Category Archives: water

Windsor Lake (North Adams, MA)


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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Leverett Pond/Echo Lake (Leverett, MA)

Date Of Visit: May 27, 2017

Location: Depot Rd, Leverett, MA (about 40 minutes north of Springfield, MA)

Hours: Open everyday from sunrise to sunset

Cost: Free

Parking: There is free street parking available on the shoulder of the road across from the lake.  There is room for about 5 cars.

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Highlights: pond, poetry box, wildlife, boat launch

Website: Friends Of Leverett Pond

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Located in the center of town inconspicuously on the side of the road, Leverett Pond (also known as Echo Lake) is a 100 plus acre pond with amazing views and abundant wildlife.  In fact, the wildlife is so abundant it threatens the pond itself.  Beavers, specifically, seem to be clogging the dam at the nothern end.  It costs the organization $20,000 to fix this issue and they do not receive funding from the town.  So, the organization relies solely on donations.  But, still, the Friend of Leverett Pond are keep working to solve this problem.

Despite the ecological issues they may face, the pond still looks beautiful.

The pond is popular with boaters and fishing enthusiasts.  I saw two boats in the pond during the short time I was there.

During the winter, the pond is used by skaters.

While there were signs of wildlife, I was only able to see some fish in the water and a bird.

While the lake is a gem itself, one of the hidden treasures is the poetry box located on a tree by the lake.  If you weren’t looking for it you might just miss it.  Just to the left of the boat launch, the box is attached to a tree.

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Inside the box sits a binder with poems, stories and memories left behind by visitors. There are also a few pencils in the box for people to leave their thoughts and poems.   Some of the poems dated back to 2012.  It was not only nice to see this collection of art.  It was also nice to see it has been preserved and no one has stolen or disturbed the poetry box.

Behind the tree is a table for people to sit and read the binder or write their own addition to the binder.  The poems and other writings ranged from the comedic to the serious.  Some were written by children.  Others were written by older people.  Sometimes you could not tell who wrote the poem or what age they were.

Whether you’re a fisherman or fisherwoman, a boater or a poet, Leverett Pond is the perfect to spend the day.


Castle Rock (Marblehead, MA)

Date Of Visit: October 9, 2016

Location: 377 Ocean Ave (it is also listed as Castle Rock Lane), Marblehead, MA

Cost: Free

Hours: Open daily, dawn until dusk

Parking: There is lots of of unmetered, 2 hour, off street parking available on Ocean St

Dog Friendly: Yes

Highlights: Views of the Atlantic Ocean, fishing, benches to watch the ocean

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Once used as a lookout for arriving and departing fishing fleets as well as pirate and enemy ships, both British and French, Castle Rock is yet another hidden treasure along the North Shore of Massachusetts.  Heck, it’s in my own backyard and I had not even heard of it until recently.

Also known as “Great Head”, Castle Rock gets its name for the castle-like looking home next to the lookout area.  Now, it serves as a place to sit or stand and look out along the Atlantic Ocean and remember how small we really are in comparison.

It was a rainy, fall-like October morning (oddly enough during October) when I stopped by Castle Rock.  It felt like the rain would never end and the water was very active.  The entrance to Castle Rock is nestled between two homes, although I’m not sure if anyone resides in the castle-like home to the right of the lookout area.

The views were not diminished because of the inclement weather.  I did, however, have to make a few trips to my car to dry off my equipment and try to keep my lens clear.

The 1.20 acre lookout is also known for its off-shore sailing, although there really isn’t a safe place to launch from Castle Rock.  But, you get some great views of the boats that did dare to venture out in the choppy waters.

This brave fisherman made his way down the wet, slippery rocks and went fishing for stripers.

The rain didn’t stop the birds.

Castle Rock is another beautiful area in New England with some very pretty views.  Below is a video of the area.  You can hear the wind and the rain pelting down.  It wasn’t a “beach day” by any means but it was still a great place to visit during any type of weather.

Similar Places In New England  I Have Visited

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Nubble Light House (York, ME)

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Cliff Walk (Newport, RI)

Please connect with me on Facebook to view photos, videos, links and other content about New England not included in my blogs!

 


Nelson Memorial Park (Plymouth, MA)

Dates of Visit: October 8, 2016 & October 16, 2016

Location: Nelson St, Plymouth, MA

Hours: Open everyday, dawn until dusk

Cost: Free

Parking: There are about 50 parking spots

Dog Friendly: Yes

Highlights: Free parking, handicap-accessible, picnic benches and tables, playground area, beach area, restrooms, boat docking area, seasonal water play area, bike path

Web Site: Nelson Memorial Park

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When people think of Plymouth Massachusetts certain places automatically come to mind; Plimoth Plantation, Plymouth Rock, Nelson Memorial Park.  No, that’s not a typo.  In fact, Nelson Memorial Park may be one of the best kept secrets in Plymouth (except may be the Grace Trail).

 

Located approximately a mile from the aforementioned rock, Nelson Memorial Park is a family friendly park with activities for children, pretty views and ample parking.

The water activity area, called a “splash pad” is an area that shoots out water for children, and probably even a few adults and dogs, to play in.  A sign states that due to water restrictions the pad will be on only on days when the air temperature is above 80 degrees.  There’s little threat of that happening for some time, although we have had some unseasonably warm weather lately.

The park is relatively small but it still offers some very pretty scenery.  I’ve always marveled at how clouds, even wispy clouds, can really accentuate the beauty of an area, especially by bodies of water.

Some kayakers took advantage of the warm weather and calm water.

There is also a bike path from Nelson Memorial Park that goes all the way to North Plymouth (roughly 1.5 miles from Nelson Memorial Beach or over 2 miles if you start from Grace Trail which is located behind the park’s parking lot).

Although it is a small park, Nelson Memorial is a wonderful, peaceful area just minutes from the busy  waterfront and downtown areas and a must-see if you’re in the Plymouth area.

A boy and his dog take in the views at Nelson Memorial.  This is why dogs are so great.  No matter how bad your day is or how lonely you might feel, you always have your dog.

There were many other dogs at Nelson Memorial Park and I was able to get some great shots of a few of them.

Remy is a 13 year old Lab, Boxer and Rottweiler.  He had head and leg injuries when he was adopted.  But, he looks fine right now!

Stella is a 7 year old Boston Terrier with a special talent.  She likes to chase balls and hit them with her head, soccer style.

Below is a video of Stella playing.

Similar Places In New England I Have Visited:

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Salem Willows (Salem, MA)

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Odiorne Point State Park (Rye, NH)

 


South Natick Dam Park (Natick, MA)

Date Visited: August 13, 2016

Location: 9 Pleasant Street South

Hours: Open daily, dawn til dusk

Cost: Free

Parking:  There is free unmetered off street parking available but only a dozen or so cars can fit on the side street.  You may be able to park somewhere else nearby and walk to the dam.

Time To Allot For Visit: half an hour to an hour

Dog Friendly: Yes

Web Site: South Natick Dam Park

Highlights: pretty waterfall, birds, pretty architecture, family friendly

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Established in 1933 on the site of a former grist mill, the South Natick Dam Park attracts people far and wide for its pretty waterfall and scenic views.  Construction of the South Natick Dam was completed on September 2, 1933.  It replaced a timber dam that had been built at the site since 1760 by Matthew Hastings.

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Millstones from the grist mill, which had served the area since colonial times, are embedded in the paved area of the area surrounding the dam.

There is also an island in the middle of the river, that you can see in some of the photos, which is named for Horace Holyoke, one of the characters from Harriet Beecher Stowe’s “Old Town Folks.” This character is based on her husband Calvin Stowe who was a South Natick native.

Since the water was at such a low level, I was able to walk down to the base of the dam and take some photos from where the water would normally be.

The South Natick Dam Park is adjacent to the Charles River’s dam, and is a popular spot for visitors, both human and animal.

 

A fun and unexpected stop on my way home from Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary, the South Natick Dam is a great place to take your dog for a walk, photograph or just sit at one of the benches and take in the beauty of the area.

 

 

 

 


World’s End (Hingham, MA)

Date Visited: August 28, 2016

Location: 250 Martin’s Lane, Hingham, MA

Hours: open everyday, 8:00 a.m. until sunset

Cost: $6 for adults, annual memberships which include free admission are available for $47

Size: 4.5  miles of continuous trails, 251 acres

Parking: there are three parking areas with roughly 20 spots each.  When I left at 1:00 p.m. the lot was full and there was a line of about half a dozen cars waiting to get into the park.

Time To Allot For Visit: 2 hours

Dog Friendly: Yes

Trail Difficulty: Easy to Moderate

Highlights: scenic views of the Boston skyline and surrounding area, wildlife, occasionally they display exhibits at the park, benches to sit along the trail, pretty trees and flowers, perfect for walkers, joggers, runners, cyclists and even horseback riders and anowshoeing during the winter

Lowlights: limited parking (if you follow the reservation Twitter they post alerts when the lot is full)

Website: World’s End

World’s End Trail Map

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I “misunderestimated” World’s End.  I figured it would be an “easy” quick jaunt (I usually save my easier treks for Sundays).  So, I slipped on my Chuck Taylor All-Stars and figured I would be home in a few hours.  Not the best choice of footwear in retrospect.  The trails can be rocky (particularly if you go off trail) and deceivingly steep in some areas.

There are a lot of side trails and it’s easy to get confused and cover the same area twice (or more) which can add quite a bit of time to your journey.  In fact, for a while, I thought World’s End would never end. It’s a good idea to take a map of the trails with you.  But, the trails are clearly marked and easy to negotiate with some slight inclines.

Undoubtedly, the main attraction for many visitors at World’s End are the views of the Boston skyline.  World’s End affords several views of the skyline and surrounding areas.  From the shoreline views to the views atop the highest point on the top of one of the many views of the rolling, hilly trails, the views are majestic.

World’s End is teeming with wildlife, particularly birds.  They’re very good at camouflaging themselves so you might have to squint to see a few of them.

But, the real gem of my visit was this deer I spotted on my way to Rocky Neck, one of the more secluded areas.  We stood mere feet away from each other staring, until she finally took off.

There are not just an abundant of bird life in the water.  Being a picture perfect summer day with low humidity and a slight breeze and calm waters, it was ideal for many of the boaters, paddlers and other seafaring folks.

This boater wanted some privacy, apparently.

World’s End has many other charming features such as this huge rock and an elevated viewing area for bird watching.

Of course, sometimes the more simpler things can be the prettiest features of the park.  These flowers, tress and views off the water caught my eye.

Some people took advantage of the shore to skim some stones.

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If there is one photo that sums up a trip to World’s End it is this photograph of a hammock with a bicycle next to it.  World’s End is the perfect place to lie out in a hammock with only the sounds of nature to keep you occupied and maybe a good book or your Itunes collection.

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There is also an art exhibit on display until Oct. 31, 2017.  The display was created by Jeppe Hein, an artist based out of Copenhagen and Berlin.  He is known worldwide for his interactive exhibits.  The exhibit is called, “A New End”.  According to the website for the exhibit, Hein wants to invite visitors to reflect and to transform how we view a familiar place like World’s End.

There were dogs-a-plenty at World’s End during my visit.  World’s End is a great place for dogs to play around in since there are many open, grassy areas and, of course, water to frolic around in.

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Casey is a happy, 8 year old English Pointer mix.  He is a rescue.

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Gus is a 2 year old Ridgeback mix.  He was very excited to be at the park!

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Tande is an 8 month old Portuguese Water Dog.  If Tande looks familiar, you may have seen a similarly looking dog on the news.  The President also has the same breed of dog. Tande came all the way from the Odysea Portuguese Water Dogs breeder in Colorado.

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One of my easiest subjects to photograph ever, Bella is a gentle 7 year old Shetland Sheepdog.

I also saw a variety of other dogs playing in the water and running around.

viewsofanemergencyrn was kind enough to nominate me for the One Lovely Blog Award.  Thank you!  I usually don’t post about these awards but I figured I would play along since she was so nice to mention me and I wanted to acknowledge her.  She is a sweet, strong person and a survivor (read her post to see what I mean).

So, the rues are I have to mention 7 random things about me.

  1. I didn’t take up photography seriously until last year
  2. I  love dogs and all animals (big surprise there) but they also seem to love me – the key is to not show fear and be confident and friendly around them (they can sense fear)
  3. I am a pescatarian (I only eat seafood and do not eat meat, primarily)
  4. People often say I bear a strong resemblance to Donnie Wahlberg (but I can’t sing like him)
  5. Although I love dogs, I don’t have one (I have a cat instead)
  6. Until my work schedule got too busy, I had been an active literacy tutor at my local library
  7. I run (and/or walk) 3 miles (at least) a day everyday

The rules say to nominate other bloggers to participate.  But, I’m going to skip that part.  In my experience, people have usually already posted a blog like this in the past and don’t want to do it again, or they don’t participate or they seem to be too busy.  But, thank you, once again for the mention, viewsofanemergencyrn!  I do appreciate you and I look forward to reading more of your posts.  You all should also!

Similar Places I have Visited In New England:

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Webb Memorial State Park (Weymouth, MA)

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Blue Hills Reservation (Milton, MA)