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
  • Last Time Hiked: June 29, 2014 
  • Approximate distance hiked: 4.6 miles
  • Easy with slight elevation.

 

The Providence County Hiking Club is now doing monthly hikes the last weekend of each month. This months hike was Sprague Farm. The 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. Upon my as usual early arrival I made small chat with some others who pulled into the parking area while I was waiting for the other members of the hiking club. 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
  • Last Time Hiked: June 17, 2014
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.5 miles
  • Easy with slight elevation.

 

Today I was joined by a co-worker for a short after work hike. We first decided to hike the shorter red trail which is a loop. It is a rather short loop. We also came across an area that appears to be used for religious ceremonies in an area of tall pines. After we looked around a bit we then decided to hike the blue trail. Some of the new boardwalks are finished but some are still under construction at this time. Use caution here as some of them haven’t been nailed or bolted. There is an intersection where a narrower blue trail shoots off to the right. We continued going straight and to the left following the wider blue blazed trail up Ridge Hill and around a loop. There is also a trail that shoots off to the left at the loop but it leads to private property. After doing the loop we retraced our steps back to the car.

 

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