Category Archives: park

Prescott Park Gardens (Portsmouth, NH)

Date Of Visit: July 29, 2017

Location: 105 Marcy St, Portsmouth, NH

Hours: Open daily from sunrise to sunset

Cost: Free

Parking: Street parking is available on Old Bay St and Marcy St.  There is also a lot on Old Bay St.

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: No

Highlights: fountains, flowers, plants, trees, family friendly

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Portsmouth is known for its beautiful places.  So, it’s no big surprise when you come across a scenic view or a pitcuresque downtown area.  What is more unusual is a beautiful garden in a public setting.  Well, Prescott Park Gardens certainly seems to fit the bill.

Considered part of Prescott Park, Prescott Park Gardens is located next to the main garden at Prescott Park.

Even though it is only  a small area, the garden at Prescott Park is overflowing with colors and beauty.  Despite all of the trees, flowers and fountains and the high volume of visitors, it didn’t seemed cramped there. Even with the dizzying array of flowers, the park still seems quaint and understated.  I can only imagine how peaceful it must feel there when it’s not a busy time of day.

 

Despite the huge crowds it attracts, the park is kept in pristine condition.

 

The fountains at the garden give the area a serene feel.  Just watching the water and listening to the calming, rhythmic sounds of the water splashing is soothing.

 

Some people found some creative ways to cool down at the garden.

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Below is a video of the garden at Prescott Park.

Today’s featured link is Don Gargano’s photography website.  Don primarily shoots in the Portsmouth and New Castle, New Hampshire areas as well as Maine.  I have followed him for some time on Facebook and you can check out his page here.  Coincidentally, he has a photo of the garden at Prescott Park on his profile page!


Prescott Park (Portsmouth, NH)

Date Of Visit: July 29, 2017

Location: 105 Marcy St, Portsmouth, NH

Hours: open daily, sunrise to sunset

Cost: Free

Parking: There is a parking lot located on Old Bay St as well as street parking throughout the area

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: No

Website: Prescott Park

Highlights: flowers and plants, scenic, family friendly

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Bursting with color and fragrances, Prescott Park is sure to impress even those with the faintest of green thumbs.

A gift from Sarah and Josie Prescott in 1940, Prescott Park has come a long way from its industrial beginnings.   The highlight of the park, at least during the summer, has to be the garden that sits at the entrance by Old Bay St and Marcy St.  But, Prescott Park has more than just flowers there.

Prescott Park is much more than the garden that I focused on during my visit.  In fact, it is such a big area that they hold concerts with such popular artists as Aaron Neville and Valerie June and other events at the park.  During my visit they were holding a children’s party where a play was being performed.

 

 

There are two memorials at Prescott Park.  The first memorial is a fountain which is dedicated to  a fountain dedicated to Charles Emerson Hovey, an Ensign in the United States Navy and Portsmouth, NH native, who was killed in action on September 24, 1911.

 

 

The next memorial is less obvious.  A sign and anchor stand in front of the prominent flower bed at the front of the garden.

 

 

The sign in front of the flower bed states “A Salute To An Ordinary Hero.”  This “ordinary hero” was Billy Juse, a New Hampshire native, who died in an underground tunnel while he was working on the Deer Island Project during the 1990’s.  He was 34.  Since he and another coworker, Tim Nordeen, died on the same day John Fitzgerald Kennedy’s body was recovered, his story was overlooked in the news.  One solemn reminder remains in the park.

There are also view of the Piscataqua River, a popular spot for boating and kayaking.

 

 

There are benches, art and pretty trees and flowers on the way to the garden at Prescott Park.

 

 

Prescott Park has a variety of beautiful and colorful plants and flowers.  Since we’ve had so much rain and

 

 

The flowers ranged from the common to the unique.

 

 

To the left in the photo is Pelargonium Geranium Timeless Orange (yeah they look red to me as well),  To the right is the Pelargonium Geranium Timeless Pink.  Yeah, I know all of the types of flowers in the world.  Kidding.  They all had their names neatly written on them on cards by the flower beds.

Now for the truly scary part of the tour. The dinosaurs have invaded Prescott Park.  This is a great way to get kids interested and involved in viewing the flowers and plants at Prescott.  I

 

 

Sadly, dogs are not allowed at the flower garden area of Prescott Park.  But, I did see lots of dogs like Teddy, a 10 year old Pomeranian,  passing by on Old Bay Street which is next to the flower garden.

 

 

Today’s featured link is a link to an article that appeared in the Boston Globe magazine about the tragedy on the Deer Island Project in which Billy Juse and some of his co workers perished: Deer Island Tragedy

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Rockwell Park (Bristol, CT)

Date Of Visit: June 1, 2017

Location: 243 Jacobs, St, Bristol, CT (2 hours southwest of Boston, MA and 30 minutes southwest of Hartford, CT)

Cost: Free

Hours: Open daily, sunrise to sunset

Parking: There are several parking areas with ample parking

Trail Size/Difficulty: over 100 acres/easy

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Highlights: ponds, streams, bridges, dog park, baseball field, tennis courts, kids playground, fountain, skate park, basketball and volleyball courts, summer programs for kids

Website: Rockwell Park

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I’m back!  Unfortunately, I had some downtime due to some repairs that needed to be done on my laptop.  So, I couldn’t download photos for some time.  The reason for my issues?  Fur in the fan of my laptop that was causing a very distracting noise.  The culprit was this little lady.

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I’ll let it pass cause she’s cute.

Being away from the blogging game gave me some time to reset and think over my blog.  I have added one additional feature to my posts.  Take a look at the end of the blog (no, not now) to see what I have added.

But, I’m back in business and I have lots of fun places and pets from New England to share with everyone!  So, without further delay…

Even though I live only a couple of hours away from Connecticut, I hadn’t been there much before I began this blog.  But, I have to say the few parks I have been to in Connecticut have been top notch.  Rockwell Park in Bristol is no exception.

Rockwell Park mixes recreation, fitness, beauty and open spaces to give the entire family (and their pets) something to look forward to when they visit.

There is a large pond at the entrance to the park on Jacobs St.  Along the pond is a trail that circles the pond and goes further along the park.

There are several fitness stations along the trail with workout equipment with instructions about how to use them.

I gave the pull up bar a shot.  Look at that form.  No, really look at it.  It needs some work.  One pull up is my limit, though.  I didn’t try the sit up equipment, for obvious reasons.  I mean, let’s not go crazy with the fitness stuff.

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With its baseball field, volley and basketball courts and Frisbee golf, fitness and exercise are prominent themes at the park.

Several bridges pass over a stream that flows through the park with some pretty views

The stream is relatively calm and not very deep.  In fact, some people like to cross the stream without using the bridge.

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These boys were looking for fish and frogs.

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The trails are mostly dirt and are mostly easy with some gentle inclines.

There is a boardwalk just off the main trail that leads to a fountain.

A structure of some kind stands next to the boardwalk.

Rockwell Park has a lot of activities and attractions for younger children and teens.  This play area, with splash pad, is a popular attractions for kids.  I was very tempted to use the splash pad.

There is also an open space with seating for people to attend concerts and other events.

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There are also monuments to the   along the trail.

The inscription on the first marker (from left to right) in the photos above which is dedicated to John Christopher Mack reads:

This Tablet is to Perpetuate the Memory Of
John Christopher Mack
A public spirited citizen who truly loved Bristol
the place of his birth.
His declining years were spent in California
yet his interest in his native town never lessened.
His great love for children
found fitting expression in his will
by which a substantial sum was provided
for the development of recreational facilities
for them in the parks and playgrounds
of the city.

The inscription on the marker dedicated to Albert Rockwell, the benefactor of the land the park sits on reads:

Albert F. Rockwell
1862 – 1925
Inventor, manufacturer, public-
spirited citizen. He gave to the
city this park and contributed
liberally to its development.
His initiave and counsel were
of great value in the civic
and industrial life of Bristol.
In appreciation, the people by
voluntary contribution have
erected this memorial.
Bristol, Connecticut 1926

You don’t have to look too hard to find wildlife at Rockwell Park.  Birds, chipmunks, squirrels and even turtles inhabit the park.

With its easy trails and spacious field, Rockwell Park is a great place to take your dog.

Brody is a 4 month old Red Fox Lab.  I saw him learning how to play Frisbee.

Molly is a 9 year old Chocolate Lab.  Molly is a natural poser!

Lucy and Ricki were at the park when I went to visit.  Lucy had some “expaining to do”, according to Ricki,  In fact, they visit often.  Named after the fictional TV couple from “I Love Lucy”, Lucy and Ricky are very close friends.  Lucy is a Yorkie.

Ricky is a 6 month year old Yorkie.

There is also a dog park, called B.A.R.K.Park, located in Rockwell Park. You can walk to it from the main entrance or you can drive to it (the address is 28 Muzzy St).  BARK Park (get it?) is a large fenced in dog park.

There weren’t many dogs there when I went to visit.  But, I did find these three cuties.

Febi is a 3 year old Rottweiler.

Emmitt is a 6 year old pit bull mastiff mix.

Molly is a 2 year old Chihuahua.

My new feature to my blog is a link to another blog, website or article about the area or people or places from the area I have visited.  My first link is to a post by katieleigh about her husband her visit to Connecticut.  Katie is a blogger on WordPress who has a special affinity for books.  Stop by and see some of the other wonderful attractions Connecticut has to offer!

Weekend In Connecticut

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Pope John Paul II Park (Dorchester, MA)

Dates Of Visits: June 17 & 18, 2017

Location: There are several entrances at Gallivan Blvd. and Hallet St., Dorchester, MA

Cost: Free

Parking: There are multiple parking lots at the entrances

Hours: Open from sunrise til one hour before sunset

Trail Size/Difficulty: 2 miles, easy with moderate inclines

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Highlights: wildlife, scenic, easy trails, ball fields

Website: Pope John Paul II Park

With its rolling hills, abundant wildlife, pretty trees and flowers and beautiful views, it’s hard to believe it once was the home to a drive in (remember those?)  and a land fill.

Connected to Senator Joseph Finnegan Park, Pope John Paul II Park is part of the extensive Neponset River Greenway.

Pope John Paul Park is not only beautiful for it’s natural beauty, there are also two murals at the park.

 

There are a variety of birds at Pope John Paul Park (but I didn’t see any cardinals which was unusual).

 

This bird had a meal for his or her babies,

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There are many pretty trees, plants and rolling hills along the paths.

 

The paths at John Paul Park are easy with some moderate inclines.

 

The paths are perfect for running, riding your bicycle or rollerblading with your dog.

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There are some wonderful views along the Neponset River which separates Dorchester from picturesque Quincy, MA.

 

People like to use the river to cruise along with their jet ski, boat or other aquatic vessel.

 

There is also a stream that flows under the bridge at the park.

 

There are also soccer and lacrosse fields as well as pavilions and benches for people to sit and watch the games.

Pope John Paul Park is a great place to bring your dog.  Zoey, a 5 year old mixed breed dog, brought her ball with her to the park.

 

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Senator Joseph Finnegan Park (Dorchester, MA)

Date Of Visit: June 17, 2017

Location: corner of Taylor St. and Water St., Neponset area of Dorchester, Boston, MA

Hours: Open sunrise to sunset

Cost: Free

Parking: Parking is available by the main entrances on Water or Taylor St.  You can also park at Pope John Paul II Park on Hallet St or Gallivan Blvd as the trails for each park are connected

Park size/trail difficulty: 15 acres/easy

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Highlights: scenic views, cycling/walking paths, wildlife

Website: Finnegan Park

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Bigger isn’t necessarily better.

Part of the Neponset River Greenway, at a scant 15 acres Finnegan Park is one of the smaller yet more charming parks to open in the Boston area.

Dedicated in May of this year, Finnegan Park is a small yet popular destination for anyone looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city it borders.

Some of the park’s more appealing features are the scenic views and birds that inhabit the area, if you find that sort of things appealing that is.  In the background you can see some of the residential buildings in the lovely Quincy, Massachusetts neighborhood. Egrets and Canadian geese are common visitors at the park.

There are also blocks of what looks like granite with words like “Charity” as well as the history of the area and descriptions of the wildlife in the area engraved on them.

One of the really cool things about the park is the train that passes by.  The very same train I take to work.

Named after former state senator and representative Joseph Finnegan who worked hard to revitalize the area, Finnegan Park is a great place to ride your bike, play hopscotch or take your dog for a walk.

 

 

Gladys had a fun time walking along the trails at Finnegan Park.

Finnegan Park is only one segment of the Neponset River Greenway.  In a future post I will be showing off another beautiful part of this project.

 

 

 


Stodder’s Neck (Hingham, MA)

Date Of Visit: June 15, 2017

Location: 467 Lincoln St, Hingham, MA (30 minutes southeast of Boston)

Cost: Free

Parking: There is ample parking for about 50 cars

Trail Size/Difficulty: .7 mile loop, easy trails with some gentle inclines and some side trails.

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Highlights: wide trails, picnic tables, water fountains for Fido, harbor views, wildlife, well maintained trails and grass for dogs to play

Website: Stodder’s Neck

Trail Map: Stodder’s Neck Trail Map

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Once the site of a gravel pit, Stodder’s Neck is now one of the most popular dog parks in the South Shore (south of Boston).  In fact, as the photo below shows, the park was designed as a dog park, although humans can also use it for birding, observing other dogs or just taking a leisurely walk.

The park has a water fountain with a spigot at dog’s level.

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There is also a board for people to hang lost dog tags (on hooks at the side of the board) and photos of dogs (many of whom have passed on) who enjoy the park as well as other notes of importance.

Even the entrance to the park has been designed to help prevent dogs from running ahead into the parking lot by having a narrow entrance.  I believe you may also open the gate at a different point if you need more room to enter or exit.

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The dirt trails at Stodder’s Neck have benches and picnic tables dotted along the way for you to sit and give your dog a chance to rest.

The views along the trail are impressive.

But, the best part of the trails has to be the Weymouth Back River that forms the peninsula the park sits on.

And dogs seem to like the river as well.

There are also a variety of birds and other animals at Stodder’s Neck.  Egrets also nest there during the spring and summer.  I came across this Egret hunting.

I guess I got too close and scared him or her.

And what would a dog park be without, you guessed it, dogs!?

Moose is a 5 year old Lab.

Harley, 7 years old, is part German Shepherd, Great Pyrenees,  Malinois.

Kylie is a 5 year old poogle

Mindy is a 4.5 year old rescue.

Mya is a 4 and a half year old Shepherd and Lab mix.

Macy is a one and a half year old pitbull and boxer mix.

Yuki is an 8 month old American Eskimo.  Yuki, for those of you not in the know, means “snow” in Japanese.

Tank is a one and a half year old Field Springer.

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Rattlesnake Gutter (Leverett, MA)

 

Dates of Visits: May 27 & 29, 2017

Location: 16 Rattlesnake Gutter Rd, Leverett, MA

Hours: Open daily, sunrise to sunset

Cost: Free

Parking: There is not a designated parking area.  But, there is an area to park by the front gate on the side of the road on Guttersnake Rd

Trail Size/Difficulty: 1.93 miles (Rattlesnake Gutter trail) with connecting loops and other trails that can add a significant amount of distance to your hike.  Easy too moderate trails.

Handicapped Accessible: No.  The terrain is rocky with some steep inclines

Dog Friendly: Yes

Fitbit Stats: 3.45 miles, 711 calories, 8,027 steps

Highlights: chasm, wildlife, easy to moderate trails, art, unique rock formations, ponds

Website: Rattlesnake Gutter Trust

Trail Map: Rattlesnake Gutter Trail Map

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Don’t let the name scare you.  There really aren’t any, or at least not many, rattlesnakes at Rattlesnake Gutter Trail.  Legend has it rattlesnakes once did populate the area.  But, due mostly to a concerted effort to rid the area of these snakes, you’e rarely see a rattlesnake there.

I actually had to make two visits to this trail because some of the photos on one of memory cards were not saved.  Yeah, okay, twist my arm.  I’ll go again, I figured to myself.

Before you even reach the trail, there is an interesting find in a field at the entrance of Rattlesnake Gutter Rd.  A group of bee hives sat under a tree in a pretty field while what looked like a falcon soared high above.

The trail is known more for the chasm that runs through most of the main trail from the Rattlesnake Gutter Rd entrance.  The trail is described as a boulder that runs 3/4 mile long and 1/8 mile wide.  It produces a lot of pool-like streams between the rocky edges.

There are also several pools of water along the trail with some frogs and other aquatic animals.

Between the rocky sides there is a roughly mile trail with several mini waterfall-like streams and a very long way down if you’re not careful.

The dirt trails are easy to moderate in some areas due to the somewhat strenuous inclines in some areas.  At least they were strenuous to a middle aged hiking novice.

The origins of the chasm are unclear.  Some theories include a sub glacial melt water channel or a tear at the site of an old geologic fault.  Another theory suggests it was caused by a spillway for a temporary pro glacial lake.  I would go with the last one.  Just because I like to say “pro glacial.”  In any event, the rocks show the aftermath of some major event.

Unexpectedly, we found some art along the rocks.

It’s not known who created this art or why.  But, it is pretty cool.  You know how if you look at a photo or rock long enough, you can see other images?  Well, to the right of the tree in the photo below just above the greenery and boulder in the right hand corner of the photo, there appears to be possibly the outline of a cat’s face (you may have to tilt your head to see it). Or, maybe I’ve just drank too much caffeine and I’m seeing things.   It could just be the way the rocks appear from the weather and erosion.

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We took the main guttersnake trail to the connector loop to Whitney Rd.  The connecting loop is hard to find.  It is actually a trail made into the side of the hill on the trail that was made into a zig zag design. I wouldn’t have probably found it if I hadn’t noticed someone walking down what looked like the side of a hill.

The Whitney Trail looks a little confusing at first (make sure to follow the red marked trees).  But, after a short distance, there will be signs and maps that will help you stay on the trail.  That is one of the unusual things about this trail.  There are several maps posted throughout the trail.  There are alternate routes you can take if you have the time and curiosity.  While I am always curious, I didn’t the time.  So, I stayed on the Whitney Rd trail.  This intersection of trails can take you farther into different sections of the trail system.  But, as time was a factor, I was unable to explore more.

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Whitney Rd is just that, a road.  There are some pretty houses, cute decor and signs as well as beautiful landscapes along this part of the trail.

There were also some interesting rock formations and pretty trees along the way.

Along Whitney Rd, on the left of the trail we saw am empty area with tall trees and what looked like an overlook.  To our surprise, we found what looked like an area for parties or other events.  A van with speakers and what looked like an audio system was parked in the area.  There was also a table with chairs and jug of some kind of adult concoction and some other artistic designs.

Rattlesnake Gutter is the perfect place to take your dog.  Although, I would only recommend it for a “fit” dog, as I would recommend it for a “fit” person since the inclines can be deceivingly steep in some places.

These dogs had no problem with the trail.

Huckleberry is a rescue from Mississippi.

Luna is a 3 year old rescue.

Below are two videos of the streams at Rattlesnake Gutter Trail.