Tag Archives: bridges

Hubbard Park (Meriden, CT)

Date Of Visit: August 12, 2017

Location: 843 W. Main St, Meriden, CT (about 30 minutes southwest of Hartford, CT)

Hours: Open daily sunrise to sunset

Cost: Free

Parking: There is a small parking lot for about a dozen cars at the front of the park.  There is additional parking along the side of the park and at the back of the park.

Park Size/Trails: 1,803 acres, easy trails

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Website: Hubbard Park

Highlights: lake, birds, trails, pool, tennis courts, play area for children, dinosaur track, picnic spots

Tips:

  • There is ample parking allowed in the back of the park
  • You need a special pass to use the pool at the park and it’s not open during the weekends
  • A trail that you can hike or drive up takes you to Castle Craig

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Hubbard Park in Meriden, CT, is not your average park.  With its trails, bodies of water, recreation areas and a winding trail to Castle Craig, Hubbard Park is a great place to spend the entire day.

There are streams, bridges and trails to the right of the entrance to the park.

The lake at Hubbard Park, Mirror Lake, is the highlight of the park.  Turtles, birds and frogs inhabit the lake and fountains are placed throughout the lake.

Hubbard Park attracts a lot of birds, particularly Canadian Geese.

But, there are more than just Canadian Geese at the park.

The ducks, geese and other birds are so used to being around people, and being fed by people I suspect, that they seem to be waiting for people to feed them.

This goose was tired from all of the activity at the park.

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There are also dinosaur tracks at the park.  The origins of the tracks remain a mystery.  You can see the prints in the puddles from rain earlier in the day.

Walter Hubbard, president of the Bradley & Hubbard Manufacturing Company, donated most of the land at the park in 1901.  John Olmsted, the son of Frederick Law Olmsted who designed Central Park, helped design Lake Meriden.

From the park, you can see the jewel of the Hubbard Park area, Castle Craig.  In my next post, we will explore this beautiful tower.

Dogs are allowed at Castle Craig.  Because of its ample space and wide trails, Hubbard Park is a great place to take your dog.  Below are just two of the many dogs we saw there.

Mollie is a 9 and a half year old Dalmatian.

Beck is a 10 year old Border Collie mix.

Today’s featured link is Out And About Mom.   Out and About Mom explores the many family friendly spots in Connecticut.  A few years ago, she posted about the Festival Of Silver Lights, a family friendly light display at Hubbard Park.


Dorrs Pond (Manchester, NH)

Date Visited: August 7, 2016

Location: Dorrs Pond is part of Livingston Park which is located at 244 Hookset Rd, Manchester, NH (off Daniel Webster Highway)

Hours: Open 24 hours (use your best judgment if you go at nighttime)

Cost: Free

Parking:  There are about 70 or so parking spots by Dorrs Pond.  There is also additional parking by the play area and field by Livingston Park.

Dog Friendly: Yes

Size: 1.2 mile loop with some short side trails.

Time To Allot For Visit: 1 or 2 hours

Fun For One: Yes

Highlights: abundant wildlife, popular trails for runner, cyclists and walkers, pretty views, very well maintained, benches for sitting, skating on the pond during the winter

Lowlights: short loop (only 1.2 mile) so many runners have to complete the loop several times to get a good workout, some side trails end abruptly at parking lots or just stop without going anywhere

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Once an artificial pond to serve the people of Manchester, Dorrs Pond now serves a scenic retreat for cyclists, runners, nature lovers and dogs.

“hidden gem” is a phrase that gets thrown around a lot.  But, the photos below will show how this description is apt for Dorrs Pond.  In fact, I, and many people I talked to about it, had never been to this pond or ever even heard about before I went there.

One of the great things about Dorrs Pond is it is not a particularly difficult trail.  The trails are Dorrs Pond are pretty level with a few small inclines

The views at Dorrs Pond are beautiful.  Vivid greens and a variety of green, purple and other vibrant colors dot the landscape.

One of the best parts of Dorrs Pond is the wildlife.  There is a variety of birds, amphibians and other animals at the pond.

I also found this interesting shelter.  Unfortunately, no one was home.

During the winter, skating is allowed on the pond.  Also, there is a play area, playing field, restrooms and pool for children (and some adults) in addition to Dorrs Pond at Livingston Park.

Doors Pond is a great place to bring your dog.  The trail is not too long and the inclines are not very steep.  And it was a perfect day for taking your pooch out for a stroll.  I saw lots of dogs at Dorrs Pond.  Here are a few of the cute dogs at the park Sunday:

Katie, a 9 month old German Shepherd.

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Finley, a Cavachon who will be 2 in September

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Reagan, a 4 month old Golden Retriever

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and Jackson, a 2 year old Basenji Greyhound.

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Similar Places In New England I Have Visited:

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Ames Nowell State Park

cutler1

Cutler Park

 

 


Canalside Trail (Turner Falls, MA)

Date Visited: May 28, 2016

Location: Eleventh St, the village of Turner Falls in the town of Montague, MA

Parking: There is a small area by the shoulder of the road to park.  There is also off street parking available and most people seem to ride the bicycle or walk or run along the bridge and walkway.

Cost: Free

Highlights: Peaceful area (when it’s not rush hour), scenic, abundant wildlife, views of the Turner Falls Canal

This may not be the bridge of Turner Falls but it is a bridge in Turner Falls.  The more popular bridges in Turner Falls are Gill-Montague and  the Turner Falls Roadway.  But, since I was in Montague visiting the Montague Bookmill, I thought I would make a quick stop here.

This 11th Street Bridge pictured below was built by the Turner Falls Company.  According to the Historic American Engineering Record, the bridge is a double-intersection Warren through truss, with a pair of trusses on either side of the roadway, and lateral bracing between each pair, but none over the roadway.

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This 2.5 mile section of the Turner Falls Bikeway.  The bikeway, which people also use for jogging and walking, is wide enough to accommodate heavy traffic.  The walkway and bridge offer pretty views of the river and surrounding community.

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There are additional bridges on the roadway.  Some, like the partially destructed bridge below, is no longer in use.  Out of service since the industrial shops closed some time ago, the foundations of the bridge still remain.  These remains are symbolic of the jobs and economic downturn the other otherwise idyllic neighborhood felt after many of the jobs left.

These steps led off the main trail  but didn’t seem to go anywhere as the street and residences were right next to the trail.  It may give walkers a closer look at some of the wildlife I heard rustling in the trees and underbrush.

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There’s no swimming allowed in the canal.  But, a life ring is there, just in case.

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Even though the Falls Turner Canal walkway is only a segment of the bikeway path, it is a great place for a peaceful stroll along a beautiful waterway.

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William Francis Bird Park (East Walpole, MA)

Date Visited: April 24, 2016

Location: Polly Lane, Walpole, MA

Cost: Free

Parking: I counted 25 parking spots in the main parking area outside the park.  Parking is free.  There may be several parking lots.

Francis William Bird Park

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As the name suggests, there are lots of birds to watch at Francis William Bird Park.  Either there are lots of robins at the park or I photographed the same one over and over.

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There are more than birds at the park to catch your attention.

Such as trees and flowers

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the ponds and streams

and the bridges (each bridge is made slightly differently)

The trails are easy and branch off to side trails.  But, since it is all concentrated in one area it is hard to get lost there.

The tree below was planted in memory of Charles Sumner Bird, a paper manufacturer, candidate for governor of Massachusetts, resident of Walpole MA and the son of William Francis Bird.

Tip of the day; don’t get too close to a goose and his or her Cheetos.

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You’re not supposed to feed the birds at William Francis (and you’re especially not supposed to feed them Cheetos).  It’s not good for them physically and it creates more messes on the trail.  But, of course, people still do.

Along the trails, there are benches and places to enjoy the outdoors.  Or, you can just chill on a rock or log.  There is also a restroom (open seasonly)

Charlot (pronounced Char-lo) is a local (local to Walpole) artist, storyteller and cultural and historical expert.  He specializes in Haitian art and culture.  He likes to go to the park to paint and relax.  He was kind enough to let me photograph him painting.  He calls the first painting Silhouette Of The Drum.  he was also touching up a painting he had finished previously.

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Charlot is very talented.  You can find out more about him here.

There are also a variety of attractions for sportsmen and sportswomen.  The trails make for great running surfaces.  There are four tennis courts as well as a basketball backboard (but not a court) .  There are also musical and other types of events during the summer by the main field.

Birds aren’t the only animals you will find at Francis William Bird Park.  The park is also popular spot for dogs.  The trails and open spaces make it a great place to take your pooch.

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Henry is a 3 year old Basset Hound.  Cute freckles on his left front paw!

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Sophia is a 5 year old Newfoundland.  Sophia reminded me of a Newfoundland we had.  Beautiful dog.

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Buddha is a 3 month old Hound mix.  I love the eyebrows!

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The Nature Trail and Cranberry Bog at Patriot Place (Foxborough, MA)

Date visited: January 9, 2016

Although the area is mostly known for being the home of the New England Patriots and its adjacent marketplace, Patriot Place has another impressive attraction – The Nature Trail and Cranberry Bog.  Admission to the trail and bog is free and the parking is ample evident by the photo below.  You can also park in the lots in front of the store and walk down to the trail.

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From the entrance the Nature Trail and Cranberry Bog greets you with a charming sitting area and pretty trees.

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Although most of the vegetation is dead (save for a few stubborn blueberries and cranberries), a thin layer of ice covered most  of the pond and the trees are bare this time of the year, the Nature Trail and Cranberry Bog at Patriot Place in Foxboro, MA, is just as beautiful in the winter as it is during the summertime.

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Located directly behind the expansive Bass Pro Shop, the Nature Trail and Cranberry Bog is a .5 mile loop with a 3 percent grade and some inclines as much as 12 percent.

It is a mostly dirty trail with a few boardwalks and bridges.  There are two benches in the middle of the first walking bridge.  Overall, it is an easy to semi-moderate trail.  I saw people of all age groups handle the trail, inclines and all, with little difficulty.

I found this strange, creepy looking branch or alien arm protruding from the ice.

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An extra bonus for any Patriots fan is you can see Gillette Stadium (the stadium the Patriots play in) from the main road on the way to the Nature Trail and Cranberry Bog.  You can also catch a quick glimpse of some of the stadium from the entrance to trail and bog.

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After finishing the loop, I met Chandler, a beautiful 6 year old tri-colored English Setter (thank you for the clarification, Adam).

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Amrita Island (Bourne, MA)

After spending the morning at the Cape Cod Canal, it was time for the next stop on my day trip.  The next leg of my Cape weekend tour was spent at the hidden jewel of Bourne; Amrita Island. 

To view the blog about the first leg of my Cape Cod trip check out my blog about the Cape Cod Canal.

An island in the town of Bourne, Amrita Island is one of the lesser known islands of Cape Cod.  The reason many people may not know about this island is because it looks like any other side street in the area.  The only indication there may be an island there is an inconspicuous sign you could easily miss unless you were looking for it.

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Amrita Island is connected to Cataumet (the village within Bourne where Amrita Island is located) by an ornate, albeit short, stone bridge.

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There are spectacular views from the bridge.

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But, to get the best views, you have to get off the bridge and walk around the surrounding area

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There is also an abundance of plant life and pretty trees.

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There is also a variety of wildlife on Amrita Island.  Fish, ducks and birds are abundant onthe island. The fish were swarming in a circle for some reason.

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I also met Hadley, a resident of the island.

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I will be posting the next installment of my Cape Cod trip later this weekend.  Stay tuned!

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