- Tillinghast Pond Loop Trail/Flintlock Trail – Tillinghast Pond Management Area
- Plain Meeting House Road, West Greenwich, RI
- Trailhead: 41°38’21.37″N, 71°44’41.92″W
- First Time Hiked: August 31, 2014
- Last Time Hiked: August 16, 2015
- Approximate distance hiked: 4.8 miles
- Fairly easy with slight elevation.
For this hike, I decided to start at the Hell’s Gate Trailhead instead of the main parking area on Plain Road. There is a small parking area here and the trail, an old cart path, leads to the back side of the Flintlock Trail. Along the way I passed an area of tall pines, a small pond and Phillips Brook. I also caught a glimpse of a deer of in the distance. Reaching the yellow blazed Flintlock Loop Trail, I turned right passing through a small field before entering back into the woods. Soon a blue blazed trail from the right joins the yellow trail. The blue blazed trail is the Wickaboxet Loop Trail. Next an unmarked spur trail to the right leads to a scenic view of Phillips Pond. As the yellow blazed trail winds through the thick woods, the blue blazed trail then turns away to the right. Here the yellow trail turns left. The trail ahead, currently blocked, leads off of the property. Soon I reached another fork in the trail with signs indicating the North Spur and the South Spur. I opted the south and explored an area known as the Boulder Garden. This area is quite pleasant, offering a few large boulders along the trail as it winds through a shrub covered forest floor. The two trails rejoin a little later before coming to the intersection with the white blazed Pond Loop Trail. At this intersection the Flintlock Trail turns left. I opted to turn right to follow the Pond Loop. Soon I was catching my first glimpse of Tillinghast Pond through the trees. As the trails winds along the north shore of the pond, I walked though areas of woods, large grass fields, boardwalks, and stopped at several of the scenic viewing areas including Howard’s Rest in particular. Soon the trail comes out to Plain Road where I turned left and followed the white blazes a short distance along the paved road. The orange blazed Coney Brook Trail now joins the Pond Loop Trail for a bit as it jots back into the woods and follows the western edge of the pond. Along this stretch there is a peninsula with a sweeping view of the pond. It is worth the stop. Next the orange blazed trail turns to the right as the white blazes continue straight to the main parking lot. After passing through the parking lot the Pond Loop trail continues along the southern edge of the pond and the Flintlock Trail rejoins. Along this stretch are some rather impressive stone walls. Continuing straight back onto the yellow blazed trail, I soon came to the Ellis Homestead, which includes a cemetery. Soon I came back to the unmarked Hell’s Gate Trail and retraced my steps back to the parking area. Tillinghast Pond offers three loop trails and together with the abutting Wickaboxet Management Area, one could easily get upwards of 10 miles of hiking here. This area is open to hunting. You should wear orange here during hunting season.
Trail map can be found at: Tillinghast Pond.