Archive for May, 2013

Sachuest Point – Middletown

  • Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge
  • Sachuest Point Road, Middletown, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°28’47.09″N, 71°14’37.46″W
  • Last Time Hiked: May 28, 2013
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.6 miles
  • Easy with some optional elevation

This place is for the birds… Literally. Recently reopened, some of the paths in the wildlife refuge and its access road had sustained damage from last year’s Hurricane Sandy and a series of coastal winter storms. I had stopped here late in February and it was still closed. After making the phone call to see if it were open, I made my way here. Starting from the parking lot I decided to head south first along the Ocean View Loop to Sachuest Point. I immediately came across several red winged blackbirds and several yellow birds that almost looked like parakeets. I then spent a little time down on the rocks at the point. I continued along the path coming across some wildflowers and many more birds such as robins and catbirds. I decided to take a short trek on to the Price Neck Overlook that has good views of the Sakonnet River and the Atlantic Ocean. In the distance the Sakonnet Lighthouse is clearly visible. I then continued along the loop path and onto the Flint Point Loop passing through areas of beach roses. Along the way there are a couple of overlooks. The first overlooks the Island Rocks where you will see several birds relaxing. I saw an egret here. The second overlooks Flint Point as well as the coast of Tiverton and Little Compton across the river and Middletown and Third Beach to the left. I then continued the path which leads back to the parking area. Along the way I came across mourning doves. There is a visitor center here that has quite a display of the birds and other species that are found here. Beware, however, of the over abundance of poison ivy here.

Trail map can be found at: Sachuest Point

I’ve also decided to add this link to identify poison ivy. You can click on the options on the left to see what it looks like at different times and places: Poison Ivy

The Shore At Sachuest National Wildlife Refuge

The Shore At Sachuest National Wildlife Refuge

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John B. Hudson Trail – Exeter

  • John B. Hudson Trail – Arcadia Wildlife Management Area
  • Ten Rod Road, Exeter, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°34’37.16″N, 71°42’9.88″W
  • Last Time Hiked: May 27, 2013
  • Approximate distance hiked: 3.2 miles
  • Easy with slight elevation and areas of rocky footing.

 

After a few days of rain it was good to see the sun and it made for a beautiful Memorial Day morning hike. I started the hike by following the yellow trail into the woods, through an area of mountain laurel, to an old cemetery of the Wilcox family. After looking around the cemetery for a bit I continued on the yellow trail, crossing a fire lane, to the next intersection. A white blazed trail goes to the left and the yellow continues on the right. I kept following the yellow trail back out to the fire lane, turning left and following the fire lane for a bit before turning left again into the woods. The yellow trail eventually comes out to Breakheart Pond where I stopped for a bit and took some pictures. There is a dam here with a waterfall. At this point I found my way onto the white blazed trail that followed Breakheart Brook. It is a rather rocky path and somewhat muddy (at least after a few days of rain), but well worth the challenge as it has quite a bit of scenery to offer. I followed the white trail to its end and got back onto the yellow trail for a bit until I got back to the fire lane. I then turned right onto the fire lane and followed it left at the next fork. After following the fire lane for a bit a small trail on the left appeared by a cairn. Someone had also marked this turn with red flagging. Following this trail I came across the remains of the old fire tower before it ended at the yellow trail. I then turned right following the yellow trail back to the parking area.

A map of the Breakheart Pond area showing the trails is available here: John B. Hudson

Breakheart Brook

Breakheart Brook

Fisherville Brook – Exeter

  • Fisherville Brook Wildlife Preserve
  • Pardon Joslin Road, Exeter, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°35’23.69″N, 71°34’12.92″W
  • Last Time Hiked: May 25, 2013
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.6 miles
  • Easy with slight elevation.

I woke up this morning on this “first weekend of the summer” to a brisk and rainy day. I decided to hike nonetheless. Just a side note before I describe the hike. Pardon Joslin Road is not very accessible from Sunderland Road unless you have a vehicle with some clearance and/or a four by four. There are signs that are posted that read PASS AT OWN RISK. I would highly recommend getting to Pardon Joslin Road from Widows Sweet Road. After arriving I decided to start with the blue loop following it clockwise. The first stretch is a combination of the blue and orange trails. At the next intersection the orange trail goes to the left and the blue to the right. Continuing the blue trail, I made my way to the mill pond and dam with the waterfall. I spent a few moments here taking some photos. I then continued making my way through an area of boardwalks in some rather wet areas before the path opened up to a meadow. A short path to the left leads to a historic family cemetery. The grave of John Gardner who (after some research found) had served in the American Revolution is located here and has been decorated with a flag for Memorial Day.  He was born in 1753 and passed in 1837. It was nice to see that people still come out to these obscure and out of the way gravesites of veterans to pay respect. After spending some time here I then continued on the blue trail loop over the Fisherville Brook, through a densely wooded area covered with fern, and back to the parking area. At this point I had hiked just over a mile and a half. Not being too wet, mostly due to the canopy of trees, I decided to cross the street and hike the white trail to add a little more distance to the days hike. Again I followed the trail clockwise as it wound through some more densely wooded areas that were very active with birds. After completing the white trail I headed back to the car.

More info & trail map can be found at: Fisherville Brook

Along The Blue Trail

Along The Blue Trail

Fogland Marsh – Tiverton/Little Compton

When I left Providence it was hot, humid and the temperature was about 85 degrees. There were thunderstorms forming to the north heading south. I made my way to Ruecker Wildlife Refuge along the shores of the Sakonnet. When I got there it was still quite sunny, so I decided hiking was “a go”.  When I finished that short hike I decided to head to Fogland Marsh for some additional walking. When I arrived it was 67 degrees, partly sunny, and there was a strong breeze coming ashore. One of the things I love about living in the Ocean State, 30 miles south of the city its 20 degrees cooler on any given summer like day. To get to the preserve you must come in from Tiverton. Most of the walk however is in Little Compton. The entrance to the preserve is rather tricky. Shore Road ends and becomes a rather treacherous rock road. In the distance there is a sign for the preserve. From the car it is a short beach walk to the estuary. Along the beach there are thousands of shells. There is also fenced off areas where piping plovers are nesting. At the estuary I took a couple of pictures of the marsh and of the dunes with flowers that were in bloom. I then made my way back to the car. As I was leaving, typical New England weather was in the making. To the north, I could see the beginnings of thunderheads growing and to the south was a dense and ominous fog moving up the Sakonnet River, but it was still sunny above.

Fogland Marsh

Fogland Marsh

Ruecker – Tiverton

Along the shore of the Sakonnet River is where this Audubon property is. It is a short hike with well marked and well maintained paths. There is also an abundance of birds here. Starting from the parking area I followed the yellow trail into the property. I then turned left and followed the blue trail and its loop. There is a bridge crossing here where I snapped a photo of the salt marsh. After completing the blue loop I made my way back to the yellow trail and headed for the yellow loop. I took a quick peek at the field before making my way to the shore near the northern end of the property where I came across several fiddler crabs. In the distance there was an egret. Following the red trail back to the parking area I came across an area of ledge. This is where most of the birds were. The red trail ended at the parking area.  After this hike I decided to head to Fogland Marsh (which is relatively close) to do some additional walking.

More info can be found at: Ruecker

Salt Marsh

Salt Marsh

Pawtuxet River – Cranston/Warwick

This trail is a perfect example of where nature meets modern urbanization. Starting at the parking lot by the locally well known banquet facility Rhodes On The Pawtuxet, I followed the trail along the north side of the river making my way to Warwick Avenue. The trail pretty much follows the shore of the river and is heavily wooded. At the end of the section of the trail you must follow a narrow trail between a fence and the river and make your way to the bridge to cross the river. I stopped to take a look at the river here and noticed a family of geese with four goslings. This is where there is some confusion to where the trail goes next. After crossing the bridge into Warwick, you need to make your way toward the back of the Shaw’s supermarket. From a distance it does not appear to be much of anything, but as you get closer a very narrow trail appears. I followed this trail behind the supermarket (There is another entrance to this trail from the supermarket parking lot if you are not comfortable walking behind the building). The trail has been marked orange and again follows the bank of the river. There is a split ahead with the orange trail going to the right and a green marked trail going to the left following the riverbank. I opted for the green trail. From this trail you can see the Rhodes On The Pawtuxet across the river. Eventually this trail merges again with the orange trail. The trail then comes into a grass clearing near an old manufacturing building before turning back into the final stretch of the wooded trail. The trail ends at Post Road where I turned left and followed it to Pawtuxet Village. As you approach the village you will see some of the oldest houses in the area, some dating back to the 1700’s. In the village, there are few restaurants, ice cream shop, and a pub among other little businesses. The bridge over the river in the village overlooks a series of small waterfalls. After crossing the bridge back into Cranston I made my way to Rhodes Place, turned left, and made my way to the car.

Trail map can be found at: Pawtuxet River

Pawtuxet River

Pawtuxet River

Attleboro Springs – Attleboro

 

Starting at a small parking area at the end of the entrance road to La Salette Shrine a trail leads into the meadow. Soon you will come across the trail that is marked with blue circles. Follow that to the Esker Loop. Then follow the yellow circle trail back to the Piggery Path which leads back to the meadow. Photographers have been known to visit this spot to capture birds on film. Next, check out the Oak Forest Trail also marked in blue until after the boardwalk. The trail is then marked yellow the remainder of the way. The Oak Forest Trail gets quite narrow in places and can be buggy, but it is a beautiful trail nonetheless. Turn right at the Reflection Trail to visit Brothers Pond, the Puddingstone, and the Room of Oaks before heading back to the car. Here you will likely come across several species of birds, a handful of squirrels, rabbits, and frogs along the pond.

Trail map can be found at: Attleboro Springs

Trail At Attleboro Springs

Trail At Attleboro Springs