February 2022: And We Walk Anywhere

Last month I walked here and there and anywhere

Walk anywhere you can. From Hanover Street in the North End to the icy paths in Lynn Woods, I focused on the action of walking instead of the duration. My schedule didn’t always coincide with perfect walking days, but I walked anyway.

Although weather graphs say there were only 7 days of precipitation; I feel like every day I planned to go out was brutally cold with negative wind chill or raining. I’m not keen or equipped for rain walking in the winter.

Walks from the month

I managed 6 planned/semi-planned walks between 2 parks and urban walks in Boston. For me, that was fantastic considering the shorter days and general urge to hibernate. I think it’s because I set my mind to walk anywhere and anytime instead of planning long weekend rambles. I’m planning for 10 walks in February, but with ice on top of the snow, 8 walks would leave me chuffed.

winter walking new england

Middlesex Fells Reservation

My first walk of the year on January 2nd was a last-minute plan to fill a two-hour gap in my schedule. I managed just over a mile and a half of trails that were bare of ice or snow and, apart from one doggy trash bag left in the middle of the trail, very enjoyable.

Mass DCR maintains Middlesex Fells Reservation (The Fells) and has over 2,000 acres in Metro-North, Massachusetts with at least 8 parking lots spread across different towns. I parked in Medford to visit Wright Tower, which is closed right now but has a lovely skyline view of Boston.

DCR trail guide(pdf). My loop on AllTrails 

Lynn Woods Reservation

I visited Lynn Woods twice last month, and plan to visit every month this year. Typically, I walk there in the fall and winter, so I’m interested in walking the same trails all year to observe the seasonal changes.

Lynn Woods is also over 2,000 acres and has 30 miles of trails in Lynn, Lynnfield, and Saugus. It’s maintained by the city of Lynn and has two main parking lots; Pennybrook Road and Great Woods Road. I started each walk from a different parking lot in January. I will say the condoms in the parking lot and the dog poop in leaves at the entrance weren’t the most scenic, but I’ll just avoid that section of the parking lot next time!

City of Lynn Map of Lynn Woods (pdf).
AllTrails loops from Great Wood Rd and Pennybrook Rd.

North End

The North End in Boston is just minutes from my sister’s office. So, this month when I had gaps in my schedule, I hopped in the car with her and wandered around. By the third walk, I realized this should only be a monthly event; I kept buying too many things! Reminding myself to walk anywhere gave me more options to walk for when rambles in the woods weren’t possible.

So later this month I’ll be visiting the butcher, Sulmona Meat Market, whose sausages and pancetta were mouth-watering, and the grocer. If I’m there after 11, I’ll stock up at Polcari’s since we seem to always run out of coffee in my house. In fact, I plan to bring my backpack that day so I can load up!

I only remembered to track my walk once on AllTrails. I started at North Station and went through Rose Kennedy Greenway and to Old North Church, too. Eventually, I’ll figure out AllTrails.

This is about walking, I promise!

Walking in New England last month has reminded me to:

  • Walk anywhere, any chance you get
    The shorter days and fickle weather of winter limits opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. Unless you’re geared up physically and mentally for the elements.
  • Dress for the weather
    I’m not a New England native and I still struggle with the concept of dressing in layers. But, it really makes a difference. I invested in some base layers from REI’s Good & Used and am pleased with the quality and discounts so far.
  • Dream of future walking trips
    Last month, most of my walks were to fit in around my schedule. I’m sticking with that in February, but it’s nice to plan, to make goals, and dream of future hikes. I’m torn between revisiting Acadia or White Mountains next.

My links:

My likes:

  • ?: So, It’s Blue Monday | The Old Fellow Goes Running

    Carl often shares inspirational and educational posts about running, the environment, and our relationship with it. Last month, he opened my eyes to the backstory of Blue Monday, a day I hadn’t heard of before. He’s also committed to cutting down on car dependency to reach his races. This has been giving me food for thought about how far I travel to hike.
  • ?: Memory Care | Anita G. Gorman

    Anita is a prolific and fantastic lady who hit me in the feels with this short piece in (mac)ro(mic).
  • ?: For a different kind of memory lane, my family binged on a lot of these videos during the recent snow storm.

I could digress after that list of 70s music, so back to walking!

If you remember one thing from this ramble:

Sneak in a walk anywhere, anytime you can during the short, busy, & inclement days of winter

Oh, and dress for the weather! Or as John Lee Hooker sang (let’s just take it wildly out of context) bundle up and go.

How was your walking last month?

5 thoughts on “February 2022: And We Walk Anywhere

  1. I really enjoyed this, Courtney, especially because I’ve still never been to Boston and it’s on my short list! Love how you linked your walk to AllTrails too, which could come in handy for me when I do get there. Great stuff! -Kim

    1. Oh thank you for reading, Kim!
      I’m still getting used to AllTrails. More often then not, I forget to start it at all.

      If you ever get up here there’s a few places I love that are easy and nice views. Like Castle Island in South Boston if you like paved loops along the ocean.

  2. Aww, thank you so much for including me in this here article, Courtney. You did some amazing walks. Lynn Woods sounds like a place I would want to visit every month. I am also one who loves going on the same trails throughout the changing seasons.
    Thanks again, Courtney! ???

    1. Thanks Carl! I found myself thinking about your article again when the weather was record breaking warm here yesterday and now it’s snowing.

      I haven’t been able to get back to Lynn Woods yet this month and I’m itching to go!

      1. You are very welcome. It would be really nice to see the rhythm of nature each month in Lynn Woods, Courtney. Weather patterns are changing. Over the weekend we had nice cold weather, normal for the middle of February. Warm weather is moving back in again. Hope you have an amazing rest of the week. ?

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