Archive for December, 2014

Lincoln Central – Lincoln

  • Lincoln Central Environmental Trail
  • Great Road, Lincoln, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°55’44.02″N, 71°26’43.47″W
  • Last Time Hiked: December 28, 2014
  • Approximate distance hiked: 0.5 miles
  • Easy.

Behind the Lincoln Central Elementary School in Lincoln is a small network of trails. This morning I explored this property. The main loop trail, marked with numbered stones is well worn. The other trails seem to be a little overgrown and I choose not to explore them. The property features some stone walls and a small grove of pines as well as an intermittent brook.

I did not find a trail on-line.

Trail At Lincoln Central

Trail At Lincoln Central

Olivias Forest – Smithfield

  • Olivia’s Forest
  • Ridge Road, Smithfield, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°53’23.81″N, 71°29’43.28″W
  • Last Time Hiked: December 27, 2014
  • Approximate distance hiked: 0.8 miles
  • Fairly easy with some elevation.

 

This Smithfield Land Trust property has just been recently blazed and mapped by members of the Rhode Island Land Trust Council. The green trail starts at a small parking area along Ridge Road. We followed the green trail into the property until we reached the orange loop trail. The loop trail crosses a babbling brook twice on some new wooden bridges. After doing the loop we retraced our steps back out to the parking area. The property, small and wedged between two neighborhoods, is a rather pristine spot and a great addition to the Smithfield Land Trust trails.

 

Trail map can be found at: Olivias Forest.

Orange Trail Crossing The Brook

Orange Trail Crossing The Brook

Tri State Marker – Thompson/Burrillville/Douglas

  • Tri State Marker
  • East Thompson Road, Thompson, CT
  • Trailhead: 42° 0’31.89″N, 71°48’32.66″W
  • Last Time Hiked: December 27, 2014
  • Approximate distance hiked: 4.2 miles
  • Moderate, difficult in areas with rocky footing and hills, rest is fairly easy.

 

Upon a knoll deep in the woods is where the states of Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut meet. At that point is a granite marker. It is not an uncommon occurrence in the United States. But here it is all on public land and there are trails leading to it. Although this hike was not just to the marker and back, it certainly is one of the highlights of it. This hike would lead us through all three states using various trails. We (myself, Auntie Beak, and a another fellow hiker) started at East Thompson Road where the Airline Trail crosses the road. This would be the first highlight of the hike. At this location on December 4, 1891 the Great East Thompson Train Wreck occurred. It was the only four train collision in the countries history. There is signage here explaining the event. From here we headed east along the Airline Trail. The trail itself is the former railroad bed. It is now just a flat wide dirt and gravel path. We soon came to an old wooden bridge that crossed the path. The bridge was apparently used to herd livestock safely over the railroad. Just after the bridge and to the left is a faint path that leads toward the bridge approach. Here is the next highlight of this hike. It is the Hermit Cave. The small hole in the side of the hill is the entrance to the cave. Inside the cave (flashlight required) is some impressive stonework. No one knows for sure who built it, but it appears to be similar to many root cellars found throughout New England. Continuing on the Airline Trail we soon came to a sign for the blue-blazed Tri State Marker Trail. Here we turned right and started the fairly short (three tenths of a mile) but relatively challenging uphill and rocky climb toward the next highlight of this hike. This trail follows the Connecticut/Massachusetts border. At the top of the trail is a small clearing with a large granite marker. This is the Tri-State marker. The monument, dated 1883, has the abbreviations of the three states inscribed in it. The trail to the right would lead you back to the Airline Trail if you decide you have seen enough. The trail straight ahead, called the Border Trail by locals, would lead you along the Connecticut/Rhode Island border into the heart of the Buck Hill Management area. We opted to follow the trail to the left (east) that follows the Rhode Island/Massachusetts border. We were in the extreme northern edge of Buck Hill along this trail. The trail, still rocky and somewhat difficult, continues to climb uphill, passing a few more state boundary markers along the way. The trail soon ends. We turned left onto the next trail and into the Douglas State Forest. The trail, unblazed and unnamed steadily descends down the opposite side of the hill we just climbed over. The hike from here on is relatively easy as most of the inclines were now behind us. Along this trail we came across the first of some quite impressive cellar holes. At the next intersection we turned left onto the yellow blazed Mid-State Trail. We followed the Mid-State for a while passing yet another impressive cellar hole. The Mid-State then turns to the right (sign on tree says “PARK”), we followed the trail to the left and continued downhill, passing a small stream, to a four way intersection at the Southern New England Trunkline Trail. This trail is a continuation of the railroad bed we came in on. It just has a different name on the Massachusetts side. Before turning left and following the trail back to the car, we did a little exploring to the right and straight ahead checking out some of the water features. Rocky Brook offers some small cascading waterfalls and the pond here was still with some nice reflections. Both Buck Hill in Rhode Island and the Douglas State Forest in Massachusetts are open to hunting. We did come across hunters on this hike. Be sure to wear blaze orange during hunting season.

Trail map can be found at: Tri-State Marker. (courtesy of Auntie Beak)

The Tri-State Marker

The Tri-State Marker

Reflections

Reflections

Queens Fort – Exeter

  • Queens Fort
  • Stony Lane, Exeter, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°35’33.68″N, 71°31’16.06″W
  • Last Time Hiked: December 26, 2014
  • Approximate distance hiked: 0.8 miles
  • Easy with some slight elevation.

 

This property owned by the Rhode Island Historical Society is not so much for hiking than it is for history. There are however a small network of trails here. We first followed the main trail into the property for a while doing some exploring before turning back. The trails in the back of the property lead onto private property. The highlight and significant feature of the property is the remains of the Queens Fort perched upon the top of a hill. What remains of it is a circular cluster of stones. This fortification is believed to be built in the 17th century by the Native Americans. It is also believed that Quaiapen (also known as Matuntuck) took refuge at this site during King Phillips War before moving on to another site where she finally met her demise. To reach the actual site of the fort follow the main trail briefly. Then turn left uphill along a side trail. From here you will see a second hill just to the east. There is a short trail that connects the two hills. The fort is atop the second hill. This site is of great historical significance. Please respect that when visiting and leave all that you see the way it is.

 

I did not find a trail map on-line.

Remains Of The Queens Fort

Remains Of The Queens Fort

Saugatucket River – South Kingstown

In the heart of Wakefield is a short Riverwalk along the shore of the Saugatucket River. We started this walk from the free parking lot behind the 330 block of Main Street. We then followed the boardwalk along the river toward the dam and waterfall. The walkway then comes out to Main Street. Here we turned right crossing the river and then turning right onto High Street to Saugatucket Park. We then followed the paved path in the park along the opposite shore of the river. We soon came to Sari’s Sanctuary. It is a large wooden covered dock on the shore of the river. It was built in the memory of Sarah McClarnon. From here we crossed the footbridge back over the river to the parking lot.

I did not find a trail map on-line.

Sari's Sanctuary And The Footbridge Over The Saugatucket River.

Sari’s Sanctuary And The Footbridge Over The Saugatucket River.

Riverwood Preserve – Westerly

Riverwood Preserve in Westerly is a property nestled between the Pawcatuck River and the railroad tracks near Chapman Pond just east of Route 78. Access to the property is at the end of Boy Scout Drive by a gate at the entrance to the Quequatuck Boy Scout Camp. Parking is available along Old Hopkinton Road and you must walk to the entrance. We then passed the kiosk and followed the short entrance trail to orange loop trail. At the orange trail we turned left and started heading in a northerly direction. Soon the trail hugged the shore of the Pawcatuck River occasionally passing some mountain laurel. The trail features stone walls and boulders as well. It also crosses some wet areas and small streams with makeshift log bridges. We came across a cellar hole as well. When we came to the blue trail, we followed it first through a ravine and then up the hill. The blue trail is a loop the circles the higher part of the property. It is a little rocky and can be slightly challenging. It offers some spots that have decent views of the surrounding area including Chapman Pond. There is also evidence of quarrying that was once done here. We also stumbled across some deer along this trail. After completing the blue loop trail we continued on the orange loop trail. The trail first nears the railroad tracks then turns northerly along a flat leisurely stretch. The hill to the right features some ledges and more boulders. Soon we were back at the entrance trail. From here we retraced our steps back to the car.

Trail map can be found at: Riverwood.

Stone Walls Along The Orange Trail

Stone Walls Along The Orange Trail

Trott-Perry Preserve – Scituate

I took a drive out to Scituate for a short and very wet Christmas morning hike. This property has been on my radar the last few weeks after talking to someone from the Rhode Island Land Trust Council about it. The property is maintained by the Hope Associates and was acquired in the 1990’s from two local doctors for which the property is named for. Much like Westconnaug Meadows, many of the trees on the property have been labeled. The property is dominated mostly by various pines and cedars. The trail starts at a large parking area. The red blazed loop trail starts by following a cart path into the property. There are several boulders in the woods along this stretch. Soon I came to an intersection with a white blazed cut through to the left. I continued straight following the red blazed trail slightly uphill before coming to the Pawtuxet River. The trail then turns to the left and again slightly uphill then slight left again. The white blazed trail again intersects on the left here. I choose to continue following the red trail through a grove of tall pines, then passing a stone wall. The trail soon exits onto a paved road. Turning left here, I followed the road about a hundred feet, turning left again onto Doctors Lane back to the parking lot.

I did not find a trail map on-line.

Rain On The Pawtuxet River

Rain On The Pawtuxet River