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8 Great Things: October 2017 on the South Coast!

We’re back with another of our monthly 8 Great Lists. Here, we bring you 8 special South Coast happenings so that you can enjoy the best of our area in October. See what our month is shaping up to look like!

Buzzards Bay Coalition’s Watershed Ride

What: Bikes + Philanthropy. All participants sign up to ride 35, 75 or 100 miles and promise to raise at least $300 each to protect Buzzards Bay’s waters and watershed. Join us on the ride (by clicking here), cheer for us along the route (click here to see the route map and relative times) or throw a $5 or $10 donation our way (by clicking here) to support the amazing work of the Buzzards Bay Coalition.

When: October 1 from 7:00 in Little Compton and all throughout the day to the finish line in Woods Hole

Where: Starting lines at Sakonnet Point, Horseneck Beach (Westport) and Eastover Farm (Rochester). Finish line party at Woods Hole.

King Richard’s Faire

What: An annual tradition on the South Coast and hard to describe. People walk around gnawing on large turkey legs, many garbed in medieval attire. Music, entertainment galore (Mud Show, anyone?), royal parades, shopping and jousting. For more info, click here.

When: Saturdays and Sundays through October 22, also Columbus Day, 10:30 – 6

Where: 235 Main Street, Carver

Cost: $32 for adults, $16 for children

Manjiro Festival

Manjiro Festival, FairhavenWhat: As a fourteen year old in 1841, Manjiro Nakahama was rescued after a shipwreck by Fairhaven whaling captain William Whitfield and returned with Whitfield to live in Fairhaven. Manjiro became the first Japanese person to live in the United States. This Japanese-American festival celebrates the friendship between the two countries and includes music and food, martial arts demonstrations, taiko drummers, flower arranging, raffles, booths featuring food and crafts, a tea ceremony, and much more.

When: October 7, 10-5

Where: Center Street, Fairhaven

Cost: Free. Click here for more info.

New Bedford Seaport Chowder Festival

New Bedford Chowder FestivalWhat: A throw down with chowder, soup & quahogs from nearly 20 restaurants and caterers, with live music, local beers and specialty cocktails, children’s activities and the annual YMCA lobster race.

When: Sunday, October 8th, 12-5 (tasting will end at 3 pm)

Where: New Bedford waterfront, Pier 3

Cost: $15 in advance ($18 day of), $5 for children between 6 and 12, free for those 5 and younger (click here to purchase tickets)

Cider Social & Cow Pie Bingo

Little Compton Cider Social & Cow Pie BingoWhat: The Little Compton Historical Society’s fundraiser has been held “longer than anyone can remember” and includes local vendors and cow pie bingo.

When: October 9, 1-4 p.m. The cow enters promptly at 3 (do you know how much fun it is to write that sentence?) UPDATE: The event has been moved to October 15th because of forecasted rain.

Where: 548 West Main Road, Little Compton

Cost: The cider social is free. Tickets for cow pie bingo are $10 each (3 for $25) with proceeds going to the Historical Society.

New Bedford Connect

October things to doA day bringing together dentists, veterans assistance, housing support, community volunteers, resources and services for area residents who are homeless, at risk of becoming homeless or have a friend or family member in danger of losing shelter.

They need our help! Consider donating your time to the one day event. If you can’t do that, they also need food, gloves & cash donations.  See here for more and to let them know how you can help.

When: October 18th, 9 -1

Where: YMCA, 25 South Water Street, New Bedford

Cost: Free. Donations of food, cash, and socks are welcome.

Farm to Table Cocktail Shaker

Weatherlow FloralsWhat: Weatherlow Florals and Little Bitte Artisanal Cocktails invite you to tour the flower fields and greenhouses, harvest herbs and blooms, learn to make seasonal garden-to-glass cocktails with spiced cordials, and design a colorful harvest swag to take home for your front door!

When: October 26 from 5-7 p.m.

Where: Weatherlow Farms, 845 Sodom Road, Westport

Cost: $75, all materials included. Register here.

New Bedford Children’s Bookfest

Children's New Bedford BookfestWhat: This special kids’ edition of New Bedford Bookfest will feature 20 authors and booksellers and 10 specially selected illustrators in the Groundwork! Gallery.

When: October 28 & 29, 12-4

Where: Groundwork! 1213 Purchase Street, New Bedford

Cost: Free


We’re lucky to live in such a vibrant place! Get out there and love where you live. 

And if you want to stay in the know about other cool things to do, as well as stories about the people, places, food and other things that make the South Coast special, sign up for our free emails right here.

Maybe you have other suggestions for the month…feel free to add them in the comment section.

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Ride On! Biking on the South Coast

bike on the beach

We’ve been doing a lot of bike riding these days, training first for the Pan Mass Challenge and now for the Buzzard’s Bay Coalition’s 10th Anniversary Ride.

We thought we might share with you some of our favorite local bike rides. They’re all roughly between 20-30 miles because we’ve found that’s the correct mileage needed in order to indulge in Betty Ann’s black magic sundaes without any negative consequences.

I’ve linked to the routes on Strava so you can download the maps. Rather than rating these rides by level of difficulty, we rate them by access to ice cream — the number of ice cream shops along (or very near) your route. Strava does not give you this critical information. That’s why South Coast Almanac is better.

So That’s Why They Call It Lakeville

(28.6 miles in Wareham, Rochester and Lakeville, download map here)
Ice cream rating: 1
Pump House at Little Quittacas Pond

Pump House at Little Quittacas Pond

Sometimes I feel like I’m in Vermont ride with its beautiful country roads. Sometimes I feel like I’m in Minnesota (though, to be completely upfront, I’ve never been to Minnesota…I’ve just internalized its license plate motto – 10,000 lakes). I just always feel like I’m away when I’m on this ride. Which is why I love it, even though the ice cream rating is low.

Ice Cream at Robin’s Nest in Rochester. Ice cream novelties at Plumb Corner Market, Rochester.

 
 

To (and From) the Lighthouse

(27.7 miles in Mattapoisett and Fairhaven, download map here)
Ice cream rating: 3
Bikes at Ned's Point, Mattapoisett

Biking from Ned’s Point, Mattapoisett

I am enamored of lighthouses so this ride starts and ends at Ned’s Point Lighthouse and the destination is West Island which is itself spectacular. Along the way, you pass through Mattapoisett’s lovely waterfront, the Bluefish home (described here), the Phoenix bike path, and windmills.

Ice cream at Mac’s Soda Bar in Fairhaven, Seaport Ice Cream Slip in Mattapoisett and just off the route at Oxford Creamery, Mattapoisett.

 
 

Butler Point & Back

(22 miles in Rochester, Marion and Wareham, download map here)
Ice cream rating: 1
Butler Point/Kittansett Club rest stop

Butler Point/Kittansett Club rest stop

Despite the low ice cream rating, I love this loop. Cranberry bogs, ponds, pristine farms and Buzzards Bay views. As you approach a bend in the road going out to the Kittansett Club, look up at the telephone poles to see the osprey nest and, if you’re lucky, the family will be home. Stop at the farmstand on Point Road, buy a fresh-grown tomato and eat it like an apple.

Ice Cream is available just off the route in downtown Marion at Sea Dips.

Cinderella Ride

(19.3 miles in Onset and Bourne, download map here)
Ice cream rating: 4
Biking the Cape Cod Canal

Biking the Cape Cod Canal

This is a 19 mile ride that is one of my favorites because I can never get enough water views and this one boasts salty views more than three-quarters of the time. Also, it’s flat. Also, look at the ice cream rating.

I call it the Cinderella Ride because on the way out to Scusset, it’s like your fairy godmother has sent you magically off to the ball. You ride feeling like you’re a willowy Olympian atop a high-end titanium bike, effortlessly clocking speeds you’ve never seen before (except downhill). The clock strikes midnight at Scusset when you turn the bike around and face the headwinds. Suddenly, you’re on your sturdy reliable bicycle in your sturdy reliable body. (Still, grateful for both.)

I spend most of the ride back trying to figure out how to game the wind (is there a time of day to avoid it? Is there a time when the wind shifts and you can use it both ways?)  Mother Nature just laughs at me and turns up the breeze.

Note: There is a short distance on Cranberry Highway which includes a rotary. If you’d prefer not to tackle that, simply park at the canal and do the 14 mile ride on the bike path.

Ice cream at Nana’s, Guido’s & Stash’s in Onset Village. Novelty ice cream available at Scusset Beach and Andy’s Country Store at Bourne Scenic Campground. Just off the route: Betty Ann’s in Buzzards Bay, home of the wicked black magic sundae

Farms & Sea

(34.5 miles in Dartmouth & Westport, download map here)
Ice cream rating:  3
Bike stop at Lloyd Center

Even on a rainy day, the view from the Lloyd Center is pretty spectacular

You’ve got everything on this ride: polite drivers, country roads, rock walls, farms, marshes and sea.  If I lived closer, this would easily be my go-to ride. Stop at the Lloyd Center to climb up to its observation deck for breathtaking views (detailed in our Only on the South Coast article in the 2016 edition).

Ice Cream at The Bucket at Gulf Hill, Salvadors, Head Town Landing Country Store. Just off the route: Handy Hill Creamery and Wood’s Ice Cream in Westport)

JOIN US

Bikes at Lloyd Center

The Lloyd Center also provides nice cover from unexpectedly rainy bike rides

We’ve got a South Coast Almanac team for the Coalition Ride….join us on October 2 if you want to be on the team that wins the costume contest! There’s a variety of distances (100, 75, 35 and 11 mile options) so, even if you’re just starting out, you have more than enough time to get ready. You can learn more about the ride here. If you want to join our team, let us know for a discounted registration fee code. Email us at [email protected]

DO YOU LIKE PAPER MAPS?

If you’d like to find your own special rides and if you love paper maps so that you can see the whole picture, rather than just your small screen, check out Bike Friendly Mattapoisett, a map with great biking recommendations brought to you by the Friends of the Mattapoisett Bike Path (available at the Town Wharf General Store), and Rubel’s Eastern Massachusetts Road and Bicycle Map (available at Yesteryear Cyclery in New Bedford).

See you out there!

 

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Destruction Brook Woods. Why does such a peaceful place have such a, well, destructive name?

Destruction Brook Woods Reserve

Just peace and quiet

One of the goals in making this magazine is to showcase the many magical places on the South Coast and to encourage us all to wander off our own beaten paths. You know, those favorite places where we always go. The idea is to shake things up. Go a couple of towns over from your own and find something new. Be a local tourist.

It’s been fun asking all sorts of people, what do you like to do? We’ve been gathering the answers and creating a list so that one of the Almanac’rs can explore the answers and report back if there’s something we should highlight.

Again and again, Destruction Brook Woods came up when we talked to people.

Something about the name kind of put me off, evoking unpleasant flashbacks to 1980s horror movies. I finally went — October seemed the proper time to go to a place with destruction and woods in its name. Of course, it’s not creepy at all. It’s tranquil and lovely.

With over 280 acres, there are plenty of paths to explore, both marked and unmarked (with a very helpful map provided by the Dartmouth Natural Resources Trust). I got lost somewhere after Alice’s Spillway. It didn’t matter. It’s a pleasure to get a little lost among the glades, the ferns, the rocky outcroppings, and the wide bridle paths soft with fallen pine needles. And there’s so much more to see. I want to go back and find the abandoned farmstead and the old cemetery. I want to witness the abundance of pink lady’s slipper flowers in one of the glades in May.

I’m considering trying mountain biking after chatting with a couple of friendly bikers on the trail. According to the New England Mountain Bike Association website, “if you are looking for very technical and challenging trails, then this is not the place for you, but if you are looking for a fun, easy to moderate ride with nice scenery, then this is the place to come.”

Fun? Easy? Scenery? Yes. Look how fun it looks – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WvuFX0casV0

Mountain biking in Destruction Brook Woods…that’s going on the Almanac’s To Do list.

The woods lived up to its reputation. I understand why so many love it. But it did not live up to its name. Because it turns out that Destructive Brook Woods is not scary at all.

 

For more information on Destruction Brook Woods, including location and parking, see http://dnrt.org/destruction-brook-woods/

 

 

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