Archive for March, 2015

Old Mountain Field – South Kingstown

  • Old Mountain Field Hiking Trails/Broad Rock Bike Trail
  • St. Dominic Road, South Kingstown, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°27’5.71″N, 71°28’54.57″W
  • Last Time Hiked: March 25, 2015
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.5 miles
  • Easy with some slight elevation.

 

We started this walk from the parking area of the Broad Rock Ball Fields. There is a short bike path that leads from the fields to Old Mountain Road. We followed the bike path for about two-tenths of a mile looking for a trail on the left. We then turned at the trail and started heading downhill turning slightly to the right and passing a stone wall. We followed the trail to the bottom of the hill where it ended. We then turned right following the yellow blazed trail that loops around Indian Run Reservoir. The trail first continues through the woods before coming to a horseshoe dam and waterfall. A bridge crosses the dam. The trail then leads back into the woods on the other side of the reservoir. There are several sections of boardwalks along this stretch. After completing the short loop trail, we retraced our steps back up the trail we came in on and back to the car. We came across several ducks at the reservoir.

 

Trail map can be found at: Old Mountain Field.

A Thawing Indian Run Reservoir.

A Thawing Indian Run Reservoir.

 

Garrison House Acres – South Kingstown

  • Garrison House Acres
  • Middlebridge Road, South Kingstown, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°27’29.34″N, 71°27’7.62″W
  • Last Time Hiked: March 25, 2015
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.0 miles
  • Easy.

 

This property owned by the Narrow River Land Trust, offers quite a bit of diversity for such a small property. There are two areas of dense woods with thickets, a large grassland meadow, a small pond, and the mussel lined shoreline of the Narrow River. The property lies just north of the Chaffee Wildlife Refuge on the west shore of the Narrow River. There is a small network of trails on the property that total just about a mile.

 

Trail map can be found at: Garrison House Acres.

Trail Through The Meadow

Trail Through The Meadow

 

Gooseberry Island – Westport

  • Gooseberry Island
  • East Beach Road, Westport, MA
  • Trailhead: 41°29’29.54″N, 71° 2’21.24″W
  • Last Time Hiked: March 24, 2015
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.7 miles
  • Easy, some beach walking.

 

Part of the Horseneck Beach State Reservation, Gooseberry Island juts out into the entrance of Buzzards Bay. The island has been connected to the mainland by a causeway for over a hundred years. The island was once home to some summer cottages. They were destroyed by the hurricanes in the 20th century and never rebuilt. The main feature are the two towers at the center of the island. They are World War II era coastal defense towers and have been long abandoned. Starting from the parking area, we passed the gate and followed the dirt road for a while. The road runs through the center of the island and is flanked by thick shrubbery. We soon reached a fork in the road. We stayed to the left and soon found a side trail on the left that led to the beach. (The right fork leads to the towers). From here we could see the Elizabeth Islands, including Cuttyhunk. Beyond the islands we could also see a glimpse of Martha’s Vineyard. We then followed the beach in a southerly direction and around the tip of the island before making our way back to a trail that leads to the towers. From the west side of the island we could see the Sakonnet Light in the distance. Along the beach we came across some geese and what I believe were some sort of plovers. We then made our way to the towers taking some photos for a bit. From here we followed the main dirt road back to the parking lot.

 

I did not find a trail map on-line.

Towers From The Beach

Towers From The Beach

Notte Park/Camp Meehan – North Providence/Lincoln

  • Governor John Notte Memorial Park/Camp Meehan
  • Douglas Pike, North Providence, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°52’15.85″N, 71°27’37.01″W
  • First Time Hiked: March 21, 2015
  • Last Time Hiked: November 22, 2015
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.5 miles
  • Fairly easy with some elevation.

 

The Boy Scouts of Troop 5-North Providence in September of 2015 completed the new trail system here at Governor Notte Park. There are now over two miles of trails on the property that features ball fields and tennis courts. This hike, about a mile and a half, features most of the parks highlights. Starting from the parking area by the Recreation Offices for the Town of North Providence (Building 2), a set of stairs leads away from the parking lot and uphill into the woods. There is almost immediately a trail junction. I continued straight following the blue square blazes of the West River Trail. This trail climbs uphill for a bit passing a narrow trail to the left. Near the top of the hill there is a narrower trail to the right. This is the continuation of the West River Trail. It hugs the North Providence/Lincoln town line. Turn here, passing a trail on the left, and follow the West River Trail as it crests over a hill, passing stone walls, and then descends to a crossing at the river. After crossing the boardwalk bridge the trail does a small loop and returns to the boardwalk bridge. From here retrace your steps back over the hill and turn right at the blue triangle blazed trail with signage to Camp Meehan. Following this trail will lead you downhill to a parking area near the pavilion. There is a paved road to the right that leads to Angell Road. For this hike however, I stayed slightly to the left passing the pavilion and started heading down the path that leads from the pavilion to the beach that overlooks the Wenscott Reservoir. Passing the beach towards the bridge the parks paths split. Stay to the left and follow the path that leads downhill and around the ball field. Stop to take a look at the bridge that crosses a dam and waterfall. Continuing, there are white square blazes along this path that will lead you back to the parking area where the hike began. No dogs are allowed on this property.

 

I did not find a trail map on-line.

Bridge Crossing The Dam And Waterfall

Bridge Crossing The Dam And Waterfall

Chepiwanoxet – Warwick

  • Chepiwanoxet Wildlife Preserve and Park
  • Alger Avenue, Warwick, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°40’24.30″N, 71°26’38.28″W
  • Last Time Hiked: March 18, 2015
  • Approximate distance hiked: 0.5 miles
  • Easy.

This small property owned by the City of Warwick offers a walk of just about a half mile if you follow all of the trails and incorporate a short walk on the beach. There is an informational sign at the parking lot giving a brief history of the property as well as a trail map. The trails – green, red, and blue, are well marked. At the end of the green trail there are a couple of benches to sit and enjoy the view of Greenwich Bay.

I did not find a trail map on-line.

Trail Intersection

Trail Intersection

Scalloptown Park – East Greenwich

  • Scalloptown Park
  • Rocky Hollow Road, East Greenwich, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°39’6.07″N, 71°27’11.42″W
  • First Time Hiked: March 11, 2015
  • Last Time Hiked: October 26, 2015
  • Approximate distance hiked: 0.9 miles
  • Easy with slight elevation.

This small town park at the end of Rocky Hollow Road overlooks Greenwich Bay. The park, though small, offers a just under a mile of walking trails with plenty of benches to sit and view the bay. The park is also popular with locals to bring their dogs. Greenwich Bay once was one of the best shell fishing locations in Rhode Island. Scallops were the main catch here. Therefore this area became known as Scalloptown. Over the years, the area the park sits on became the town landfill. The landfill eventually was capped and the park was built over it. Today it is a nice little spot, lesser known, hidden along the shore of the bay.

I did not find a trail map on-line.

Fall Foliage Along Greenwich Bay.

Fall Foliage Along Greenwich Bay.

Quonochontaug Beach – Westerly/Charlestown

  • Quonochontaug Barrier Beach Conservation Area
  • Spray Rock Road, Westerly, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°19’40.60″N,  71°44’58.62″W
  • Last Time Hiked: March 7, 2015
  • Approximate distance hiked: 3.4 miles
  • Easy beach walk.

In the 20th century, Mother Nature dictated the fate of this beach. Much like Napatree, after the two hurricanes (1938 and 1954) it was decided that rebuilding would not be allowed here. The beach, nearly two miles in length, is a pristine stretch of natural beauty wedged between the village of Weekapaug in Westerly and Quonochontaug in Charlestown. It is a barrier beach that protects a salt pond. The beach and conservation area is in fact privately owned but open to walking. Be sure to follow the rules posted on the signs. I choose the beach today partly for two reasons. First, I would be in the area for a later engagement, and secondly, after weeks of relentless snowfall I wanted to find a place where I could go without snowshoes and get my feet back on the ground. It was a fairly warm day in comparison with a slightly cold breeze, but most importantly, it was a sunny day. I could easily see Block Island to the south. The sand dunes and most of the beach was covered in nearly a foot of snow but the tides had cleared a section to walk along. I parked in the first lot just off of Spray Rock Road and found a marked path to the beach. Then I headed east to breachway. There were only a few others out enjoying the scene here. I came across several cormorants and geese as well as seagulls. After reaching the breachway, I retraced my steps back to the parking area. Parking is very limited here. Therefore, off season visits are probably the best times to come here.

I did not find a trail map on-line.

Where Winter Meets Spring.

Where Winter Meets Spring.