Archive for June, 2014

Sprague Farm – Glocester

  • Sprague Farm Town Forest
  • Pine Orchard Road, Glocester, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°54’31.41″N,  71°42’8.87″W
  • First Time Hiked: June 29, 2014
  • Last Time Hiked: June 10, 2017 
  • Approximate distance hiked: 4.6 miles
  • Easy with slight elevation.

 

This property is owned by the Glocester Land Trust and includes several miles of mostly pine needle covered paths. This property also features several cellar holes of the former homesteads of the Sprague family.  A few were here with their dogs and some were here to do some geocaching. For this hike we followed most of Ken Webers suggested route in his “Weekend Walks” book and then we added some additional exploration. Before we started I briefly explored a small field just south of the parking area. After our group assembled we started the hike by following the Sprague Trail blazed with white rectangles. We followed it for approximately a half mile passing a few side trails before we came to a sign for the Colonel Anthony Trail. We would later return on this trail. We continued straight on the white blazed trail. Just after this intersection and on the right is the first of the cellar holes. This one is the George Sprague Farmstead. The stonework and stairs are astonishingly well preserved. After spending a few moments here we continued westward on the Sprague Trail to its end passing areas of ferns, stone walls, and boulders. At the end of the trail on the right is another cellar hole. This one is the site of the Smith Sprague Homestead. We then turned left on the Haystack Trail, blazed with yellow rectangles, to its end passing the last remnants of mountain laurel. We then turned left onto Elbow Rock Road, blazed with white dots, passing a small vernal pool on the left before going slightly uphill to the Joseph Sweet Homestead on the right. Here there is a cellar hole and some sort of stone formation that does not appear to be a cemetery. In fact, Ken Weber, in his book, suggests that it may be the remnants of a granary. One of my fellow hikers dubbed it “Sprague-henge”. After spending some time here when then retraced our steps back to the intersection of the Sprague Trail and Haystack Trail. From here we continued following the Haystack Trail a bit more before turning right onto the blue dot blazed trail named appropriately the John Ridge Trail. This trail first goes downhill a bit but quickly and rather gently climbs uphill to a ridge that overlooks the forest. We then followed the orange dot blazed trail to the right. This trail is the Colonel Anthony Trail and would eventually lead us to the Sprague Trail once again. There is a stream crossing in this section where we had to scramble over some rocks. At the end of this trail we turned left again following the Sprague Trail back toward the parking area. We decided to do a little further exploration of the property at this point. We turned right onto the Jedediah Trail, blazed with blue triangles, to its end, then right onto the orange triangle blazed trail, aptly named the Cemetery Trail. Near the end of this trail is the Sprague family cemetery, Most of the headstones date to the 1800’s and it has signage depicting it as a historical cemetery. We then followed the Lydia Trail, blazed with yellow dots, back in a northward direction, then turned left onto the Jedediah Trail. From here we retraced our steps back to the Sprague Trail where we turned right and hiked back to the parking area. This is also a haven for birds as we heard several bird calls along the entire hike. The trails here are very well marked and there is signage at most of the trail intersections. Thank you Glocester Land Trust. Be mindful that hunting is allowed on this property in the fall and winter.

 

Trail map can be found at: Sprague Farm.

A Field At Sprague Farm

A Field At Sprague Farm

Trail Through Stone Walls And Ferns

Trail Through Stone Walls And Ferns

Manchester Reservoir – Attleboro

  • Manchester Reservoir
  • Beagle Club Road, Attleboro, MA
  • Trailhead: 41°56’23.48″N, 71°19’25.82″W
  • Last Time Hiked: June 21, 2014 
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.9 miles
  • Easy with slight elevation.
 

 9/28/14: ACCESS TO MANCHESTER RESERVOIR IN ATTLEBORO IS CURRENTLY QUESTIONABLE.

 

I met someone this morning for today’s hike. Manchester Reservoir is an area that she is quite familiar with as she often walks her dog here. As a matter of fact, her dog did most of the navigating.  We started from the cul-de-sac at the end of Beagle Club Road and followed the paved trail up to the dam. From here the trail turns into a dirt footpath that follows the edge of the reservoir. We stopped briefly a few times to take a few photos of the reservoir. The trail then splits. We went left away from the reservoir and slightly uphill. From this point forward we meandered through the woods occasionally seeing some boulders. I really am not sure of the exact paths that we took as I was enthralled in conversation. We essentially made a large loop through the woods which concluded by following a trail that lead back to the cul-de-sac.

 

I did not find a trail map on-line.

Manchester Reservoir

Manchester Reservoir

Ridge Hill – Dartmouth

  • Ridge Hill Reserve
  • Collins Corner Road, Dartmouth, MA
  • Trailhead: 41°41’39.40″N, 71° 1’18.57″W
  • Last Time Hiked: June 18, 2014
  • Approximate distance hiked: 3.6 miles
  • Moderate due to narrow and rocky trails in areas. Some elevation as well.

 

This was my first hike in Dartmouth in a couple months. Ridge Hill Reserve is in northern Dartmouth near the Fall River line. I was joined by a friend who works in Dartmouth for this hike. We started this hike a little later than what I would normally start a hike, so I had to keep daylight in mind. It really wasn’t an issue as we are now in the longest days of the year. We started this hike by exploring the red trail. This trail, with the exception of where it comes out to the dirt roads and the old power line clearings, is very narrow as well as rocky in areas. For the most part it is well marked, however you should keep an eye out for the blazes at intersections. There is also an old mill site along the trail. After completing the red trail we decided to explore parts of the blue and green trails. Keeping the time in mind we opted not to do the entire green trail loop and we cut it in half using the blue trails. These trails were substantially wider. There is a section of the green trail that borders the New Bedford Rod and Gun Club. There are several no trespassing signs along this stretch for obvious reasons. After making a loop we returned to the car. We did come across a snake here and several birds as well as a great blue heron.

 

Trail map can be found at: Ridge Hill.

A Trail At Ridge Hill

A Trail At Ridge Hill

Ephraim Hunt – Rehoboth

  • Ephraim Hunt Ministerial Land
  • Pond Street, Rehoboth, MA
  • Trailhead: 41°50’8.75″N, 71°16’10.04″W
  • First Time Hiked: June 17, 2014
  • Last Time Hiked: April 20, 2018
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.5 miles
  • Easy with slight elevation.

 

This is a small but quite quaint property in Rehoboth. There are three blazed trails on the property. A red blazed loop trail that wraps around an outdoor classroom. The blue blazed trail that travels to the back reaches of the property and an orange out and back trail that runs through an old field. There is a stream here crossed by boardwalks and plenty of birdhouses.

 

Trail map can be found at: Ephraim Hunt.

Along The Blue Trail

Along The Blue Trail

Davis Wildlife Refuge – North Kingstown

  • Davis Memorial Wildlife Refuge
  • Davisville Road, North Kingstown, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°37’24.06″N,  71°28’53.38″W
  • Last Time Hiked: June 15, 2014
  • Approximate distance hiked: 0.8 miles
  • Easy with some elevation.

This is an Audubon Society property that is nestled between Davisville Road and Route 4 that abuts the Hunt River. There is a small and narrow loop trail here. The entrance is not easily visible from the road unless you are looking for it. The sign is set back a bit. The trail begins at the sign and splits about a hundred feet after it. I followed the more traveled “main/straight” trail first to its end. The trail ends at an electrical tower. I turned left here and walked to the next tower where the return trail begins. I followed that trail back to the split. There are a couple side spurs that lead to the shore of the river. After a few photos I returned to the car.

More info & trail map can be found at: Davis Wildlife Refuge.

Hunt River

Hunt River

Wilson Park – North Kingstown

Wilson Park is one of North Kingstown’s recreational facilities. It has many soccer and baseball fields. It also has a paved bike/walking path. I parked the car at the last parking area for the fields along Roosevelt Avenue. I then started the walk along the paved path. I immediately turned right following the path through a canopy of tall trees. The path would cross a road at it’s end at an intersection. Here I turned right and followed the path to its end at a dock and boat ramp at Mill Cove. After lingering for a bit I retraced my steps back to the intersection and then proceeded straight. The path eventually winded back to the parking area on Roosevelt Avenue.

Trail map can be found at: Wilson Park.

Mill Cove

Mill Cove

Bush Hill – North Kingstown

  • Bush Hill Nature Reserve
  • Main Street, North Kingstown, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°34’22.05″N, 71°27’4.19″W
  • Last Time Hiked: June 15, 2014
  • Approximate distance hiked: 0.6 miles
  • Easy with slight elevation.

 

Bush Hill is a small Land Conservation property just outside of Wickford Village. It has a network of narrow trails running through a wooded area as well as a tidal marsh. There is also a small but very old cemetery here with graves dating back to 1809. I started this hike from trail head 2 (see map) behind the First Baptist Church on Main Street. I then followed the loop trail counter clockwise exploring all of the spur trails as well. After taking a few photos I made my way back to the car. This walk would be a good supplement to the Wickford Village walk.

 

Trail map can be found at: Bush Hill.

Tidal Marsh

Tidal Marsh

The Narrows – Narragansett

  • The Narrows/Narragansett Beach
  • Beach Street, Narragansett, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°25’59.89″N, 71°27’24.01″W
  • Last Time Hiked: June 15, 2014
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.4 miles
  • Easy beach walk.

I’ve had this overwhelming desire to go to the beach lately and I happened to be up long before sunrise this morning. Perfect! Into the car and off to Narragansett. When I arrived I parked the car at the end of Ocean Road, then walked to the seawall opening to Narragansett Beach, and made my way to the oceans edge. From here I could see a few ships and the Beavertail lighthouse. The sun was still a few minutes from rising and the sky was full of pastel colors and a nearly full moon. The tide was low and beach seemed wide. There were a few others out including some walkers, surfers, kayakers, and fishermen. As the sun was rising, I walked the mile or so down the beach to an area called The Narrows . It is area where the Pettaquamscutt River flows into the ocean. It is in fact a peninsula with the river on one side and the ocean on the other. The area is home to nesting piping plovers and least terns. After spending a little time taking some photos I retraced my steps along the beach and back to the car. If you want to take in more of the area you can walk the seawall along Ocean Road. Keep in mind though, this is a very active area in the summer. Parking may be difficult to find and fees may be charged to access the beach. I suggest coming here in the off-season or very early in the day. The sunrise is always worth it!

I did not find a trail map online.

Footsteps at Sunrise

Footsteps at Sunrise

Monastery – Cumberland

  • Cumberland Monastery
  • Diamond Hill Road, Cumberland, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°56’5.96″N, 71°24’20.67″W
  • Last Time Hiked: March 31, 2019
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.5 miles
  • Easy with slight elevation.

 

For a half of a century this property was a religious site. It was the home of a Cistercian Monastery. Although most of the buildings are still here the property is now owned by the Town of Cumberland. The site also includes the towns library and the oldest known veterans memorial in the United States. The memorial known as Nine Men’s Misery is the site where nine colonists were tortured to death by the Narragansett Indian tribe during the King Phillips War in 1676. They were later buried here by English soldiers and the memorial was built. The site is also sprawling with trails. Although there are several miles of trails here at the Monastery property, this hike is rather short and covers most of the highlights. Starting from the library parking lot, follow the loop road toward the Senior Center. Opposite the building is the gate and trail head to the red rectangle blazed trail that leads to Nine Men’s Misery. After stopping at the memorial continue on the trail named after the memorial until you come to the white triangle blazed trail that leads to a field. Merge to the left here. After going through part of the field start looking for a very narrow path to the right that cuts across the field to some large pieces of granite. Take this path into the woods. It is very narrow, beware of poison ivy and ticks. This trail soon come to the green rectangle blazed Monks Quarry Trail. Turn right to follow the green blazes to the quarry.  Stop here for a bit to examine the quarry site. One of the more interesting pieces here is a large stone cross laying in the woods. Continue to follow the green blazes up a hill and along a ledge. Then turn left onto an orange dot blazed trail. This trail will lead you back down hill where you will turn right onto the green rectangle blazed trail heading in a southerly direction. The trail comes to a multiple trail intersection. Continue, for the most part, straight ahead until you see the yellow dot blazes to the left. Follow this trail along the edge of an irrigation pond until its end. The trail ahead is a white rectangle blaze. This is the Beauregard Loop Trail. Follow it another seven tenths of a mile back to the library. From here follow the road back to the parking lot. The entire property has recently been blazed and there is a great trail map available.

Trail map can be found at: Monastery.

Through A Field

Through A Field

Ruins

Ruins

Donigian Park – Providence

I came across Donigian Park while scrolling through the blueways section of exploreri.org webpage. When I looked it up in Google Maps I noticed that there was a bike path shown on the map. On the list it went. Today, a very rainy day, I decided to cancel my planned hike down in Arcadia but I still couldn’t resist getting a short walk in nonetheless. Being in the city I decided to stop here and check it out. The bike path itself is rather short and looks very new. It is in the Onleyville section of the city and runs from Valley Street along the Woonasquatucket River to Sonoma Court. There is a bridge that crosses the river and there is a dam and waterfall here. There are also some paved paths that wrap around the park itself. The park features a ball field and playgrounds. The walk along the bike path out and back and a loop around the park is just about 3/4 of a mile. By the way, I got absolutely drenched.

I did not find a trail map online.

The Bike Path Along The River (In The Rain)

The Bike Path Along The River (In The Rain)