Archive for August, 2014

Tillinghast Pond – West Greenwich

  • 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.

Tillinghast Pond

Tillinghast Pond

Green Fall Pond – Voluntown

  • Green Fall Pond – Pachaug State Forest
  • Green Fall Road, Voluntown, CT
  • Trailhead: 41°31’22.96″N, 71°48’30.96″W
  • Last Time Hiked: August 30, 2014
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.8 miles
  • Moderate with rocky footing and root bound trails in areas.
  • Difficult and at times challenging in the gorge. Use caution along steep banks.

 

This would be my first of many planned ventures into the Pachaug State Forest in Eastern Connecticut. Green Fall Pond I found to be one of the more tranquil hikes that I have taken thus far. It was also a perfect summer day. From a parking area on Green Fall Road (not on some GPS units), a fellow hiker and I started by following the blue blazes of the Narragansett Trail into the forest. The immediate first part of this hike is very easy as the trail winds through an area covered with fern. We then came to a rather large cairn. The fairly wide trail that we were following appears to go uphill and into an area of pines. I will refer this trail (which is not shown on the map I’ve linked) as the “high road” aptly dubbed by a fellow blogger (who was ironically here today as well). We would return on that trail. At this point we veered to the right continuing to follow the blue blazes into the gorge. This part of the hike is rather challenging as the trail leads you through an area where you must jump for boulder to boulder, do some rock scaling, and even some little bit of climbing in areas. The Green Fall River runs through the gorge adding some more challenge to the hike. It has been a tremendously dry summer in Southern New England this summer and the river at the time of this hike was almost just a trickle. I did, nonetheless, slip at crossing the river at one point. Good thing for waterproof boots. At the end of the gorge there is a 40 foot high dam. The trail leads you uphill to the right of the dam. From here we got our first glimpse of Green Fall Pond. There is a loop trail that follows the perimeter of the pond that is blazed blue/orange. There are several areas that have scenic views of the pond. We started by going to the right (if you are facing the pond) following the blue/orange blazes. Along this stretch we came across a couple walking their dog and a few people fishing. I chatted briefly with the people fishing. They informed me that there were bass and pikes in the pond but had only caught some sticks thus far. Continuing along the loop trail we saw some chipmunks and squirrels as well as dragonflies and crickets as the trail passed areas of stone walls and an earthen dam that had field like features along the top of it including several shrubs with berries. The blue blazed Narragansett Trail then continued straight. We continued following the blue/orange blazed loop trail the veered off to the left and along the banks of the pond. The trail crossed a small stream at a footbridge before eventually coming to a dirt road at a camp site. The camp site is a “first come first serve” camp and fees are collected in the morning. We turned left onto the road stopping briefly at the beach area. (Swimming is allowed at this beach). Following the road, turning to a paved road and uphill for a bit, we passed the trail heads of both the Pachaug Trail and the Nehantic Trail. We also passed the boat launch for Green Fall Pond and another parking area before we found the sign for the trail to head back into the woods. The trail, still blazed blue/orange, then followed the west shore of the pond. This section of trail was rather rocky and root bound. We found ourselves scaling some rocks in areas here. The trail eventually came back to the dam. We then followed a stone covered road to the right uphill as it arced to the right. Near the top of the hill we took a left onto the trail I referred to earlier as the “high road”. This lead us back to Green Fall Road just to the west of the gorge. It eventually merged with the blue blazed trail. From here we retraced our steps back to the car.

 

Trail map can be found at: Green Fall Pond.

In The Gorge

In The Gorge

Green Fall Pond

Green Fall Pond

Tattapanum Trail – Fall River

  • Tattapanum Trail
  • Wilson Road, Fall River, MA
  • Trailhead: 41°44’10.91″N, 71° 6’11.73″W
  • Last Time Hiked: August 28, 2014
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.0 mile
  • Easy with slight elevation.

 

This loop trail in the woods of Fall River abuts the North Watuppa Pond. The trail begins from a small area for parking along the edge of Wilson Road. After passing the gate, a fellow hiker and I followed the trail to the split. At the split there is a sign with a brief history of the property and its namesake. We followed the trail to the right meandering through a fern covered forest of pine, birch, maple, oak, and holly trees to name just a few. We also stumbled upon some survey monuments with the letters “RC” inscribed in them. The “RC” is an abbreviation for the Reservoir Commission. After passing the Cobble Crossing and some stone walls we came to the East Look. Unfortunately at this time of the year the leaves on the tree prohibit a good view of the pond below. We then continued along the loop slightly uphill into a thick of a pine grove. From here we made our descent down to the split then retracing our steps back to the car.

 

I did not find a trail map on-line.

Along The Tattapanum Trail

Along The Tattapanum Trail

Riverpoint Park – West Warwick

  • Senator Donald E. Roch River Walk at Riverpoint Park/Jaycee Arboreatum
  • Hay Street, West Warwick, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°42’59.94″N, 71°30’52.28″W
  • Last Time Hiked: August 23, 2014
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.2 miles
  • Easy with slight elevation.

 

Riverpoint Park is a recreation complex in West Warwick. It has several ball fields as well as basketball courts. There is also a river walk here. Parking by the Tim O’Brien field, the trailhead is just to the right of the field. It starts as an asphalt walk (which is known as the Jaycee corridor and arboretum) before passing under a trellis. From here the trail heads downhill and turns eventually into a dirt path. The trail then winds along the Pawtuxet River to the right through areas of woods and fields. Occasionally there are spots to view the river. Along this trail there is an interesting structure. It is the remains of an abutment. This was once part of a railroad bridge that crossed the river. The main trail then passes to the right of a pavilion before winding uphill to a parking area. From here my fellow hiker and I weaved our way through the parking lots back to the car.

I did not find a trail map on-line.

The River Walk At Riverpoint Park

The River Walk At Riverpoint Park

Nathanael Greene Homestead – Coventry

  • Major General Nathanael Greene Homestead
  • Taft Street, Coventry, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°41’38.98″N, 71°32’39.51″W
  • Last Time Hiked: August 23, 2014
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.5 miles
  • Easy with slight elevation.

 

On this property behind the homestead there is a small network of trails that run along and near the Pawtuxet River from the Washington Secondary Trail to a small peninsula. There is a spot to view the Anthony Trellis Bridge as well as the Clairiant Falls along the river. The falls are a manmade dam that once served a large mill building across the river. To access the trails follow the driveway to the right of the homestead. There is an opening in the stone wall here. Follow the path to the cemetery. There is an opening in the stone wall to the left of the cemetery. This is the access point to the trails. As for the homestead itself, there is a vast amount of history here. Nathanael Greene was second in command to George Washington during the American Revolution. The homestead, built by Nathanael, dates back to 1770. It remained in the Greene family for several generations. Today it is a museum. There is an admission fee for the museum. Call 401-821-8630 for hours. The cemetery on the property is that of the Greene family. Nathanael, however, is not buried here. The site also hosts a reenactment of an American Revolution battle the weekend after Mothers Day each year.

I did not find a trail map on-line.

Nathanael Greene Homestead

Nathanael Greene Homestead

Whipple Conservation Area – Coventry

  • Merrill S. Whipple Conservation Area
  • Washington Seconday Trail, Coventry, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°41’30.25″N, 71°33’14.18″W
  • Last Time Hiked: August 23, 2014
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.7 miles
  • Easy.

 

This conservation area off of the Washington Secondary Trail in Coventry is a fairly large parcel that hugs the shore of the Pawtuxet River. There is a network of unmarked trails that meander through areas of oaks and pines. In areas the ground is covered with ferns. There are a couple spots that you can view the river. One of the trails leads to a nearby cemetery with graves dating back to the 1800’s.

I did not find a trail map on-line.

The Pawtuxet River at Whipple

The Pawtuxet River at Whipple

Parker Farm – Jamestown

 

Parker Farm is a Conanicut Land Trust property at the northern end of Jamestown. It is a quaint spot that has a mowed trail through some woods and fields. The parking area is just north of a stone drive that enters the property. The stone drive serves also as the driveway for the abutting property. I was joined by a friend for this hike and we started by making our way to the gate just after the driveway opening on the left. After passing the gate we followed the Mower Trail as it wound through an area of trees. I didn’t notice much of side trails even though they were shown on the map. When we came to the intersection we went left and completed the loop the followed the perimeter of the field. Returning to the intersection we turned left again following the trail to its dead end. From here we retraced our steps back to the car. We came across several birds and squirrels here as well as a few deer.

Trail map can be found at: Parker Farm.

Trail Along A Field

Trail Along A Field

Blithewold – Bristol

  • Blithewold Mansion, Gardens, & Arboretum
  • Ferry Road, Bristol, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°39’13.82″N, 71°15’53.20″W
  • Last Time Hiked: August 15, 2014
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.0 mile
  • Easy.

 

I stop at Blithewold quite often to stroll around the gardens for ideas and to take in the solitude it has to offer. Another of my hobbies is gardening. Blithewold has a wide variety of flowers to see at all times of the year. More so a walk than a hike, you still can get a mile or more nonetheless along stone and dirt paths. I remember the first time coming here was for a wedding. I also stop by quite often during daffodil season. The display is quite impressive. Both Blithewold and Parsons are well worth checking out for their daffodils. Today I was joined by my mother for this walk. We started at the Visitors Center by the parking lot. After paying the entry fee we went through the rose garden and found our way toward the front of the mansion. We followed the path away from the mansion toward the road passing a Giant Sequoia and Japanese Cedar along the way. We then circled around toward the summer house. We then passed an area of hydrangeas while we followed a path back towards the mansion. When we reached the North Garden we then followed another path back into the wooded area passing a water fountain. We eventually reached a grove of bamboo. After walking through the grove we stumbled upon a garden of flowers of all assortments. There were several black eyed susans and coneflowers attracting several bees and butterflies. We then followed the northern property line along a dirt road to the bay. The views are quite impressive here. We then wandered into the rock and water gardens. The small ponds here were covered with lily pads and the highlights of the garden are a Japanese Red Maple on a small island as well as a stone bridge that crosses a section of the pond. We then followed a path that passed several trees of interest including a snowbell, plane, and a walnut to name a few before passing into an archway of boxwood. This path eventually met with the path with the water fountain. We then made our way back to the North Garden. At this point we had walked just under a mile. We then explored the mansion before returning to the car.

Map of the paths and gardens can be found at: Blithewold.

Rock and Water Gardens

Rock and Water Gardens

Lawton Farm – Scituate

 

Lawton Farm is a Scituate Conservation Commission property on the Scituate/Cranston border. It comprises of a couple large fields with mowed paths. I started the hike from a small parking area at the end of the dirt entrance road. I followed the path a few hundred feet, listening to the sounds of crickets, before turning left. From here I followed the path straight slightly downhill to a stream crossing leaving the front field. After crossing the stream and walking through a short wooded area I choose to follow the path to the left following the tree line. To my right was a field of gold full of blooming wildflowers. At the next intersection I merged right as the path climbed uphill slightly. I saw several grasshoppers along this stretch. At the end of the path I turned right after exploring a tree swing. I continued the walk again following the tree line. I then turned right, quickly followed by a left, and another left again. I followed this path which came to a second stream crossing and back into the front field. At the next intersection I choose to go to the left following the path that led to the front of the field. It then bears right following the stone wall by the road back to the entrance road. I saw a rabbit along this stretch. From here I turned right and made my way to the car. Besides the described route, I also did some slight exploration of side paths. I saw several birds including a red tail hawk here. It is highly advisable to stay away the edges of the paths as there is a lot of poison ivy here. Dogs are not allowed here from April 1 to August 31 during nesting season. The rest of the year they are welcomed on a leash.

I did not find a trail map on-line.

Field Of Gold

Field Of Gold

Yawgoo Pond – South Kingstown

  • Yawgoo Pond
  • Barbers Pond Road, South Kingstown, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°30’20.81″N, 71°33’44.36″W
  • Last Time Hiked: August 11, 2014
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.8 miles
  • Easy with slight elevation.
 

I started this hike from the parking area on Barbers Pond Road. The entire trail is blazed blue and starts just to the right of the information sign. The trail, narrow at first, runs up and down and winds through areas of thick shrubs before coming out to a dirt road. Here I turned right, crossed the Mud Brook and continued to where the trail splits. Here I opted to follow the trail to the right as it passed through an area of young pines and stone walls. I encountered a garter snake along this stretch. I also stumbled upon a cemetery here. The graves belong to those of the Wells family and were dated in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. I then continued along the trail finding myself in a dense area of fern. Soon I could see Yawgoo Pond through the trees. There was a short unmarked access trail to the shore of the pond. I then continued of the blazed trail until I reached an intersection. Though not shown on the map, the unmarked trail to the right lead to a footbridge that crosses the Chickasheen Brook and then eventually to a beach area along the pond. This seemed to be the best vantage point of the pond. The unmarked trail narrows and continues but I opted not to explore it any further. I retraced my steps back to the intersection, continuing straight, before seeing the blue blazes again. The trail eventually led to the first split completing the loop. From here I retraced my steps back to the parking area encountering some deer along the way.

Trail map can be found at: Yawgoo Pond.

IMG_1213

Yawgoo Pond