Posts Tagged ‘ Waterfalls ’

Handy Pond – Lincoln

Handy Pond Preserve
Old River Road, Lincoln, RI
Trailhead: 41°57’32.74″N, 71°28’17.71″W
Last Time Hiked: November 15, 2014
  
Approximate distance hiked: 1.7 miles
Easy with slight elevation.
 

This town owned property between Albion and Manville is another of Rhode Islands better kept secrets. I did not find much online about the property at all and used social networking to do most of the research on it. Recently an Eagle Scout of Troop 711 Albion cleared trails here and mapped them as part of his project (see below). I was joined by members of the Providence County Hiking Club and a member of the Lincoln Tree and Trail Commission for this exploration hike. We started north of the main entrance by the pond opposite Mussey Brook Road. There is a pull off large enough for two to three cars here. We started following a short segment of the blue blazed trail to the dam. At the dam we turned left then right along the shore of Rochambeau Pond on the blue blazed trail. The trail wanders up and down small hills between the pond and Old River Road. When we reached the end of the trail we turned right onto an old cart path with green blazes. (The main entrance is uphill and left at this point). We followed the cart path over an old dam and stream, staying left at the next intersection. We then found an old, presumably, family cemetery on the right. The headstones were small with no indication of names or dates. To the left were a pair of stone walls. It appears that there may have been an old road there at one time. After passing the power lines we continued following the green blazed trail as it wound through the leaf covered woods with an occasional large outcrop. At the next intersection we continued to follow the green blazes. Soon we were crossing under the power lines again following green blazes for a bit until we reached a multi trail intersection. Here the was a sign with an arrow and the word pond. We followed this trail to its end. Along this stretch on the right there is another outcrop. Some of us climbed it. Being mid November and the leaves being all but gone there was a decent view through the bare trees. Below was the pond and in the distance we observed the towers near Diamond Hill. At the end of the trail it approaches neighboring residential properties. Please respect the private property and continue to the road by passing the locked gate. When we reached the road we turned right and followed it to the cars. There are several more trails on this property and I will likely be back in the future to further explore it.

 

Rochambeau Pond

Rochambeau Pond

Handy Pond Map (provided by Brian Hasewaga of Troop 711-Albion)

Handy Pond Map (provided by Brian Hasewaga of Troop 711-Albion)

Destruction Brook Woods – Dartmouth

Destruction Brook Woods
Slades Corner Road, Dartmouth, MA
Trailhead: 41°34’14.88″N, 71° 1’1.70″W
Last Time Hiked: November 8, 2014
 
 
Approximate distance hiked: 5.6 miles
Fairly easy with slight elevation.

 

Destruction Brook Woods is a large tract of land in Dartmouth with several miles of trails. The trails here are, for the most part, well blazed and (with the trail map for the property) very easily navigable. I was accompanied by a few members of the Providence County Hiking Club for this hike for the mid-autumn morning stroll. We started from a parking area on Slades Corner Road and followed the trail through an open field then pass a stone wall to the first intersection. Along the way we came across several signs about dogs. They are more than welcome here as long as you follow the rules. At the first intersection we choose to go to the right following the red trail through an area of pines. Then we took a left onto a short section of the yellow trail turning right onto Alice’s Spillway. Here is a small dam and waterfall along Destruction Brook that creates a small pond. There were several mallards here. After crossing the spillway we turned right back onto the red trail and then left onto the yellow trail. We soon came to a four way intersection labeled with a “C”. Here we took the immediate right onto the yellow trail. This section of the trail did lack some blazing but the map in hand helped. We soon approached another intersection labeled with a “B”. Here we turned right and followed the blue blazed trail. This trail meanders up and down small hills before dropping into Happy Valley. Along this stretch tall ledges appear on each side of the trail and being mid Autumn the beech trees were vibrant against the reds of the maples. We also observed a hawk above in the valley. Soon the yellow trail joins the blue trail. Here we continued straight following the two colored blazed trail until it split. From here we continued straight onto the yellow trail until we reached Ella’s Bridge that crosses Destruction Brook. From this point we continued westward along the red trail until we reached intersection “D”. We then decided to hike the green loop from here. Along the green trail, we crossed Destruction Brook two more times. Once at a wooden plank bridge and another at a stone slab bridge. Some of the trees in this area are hundreds of years old. We stumbled upon a tree stump in the woods with at least a 5 to 6 foot diameter. We also came across an abandoned vehicle. There is a spur trail that leads to a cemetery. The green trail wanders through another impressive area of pines and an area of fern covered forest. On the western end of the property we checked out the Russell Homestead. Here a fellow hiker pointed out the tremendous amount of wisteria. This alone may require a visit in the spring to see just how it may look. After stopping at the homestead we started making our way back to the “D” intersection. Along the way we were greeted by a horseback rider who introduced her horse as “Charlie”.  At the intersection we turned right following the red trail back to the parking area passing some pockets of holly trees. Hunting is not allowed on this property but it is suggested to wear orange. We did observe tree stands on the neighboring property in Happy Valley.

 

Trail map can be found at: Destruction Brook Woods.

Destruction Brook From Alice's Spillway

Destruction Brook From Alice’s Spillway

Larson Woodland – Attleboro

Larson Woodland
Riverbank Road, Attleboro, MA
Trailhead: 41°56’46.86″N, 71°17’32.84″W
Last Time Hiked: November 1, 2014
 
 
Approximate distance hiked: 0.3 miles
Easy.

 

This is one of the smallest of the Attleboro Land Trust properties. It is just outside of downtown Attleboro along the banks of the Ten Mile River. The property has a small network of trails and features the Mechanics Pond Dam.

 

Trail map can be found at: Larson Woodland.

Mechanics Pond Dam

Mechanics Pond Dam

Parker Woodland – Coventry/Foster

George B. Parker Woodland
Maple Valley Road, Coventry, RI
Trailhead: 41°43’00.3″N 71°41’52.5″W
Last Time Hiked: September 28, 2014
 
 
Approximate distance hiked: 7.1 miles
Moderate due to distance with difficult terrain in areas.

 

Parker Woodland is a large Rhode Island Audubon Society property that straddles the Coventry/Foster line. The property features two loop trails, one in each town, with a connector trail. There is quite a bit of history on this property as well. Some is well known and some is still unsolved. I did this hike with a group from the Providence County Hiking Club. We started from the main parking area (Lot 1) by the nature center on Maple Valley Road. There is a kiosk here with information about the property as well as trail maps. We then preceded to follow the orange blazed trail into the property. This trail meanders downhill passing the first of several stone walls, turns right, and then crosses a series of boardwalks. The trail also crosses Turkey Meadow Brook before coming to the blue trail. Here we turned left following the blue blazed trail, named the Paul Cook Memorial Trail, through areas of boulders, more stone walls, and an area of pines. When soon reached Biscuit Hill Road. You will probably miss it if you are not looking for it. The road is flanked by stone walls on each side. Apparently, during the American Revolution, a supply wagon overturned here. The wagon was carrying biscuits for the troops, hence giving the name to the road. Immediately after Biscuit Hill Road on the left is a large cellar hole of a farm house. It is part of the Vaughn Farm Site. There is a sign here with a brief description of the site. We then continued along the blue blazed trail traversing through a rather rocky area weaving around ledges. This stretch is about a mile long before coming to a massive boulder where the yellow blazed connector trail is. We then followed the yellow trail mostly uphill as it starting rising above a ravine. Below in the ravine is the Pine Swamp Brook. Be careful along this stretch as the trail is very close to the edge at times. The trail then crosses the brook at a wood bridge. You are now in the Foster parcel of Parker Woodland. At the time of this hike the brook was rather dry (but not empty). There is an area here that appears to have a small waterfall. The trail then continues uphill a little longer coming to the next loop trail. This trail is also blazed blue and named for Milton A. Gowdey. Here we turned left and followed the trail passing even more stone walls before coming to an old farm site. Here there is a rather large cellar hole. There is also a sign labeled “Table Rock” for a short spur trail. We followed it to the rock, stopped, and took a short break. We then retraced our steps back to the blue trail continuing to follow it as it crossed Pig Hill Road. This stretch of the trail wanders through areas of boulders and quarries. One of the ledges has the apparent evidence the quarrying was done here. The blue blazed trail crosses Pig Hill Road once again and the loop completes at the yellow trail that we came in on. Here we turned left and retraced our steps back to the massive boulder along the Coventry loop. When we reached the boulder we turned left back onto the blue blazed trail. The trail first follows the Pine Swamp Brook before bearing to the right. Then it crosses Biscuit Hill Road, follows the Turkey Meadow Brook, passing the yellow trail intersection, and starts to climb and descend a series of small hills before coming to the cairns. No one knows for sure who built these piles of stones or better yet, what the purpose for them are. There are several suggestions. Some believe they are Native American, others suggest pre-Columbus age explorers using them as markers. Regardless, there are about a dozen or more of them along this stretch. There is also a sign here explaining (or more so suggesting) the history of the cairns. We then continued along the blue trail completing the loop. We turned left onto the orange trail and retraced our steps back to the parking area. Being an Audubon property, no hunting is allowed. It can not hurt to wear orange regardless in case hunting is allowed on nearby properties. Also no dogs or horses are allowed on this site. We did not come across much of wildlife other than the occasional squirrel and chipmunk. There were plenty of birds here however.

 

Trail map can be found at: Parker Woodland.

Trail Along A Ledge

Trail Along A Ledge

Mysterious Cairn

Mysterious Cairns

Melville Park – Portsmouth

Melville Park
Bradford Avenue, Portsmouth, RI
Trailhead: 41°35’2.48″N, 71°16’17.67″W
Last Time Hiked: September 10, 2014
 
 
Approximate distance hiked: 2.4 miles
Fairly easy with slight elevation.

 

Went to Aquidnick Island for a mid-week after work hike at Melville Park. The park is former Navy property now open to the public and it features several ponds, streams, dams, as well as waterfalls. I started this hike from a small parking lot by Upper Melville Pond. Directly across the street is the trail head for the green trail. This trail, very narrow at first, passes a residential property to the right before turning left and into the wooded area. The trail is challenging for footing at first traversing over roots, stones, and logs before coming to raised boardwalks. The green trail passes several small ponds with dams and follows a babbling brook before coming to an open grass cart path. I then turned left on the cart path (blazed orange) and followed it until I came to the bulletin board. Here I turned right onto the yellow trail, then left by Crockett Pond. Here over the pond is an old standpipe from yesteryear. Further along the yellow trail is a small picnic area that overlooks a gorge and waterfall. From here I followed the yellow trail a few more feet then turned onto the blue trail following the shore of the Lower Melville Pond. After passing the dam at the lower end of the pond the blue trail turns left at the Croll Crossing. The crossing is an interesting series of stepping stones across the spillway of the dam. From here I picked up the red trail along Mott Farm Road and followed it to an area that has been cleared. Here there is a bat house perched high above the ground. I turned left here following the red trail a little further after checking out the view of the bay by the railroad tracks. The red trail turns back into the woods following the shore of the pond and eventually to the blue trail once again. I continued following the blue trail along the south side of the pond, past the gorge again, then back to the cart path and finally to the bulletin board. Be sure to follow the trail blazes along this stretch. From this point I retraced my steps along the orange and green trails back to the car. I saw several rabbits, ducks, and a pair of swans on this hike as well as several birds.

 

Trail map can be found at: Melville Park.

Lower Melville Pond

Lower Melville Pond

Esmond Park – Smithfield

Esmond Park
Farnum Pike, Smithfield, RI
Trailhead: 41°52’51.66″N, 71°30’11.32″W
Last Time Hiked: September 4, 2014
 
 
Approximate distance hiked: 0.5 miles
Easy.

 

Esmond Park is a combination of a short trail on a former railroad bed and a small town park. The two distinctly different parts are separated by an arch bridge that crosses the river at a small waterfall. The park itself, complete with World War I monuments, paved paths, and park benches is at the corner of Farnum Pike and Esmond Street. The parking area is a little further north along Farnum Pike at the end with the trail entrance. I came across a few people walking dogs here.

 

Trail map can be found at: Esmond Park.

The Bridge At Esmond

The Bridge At Esmond

Georgiaville Dam And Gorge – Smithfield

Georgiaville Dam And Gorge
Stillwater Road, Smithfield, RI
Trailhead: 41°53’20.52″N, 71°30’27.83″W
Last Time Hiked: September 4, 2014
 
 
Approximate distance hiked: 0.8 miles
Easy.

 

Another “Seven Scenic Walks” of Smithfield, this short walk has a little bit of everything. Starting from the parking area, you first come to the town beach. The beach at the time of this walk was quite active. Several small children were cooling off from the late summer heat. After passing the beach, the path turns into a dirt road following the top of an earthen dam. From the dam you have sweeping views of Georgiaville Pond over the banks of wildflowers. Other than swimmers there were kayaks, tubers taking advantage of the pond. At the end of the dirt road is the dam. Much like Hunts Mills, it is a combination of a manmade dam and natural waterfall. To the right there is a short trail to a small area that overlooks the gorge. Here I saw a great blue heron traversing through the gorge. From this point you retrace your steps back to the parking area.

 

I did not find a trail map on-line.

Georgiaville Gorge

Georgiaville Gorge

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