Vyal Reyes.

 

There is a large group of murals by the parking area.

This particular mural was painted by Watts, California native Upendo Taylor.

 

Three artists worked on this mural which is part of a group of three murals that share one wall.  Problak Don Rimx and Marka27 all collaborated to paint this beautiful mural

 

 

New York native Cey Adams painted this lovely mural.

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Nepali artist IMAGINE (Sneha Shrestha) painted this imaginative mural.  Imagine likes to incorporate her native Sanskrit language with modern designs.

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This mural, located under one of the overpasses above, was painted by Percy Fortini-Wright.

You may notice some of the landmarks and symbols associated with the Boston (such as the famous Citgo sign that hovers over the left field wall at Fenway Park) on the right hand corner of the mural.

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This mural, which covers the outermost wall of the area, was painted by Hoxxoh.

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If you get lost at the Underground Ink Block,  just follow the bright lines on the ground.  The colored streaks on the ground lead to the different murals around the park

Underground Ink also an area for hosting events, such as yoga, or to stop by and have a game of ring toss and toss back a few beverages with friends.

There are also some pretty views at the park (at least if you look in the opposite direction of the busy intersection at the entrance)

 

 

But, the highlight for many of us has to be the dog park.  Tucked away in the back of the parking area, the dog park has lots of room for dogs and humans to play.

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During my visit. there was a “Hound Around” event for dogs.  The event, which was sponsored by Capital One at Ink Block, was hosted by The Urban Hound.

The park is big enough for the dogs to roam around in and play without being too crowded.

There were pools for the dogs to cool down or get a quick drink.  I know.  Gross. But, hey, they’re dogs.  They don’t care!  Some dogs preferred to just drink from the hose.

 

There was a pretty big turnout and everyone played nice.

Oprah, a 3 and a half year old Boston Terrier, can really jump!  She was jumping up for her toy in this photo.

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Simba, a 2 year old Chow Chow, looks like a fluffy teddy bear.

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Besties Zoey, a 4 year old Black Lab, and Jovie, a 2 year old Golden Doodle, looked adorable after a dip in the pool.

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Junior, a 6 year old Collie mix, has beautiful markings.

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Yoshi, a 2 year old mix rescue dog, had fun playing with his ball.

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Badger, a 3 and a half year old Aussie Terrier mix, waiting patiently for his dad to throw his toy.

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Bella, a 7 year old Boxer, took a break to watch the other dogs play.

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Kylie, a 6 year old Morkie (Maltese and Yorkie mix) was all smiles at the park.

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As I left the dog park, I met Nikki.  Nikki is a super talented designer and creator of dog bandannas and accessories.  Check out her website: Just Add Dogs.

If you and Fido missed out on this Hound Around event, don’t worry.  There will be another one Thursday, Aug. 9 from 6:30 to 7:30 at the Underground Ink Art Block.

Cute dogs were not the only animals I saw at the Underground Ink Block.  I also saw this rabbit having dinner.  As an aside, I have been noticing many more rabbits and other animals who do not typically belong in the city making their way into the city.  I do hope it’s only a trend and not a permanent thing.  After all, the city can be far more dangerous than the wild!

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Thank you for sharing another adventure with me!


Chicopee Memorial State Park (Chicopee, MA)

Date Of Visit: May 26, 2018

Location: 570 Burnett Rd., Chicopee, MA

Cost: MA residents: $8, Non-MA Vehicles: $15 (seasonal passes are also available – info on seasonal passes can be found here)

Hours:

Memorial Day – Labor Day

Sunday – Saturday:
9:00 am-7:00 pm

Labor Day – Memorial Day (weather dependent)

Sunday – Saturday:
8:00 am-4:00 pm

Parking: There are several parking areas that can accommodate roughly a few hundred cars. Parking does fill up quickly during summer weekend days.

Handicappped Accessible: Yes, the beach is accessible to all. But, some trails may not be accessible.

Dog Friendly: Yes

Park Size/Trail Difficulty: 562 acres/Easy to Slightly Moderate difficulty

Tip(s):

  • Leave early (at least on warm days) – there was a line of cars waiting to get in when we arrived at 8:55 (the park opened at 9)

Fun Facts:

  • Chicopee State Memorial Park was formerly known as the Cooley Brook Reservoir and Watershed
  • The park was the site of reservoirs built in 1896, 1912 and 1926 to provide water for the city of Chicopee
  • “Chicopee” is a word originating in the Algonquian languages of eastern North America meaning “violent waters”

Fitbit Stats: 2.5 miles hiked, 433 calories burned, 5,333 steps

Highlights: beach, trails for hiking, running and cycling, wildlife, Vietnam memorial, fishing, picnic tables, pretty landscapes, sites for barbecuing, cross country skiing and snow shoeing during the winter (or more like fall, winter and spring in New England)

Website: Chicopee Memorial State Park

Trail Map: Chicopee Memorial State Park Trail Map

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The main attraction for most visitors is the 25 acre pond that serves as a beach, restricted fishing area and area for dogs to play and swim in.

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One visitor who was fishing with his grandson told me they caught kippers (a whole herring) and a large mouth bass.

The beach is the most popular part of the beach. There were lifeguards on duty (seasonally). While I was there, the little ones were busying themselves with a game of “Marco Polo.”

The views of the pond are pretty spectacular.

The paved trails, which are ideal for some cyclists and runners, are easy to slightly moderately difficult in some areas. They are manageable for most people of all age groups. For the more daring, there are some unpaved side trails to explore.

During our hike, I encountered a variety of wildlife. From the small minnows, robins and red winged blackbirds to the larger ducks and Canadian Geese, there is a variety of wildlife to appreciate at the park.

I also noticed this interesting web-like cocoon on a tree during my hike.

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Upon further research, I found out this is a “caterpillar cocoon.” Tent caterpillars spin these large, web-like structures in trees or other plants to protect the developing larvae.

Chicopee Memorial also has picnic areas and barbecue grills. They also allow people to play music at a “reasonable volume” as Milton would say (bonus points if you get that reference).

As you exit the park, there is a memorial dedicated to all of the people from Chicopee who served and died in the Vietnam conflict. A very sober reminder during this Memorial Day weekend.

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Chicopee Memorial park is a haven for dogs and dog lovers. I saw numerous dogs during our visit. One of the more popular areas for the dogs and their parents to congregate is the area just past the beach. An area is designated for the dogs to use. It is in this section of the pond that I met Maggie, a Black Lab who turns 2 tomorrow (5-27). Maggie had a fun time retrieving balls that her dad dutifully threw for her to fetch. She would often return the retrieved balls to me which was sweet.

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Holly, my mom’s 11 month old Dutch Shepherd mix, loved the views from the side of the trail. I suspect you will be seeing more of her in my future photo shoots in Western MA.

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As I was about to leave the park, I saw Bailey and I decided to get her photo. Bailey is an 11 month old Black Lab/Shepherd mix.

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Great Bay National Wildlife Refuge (Newington, NH)

Date Of Visit: September 23, 2017

Location: Arboretum Drive West, Newington, New Hampshire

Hours: open daily, dawn to dusk

Cost: Free

Handicapped Accessible: Yes, some trails have boardwalks and are not too steep or difficult

Parking: There are about 40 parking spaces in the main parking area (people do park on the side of the road when the spaces fill up)

Website: Great Bay National Wildlife Refuge

Trail Map: Great Bay National Wildlife Refuge Trail Map

Trail Size/Difficulty: 1,000 acres, easy to moderate trails

Highlights: easy trails, scenic views, boardwalks, wildlife

Tips:

  • mosquitoes, ticks and poison ivy are a common issue at the refuge
  • bald eagles, especially during the winter, are a common sight there

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One of the more overlooked parks in New Hampshire, Great Bay National Wildlife Refuge is home to a variety of wildlife, pretty flowers (when in bloom) and scenic views.

Great Bay has a boardwalk with an overlook at the main trail at the parking area.

Across from the main parking area is a fenced off area that was once used to be used as a weapons storage area for the nearby Pease Air Force Base.

The trails at Great Bay are fairly easy with a few very moderate inclines.

There is a bridge along the trail as well as an overlook with a view of the bay.

When I went to visit there were still lots of flowers in bloom.

There were lots of chipmunks and squirrels scurrying around gathering acorns for the upcoming winter.  I saw this little critter while I was walking along the boardwalk.  If you look closely, you can see what looks like a cut or injury to his or her head just above his or her left eye.  It is a sign of how unyielding and harsh nature can be.  But, it is also a sign of how resilient and hardy animals are regardless of their size.  I have to admit I wanted to take this little fella home and nurse the chipmunk back to health.  But, as you can see from the photo, wildlife has a way of healing and surviving.

 

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Chipmunks aren’t the only animals at the refuge.  There are birds, turkeys and turtles as well as other types of wildlife and insects there.

The one downside of Great Bay, for me at least, is that dogs are not allowed there.  However, I did see some evidence of them and I do think they visit from time to time, although I did not see any during my visit.

 

 


Veterans Mall (Greenfield, MA)

Date Of Visit: October 14, 2017

Location: Main St, Greenfield, MA (next to the Town Hall Annex at 253 Main St) (45 minutes north of Springfield, MA)

Hours: open daily, 24 hours a day

Cost: Free

Parking: There is a good amount of metered street parking near the memorial park

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Highlights: memorials, mural, sculptures

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It would be easy to miss the grand memorial at Veterans Memorial.   Couched in between the busy downtown business district, the memorial is almost an after thought, if you’re not expecting to see it.  I had to make a quick stop and scramble for parking at the last moment as I had already driven by it when my passenger brought it to my attention.

Located in the bustling Main St in downtown Greenfield, Veterans Mall is truly a hidden gem.Tucked away between the various retailers in the busy business district, Veterans Mall includes a mural and numerous war and veteran memorials.

The mural located at Veterans Mall includes images and symbols of Greenfield and the surrounding area such as Poets Tower and Greenfield Covered Bridge.

 

 

One of the cool aspects of the mural are the symbols around the border and in the mural that are indicative of the area such as the corn that is planted and farmed at the local farms.  There are also symbols that are common in any area across the area, the crazy weather we have(symbolized by the wind blowing its cold air) and symbols that are common across the nation such as children trick-or-treating.

 

The mural was repainted April 28, 2017 after 27 years.  Below is a photo of what it looked like before it was painted over.

See the source image

As if this wasn’t enough, there are several other war memorials at Veterans Mall.

This monument, dedicated to the people of Greenfield who served their country during the Vietnam War, has the name of every person from Greenfield who was killed in this war.  It’s hard not to tear up or take a deep breath while reading all of those names.  It will stop you cold and ground you to see the list of all of those lives cut short.

 

 

The Greenfield War Memorial, sculpted by Homer Gunn in 1965, sits in the center of the memorial park. The sculpture is meant to give a message of peace

Apparently, it also acts as a home for some of the residents of the area.

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A lot has changed since these memorials were first installed in the area.  Below is a photo of the two memorials from an earlier time, presumably when it was first dedicated over some 50 years ago.

War Memorial Greenfield Massachusetts

The memorial located next to the Vietnam War Memorial is a memorial to the veterans of World War I

Where there was once a pool of water stands a pine tree dedicated to the all of the women veterans of all wars.

Directly across from the War Memorial is another memorial by Homer Gunn.  This serpentine memorial is meant to chronicle the history of warfare during the 20th century. The memorial shows soldiers, airmen, sailors and marines in an array of different activities and using a variety of different weapons, machines and vehicles from different eras.  There are also shapes of geographic regions where they fought.

 

The park is a wonderful destination for all, even four legged visitors.  Watson is a 12 year old mixed breed rescue.

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Daniel Webster Wildlife Sanctuary (Marshfield, MA)

Date Of Visit: November 5, 2017

Location: Winslow Cemetery Rd, Marshfield, MA (about 30 minutes southwest of Boston, MA)

Hours: Trails are open dawn until dusk

Cost:

ADMISSION

Members: Free
Nonmembers: $3 adults, $2 children (2-12), & seniors (65+)
EBT Participants: Free for up to 4 people when you show your EBT card

Parking: There is a parking lot for about 15-20 cars.

Handicapped Accessible: No

Dog Friendly” No, Mass Audubon Parks do not allow pets

Website:Daniel Webster Wildlife Sanctuary

Trail Map: Daniel Webster Wildlife Sanctuary Trail Map

Highlights: easy trails, scenic, foliage during the fall, wildlife, blinds to view animals, boardwalks over swamp lands

Tips: Although the website includes prices for admission, when I went tp the sanctuary there was no place to pay a fee

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A Mass Audubon park, Daniel Webster is home to a variety of birds,  winding trails and breathtaking views.

One of the many things that struck me about the park is just how set apart the park is from the hustle and bustle of the city.  I’m so used to traveling to parks that are located next to busy roadways and busy areas.  It is refreshing to be able to get away from the city without having to travel too far.

Daniel Webster Sanctuary was still holding on to some of the foliage that it is known for.

There are several bird feeders throughout the park, mostly at the entrance to the park.  The bird feeders attract a variety of birds and other critters.  Turtles, frogs and other mammals populate the sanctuary.   Northern harriers, an eastern coyote and a white-tailed deer are also known to visit the sanctuary.

These unusual bird feeders are designed to feed Purple Martins.  The small enclosures and the overall design is meant to protect the birds from other predators like the harrier hawks that hunt the area.

There are two blinds and the main entrance building from where you can photograph wildlife and nature in peace and quiet.

The trails at Daniel Webster are easy with a few gentle inclines.  There are also a few boardwalks which take you over red maple swamps to some areas with pretty views.  I especially like how the leaves on the ground and the way the trees and their branches almost made some of the trails seem like they were tunnels.  There are 5 walking trail loops at the park with 3.5 miles of trails in total and arounf every turn is another beautiful view.

Below is a video of one of the residents at the park at Daniel Webster Sanctuary from ( a weasel)  removing one off her babies from a shelter.  The video is from the Youtube account of  Migration Productions.  They have some wonderful videos.


Five Days Of Foliage Day #5 – Mine Falls Park (Nashua, MA)

Date Of Visit: October 22, 2017

Location: 9 Stadium Dr, Nashua, NH, Whipple St, Nashua, NH

Hours: Open daily, sunrise to sunset

Parking: There is free parking available at both the Whipple St and Stadium Dr entrances.  But the Stadium Drive entrance has more parking spots

Handicapped Accessible: Yes, some parts of the park are handicapped accessible but many of the trails are too steep and rocky

Dog Friendly: Yes

Website: Mine Falls Park

Original Post: Mine Falls Park (Nashua, NH)

Highlights: ball fields, fishing, boating, running and hiking trails

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The fifth and final day of my Five Days Of Foliage series.  I hope you have enjoyed looking at the photos as much as I enjoyed taking these photos!

For my last installment of my foliage photos I chose one of my favorite parks, Mine Falls Park in Manchester, NH.

I didn’t get to stay very long.  There is so much to see at Mine Falls and I missed the biggest attraction there; the dam.

The 325 acre park has a total of 6 miles of trails that follow the Nashua Canal Trail.  There are also ball fields, soccer fields and a football field is adjacent to the park.  When I got there at sunrise, the warm weather had mixed with the cold, damp weather from the evening creating some misty shots from the ball fields.

The name “Mine Falls” dates from the 18th century, when low-quality lead was supposedly mined from the island below the falls. It has come along since then.

There are two main entrances to the park.  I would suggest parking by the entrance at Stadium Drive because there is more parking spaces and it is easier to get to.  I parked at the entrance at Whipple St.  There were much less parking spaces (about a dozen) and I had a hard time finding the street.  In any event I did find the entrance eventually.  I hope you enjoy the photos I took there!

I had visited Mine Falls previously in March of 2016.  You can find the link to my original post above.

I enjoyed posting this series of photos and I think it is something I may do some other types of themed photo series in the future.

You can find additional photos from my visit here