Tag 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!


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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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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Ravenswood Park (Gloucester, MA)

Date Of Visit: May 7, 2017

Location: 481 Western Ave, Gloucester, MA (about 1 hour northwest of Boston)

Hours: Open daily, sunrise to sunset

Cost: Free

Parking: there are 10 parking spots in the lot outside of the park, parking is also available on the side of the road near the park.  10-20 cars can safely fit in the area by the side of the road

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Trail Size/Difficulty: 10 miles of trails and former carriage roads. Moderate hiking. Carriage roads are covered with dense crushed stone and are generally wheelchair accessible.

Handicapped Accessible: The main trail and carriage roads are accessible at least for a while.  I walked it for over 2 miles and it was an easy, wide trail.  The side trails are much more rocky and challenging.

Dog Friendly: Yes

Highlights: wildlife, lakes, vernal pools, easy to moderate trails

Fitbit Stats (distance walked, steps taken and calories burned according to Fitbit watch): 7.8 miles, 17,637 steps, 1,586 calories burned)

Website: Ravenswood Park

Trail Map: Ravenswood Park Trail Map

Although it is more famous for its long stretches of shoreline and its fishing industry, Gloucester is also home to some beautiful parks.  Boasting 10 miles of trails and several bodies of water, Ravenswood is teeming with wildlife.

One of the highlight of the park is Fernwood Lake.  Fernwood Lake is bisected by a walking path with open areas to photograph the lake and the animals that inhabit. it.

I took the Cedar Swamp Trail and hooked up onto the blue blazed Fernwood Lake Trail.  This trail is an easy 3 mile loop with many birds and trees along the path.  Of course, I went off trail to get some of my photos and I had to redouble my steps since I got a little lost.  So the hike was much more than 3 mile loop.  I took this trail partly because I thought it would be less traveled than some of the other trails and it was.  I didn’t run into many people taking these trails.  It has been a very rainy spring.  So there were lots of puddles and the area was very green.  The trails can be extremely rocky in some places, especially along the loop I took.  I did see a few runners.  But, not any cyclists.  As a side note, bikes are banned from March 1 until April 30 during the muddy season.

During my hike, I saw evidence of beavers

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And I saw these buds which will soon become blueberries.

During my visit, I saw turtles, birds, a few dogs that were visiting as well as some other critters.

Mica is a 5 year old Australian Sheepdog.

From left to right is Masy, a 3 year old Lab, and Riley, a 9 year old Lab.

Lucas is a 9 year old rescue Catahoula.


Benson Park (Hudson, NH)

Date Of Visit: December 5, 2016

Location: 21 Kimball Hill Rd, Hudson, NH

Cost: Free

Hours: Open everyday dawn until dusk

Parking I saw about 50 or so spots in the parking lot area

Handicapped accessible: Yes, but not on the hiking trails

Dog Friendly: Yes

Size of park and trails: 160 acres, 3 mile loop

Highlights:  9/11 memorial, ponds, trails, birds, playground, wildlife, big and pretty trees, “Woman With The Shoe”, “The Gorilla House”

Formerly known as Benson’s Wild Animal Farm and later New England Playworld, Benson Park was once a vast zoo that entertained countless visitors with their animals and attractions.  The zoo may no longer be there but Benson Park still entertains visitors with its natural beauty.

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Benson Parkwas bought by the state of New Hampshire and then transferred to the town of Hudson in 1998.  It has since been converted to a play area and nature center.  However, some remnants of the zoo remain which you will see later in this post.

The trails at Benson Park are easywith a few inclines.

The park now boasts a 3 mile loop and several ponds and streams.  The ponds were partially frozen due to the cold weather and snow that was falling.  It created some interesting shapes on the ice.

The park is a wonderful place for birding.  There are a wide variety of birds at the park from egrets to much smaller birds like cardinals and robins.  Cute birdhouses are scattered throughout the park to attract birds.

It snowed earlier in the day and it was still snowing when I arrived at Benson Park.  The snow made the views at the park even prettier than usual.

I hope momma bird took her chicks out before all the snow.

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While I didn’t see any wildlife, I did see lots of evidence of them in the snow.  I would have loved to see just one of them up close.

The first thing you’ll notice as you enter Benson Park is the tasteful and somber September 11th memorial.  Since some of the planes involved in that fateful day left from Boston’s Logan International Airport, some families in New Hampshire were directly affected.  In fact, David Kovalcin, a resident of Hudson, was on Flight 11, the plane that crashed into the North Tower at the World Trade Center.

The memorial consists of several stone markers with the times and locations of each attack.  A clock with the accurate time of each attack is engraved at the top of each monument.  There is also a monument to each branch of the military that works to keep us safe.

There are benches surrounding the memorial to sit and reflect.

A steel beam from an elevator shaft at the World Trade Center is also at the memorial site.  The nine-ton beam is from an elevator shaft on the 21st floor of the North Tower.  Another bam stands next to it, representing the two towers at the site.

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On a happier note, just beyond the September 11 memorial, there is a play area for children.

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Just past the playground area is the “Gorilla House.”  Tony the Gorilla used to live in this cage when the park was a zoo.  The sign on the wall at the Gorilla House states that he used to watch tv and play in the Gorilla House when the area was a zoo.  But, I couldn’t feel anything but a little sad and bothered by it.  I know that is how we treat animals (which is a whole other issue for me) and he most likely was treated well enough.  But, I always find it bothersome to see a majestic animal like that confined in such a way.  The perspective you get from looking out through the bars from his view is poignant.  In any case, children enjoy playing inside the cage and I think Tony would have liked it that way.  A mural of what appears to be Tony is painted on the wall.

Fun fact: Colossus (aka Tony the Gorilla) ran for President against Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan in 1980.  Rumor has it voters didn’t agree with his pro banana free trade stance.

Another fun attraction for children (or young at heart adults) is the Old Woman In The Shoe, baased on the nursery tale of the same name.  The attraction is actually considered a historical monument.  It’s slightly larger than my apartment.

Benson Park is a great place to take your dog.  I saw a bunch of cute dogs during my visit.

Kuma (Japanese for “bear”), a 10 month old Akita from Maine, had fun playing in the snow.

Issy (short for Isabel), a 1 year old Lab mix, posed perfectly for me!

On my way to my car I saw this cutie.  Daisy is a 4 year old Yellow Labrador.

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Massasoit State Park (East Taunton, MA)

Date Of Visit: November 6, 2016

Location: 1361 Middleboro Ave, East Taunton, MA (about 45 minutes south of Boston, MA)

Cost: Free this time of the year.  Seasonal prices are not posted on the web site or at the park.

Hours: Open Daily 7:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. (hours may vary depending upon the season)

Parking: There were roughly 50 to 60 parking spots in the lot

Handicap Accessible:  No.  The side trails can be very rocky and, in some areas difficult to navigate.  The main road is paved but cars and other vehicles do travel along the road often.

Dog Friendly: Yes

Time To Spend During Visit: 2 to 3 hours

Highlights: pretty trees, pretty views, bodies of water, dog and horse friendly, cranberry bogs, boat launch (the seasonal camping sitees have not been opened since the 2008camping season)

Web Site: Massasoit State Park

Trail Map: Massasoit State Park Trail Map

Named after the sachem, or leader, of the Wompanoag Confederacy, Massasoit State Park boasts 1,207 acres of trails, 5 bodies of water and a beach area.  Add to that some pretty sweet views.

The first thing you’ll notice, and perhaps the main attraction, at Massasoit State Park are the cranberry bogs.  The colors of the cranberry and the trees clash to make some pretty contrasts, particularly during foliage season.

The trails at Massasoit State Park are mostly easy with a few moderate inclines.  There were a few boardwalks and makeshift bridges made out of trees and other debris.Many of the trails were carpeted with leaves.

Signs of foliage were everywhere.  Trees burst with orange, red, yellow and green this time of the year.

Massasoit has 5 ponds and a beach area.  The bodies of water are surrounded by pretty trees and vegetation.

Swans and other birds inhabit the ponds.

As you can tell by the photos, the weather changed about, oh, 16 times during the day.  In other words, it was your typical New England day.  It rained, hard at times, for short periods of time and the sun crept out as well.

Another thing I noticed at Massasoit State Park are the rocks.  There are white rocks placed throughout the park and other big rocks with crystal-like elements in them.

The park is also popular with cyclists.  I saw dozens of cyclists during my visit.  This friendly cyclist was nice enough to let me photograph him.

With its wide paved trail and abundant side trails, Massasoit is the perfect place to bring your dog and I saw several dogs enjoying the fall weather during my visit.

Rex is a 6 and a half year old Blue Tick Coon Hound.  Never heard of a Blue Tick Coon Hound?  Join the club.  Apparently, Blue Tick Coon Hounds are hunting dogs that are prevalent in West Virginia, which is where Rex is from.

Granger is a 4 year old Black Mouth Cur.

Cocoa is a 10 year old Chihuahua and terrier mix breed.  He lives nearby and visits the park often.

I also saw these two playmates at Massasoit.

Grace, a 2 year old Doberman and Sydney , a 1 year old Golden Doodle, affectionately played at the park.

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