Archive for March, 2013

Fort Nature – North Smithfield

  • Fort Nature Refuge
  • Providence Pike, North Smithfield, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°57’39.16″N, 71°33’9.43″W
  • First Time Hiked: March 31, 2013
  • Last Time Hiked: March 8, 2015
  • Approximate distance hiked: 3.75 miles
  • Easy with some slight elevation.

 

The temperature on Easter morning at 7:30 am was in the low 30’s. By the end of the hike at 10:00 am it was close to 55°. Spring is definitely here. And sound of wildlife is in abundance. Starting at a small parking area I followed the blue trail through some woods.  The blue trail loop splits not too far in. I decided to follow the path to the right.  I saw several birds along this stretch. A short distance up, a spur trail leads off to the right to go down to the pond. I was, again, apparently not quiet enough as I scared off some ducks before I reached the shore. Nonetheless, a great photo spot. Back to the blue trail, bypassing the white trail, to a fork. This is where the yellow trail begins. Beware though of the yellow trail.  It is the connector trail between the blue loop and the red loop and it is currently not marked very well.  I found myself doing a lot of back-tracking. The yellow trail went under a set of power lines, then back into a heavily wooded area. It then proceeded to go by a bench by the second pond, before heading around the edge of the pond. This is where it got a little tricky. The beavers have been hard at work here and part of the yellow trail was covered in water. There were many trees fell by them. I just went around the beaver dam after spotting a blaze on the other side of the water. I then came across a beaver lodge but I did not come across any these beavers.  I then proceeded to the end of the yellow trail onto the red loop trail which briefly borders the third pond. After the loop. I retraced my steps (again, with some back-tracking along the yellow trail) back to the parking area.

More info & trail map can be found at: Fort Nature

The Pond By The Yellow Trail

The Pond By The Yellow Trail

Napatree Point – Westerly

  • Napatree Point
  • Fort Road, Westerly, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°18’38.59″N, 71°51’41.91″W
  • Last Time Hiked: March 29, 2013
  • Approximate distance walked: 3.2 miles
  • Easy, however sand makes for slower walk.

 

A picture perfect spring day at the beach. Napatree Point is a conservation area that extends about a mile and a half into Fishers Island Sound with an abundance of birds. It is a stunningly beautiful location.  I started at a parking lot at Fort Road, then headed towards the cabanas, onto the beach and turned right. Walking the mile and a half along the Atlantic side of the point I came across several seagulls and plenty of seashells. Watch Hill Light was behind my left shoulder and it was so clear that the Montauk Light at the tip of Long Island could be seen. Near the end of the point several large rocks and some old pilings mark the end of the sandy beach. In the distance the Latimer Reef Light, which is in New York, was also visible. Just around the bend was much evidence of last years Hurricane Sandy. Huge chunks of the embankment were missing.  I did find a way up the embankment and started making my way around a maze of very narrow trails until I came across the remnants of Fort Mansfield. The fort was once used as a artillery defense at the opening of Long Island Sound. From this vantage point I could easily see the Connecticut coastline and Sandy Point. Sandy Point is an island between Napatree Point and the Connecticut coastline.  It was once part Napatree Point until the 1938 Hurricane came through and severed it from the mainland.  For a place of so much beauty, it does have a tragic history. 15 people had perished at Napatree during that hurricane. After leaving the fort I found another trail that took me back to the south shore of the point.  I started walking back until I got to an area near an osprey nest.  This is where I found a path to cut across the dunes to the north shore of the point. Then I turned right and started making my way back along a body of water known as Little Narragansett Bay.  Along this stretch I came across sanderlings and many snails. Before heading back to the car I decided to climb up the highest dune on the point.  Most of this area is closed off for dune restoration, but there are paths that you can follow. The picture from the dune made the climb well worth it.

I did not find a trail map on-line.

Napatree Point

Napatree Point

At The End Of The Point

At The End Of The Point

Brickyard Pond/Veterans Memorial Park – Barrington

  • Brickyard Pond/Veterans Memorial Park
  • West Street, Barrington, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°44’13.75″N, 71°18’43.11″W
  • Last Time Hiked: March 28, 2013
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.7 miles
  • Easy.

 

Brickyard Pond is known mostly for its fishing, but there are several short trails here to be hiked. I parked my car at in the YMCA parking lot and then made my way down the Orange Trail until the first split. At the split I went left onto the Green Trail. This trail led me through a long stretch of wooded area with some small stream crossings. After I followed the trail to the end I crossed over the Orange Trail onto the Red Trail which follows the shore of Brickyard Pond. It was showering and predominantly cloudy, but the sun was trying to break through the clouds. This made for some interesting pictures of the pond. After going through the picnic area I came across one very fearless goose who seemed to pose for the camera. After taken a few photos, I finished the Red Trail which ends at the bike path, turned right onto the bike path and back to the parking lot.

Trail map can be found at: Brickyard Pond/Veterans Memorial Park

Brickyard Pond

Brickyard Pond

Bridgham Farm – East Providence

  • Bridgham Farm
  • Pleasant Street, East Providence, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°50’10.27″N, 71°20’45.83″W
  • First Hiked: March 27, 2013
  • Last Time Hiked: September 16, 2016
  • Approximate distance hiked: 0.7 mile
  • Easy.

 

Bridgham Farm is a relatively small area for a walk and is hidden gem in the suburbs.  It is a large former farm field with a few paths crossing it. In total there is about three quarters of a mile of trails on this property protected by the East Providence Land Conservation Trust. Once part of a much larger tract of land, this property was protected as open space and is all that remains of the colonial era farm. In the summer months the field often has tall grass and some spots offer an abundance of milkweed. Bridgham Farm, listed on the National Historic Register, abuts the Turner Reservoir. At the end of the northerly most trail that leads through the woods to the nearby subdivision is the Newman Oak. This tree, a champion, is believed to be over 400 years old.

 

At Bridgham Farm

At Bridgham Farm

Rome Point – North Kingstown

  • Rome Point – John H. Chafee Nature Preserve
  • Boston Neck Road, North Kingstown, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°32’13.26″N, 71°26’13.81″W
  • First Time Hiked: March 23, 2013
  • Last Time Hiked: April 2, 2016
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.6 miles
  • Easy with some slight elevation.

 

The “Seal Hike”. I’ve done this hike a few times in the last few years. After checking the tides and the weather report I decided it should be a good day to visit the seals. From the parking area I followed the main path until I reached the power lines. Just after the power lines I took a left and followed that path through an area mostly of pines until it’s end. I then turned right and followed the path to the end of the point. This is where the wind picked up. The forecast had called for a breezy day with gusts of around 15 mph, however, the gusts were well over 30 mph, maybe closer to 40 mph at times. I thought for sure this would be a “seal-less” hike. The seals were out and sunbathing nonetheless. The area that the seals haul out at is a cluster of rocks a few hundred feet offshore known as the Seven Sisters. You WILL need either a good pair of binoculars or a spotting scope to observe the seals. This year the wind made it difficult to get a good picture through the spotting scope I had brought along this hike. After doing some seal watching I headed back the path I had followed out to the point and then headed straight pass the path I used earlier instead of turning and retracing my steps. This path winds through the woods past an abandoned car and an old building of some sort before joining the main path. At this point I turned right and back to the parking area.

Information about the seals and further links to the trails: Rome Point Seals

Looking South From Rome Point

Looking South From Rome Point

“Winston” (taken during a 2012 hike)

Mount Hope Farm – Bristol

  • Mount Hope Farm
  • Metacom Avenue, Bristol, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°40’3.75″N, 71°15’18.51″W
  • Last Time Hiked: March 20, 2013
  • Approximate distance walked: 2.5 miles
  • Easy with some slight elevation.

 

Mount Hope Farm is a property owned by The Mount Hope Trust. It is used for weddings and events, but the grounds are open to the public for jogging and walking. Most of the paths are paved at Mount Hope. From the parking area I followed the main path easterly through an area of woods which open to a large field on the left. The field was full of robins, so many so that I could not count them. That’s got to be a sign that spring is really right around the corner. On the right there are a few areas to sneak a peek at the bay. When the path split, I took a right and followed the path around Church Cove until I reached Cove Cabin. The views of Mount Hope Bay are spectacular here. But beware of a windy day. Although it was the first day of spring it still felt like winter by the water. I then retraced my steps back to the split and decided to go straight, then right onto a grass path, then left onto a path that took me out to between the two ponds. Here I saw many birds, ducks, and geese. I then continued along the paved path again towards the main complex of the farm before turning left on a path back to the parking area. I did run into several people here walking dogs.

Trail map can be found at: Mount Hope Farm

Pond Reflections

Pond Reflections

McIntosh – Bristol

 

This was a nice and short walk. This Audubon property is where their educational center is located. It is a small stretch of land between Hope Street and where the Warren River meets Narragansett Bay. From the parking lot I followed the path around to the back of the building and then followed the path to the left through a large open field. At the bottom of the hill I then turned left onto a boardwalk that goes through some wooded area. After crossing the bike path the boardwalk continues through areas of marsh where I could hear plenty of rustling from birds. At the end of the boardwalk there is a nice view of the bay. I retraced my steps on the way back.

More info & trail map can be found at: McIntosh

Narragansett Bay From McIntosh

Narragansett Bay From McIntosh