We are certainly in the "dog days" of summer here. The heat is heavy and oppressive. Thank goodness for my nice cool mountain-fed stream. Sitting under my big old shade tree while dangling my feet in the water is all it takes to make the weather bearable. Even my horse is wading to cool off. I have some cold ones there in the cooler and all the usual information ready. Who feels like a trip to Massachusetts?

Massachusetts is one of the most important states as far as United States history is concerned. The pilgrims sailed on the Mayflower from England and landed at Plymouth Rock. They were helped by the natives that they called Indians to survive the deadly winter. These same natives showed them how to have a successful crop and when it was harvested, there was a feast of Thanksgiving. The colonists were unhappy with the way they were being treated by England and decided they should govern themselves. In Massachusetts, colonists dressed as Indians and boarded the ships from England and threw the crates of tea into the harbor. First the Boston Tea Party (did you know there were actually two?), then "The Shot Heard Round The World" when colonists and British soldiers faced off. Paul Revere made his famous midnight ride. All of this happened before the United States became a country.

Massachusetts is the 6th state to ratify the Constitution. The state rock is Plymouth Rock. The state horse is the magnificent Morgan horse. The state drink is cranberry juice.

In Salem, the people went on the witch hunt of the ages and executed 19 people as witches. More than 150 people were accused. That is what most of us think of when we think of Salem. But there is so much more. The House of the Seven Gables made famous by Nathaniel Hawthorne sits at almost the end of a short street down by the ocean. Ye Olde Pepper Companie of Salem is located about a block away and is the oldest candy company in America. There are parks and places to walk along the beach. And if you have a mind to, you can go into one of the many tea rooms downtown and have a reading done by a real witch.

More than 1,500 miles of coastline offer all the usual water activities from surfing to sailing. At Crane Beach, the piping plover is protected. Cranberry bogs can be seen at Cape Cod National Seashore. Gray seals hang out at Chatham Light Beach. A morning hike to the top of Mt. Wachusett is a good way to watch the sun come up. Worchester has an EcoTarium where children can climb 40 feet up to explore the treetop canopy on 150 feet of swinging bridges. Then they can take the chair harness zipline back to earth.

Heritage Trails are abundant in Massachusetts. The Freedom Trail is 2.5 miles of redbrick trail from the Old North Church to the Bunker Hill Monument. The Irish Heritage Trail allows you to take a self-guided tour of 20 historical sites in Boston. African American Heritage Trail And Black Heritage Trails are three tours that celebrate the contributions of African Americans to the history of Massachusetts. Literary Trails let you visit the homes and "hang-outs" of famous American authors. Johnny Appleseed was known for planting apple trees all through the United States. The Johnny Appleseed Trail features many farms that allow you to pick your own apples. The Mohawk Trail follows an Indian foot trail about 63 miles from Miller Falls to Williamstown. Natural Bridge State Park is a geological wonder to view there.

The New England Wild Flower Society's Garden in the Woods is  45 acres of ever-changing gardens. It features a unique New England Rare Plant Garden, a Lily Pond, Woodland Trails, and a Garden Shop. It is sponsored by America's oldest plant conservation organization.

Massachusetts is full of maple syrup(ever try it on fried chicken?), trails, waterways, small towns, and nature everywhere. You can go whale watching, follow the roads of the patriots, take a cruise tour through Cape Cod, or relax on the beach. Maybe go out on a fishing boat, watch cranberries being harvested, see the changing colors in the fall. In the winter, skiing and all other winter sports can be performed. Maybe you would like to visit one of the many museums that you see every time you turn around.  You could view a re-creation of the Salem Witch Trials or visit the home of Lizzie Borden. Personally, I'm going to Battleship Cove to climb around on and in actual ships that have been retired but are available for folks like us to see how the sailors spent their time. Let me know how your trip went. There are links below to help plan it.


Official Massachusetts State Site
Travel Guide
Massachusetts; It's All Here
National Parks
State Parks
Visit New England
Offbeat Tourist Attractions


  1. You must be in October Mountain State Forest, to have found equestrian trails with hills and streams.I have laughed seeing the Cape hook when flying a pattern coming in from overseas.

  2. I need to retire and just visit all these interesting places


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