Hemlock Ledges – Exeter
- Hemlock Ledges – Arcadia Wildlife Management Area
- Ten Rod Road, Exeter, RI
- Trailhead: 41°34’25.89″N, 71°47’7.91″W
- Last Time Hiked: April 26, 2013
- Approximate distance hiked: 3.5 miles
- Moderate with strenuous parts and rocky footing.
Hemlock Ledges is somewhat challenging but well worth it. It is part of the longer Tippecansett Trail in the Arcadia Management Area. It starts at a small parking area on the south side of Ten Rod Road just before Beach Pond. I started the hike by following a yellow blazed trail that had a “Tippecansett” sign. This trail followed the edges of Beach Pond. At one point there is a large boulder that serves as a nice lookout of the pond. After lingering for a bit I continued to follow the yellow trail as it meandered up and down until it came to an intersection with three options; yellow to the right, white straight head, and a trail that was also blazed white to the left. The trail to the left had a large boulder that had the word “lookout” on it. I decided to check out the brief, but strenuous, trail to the lookout. Well worth it. After lingering for a bit to take in the sights and to catch my breath, I made my way back down to the intersection and turned left onto the white trail (marked as the Deep Pond Trail) and followed it for a while until the next split. The white trail went off to the left, but I decided to follow the blue blazed trail to the right. The blue trail followed a large ledge wall before it turned right across a seasonal stream (beware that the path seems to go left here… keep an eye out for the blazes across the stream). The blue trail from this point continued for a while over some rocky terrain before coming out to a dirt road. The dirt road is used as a trail and blazed yellow. At this point I turned left onto the road for a bit following the yellow trail back into the woods until I came to a survey marker (a stone bound just beyond a reference disc in a boulder) that marks the state boundary with Connecticut. I then turned around and retraced my steps back to the dirt road, turned left following the yellow blazes, passing the blue trail, and then turned right following the yellow blazes back into the woods. I followed this trail until it came back to the intersection with the white trail. There were some rather hilly sections in this part and some really nice spots to view the pond. At the intersection I turned left, again, following the yellow trail back to the parking area. I will be returning to the lookout during peak foliage season.
A trail map can be found at: Hemlock Ledges