The Fireman always texts me when he has left the Firehouse and is on his way home. Usually followed by what’s up for breakfast? On this day, October 20th, he asks if I would like to go for a walk with him when he gets home. I say sure and when he arrives we head to one of the Rail Trails nearby. Rails-to-Trails Conservancy is a non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C., whose mission it is to create a nationwide network of trails from former rail lines and connecting corridors to build healthier places for healthier people.
There are three in town, The Salisbury Point Ghost Trail (and no its not haunted), The Old Eastern Marsh Trail (both of which are in easy walking distance from my home) and The Salisbury Beach State Reservation Trail, that is about four miles away. On this day however he wanted to walk the Clipper City Rail Trail in Newburyport, the next town over. The two towns are separated by the Merrimack River and the only way to cross is the Gillis bridge. A pathway leads you under and up over the bridge. Thus eliminating the need to cross Bridge Rd (Rte 1 & 1A). As you pass under the bridge you are treated to wonderful pieces of art that depict the local area. I had no idea that these were here. Of course the Fireman knew and said that he told me about it. Last year in May, there was an ArtStroll that had artisans of all mediums set up on the Old Eastern Marsh Trail. This event also coincided with the dedication of the murals that hang under the bridge.
The seven murals displayed were painted by local artists. The murals are in order of the notecard above; Peggy Omer (Amesbury) The Marsh, Debi Libuda (Newbury) Buoys, Ray Guertin (Rowley) Salisbury Beacons, Edith Heyck (Amesbury) Salisbury Beach Retro, Jim Angelone (Methuen) Salisbury Jetty, Stephanie Noah (Newburyport) View of Ring’s Island, Claudia Valovic (Newburyport) Salisbury Spring Tilling.
The Second Annual ArtStroll will be held May 17, 2014 10 am to 4 pm. All local artists are encouraged to participate and the cost of tables are very reasonable.
Once you cross over the Merrimack River you once again pass under the Gillis Bridge to the Newburyport side and will continue on to the Clipper City Rail Trail. Here you will also encounter many different works of art.
For those who know me, know that I am a wanderer and it drives the Fireman crazy. Well to be honest many things I do drive him crazy and I often find him sighing at me among other reactions! So the whole reason we were on the trail was to take a walk for exercise. In the Fireman’s mind we walk for a specific amount of time and distance.
In my mind I am on an adventure and have to stop and further investigate the area!
Fireman: You are walking too slow and you’re not suppose to keep stopping.
Me: You are walking too fast and how am I suppose to see anything if I don’t stop?
Fireman: We are exercising.
Me: Can’t we do both?
Fireman: If you keep stopping I’m not waiting for you.
Me: Your legs are longer than mine.
The trail is beautiful and so very peaceful. Along the way the Clipper City trail passes close behind homes and some residents have set up gardens and arrangements along the path. As we walked we came upon a home that has rain barrels set up. What a wonderful thing to see! People taking steps to become more in tune with their environment. There were also a few decorative bird houses.
We return to our vehicle and head over the the Farmer’s Market that is held at The Tannery in Newburyport. We really try to support the local businesses and love to purchase fresh produce.
If you are in Salisbury or the surrounding towns, give yourself a treat and walk one of the trails. Its not often that one has the chance to enjoy the environment and art in one location. Check in your area for local Rail Trail you will not regret it. A wonderful way to get out to nature and spend time with your family.
- Rails to Trails Conservancy – Recycling America’s Treasures (completestreetsadvocate.org)