So, the week 2 NQTA blog, 'The Light' is in a metaphor showing the community that through these trying times families are re -learning a togetherness quality and the need for outdoor time and calming mental exercises which ties so naturally into our wonderous North Quabbin outdoor natural resources, healers and artisans.
NQTA and our Partners are proud to put out this Week 2 Outdoor Health Blog. Focusing on positive messaging, outdoor health, holistic Modalities and trail educational awareness to combat the mental and physical fatigue caused by the unsettling nature of this current COVID 19 crisis.
Last week was the Cutthroat Brook Feldman' gnome trails and Fall Brook gorge maps both are linked here so that they can become a library of maps accessible to you all.
Major trailhead and trails are being close due to the density of the hikers.
NQTA maps that we are offering like the Red Apple farm below are wide open trail heads and wide-open trails that are not known to the mass public nearly as much as those other major trail heads.
Please park with plenty of distance between cars and please hike with plenty of distance between hikers.
The parking trailhead at Red Apple farm is the Wind Turbine parking area with over a 150 parking spots
This week NQTA brings you in close partnership with Red Apple farm and the Rose family, the Red Apple trails system.
One map will act both the serene family walk and the adventuresome hike will include wildlife viewing and archeological wonderment.
This is a 3 trails trail system with all details included in the Hikers Narrative section of the digital map.
Red Apple farm trails
In this time of social distancing the Red Apple farm is open for takeout and if you see their crew please send a hearty hello from a distance.
This wonderful country store and farm during normal times is open for wonderful unique artisan gifts, events at their Brew Barn and many multi to use trail opportunities such as family Geo cache adventures and mountain biking. (Click here for details on what Geocaching is and how your family can participate. IT IS A TREASURE HUNT IN THE GREAT OUTDOORS!}
All questions and requests for assistance with individual planning are welcome and encouraged. I have included all my contact information and I will custom tailor an adventure that I believe tailor fits you or your family needs.
Again, all questions will be answered by myself or anyone inside this partnership structure.
Go get some fresh air, some exercise and of course some healthy vitamin D and NQTA will be your outdoor Ambassador guide through all of this.
NQTA President nqta.org
978 549 1747
This Week at NQTA
I went out during this past Spring snow fall on the after day in a sparkling early Spring day and had a wonderous 4-hour tramping experience. Please join me and Celtz along in the included photos and Serenity video.
🦅 Out on the stewardship field the 2020 NQTA Lewis and Clark stewardship season is open and working.
NQTA is in a unique position with a small professional crew that has hundreds of feet of distance between us is continuing on.
You will hear much information and education going forward and announcing for the 1st time the formation of a partnership with Capt. Linda Styles at her Lynrose Farm and Wellness Center.
NQTA's opening stewardship project is the transformation of this Lynrose Farm and Wellness Center TO Lynrose Farm and Wellness 'Outdoor Activity' Center.
The pictures below are of a 10 day stewardship transformation of the Old Shepherdson road trail that is now being restored into a Mountain Bike Outdoor Education Center with a newly constructed granite bluff leap area the 'Sheldon's Leap' and a crazy figure 8, with a training berm jump in the middle loop trail.
Led by experienced X competitor and educator Matt Sheldon with his daughter four-year-old Isabella being taught to help teach the emerging youth program.
The video included will be some of the actual techniques and training taught in the 2nd class offered of teaching mountain bikers more advanced techniques and safety protocols.
This Old Shepherdson trail leads to a beautiful open meadow with Meadow Medicine Wheel and sweeping hilltop vistas.
Capt. Linda has a wonderful assortment of holistic partners and products that you will all be coming to know.
So, this messaging all leads to an upcoming event:
Lynrose Farm and Wellness Center
NQTA will be sharing with the community via its website blog page, Facebook and our email list the following:
This time is a good respite to read up on trails, holistic wellness and mountain biking. Then of course go hit those trails and get these mind and bodies waking up, shook up and stretched out.
Please continue to our first weekly trail share posting!
Bobby Curley, President NQTA
Yesterday brought the beginning of our 2020 stewardship season where we are starting trail work on conjoined projects. Brush Mountain: Includes the noted freeborn African American Calvin Swan’s historical homestead area in Northfield. Linda Style's Lynrose Farm and Wellness Center: One of our leading areas consignments stores for healing and wellness products crafted by our local professionals
Also, during this time NQTA is developing a youth/vet signage and wood making initiative. This initiative to create 100 signs is supported by a current Department of Conservation and Recreation trail grant, will be implemented with the assistance of the woodworking shop at Launchspace in the Orange Innovation Center.
Most of the signs will go to the 22-mile section of the Tully trail that NQTA is looking to take the lead stewardship on. (Details on NQTA’s efforts to save the Tully trail for continued use by our entire community is detailed on our GOFUND ME page.) Matt Sheldon, a Warwick resident, woodworker and carpenter has come aboard to lead this project.
Once all of this Coronavirus is behind us NQTA in working with Linda will be setting up Lynrose Farm and Wellness as an outdoor activity specialty location for daily yoga, healing arts demonstrations. While Matt will be premiering a basic mountain bike course and education for all at the Lynrose Farm location.
I would like to also introduce our new digital maintenance staff Tammy Ketcham and Tracey Styles. If you have any questions related to emails, webpages, or other digital media please contact them at email@example.com (with Tammy or Tracey in the subject line) for now until we will have personal emails for them once our new Gsuite is up and running.
NQTA President nqta.org
North Quabbin Trails Association is reaching out to you concerning our new $10,000 Go Fund Me Campaign, seeking your assistance in saving the Tully Trail.
With this ongoing Corona virus situation, open trails and oxygen are simply the best things for your health and welfare. The 22 mile Tully trail awaits you.
The Tully Loop Trail is a 22-mile hiking trail that begins and ends on the summit of Tully Mountain, passing along the shore of Tully Lake, along Jacob Ridge (with its panoramic view), past three waterfalls (Doanes, Spirit, Royalston Falls), through Royalston and Warwick State Forest, along a section of the interstate Metacomet-Monadnock Trail, past Clubhouse Pond, and past picturesque North Orange.
After 4 complex years of work, we near completion of Tully trail reauthorization which will bring it under the stewardship of NQTA. Your financial help goes directly and immediately to the following:
1. Securing the GENERAL TRAIL LIABILITY INSURANCE THAT IS REQUIRED TO SIGN LICENSING AGREEMENTS required by DFW Walking Trail Policy to keep Tully Trail open to the community ·
2. Additionally, this insurance will cover all those who use any of NQTA trails and workman’s compensation for those volunteers who provide stewardship for those trails.
3. Move a two-mile section of the Tully trail off an incredibly dangerous narrow roadway, creating a safe 22-mile Tully trail. The safety issues of this section of trail illustrated in our Tully Gold video above.
4. Provide funding for operation and planning expenses, towards our goal of preserving our North Quabbin region’s natural resources and improving accessiblity for all.
Please see our profile page for more information on our organization and how you can be a part of the Tully Trail solution.
A sincere and personal thank you to each and every one of you folks,
NQTA President nqta.org
Help Spread the Word!
Hello all NQTA outdoor adventurers, 🪁
In a wonderful partnership meeting with Jennifer Gordon Executive Director at the Athol YMCA on Friday many new changes and growing of partnership between NQTA and the Y are by about to be implemented.
One of these will be a monthly posting of the Tuesday Trekkers hikes for both the Tuesday Trekkers and the YMCA's participation.
1) Basic Trailhead location, Google will give you exact drop pin.
2) Trail length and difficulty.
All hikes start at the Athol YMCA parking lot across street at 9 o'clock.
If full please park up the street on same side parking area.
Month of March will be NQTA trail partnership conservation area hikes.
All are generally flat and entry level walkabouts for the community awareness of these wonderful serenity gems within a 15 to 30 driving distance.
The following hikes are always subject to what mother nature allows.
TUESDAY TREKKERS SCHEDULE
Malone meadows/ Dottys Rock
2 Malone Rd Hubbardston (dead end street)
A less than 2 mile hike thru the Malone meadows and up to the beautiful mountain vistas of Dotty's rocks.
This hike will be highlighted 2 special events.
Bob Hatch Open Space President of Hubbardston and NQTA's new Geo Synthetic Application manager and partner Steph will be unveiling the 1st location of the Geo synthetic solutions that they have been installed on the Malone meadows, a true evolutionary breakthrough on permanent wet muddy trail solutions.
After the hike Open Space members Rick and Susie, abutting landowners have welcomed us to their house for a trail Gathering.
Please bring something to share with the group if you can a little light lunch or dessert item would be welcomed.
Winchendon Community Park
Ingleside Dr. (dead end street)
A less than 2 mile hike of level terrain along Whitney Pond, meadows and forest canopy, a beautiful and serene walk.
Underwood Conservation Area
Underwood Rd, Hubbardston, MA 01452
A 2 mile plus hike through a NQTA/North County Land Trust recently built Freedom Chair chair accessible trail up to the top of the drumlin and the back end of the property.
(canceled due to weather forecast)
Red Apple farm trail
455 Highland Ave, Phillipston, MA 01331
A mile hike down to the Lamb City campground wetlands area and the Pamela Ann shelter through 6 educational forestry early successional harvesting areas with a visit to the Red Apple farm and hot cider and donuts afterwards.
YMCA Lunch is cancelled
The Cutthroat Brook Feldman's gnome trails.
Top of Briggs Rd at Athol/ Petersham sign on Rt 32 South
A 3 mile romp through the fanciful gnome trails along the level Cascade section of the Cutthroat Brook trails.
Well we now finish off this month with a special invitation from the YMCA that after this Feldman's hike we will be convening over at the YMCA in Athol.
The Y will be hosting a lunch for the Tuesday Trekkers.
What a wonderful way to finish up this month of trail partners awareness of their conservation areas.
Truly Happy trails ☘
NQTA President nqta.org
Welcome to the October 2019 North Quabbin Trails Association Newsletter
Enjoy and please know that you are all welcome to join us here at NQTA in Anything or Everything!!
Due to the October 18th event at the Red Apple Brew Barn NQTA's monthly Gathering on Monday October 14th is moved to this date.
Also please note included invitation to this Sundays October 6th event at the Feldman's Cutthroat Brook trails, all are welcomed on this beautiful naturalist walk.
Please got to nqta.org for further details
Upwards and Onwards
We are inviting all of you to our “Celebration of The Trails” membership event on October 18th, 2019 from 5-8 PM at the Red Apple Farm – Brew Barn in Phillipston, MA.
NQTA was formed in 2012 by Bobby Curley, a thru-hiker of the Appalachian Trail, who used his experience to envision and create a similar experience within the North Quabbin Community. Today, the NQTA has grown into a group of committed citizens, professionals and organizations encompassing 22 towns and serving a population of over 250,000. Together, the members and leaders have reached an awe inspiring vision – the completion of the 250-mile Quabbin+Monadnock Experience. This trail, with 42 overnight shelters, is now open for thru-hikers and day hikers.
Through its passion and vision, NQTA has created many options for day hikes and thru-hikes as well as opportunities for volunteerism and stewardship to open the way for others to enjoy and benefit from the beauty and health our forests have to offer.
Through its evolving mission to increase accessibility for all, NQTA now actively promotes full trail usage for those with challenged mobility in addition to opening the way for usage by those who wish to take to the trails on bikes or horses.
Looking forward, NQTA is incorporating programs to support our Vets and provide programs that engage holistic healing modalities to contribute to the healing of both Vets and the larger community.
At NQTA each person’s participation and ideas are welcome! All are encouraged to come to the Orange Innovation Center in Orange MA for our Monthly Gathering, the 2nd Monday of each month, for wonderful food (bring your favorite dish or dessert) and enlightening and inspiring programs. We hope you will join us and become part of a growing mission of building health, friendship and community.
We are inviting all Members, Supporters and Future Supporters to our “Celebration of the Trails” October 18, 2019 from 5-8 PM at the Red Apple Farm – Brew Barn in Phillipston, MA. This is a FREE family event with music, food and drink, prizes, trail maps, 50/50 raffle, Health and Wellness Information and so much more.
Please visit our website www.NQTA.org for on-line Membership using PayPal, to donate (simply click the donate button!) and/or to follow and like our Facebook page to receive a free gift!!
Membership Options and Benefits –
- Individual and Family Memberships, Partnership Rates, Benefactor
- Maps of the 250-miles of Q+M trails
- Holistic Wellness Programs and Events – Yoga in the Park, Holistic Healers
- Veteran’s Programs
Thank you for your interest, enthusiasm, and support!
The NQTA Board and Membership team
By Bobby Curley - NQTA President
Back in 1985 as the oil industry in the Gulf of Mexico was drying up, my job as a commercial diver was in jeopardy.
Taking a $10,000 payment for services as a diver and after watching a PBS program, I decided to go hike the 2,400-mile Appalachian Trail from Maine to Georgia.
Starting at Mount Katahdin in Maine, I set out without a clue on what I was doing and carried almost 80 pounds of nonsense on my back.
Immediately the problems ensued, taking 2 days just to get to the top of Mount Katahdin.
Map of the Month:
Red Apple Trail Systems
For the next couple of days this brave soul did his very best to give me both an education and enthusiasm so I at least made it out of the 110-mile section to my first stop in Monson Maine where over 50% of the hikers coming through quit. But somehow, with my new trail name as Packtramp, I carried on
Please visit www.NQTA.org to obtain all the NQTA Trail Maps with complete descriptions and directions.
By Lisa Richards NQTA Contributor Writer and Editor
Being on a trail out in the woods can offer many gifts. There are the obvious gifts of exercise, recreation, breathing fresh clean air, adventure and spotting wildlife of all kinds to name a few.
There is also a benefit that, perhaps, is becoming increasingly prevalent, as well as necessary, in a world filled with chaos, trauma, and tragedy. This benefit is the unique ability of a forest to engulf us in an energy that helps us to remember and resonate with our deeper most true selves. To some, this may sound too esoteric. But, for others, it speaks of a basic necessity if they are going to survive and find ways to “keep on” after some trauma or tragedy has befallen them and/or a loved one.
While entering into a forest is not the only way to re-group and re-connect…….A forest has a quality that cannot be found elsewhere.
I am a survivor of many types of traumas …… such as; a severe car accident, serious medical issues and violent sexual trauma. From this place of being a survivor, I am sharing the following poem for all those who have lost that sense of connection with their deepest self as well as for all those who are supporting someone who is experiencing these types of difficult passages along the trail.
Doubt & Hope - A Prayer
Will I rise from place of strife
To find a balanced kind of life
A life of Mountains, skies and seas
A life of love and harmony
A life that flows as gentle breeze
Blowing softly through the trees
A life that glows and shines with truth
A life of God‘s existence proof
A life of faith that weathers storms
And ne‘r from hope in God is torn
A life that shares it‘s joy with all
And rises boldly from each fall
Oh reach through traumas of the past
And save me from the stormy blast
That I might know my higher self
And not hold fast to worldly hells
Please grant me strength to start again
To all past errors cease to bend
To forgive with love and patient be
To glorious fruits of forgiveness see
Help to make my visions true
And start to act on what I knew
When I arrived upon this earth
And newness & wonder form me did burst.
Lisa M Richards
By Alex Graziano - Vet Services Coordinator
Nature doesn‘t judge you. It doesn‘t care what image you‘re giving off. It is pure.
In many ways, nature is the opposite of structure. One definition of structure is, an artificially created set of conditions which enable people to perform tasks with a collective organization.
Structure, itself, is neither good nor bad, but carries with it good and bad results. Without structure we would not have been able to go to the moon, have expert surgeons assist internationally through the Internet, or be able to purchase a rare item with two-day free shipping. Yet, the costs can be painful.
Structure limits what we are capable of, can suppress our natural instincts, and can compel people to live in the future, rather than being mindful of the present. Individuals count the hours until the end of the work day, live for the weekend, and sometimes ‘suffer’ until retirement is reached.
The Veteran‘s Community has been indoctrinated with structure to the point of complete institutionalization. In combat, groups of people must operate in unison in order to accomplish the unimaginable. Anyone can perform ‘a’ task. It is orders of magnitude more difficult to perform the same task under ‘dynamic pressure.’ In order to deal with this pressure, management tools must be discovered.
Sometimes the tools can be familiar ones from our past.
As I was lying on the hood of my HMMWV at the border of Kuwait and Iraq, I found myself looking at the stars in the desert sky. They were beautiful. Despite a massive amount of anxiety and anticipation surging through my veins, I found comfort knowing that those stars were the exact same stars I saw back home as child.
I was with a group of highly trained Soldiers who were chomping at the bit for Combat. I knew that in a few short hours I would likely be receiving my first taste of real combat as I rolled across the border. It was essential that I found ways to calm myself. There was a constant asset that I was able to maintain throughout my entire life which enabled me to reduce my tension. That one constant was nature.
In order to be successful, an individual must become ‘one’ with the rhythm of the environment they are operating in. Instead of being ‘crushed’ by the environment‘s pressure, the individual is then able to ebb and flow ‘with’ its changes, much like vegetation flowing with the breeze. At that point, the environment ceases to become an obstacle and instead becomes a key asset.
Whether it‘s the Middle East or Central Massachusetts, nature has a Holistic healing quality to it. After spending too much time in a world of emotional triggers, stepping into nature can have tangible physical effects. It can enable us to achieve mindfulness which compels us to live in the moment.
While I don‘t think that a person has to go to a combat zone to learn these skills, I do believe that the tools designed to cope with the pressure of combat, may also provide relief in our civilian life.
Many Veterans already know this stuff. However, with the countless competing interests we face, self-care in nature often times gets pushed aside. Just as in the military, I submit to you that we need to lead by example, demonstrating to others the positive impacts of returning to nature.
As with most things, self-care is something that becomes more effective the more you practice it. Regardless of our capabilities, it is good to remember that we must focus on progress, not perfection. For many individuals the most difficult move to make is to give themselves the permission to heal.
Take care of yourself and hit the trails!
Alex Graziano, is an adventurer and a dreamer. He was medically retired from the Army at the end of 2014. During his career, he was able to explore experiences of an intensity that offered lifetimes worth of excitement. Most importantly, he had the opportunity to work with some of the finest men and women in the world. He will never forget them.
by Donald Shambroom - NQTA Cultural and Educational Coordinator
of a wide open box, a stair well two stories tall in an old school building, lit by the sun through windows at right angles. I sketched it out in place scampering up and down the stairs, wielding a new NQTA map in one hand and a house brush taped to a long rod in the other. Next, with the help of half a dozen NQTA members, we filled it in greenish blue
for the south shore, bluish green for the north. Finally, balanced on a ladder mounted on a step, I tightened the river‘s edge with a gray line, and marked the trails with dashes of red and orange enamel. I hadn‘t yet hiked more than a hundred yards of these trails, except with the bristles of my brush.
Since then, I‘ve come to know the Millers-Baquag Trail as intimately as the laces on my hiking shoes, and my tool of choice for defining trails in the North Quabbin has transformed into a sharp and sturdy hand saw in a plastic holster. I follow Bobby Curley and his collie Celtz on stewardship expeditions. Bobby‘s newest tool is a gas fired pole cutter, a compact chain saw on a fifteen foot pole. He buzzes through strategically chosen limbs with wide-spread branches overhead, to let the golden sunlight in. I pick up the limbs, execute a few strategic cuts of my own to make them more compact, and hide them off the trail in a slash pile behind a blowdown.
I write stories about our adventures. Here is one --
Our job today is hydration of the triathletes. That‘s why we are here. I grab a mini-cup of water and take a stance parallel to the trail, with fifty feet ahead for a clean hand-off. Number 58 slows as I speed up, and place the cup deftly in his hand as our momentums merge.
The water, with momentum of its own, leaps out like a snake and vaporizes. Number 58 throws the cup in the dirt and vanishes around the bend. My handoff abilities improve in the next half hour. Bobby executes two passes without losing a drop, then returns, as if he has gotten up for a relaxing stretch, to his folding chair.
The woods is a place to think of many things. By the end of our shift Celtz has a new thought. People on bikes can very well be your friends. The final couple to pass our station stop, dismount, hydrate and engage in an enthusiastic visit with a collie. They are in last place, and they are happy.
By Stephanie Simon - NQTA Health, Wellness and Membership Director
I learned about the health benefits of hiking in the woods and yoga when I was in my late twenties, when my health was failing me. Somehow, my mind and body knew the health benefits of both hiking and yoga long before I read any related studies. This is what led me to NQTA, providing health benefits of many worlds!!!
HIKING IN THE WOODS
“There is evidence that being around plants, trees, and especially decaying trees can help reduce anxiety because these plants emit chemicals to slow down the process of their decay, which appears to slow us down as well.”
In a 2009 study published in Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine, Japanese researchers sent participants to either a wooded or urban area. They found that those who’d taken a 20-minute “forest bath” (a.k.a. a walk in the woods), had lower stress hormone levels than the participants who had been in a city.
Newer research seems to reinforce the idea that being immersed in nature is good for your mental health. A study published last summer, for example, discovered that when young adults went on a 50-minute nature walk, they felt less anxious and had improved memory function.
In a small 2007 study Yoga was found to have a “significant” reduction in depression, anger, anxiety, and neurotic symptoms. The findings led researchers to recommend yoga as a complementary treatment for depression. “The great thing about yoga is that besides the stretching and core strengthening, there is a tremendous focus on breathing, which helps to slow down and calm the mind,” says Michaelis.
Bobby Curley here President of N. Quabbin Trails Association.
In this time of Coronavirus crisis, the North Quabbin Trails Association now offers this tangible FREE COMMUNITY ACTION PLAN.
I believe this crisis is a wonderful opportunity for re-inventing the family time and NQTA will be by your side in customizing any outdoor trail adventure that you may need.