Archive for January, 2015

Buck Hill – Burrillville

  • Buck Hill Management Area
  • Buck Hill Road, Burrillville, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°59’6.53″N,  71°47’21.36″W
  • First Time Hiked: January 18, 2015
  • Last Time Hiked: October 21, 2016
  • Approximate distance hiked: 3.6 miles
  • Easy with slight elevation, rocky footing in areas.

Nestled in the northwest corner of Rhode Island just west of Wallum Lake is the Buck Hill Management Area. This vast piece of property, a haven for hunters and hikers, is pure seclusion. At times you are literally miles from any civilization and it is easy to appreciate what nature has to offer here. I was joined by a group of hikers for this stroll on this gray January morning. The temperatures were bearable, however the trails were very icy, slowing our usual pace. We started from the second parking lot where the gate is. From here we headed north along the access road. Soon we came to the first intersection. We continued straight along the access road. The road to the left would be our return route. We soon crossed a small brook before coming to the next fork. The access road veers to the right. At this point we choose to stay to the left and started following the yellow blazed trail. This trail was rather rocky for most of its length. We then came to an opening on the left. Here is a marsh, part of Lesson Brook. Although we saw none this morning, I would imagine this would be a good spot to view water foul. We continued along the yellow blazed trail passing areas of hemlocks and mountain laurel, passing an old fire road, before coming to an area with some stone walls. Here, atop a rather high hill, looks as if there may have been a structure at one time. We then continued along the yellow trail and came to Old Starr Road. The road is very obvious as it is a small valley between the roads embankments and stone walls. From here we turned left, heading west, down the hill. Soon we came to a fork. We followed the road to the left.  From here we followed this road to its end, winding gently uphill for a bit. The road follows the ridge line of Benson Mountain for about a mile. There are several paths off of the main road that lead to several fields along the way. The road then bears left and downhill to its end. Turning right we retraced our steps along the access road back to the parking area. This area is open to hunting and orange must be worn during hunting season.

Trail map can be found at: Buck Hill.

Frozen Marsh At Buck Hill

Frozen Marsh At Buck Hill

High Street Woods – Bellingham

  • High Street Woods
  • High Street, Bellingham, MA
  • Trailhead: 42° 5’40.64″N, 71°28’8.49″W
  • Last Time Hiked: January 4, 2015
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.7 miles
  • Easy with slight elevation.

 

Behind the High Street Fields is a small network of trails. A friend had mentioned this property to me a few weeks ago after he stumbled upon the book “Easy Walks In Massachusetts“. He checked out the property last week and was with me this morning for a couple hikes in the area. We started by following the main trail into the woods. The path was covered from last nights snow and the tall pines were coated with a thin layer of ice. Truly a picturesque New England scene. After passing some trail spurs, the trail soon approaches a very old and dilapidated bridge that crosses the Charles River. There is no need to cross this bridge as it leads off the property to the railroad tracks on the other side of the river. From here we retraced our steps and explored the spur trail. It first led over a brook then pass a small pond. The trail eventually leads back to High Street. From here we retraced our steps back to the parking area.

 

I did not find a trail map on-line.

Along The Charles River

Along The Charles River

Meadow Brook Woods – Mendon

  • Meadow Brook Woods
  • Park Street, Mendon, MA
  • Trailhead: 42° 4’53.46″N, 71°35’25.71″W
  • Last Time Hiked: January 4, 2015
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.0 miles
  • Easy with slight elevation.

 

Owned by the Town of Mendon, Meadow Brook Woods is a property just north of Cormier Woods. I was joined by a few friends for this first of two hikes in the area. We started from the north entrance along Park Street and followed the trail into the property. We soon came to a cabin on the right. We followed the trail ahead of us and soon started to see the orange blazes. We continued along the trail through the pines and passing stone walls. We were looking for the orange loop, but it seems that the trail is being worked on. We then came to the white blazed trail and followed that, first crossing the Meadow Brook over a new bridge. Our hike was cut short though when we approached Wigwam Brook. A new bridge is being built, however, at the time of this hike it was not passable. I plan on hiking Cormier Woods in the future, therefore I will hike this trail again when the improvements are finished. At this point we had hiked about a half mile. There was the first snow cover of the season on the ground. This spot along the Wigwam made for a great photo opportunity. From here we retraced our steps back to the car stopping briefly to check out the ruins of an old outhouse. Although I saw no wildlife, I did see several animal tracks.

 

Trail map can be found at: Meadow Brook Woods.

Wigwam Brook After A Snowy Night.

Wigwam Brook After A Snowy Night.

Goddard Woods – Plainville

 

The Natural Resource Trust of Plainville owns this property wedged between Route 152 and Turnpike Lake along Shepard Street. The property was once the site of a mill. There is a sign at the entrance explaining the history of the property. Today there are nothing but the remains of the mills including several small dams. There is a small series of trails here that weave throughout the property. Most follow the streams and along a manmade canal. The streams, with the dams, offer several spots with small waterfalls. The trails here are not blazed, however, the property is not big enough were you will get lost. The main trail offers most of the highlights. This trail is narrow first passing a large field before crossing the canal. The trail will eventually end at Turnpike Lake before passing several remains including an old wooden mill wheel. Some of the newer features includes a section of boardwalk and a bridge both built by local Boy Scouts.

 

I did not find a trail on-line.

Trail Along The Canal

Trail Along The Canal