Posts Tagged ‘ Waterfalls ’

Purgatory Chasm – Sutton

Purgatory Chasm State Reservation
Purgatory Road, Sutton, MA
Trailhead: 42° 7’44.97″N, 71°42’53.44″W
Last Time Hiked: July 26, 2014
 
Approximate distance hiked: 3.5 miles
Various difficulties, the chasm is difficult to strenuous, the remainder of the hike is moderate.
 

Indeed one of the most unique natural spots in Southern New England, the centerpiece of this hike is the granite chasm which in spots is up to 70 feet deep. It features countless boulders and some caves. Climbing the walls of the chasm is prohibited except by permit. Many injuries have occurred here and there are several warning signs throughout the chasm. In fact, I would suggest checking the forecast before heading here. A damp or rainy day could make the scaling over the rocks and boulders outright dangerous. Also the chasm itself is generally closed in the winter months. Starting early and one of the first to arrive I started today’s hike by first tackling the chasm. The chasm entrance is well marked and the Chasm Loop Trail is blazed blue. It took a little time to conquer this first part of the hike for a couple of reasons. First, scaling and maneuvering over and around the quarter mile of boulders. Second, this is a great place for a guy with a camera (that would be me) to capture the sun coming over the chasm walls. And lastly, I found myself spending some time watching the endless amounts of chipmunks in the chasm. Near the end of the chasm I turned left and continued to follow the blue blazed Chasm Loop Trail as it winded uphill. From this trail there are some impressive views of the chasm. Be sure to not get to close to the edges. I came across Fat Man’s Misery (which I choose to just view) and the Devils Corncrib before following the trail back to the chasm entrance. From here I went around the pavilion to the beginning of the trail named Charley’s Loop. It is a yellow blazed trail that winds through the southeast section of the reservation. I came across some early morning dog-walkers along this stretch. When I reached the intersection with the signage I followed the Little Purgatory Trail which was blazed green. When I reached the small chasm with the trickling waterfall I followed a trail to the right looking for the loop. After a bit I realized that there were no longer any blazes and the trail didn’t seem to loop back in the proper direction. So I retraced my steps back down the trail until I got to the “road”. Here I turned left then left again onto the orange blazed Forest Road Trail. This old stone and dirt road seemed endlessly uphill before it broke off right into the woods. At the end of the Forest Road Trail I turned left onto the Old Purgatory Trail, still blazed orange, as it wound up and down through the forest. The trail eventually end at Purgatory Road where I turned right and made my way back to the car. I did not expect to get 3.5 miles of hiking here (and I suspect it had to do with getting a little off track on the Little Purgatory), but I must say, this was a rather challenging hike on a warm summer morning. Well worth the challenge though.

Trail Map can be found at: Purgatory Chasm.

In The Chasm

In The Chasm

Chipmunk

Chipmunk

Forge Pond – Westport

Forge Pond Conservation Area
Forge Road, Westport, MA
Trailhead: 41°37’53.43″N, 71° 3’14.15″W
Last Time Hiked: July 19, 2014
 
Approximate distance hiked: 0.7 miles
Easy with some elevation.
 

Upon our arrival at Forge Pond we were immediately drawn to the dam and waterfall near the parking area. After taking a look at it we ventured into the woods following the yellow blazed trail that runs near the edge of the pond. The trail offered a few areas that came to the shore of the pond. There is a large boulder “outlook” where the Noquochoke River meets Forge Pond. After taking a few photos we continued following the yellow trail for a bit passing an area with several dragonflies before coming across some ruins. We then made our way to the blue blazed trail which climbs up a hill and loops back to the yellow trail. From here we retraced our steps back to the car.

Trail map can be found at: Forge Pond.

Noquochoke River By The Ruins

Noquochoke River By The Ruins

Tri Pond Park – South Kingstown

Tri-Pond Park
Kingstown Road, South Kingstown, RI
Trailhead: 41°27’22.19″N, 71°30’28.64″W
Last Time Hiked: July 11, 2014
 
Approximate distance hiked: 2.9 miles
Easy with slight elevation, rocky footing in areas.
 

The aptly named Tri Pond Park features a series of nature trails that connects three small ponds in the Wakefield section of South Kingstown. The park is also split by the South County Bike Path. I was joined this afternoon by four friends. One from high school, two on their yearly visit from Malaysia, and their friend from Texas. We set out from a small parking area along Route 108 following a yellow blazed trail that follows the edge of the Rocky Brook Reservoir. We then turned right at the first intersection and over a series of boardwalks. The trail, still blazed yellow, meanders through the thick woods. We did come across poison ivy here and the trail in this area is rocky and root bound. You should use caution along this stretch. There is a small babbling brook that runs along a stretch of this trail. The trail eventually turns left just before Asa Pond. We however went straight to the shore of the pond to take in the sights before returning to the turn along the yellow trail. Continuing along the yellow trail again we passed a stone wall and areas of ferns before reaching the stairs that climb upward to the bike path. At the bike path we turned left and walked for a bit looking for the trail on the right. After finding the trail we followed it back into the woods. We came across a four way intersection that is not shown on the map. We went left as the map suggests that we were to take a sharp left. We then came to the next intersection and turned right onto the blue blazed trail. This trail winds through the woods and eventually comes out to California Jim’s Pond. Along the way we came across an old concrete structure as well as a tree with a primitive tree stand. At the next intersection we turned right towards a bridge that crosses the dam with a small waterfall. After the bridge we turned left onto the white blazed trail and followed that back to the bike path. We then turned left and retraced our steps back to the first intersection near Rocky Brook Reservoir. Here we turned right and followed the trail to its end. We then turned around and made our way back to the parking area. We saw several birds here including a family of geese and a swan. We also saw several squirrels, a chipmunk, and a garter snake, as well as many dragonflies and butterflies. The ponds had several lily pads but we did not see any frogs.

Trail map can be found at: Tri-Pond Park.

Trail At Tri Pond Park

Trail At Tri Pond Park

Asa Pond

Asa Pond

Donigian Park – Providence

Donigian Park Bikeway
Valley Street, Providence, RI
Trailhead: 41°49’23.52″N, 71°26’23.60″W
Last Time Hiked: June 13, 2014
 
 
Approximate distance hiked: 0.7 miles
Easy.

 

I came across Donigian Park while scrolling through the blueways section of exploreri.org webpage. When I looked it up in Google Maps I noticed that there was a bike path shown on the map. On the list it went. Today, a very rainy day, I decided to cancel my planned hike down in Arcadia but I still couldn’t resist getting a short walk in nonetheless. Being in the city I decided to stop here and check it out. The bike path itself is rather short and looks very new. It is in the Onleyville section of the city and runs from Valley Street along the Woonasquatucket River to Sonoma Court. There is a bridge that crosses the river and there is a dam and waterfall here. There are also some paved paths that wrap around the park itself. The park features a ball field and playgrounds. The walk along the bike path out and back and a loop around the park is just about 3/4 of a mile. By the way, I got absolutely drenched.

 

I did not find a trail map online.

The Bike Path Along The River (In The Rain)

The Bike Path Along The River (In The Rain)

Hunts Mills – East Providence

Hunt’s Mills
Hunt’s Mills Road, East Providence, RI
Trailhead: 41°49’41.78″N, 71°20’45.16″W
Previous Hikes: June 8, 2014
Last Time Hiked: July 29, 2014
 
 
Approximate distance hiked: 0.9 miles
Easy.

 

For over 250 years Hunt’s Mills has served many purposes. It is probably one of the more historically significant sites in East Providences’ history. In fact this property is home to the East Providence Historical Society. The historical society is at the John Hunt House which is one of the oldest houses in the city. The house was built in the mid 1700’s. This site also has been home to several mills over time dating back to the mid 1600’s including a sawmill and a grist mill. In the late 1800’s a local private company (Rumford Chemical Works) set up a water company here to supply their mills and factories with water. In the mid 1920’s the town would take over the water company, along with the Turner Reservoir, to supply the growing town with water until the town starting receiving its water from the Scituate Reservoir. At the turn of the century there was an amusement park here to help offset the cost of running the water company. And lastly, the fire department used this property as a training grounds for several years. I started this hike from a small parking area adjacent to the picnic area just before the Hunt House. I then walked toward the “backyard” of the house by going to the right of the house over an earthen bridge. In this area and around the house are some gardens. In the large grass area behind the house there is a circle of granite blocks. These blocks represent where the carousel of the amusement park once stood. Across the field and to the left you will see the actual trailhead. It is a red blazed trail that leads into the woods. Shortly the trail splits. I stayed to the left and the trail led through a gate of a chain link fence. This was the area that was once used by the fire department for training. There are some remnants here including the tower they trained on and an old tanker. The trail continues following the bank of the Ten Mile River. There are a few spots where you can get to the shore of the river. The trail eventually leads to a paved road where I turned right following the road to a cul-de-sac. At the cul-de-sac the trail turns left back into the woods and then left again onto the trail I came in on back to the large grass area behind the house. From here I headed to the gate between the house and large stone building. The large stone building was the pump house for the water company. From here I continued to the fence to see the Hunt’s Mills Dam and waterfall. I then made my way back to the car. This hike would make a nice companion to the Turner Reservoir hike. Also, along this hike I came across many birds and a beaver swimming in the river.

 

I did not find a trail map online.

Along The Red Trail

Along The Red Trail

A Secluded Section Of The Ten Mile River

A Secluded Section Of The Ten Mile River

The Falls At Hunts Mills

The Falls At Hunts Mills

Cascade Brook – Smithfield

Ken Weber Conservation Area at Cascade Brook
Mapleville Road, Smithfield, RI
Trailhead: 41°52’47.54″N, 71°34’11.54″W
Last Time Hiked: May 11, 2014
 
 
Approximate distance hiked: 1.0 mile
Fairly easy with some significant elevation and climbing.

 

Cascade Brook made for a nice short and scenic Sunday afternoon stroll. Starting from the dead end of Mapleville Road I made my way into the conservation area following the blue blazed trail. It is a loop trail that is just about a mile long and climbs up and down small hills and ledges. The main feature of this hike is a seasonal waterfall. It is suggested to hike here in the spring when the waterfall is most likely to be active. There are also other trails here. I followed one, short that it was, into a nearby apple orchard. The conservation area is dedicated to Ken Weber who was a Smithfield resident and the author of several hiking books that I have used in research.

 

Trail map can be found at: Cascade Brook.

Seasonal Waterfall

Seasonal Waterfall

Along The Blue Trail

Along The Blue Trail

Wilbour Woods – Little Compton

Wilbour Woods
Swamp Road, Little Compton, RI
Trailhead: 41°29’15.03″N, 71°10’26.89″W
Last Time Hiked: April 19, 2014
 
 
Approximate distance hiked: 1.3 miles
Easy.

 

Wilbour Woods would be our third short hike of the day. I really had very little knowledge of what we would find here as I did not research it too much. Nonetheless, I found Wilbour Woods very peaceful and serene. We started this hike from a small parking area along the loop road. You can start from any point along the loop road. We then followed the loop road in its entirety counter clockwise. The loop road follows the shore of Dundery Brook as it passes through the property. We came across a trail head along the way and followed it into the woods. It was a short “lollipop” trail. We did come across some evidence of geocaching along this trail. After returning to the loop road we came across a small pond with a rather large stone and small waterfall. We saw some snails here. It seemed we were followed by butterflies that looked surprisingly similar to the ones we saw on our previous hike. We then continued along the loop road passing some signs posted on trees. One was a quote of Roger Williams. After some post hike research, I found that this area was a site of a Native American winter camp. We also came across some stone formations. One was a large slab that look as if it were to be some sort of monument. There are no inscriptions on it. There were some stone tables and benches here as well.

 

I did not find a trail map online.

Dundery Brook Through Wilbour Woods

Dundery Brook Through Wilbour Woods

Small Waterfall

Small Waterfall

Carbuncle Pond – Coventry

Carbuncle Pond – Nicholas Farm State Management Area
Plainfield Pike, Coventry, RI
Trailhead: 41°41’56.91″N, 71°46’19.02″W
Last Time Hiked: April 16, 2014
 
 
Approximate distance hiked: 3.5 miles
Easy with some elevation.

 

Spring in New England… I woke early this morning to the sound of a driving rain and sleet against the window. When I left the house the roads were wet with water. By the time I got to Western Coventry the precipitation had stopped but the roads were covered with a layer of snow. Did I mention it’s mid-April? I arrived at Carbuncle Pond before sunrise and the skies to the west were just clearing. Right place at the right time again, as I found myself watching the nearly full moon setting over the pond before I embarked on my morning hike. Following, for the most part, the hike described in Ken Weber’s “Weekend Walks in Rhode Island” I started this hike from the parking area at the dock and followed the road to the second parking area. From here I followed the edge of the pond to another area that looks like it might be used for parking. At the end of this area (opposite the end of a guardrail) a path opens up to the left. I followed this path to its end as it passed a marsh to the right before climbing up an embankment to an old railroad bed. At the top of the hill I turned right and followed it to an area where there was enough clearance to get a good overlook of the ponds below. I then turned around passing the trail that I came in on and a second trail to the left (I would use after retracing my steps) continuing straight along the old railroad bed until I reached a trestle bridge. This bridge spans the Moosup River and there are plans in the future to connect this area with the Coventry Greenway. At the trestle I turned around and retraced my steps and then turned right at the trail that was marked with blue blazes (this is a segment of the North-South Trail). I then followed the blue blazed trail through areas of pine groves and fields. The skies were now just about completely clearing up and the morning sun was casting long shadows through the trees along this stretch. I could only think of a few more beautiful moments. As the blue trail came out a section of woods I came to an intersection in a clearing. There was a pole with a blue blaze labeled “North South Trail”. Keep this pole in mind for the return part of this hike. At this pole I turned right continuing to follow the blue blazed trail as it descended to Spencer Rock. This is where the Moosup River cascades over a rock formation making for a waterfall. I was here last year, but on the other side, on the much lesser known Perry Farm hike. Today the water was rushing through here much faster than I’ve seen it before mainly due to the amount of rain the area had last night. There were actually flood advisories in the area overnight. After lingering for a bit I continued along the blue blazed trail through thick pines and into another field. At this field there is a very faint trail. In the event it is not visible the trail continues at the opposite end and the left of the field. There is a pole marked with a blue blaze there. The trail continues through more pines and the path narrows quite a bit for a small stretch. As the path descends downhill start looking for a field on the left. The blue blazed trail continues straight to the road. At this field I left the trail and followed the left tree line of the field up to a dirt road. At the dirt road I turned left and followed it to its end. I missed the turn described in the Weber book, however, with a good sense of direction and checking with the GPS I found an alternate route easily. At the end of the dirt road I had noticed the blue blazed North South Trail marker pole I mentioned earlier. If I were to go straight, I would end up back at the railroad bed. If I were to go left, I would end up back at Spencer Rock. So I went right for a few hundred feet before the path split into a three way fork. I followed the path to the right straight down to the road between the first and second parking area. I turned right at the road and followed it to the car. I did not come across much wildlife here other than many birds of all sizes. I did see deer and possibly fox tracks here.

 

Trail map can be found at: Carbuncle Pond.

 

Full Moon Setting Over Carbuncle Pond

Full Moon Setting Over Carbuncle Pond

Marsh At Carbuncle

Marsh At Carbuncle

Spencer Rock

Spencer Rock

April Snow

April Snow

Village Park – Swansea

Village Park
Main Street, Swansea, MA
Trailhead: 41°44’55.86″N, 71°11’25.02″W
Last Time Hiked: March 19, 2014
 
 
Approximate distance hiked: 2.3 miles
Easy with some elevation. Moderate to difficult climbing is optional.
 
 

Village Park was my after work choice for a hike today. This was strictly a last minute decision and I hadn’t done much research on it. I had originally thought of checking out Anawan Rock in Rehoboth but I was more in a hiking mood than a short exploratory excursion. I have known about Abrams Rock (which is in Village Park) for a while but had never got around to checking it out until today. This property is widely known for off road bicyclists. The trails are rather narrow and there are wider fire roads. I did not have a set route in mind when I arrived but I figured I would at least venture out and look for the landmarks that intrigued me. I started this hike from the parking lot behind the Swansea Town Library. I first walked by a cemetery before the fire road veered to the left. I shortly came upon a gate. Just after the gate I turned left and followed the Lakeside Trail as it passed a soccer field before following the shore of a small lake. I took some pictures here in black and white of the clouds and lake. Near the end of this trail there is a dam and waterfall. I then found my way onto the Rusty Car Trail and ironically enough came across an old rusty car. I then followed some fire roads to Wildcat Rock. The rock is one of three rather large and impressive puddingstone boulders in the park. I decided to climb to the top of the rock and see how things (injuries) felt. The sense of accomplishment made the climb well worth it. However, going up was the easy part as I’m still having great difficulty with downhill climbs. After I scaled down the rock I found myself meandering through the Boulderdash Trail and the Two Guys Trail before reaching Abrams Rock. This rock is the largest in the park towering 40 feet above the trail. So I climbed it. After spending some time at the top and taking in the beauty and lonely solitude of Mother Nature I scaled back down and made my way back to the entrance and back to the car. I did discover a few things today. One, I am in much better shape than I was when I climbed the Hemlock Ledges Overlook last spring, and two, I’m still not completely healed from last summers injuries. As with most painful things in life, this will go away someday.

Trail map can be found at: Village Park.

Clouds Over The Lake (4M)

Clouds Over The Lake

Water Falling Over The Dam

Water Falling Over The Dam

Abrams Rock

Abrams Rock

Looking Down From The Top (Note the trail)

Looking Down From The Top (Note the trail)

Arkwright Riverwalk – Coventry

Arkwright Riverwalk
Hill Street, Coventry, RI
Trailhead: 41°43’39.59″N,  71°32’54.40″W
Last Time Hiked: January 18, 2014
 
 
Approximate distance hiked: 1.6 miles
Easy.
 
 

After a very short walk at the Phenix-Harris Riverwalk I made my way to this walk. It is another rail to trails site. The walk starts at a small parking lot on Hill Street and follows small streams. The path in this area is rather root bound. In a bit the path widens and other paths down the hill appear. I continued straight passing a dam until I reached the end near the ruins of an old New England factory. I then retraced my steps for a while before exploring the lower trails closer to the river. I then made my way back to the main trail and back to the car.

I did not find a trail map on-line.

Arkwright Riverwalk

Arkwright Riverwalk

Dam Near Harris Mill

Dam Near Harris Mill

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