Sometimes when it’s just you and nature, the chance to reflect grows like a healthy garden. I thought about New England places that I have enjoyed walking for little or no cost and how I would like to get back to those destinations.
Colt State Park (free), off Route 114 in Bristol, RI, for example, offers 464-acres of open land including walking paths and amazing panoramic views along the Narragansett Bay. The Cliff Walk (free) in nearby Newport, RI, runs 3.5 miles along the beautiful Newport shoreline, enhanced by wildflowers and a great diversity of birds.
Marginal Way (free foot access)) in Ogunquit, Maine, is one of New England’s finest walks, a mile and a quarter-long cliff walk with aubundant plant life on one side and the stunning, rocky coast Maine ocean on the other. For more rocky coast, Long Sands Beach (free foot access) in York Beach, Maine, features about two miles of sand perfect for walking and distant views of scenic, Nubble Lighthouse.
The mile-long walk along Main St. in Deerfield, Mass., takes you past the tree-lined, prep school splendor of Deerfield Academy and big, old homes that represent New England architecture at its finest.
Mt. Monadnock ($4 for adults, $2 for children) in Jaffrey, N.H., might be a bit challenging, but nowhere near as grueling as other New Hampshire mountains. At 3,165 ft., it’s pretty easy to reach the top and the views are just wonderful there. Rattlesnake Mountain (free), in Holderness, N.H., is an even easier climb, taking the Old Bridle Path to the top where the views of the Squam Lakes are simply spectacular! You can make the round-trip hike in less than an hour and fifteen minutes, but you’re sure to spend more time than that at the top. Easy hikes affording great views don’t get much better than this.
Walden Pond, (nominal fee) in Concord, Mass., is another classic New England walk — about 45 minutes of forested land and a developed trail around the famous, tranquil pond where Henry David Thoreau lived for a few years.
More free and low-cost hiking and walking information on the way soon!