Melville Park – Portsmouth
- Melville Park
- Bradford Avenue, Portsmouth, RI
- Trailhead: 41°35’2.48″N, 71°16’17.67″W
- Last Time Hiked: September 10, 2014
- Approximate distance hiked: 2.4 miles
- Fairly easy with slight elevation.
Went to Aquidnick Island for a mid-week after work hike at Melville Park. The park is former Navy property now open to the public and it features several ponds, streams, dams, as well as waterfalls. I started this hike from a small parking lot by Upper Melville Pond. Directly across the street is the trail head for the green trail. This trail, very narrow at first, passes a residential property to the right before turning left and into the wooded area. The trail is challenging for footing at first traversing over roots, stones, and logs before coming to raised boardwalks. The green trail passes several small ponds with dams and follows a babbling brook before coming to an open grass cart path. I then turned left on the cart path (blazed orange) and followed it until I came to the bulletin board. Here I turned right onto the yellow trail, then left by Crockett Pond. Here over the pond is an old standpipe from yesteryear. Further along the yellow trail is a small picnic area that overlooks a gorge and waterfall. From here I followed the yellow trail a few more feet then turned onto the blue trail following the shore of the Lower Melville Pond. After passing the dam at the lower end of the pond the blue trail turns left at the Croll Crossing. The crossing is an interesting series of stepping stones across the spillway of the dam. From here I picked up the red trail along Mott Farm Road and followed it to an area that has been cleared. Here there is a bat house perched high above the ground. I turned left here following the red trail a little further after checking out the view of the bay by the railroad tracks. The red trail turns back into the woods following the shore of the pond and eventually to the blue trail once again. I continued following the blue trail along the south side of the pond, past the gorge again, then back to the cart path and finally to the bulletin board. Be sure to follow the trail blazes along this stretch. From this point I retraced my steps along the orange and green trails back to the car. I saw several rabbits, ducks, and a pair of swans on this hike as well as several birds.
Trail map can be found at: Melville Park.