Archive for August, 2013

Narragansett Pier – Narragansett

There is a nearly mile long seawall from Narragansett Town Beach to State Pier 5 that overlooks the southern end of the bay where it meets the Atlantic Ocean. It is also a spot to watch the sunrise (or the full moon) over the water. This morning I decided to walk here to take advantage of that opportunity. It was a spectacular view indeed on this beautiful August morning. From this location I could see the Beavertail Light at the southern end of Jamestown as well as Breton Point in Newport and the Newport Bridge loomed over the horizon.  I parked the car near the end of Ocean Road at Boston Neck Road and walked southerly passing the infamous Narragansett Towers and passing the Coast Guard House restaurant that is still under major renovations after last years Hurricane Sandy. Below the seawall there are several (maybe hundreds) of “balanced rocks” along the rocky shore. I then walked out to the State Pier where there were several early morning fishermen. I then turned around retracing my steps, pass the car, and then northerly toward the town beach. Early morning surfers were making the best of the beautiful morning. I took a few pictures of the sculptures here before returning to the car.

Summer Sunrise

Summer Sunrise

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Bradner Preserve – Richmond

  • Bradner Preserve
  • Gardiner Road, Richmond, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°32’29.64″N, 71°36’58.92″W
  • Last Time Hiked: August 8, 2013
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.8 miles
  • Easy with some slight elevation

 

This Richmond Rural Preservation Land Trust property made for a nice and quiet after work hike. I followed the main blue blazed trail into the property from the small parking area on Gardiner Road. Following the blue trail as it wandered through the heavily wooded terrain slightly up and down hills crossing streams and old stone walls, it eventually came to the Hanging Rock. This is a rather large outcrop of rock that looks as if it is hanging over the edge of a hill. On the way back towards the car, I followed the yellow loop that had a natural stone crossing of a stream. There were no sightings of wildlife, however I did see a frog and came across several mushrooms.

Trail map can be found at: Bradner Preserve

A Stone Wall At Bradner

A Stone Wall At Bradner

Snake Den North – Johnston

  • Snake Den North – Snake Den State Park
  • Brown Avenue, Johnston, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°51’20.18″N, 71°32’0.02″W
  • Previous Hikes: August 6, 2013
  • Last Time Hiked: August 17, 2014 
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.5 miles
  • Moderate with some significant elevation
 

This hike was my second visit into the Snake Den State Park in the course of a week. Starting from a parking area on Brown Avenue I followed an old dirt road into the park quickly descending into a ravine like area. The trail narrowed slightly as the tall cliffs rose on each side. As I got to the bottom I came across some rock climbers scaling the face of one of the tall cliffs. I then continued on the trail until I came to a small open area of grass. A trail emerged on the left. I choose to take this trail. (The trail ahead would eventually head towards the southern end of the park.) I followed the trail through a rocky area that crosses a stream before turning right onto the next trail. This trail would then meander along a cliff for a bit. It would occasionally split before rejoining itself. At the top of the hill there is an overlook with a pretty decent view of western Johnston and Scituate. From this point I started back to the car occasionally wandering and exploring other paths. The trails are not blazed in this section of the path, so be careful to remember which paths to retrace. I did come across a lone deer on this hike who seemed keenly interested of my presence. This route was 2.5 miles in length.

Trail map can be found at: Snake Den North

View From The Snake Den Overlook

View From The Snake Den Overlook

Rock Formations

Rock Formations

Boyden Wildlife Refuge – Taunton

  • Gertrude M. Boyden Wildlife Refuge
  • Cohannet Street, Taunton, MA
  • Trailhead: 41° 52’56.52″N, 71°7’42.08″W
  • Last Time Hiked: August 3, 2013
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.4 miles
  • Easy with slight elevation

 

This morning I was joined by a few friends for a hike. Among them was our fearless 3 year old guide who led the way. Needless to say, there was no set or defined path to describe for this hike. We did however cover just about the entire wildlife refuge, and in some cases, twice. Some of the highlights of this property are the fragrance garden which at the time was blooming with bee balm and tiger lilies. We hiked through a dense pine grove as well as a river trail that followed the Three Mile River. We came across a covered bridge as well as a log cabin. We also made our way around a meadow of tall grass. There are about a mile and a half of trails here, but we had hiked slightly more than that. We came across a few squirrels and some butterflies. We could hear plenty of birds and also heard a frog. (Side Note: Our trail guide fell asleep on the way home!)

I did not find a trail map online.

A Trail At Boyden Wildlife Refuge

A Trail At Boyden Wildlife Refuge

Carr Pond – West Greenwich

  • Carr Pond – Big River Management Area
  • Hopkins Hill Road, West Greenwich, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°37’51.32″N, 71°34’16.41″W
  • Last Time Hiked: August 2, 2013
  • Approximate distance hiked: 3.7 miles
  • Easy with slight elevation

 

This hike was my second venture into the Big River Management Area. It was a perfect summer day and this was a perfect hike for the day. Starting from a parking area on Hopkins Hill Road I took the trail to the right into the woods. The path descended down toward the pond passing an old rusty car and an area of swamp before reaching the main loop trail. The path generally goes straight following red blazes (there are several other color blazes along the way and side paths, be sure to follow the red). When I reached the main loop trail I decided to follow it to the left. The loop, an old dirt road, is well traveled and quite wide. You will want to follow this around the pond. There are several paths and trails leading away from the pond to the left of the main trail. I would advise not to wander too far without a map or a GPS device on these trails. Big River has an immense network of unmarked trails. The paths leading to the right of the main trail lead to areas overlooking and along the shores of the pond. Some even lead to small beaches. (No swimming allowed here). The views of the pond at these trails are spectacular. After checking some of these trails I continued along the main trail, passing some old stone structures and pipelines, until I reached the trail I entered the area on. It is marked with a large boulder on each side of it and at the time of this hike marked with several orange arrows. I then followed this trail back to the car. (Remember to follow the red blazes) I came along several butterflies on this hike as well as birds and squirrels.

Trail map can be found at: Carr Pond

Along The Ponds Edge

Along The Ponds Edge

On The Trail

On The Trail

Sowams Woods – Barrington

The Barrington Land Conservation Trust owns this nice little and well maintained 12 acre parcel wedged between Washington Road and Echo Lake. Though the walk is rather short, it makes for a pleasant half hour getaway. The trails are also very well marked. The main entrance seems to want to be on Washington Road itself, however around the corner on South Lake Drive (the narrow road along the country club property) there is a very small parking area at a trailhead. Starting there I followed the very narrow red trail to the first intersection. i then turned left and up a set of stairs onto the blue trail through areas of low ground cover until I got to the green trail. I then followed the green trail straight through an area of a pine needle covered path with towering trees. The green trail then turned to the right (orange trail was to the left) and I followed it to its end. I then turned left onto the red trail and right onto the purple trail. I followed the purple trail as it very slightly climbed up and down to its end with Echo Lake to the left along the way. The car was parked less than a hundred feet west of the end of the purple trail. I did not see much of any wildlife except for many birds.

Trail map can be found at: Sowams Woods

Echo Lake in Barrington

Echo Lake in Barrington