Archive for August, 2015

Lonsdale Marsh – Lincoln/Cumberland

This walk follows the southern most portion of the Blackstone River Bike Path into Cumberland. Starting at the parking area at the old Lonsdale Drive-In I followed the bike path south to John Street. The bike path crosses over the Blackstone River into Cumberland, then crosses Route 123. The remainder of the bike path follows the edge of the marsh and consists of a paved path and an area of boardwalk. After the boardwalk there is a trail to the right. The trail is narrow and overgrown in areas. The trail will bring you to the rivers edge. By walking to the end of the bike path and back and also following the trail you can achieve a little over a mile and a half.

Trail map can be found at: Lonsdale Marsh.

Approaching The Boardwalk

Approaching The Boardwalk

Meadowbrook Trail – Richmond

The Meadowbrook Trail runs just to the west of Meadow Brook in Richmond. It starts at the end of Meadowbrook Road and continues into the Carolina Management Area. For this hike I decided to follow about two thirds of the trail and add a short loop at the southern end of the hike. Most of this hike follows the blue blazes of the North South Trail as well. Starting at the cul-de-sac at Meadowbrook Road I started following the blue blazed trail as it first followed a driveway. To the left are stables with a few horses and to the right is hole 5 of a golf course. Both are private property. The blazes soon lead to a trail ahead. The trail is about a half mile long, meanders through tall trees, and heads southerly towards Kenyon Hill Trail. Next I crossed the paved road and continued straight along a dirt road. Along this stretch are some open fields and a few homes. Here I met one of the residents of the stable I passed earlier, a beautiful 13 year old horse out for a summer stroll. Continuing to follow the blue blazes I soon passed an old grader and then was into the northern section of the Carolina Management Area. At the next intersection I turned right onto the unblazed Gardner Trail. This area offer some glimpses of ledges and stone walls. At the next intersection I turned left onto the Jerue Trail, also unblazed. The trail slowly winds downhill and ends at the blue blazed Meadowbrook Trail. Here I would turn left and follow the blue blazes of the North South back to the cul-de-sac. (If you want to take a peek at Meadow Brook, turn right here, then left a few feet ahead. Follow that short trail to the brook). You could easily add more distance to this hike by exploring the trails of Carolina both north and south of Pine Hill Road. Along this hike I came across, frogs, toads, and several birds including hawks. Keep in mind that the management area is open to hunting.

Trail map can be found at: Meadowbrook Trail.

Horseback Riding On A Summer Day.

Horseback Riding On A Summer Day.

Nicholas Farm – Coventry/Sterling

  • Nicholas Farm – Nicholas Farm State Management Area
  • Nicholas Road, Coventry, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°40’50.23″N, 71°46’26.04″W
  • Last Time Hiked: August 10, 2015
  • Approximate distance hiked: 3.2 miles
  • Fairly easy with some significant elevation.

This 3 mile out and back hike offered two very distinctive landscapes. Starting from the parking area for Nicholas Farm and passing the red gate, you are immediately walking down a grass covered road that weaves northerly through areas of woods and large open fields. The fields are a haven for insects of all sorts. Grasshoppers, crickets, butterflies, bees, and cicadas were all abundant here. There were also some rather impressive ant mounds along the edge of the road. As the road ends, a narrower wooded trail appears on the right. This trail at first heads northerly toward the Moosup River and then turns to the west as it follows the river up on a ridge. It travels mostly through areas of pines and for the most part, with the exception of one large hill, is rather level. It is unblazed, but for the most part very discernible. At the end of the trail you have reached Connecticut. There is an area to the right to view the river. There is a gravel road that comes from the left and also a gravel trail ahead of you. These trails are part of the Pachuag State Forest, are unmarked, and can add miles of walking to your hike. If you choose to, be sure to have a trail map and/or GPS readily available, as the trail network can be a bit confusing. For this hike, I suggest that you retrace your steps back to the start of the hike.

Trail map can be found at: Nicholas Farm.

A Field At Nicholas Farm.

A Field At Nicholas Farm.

Coney Brook Trail – West Greenwich

  • Coney Brook Trail/McAlpine-Shepard Preserve – Tillinghast Pond Management Area
  • Hazard Road, West Greenwich, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°38’54.24″N, 71°46’45.50″W
  • Last Time Hiked: August 10, 2015
  • Approximate distance hiked: 4.1 miles
  • Moderate.

I started this hike from Hazard Road entering the management area along the double orange blazed Shepard Trail, one of the newest established trails in Rhode Island. The Shepard Trail crosses over the McAlpine-Shepard Preserve section of the vast Tillinghast Pond Management Area. Tillinghast, with Wickaboxet, offers nearly 10 miles of trails. This hike would be one of three loops that I would cover in the management area. The Shepard Trail itself is a little less than a mile and travels through thick fern covered forest. There are a couple boardwalks to cross as well as a bridge that crosses Coney Brook. There are also a few stone walls along the trail. At the end of the trail is the single orange blazed Coney Brook Trail. Here I opted to go left and follow the trail clockwise as it first led me up along Hemlock Ridge. After passing through an area with quite a variety of mushrooms the trail abruptly turns left, down a set of stairs, to the Coney Cascades. This water feature creates a small gorge along the trail that the brook trickles through. At the top of the hill is a small pond and dam. Soon I came to the next intersection. The orange blazed trail continue to the left as it follows the edge of a large open field, but first I followed the green blazed Loggers Trail for about an 1/8 of a mile to take in the views. At the top of the hill you can see several miles to the south and the large shrub covered field is very picturesque. After a short time lingering I returned to the orange trail and continued to follow it along the edge of the field until it came out to Plain Road. Here are where you will get your first glimpse of Tillinghast Pond. Turning right I followed Plain Road a couple hundred feet looking for the orange (and white) trail blazes that turn to the left. The trail then heads into the woods toward the pond. A trail appears to the right (only blazed white at the intersection), you want to turn right here, but first continue straight to the end of the peninsula for a sweeping view of the pond. Continuing along the orange and white blazed trail you can catch glimpses of the pond to the left. Soon the orange trail turns right, crosses Plain Road once again, and enters an area with active logging. The logging is being done to maintain the wildlife habitats on the property. When going through this area ignore the logging roads and keep straight as the trail will appear ahead. The aptly named green blazed Loggers Trail appears on the right once again, but continue straight. Soon you will re-enter the woods once again and pass an area of several stone walls. This is the Parker Homestead. Continuing along the orange blazed trail I would soon come to the spur trail I came in on. From here I retraced my steps back to the trailhead.

Trail map can be found at: Coney Brook Trail.

Coney Brook Trail

Coney Brook Trail

Tom Wood Road – Foster

  • Tom Wood Road
  • Shippee Schoolhouse Road, Foster, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°49’11.77″N, 71°47’20.01″W
  • Last Time Hiked: August 5, 2015
  • Approximate distance hiked: 3.1 miles
  • Easy with slight elevation.

This wide, one and a half mile, cart path is also part of the blue blazed North South Trail that runs from Shippee Schoolhouse Road to the back of Shady Acres Restaurant on Route 6. Starting along the road I first passed a small field on the right before coming to a pond with lily pads and wild flowers on the left. Opposite the pond is the ruins of an old mill site. Soon the cart path turns to the left while the North South Trail follows a narrower trail straight ahead. I stayed to the left following the cart path. At this point I was on Sainio Property owned by the Foster Land Trust. The trail splits again and I stayed to the right as the cart path runs parallel to the North South Trail. Here there is a rather impressive stone wall, the Summer Sweet was exceptionally fragrant, and there were several birds and butterflies. The trail is a little root bound and rocky in some areas as it slowly climbed uphill just a bit. Soon the North South Trail rejoins the cart path and the remainder of the walk follows the blue blazes. There are several trails that bear off. The ones to the right all are onto private property. Most of it is posted with no trespassing signs. With the exception of a small section about midway and another section towards the end, the properties to the left are the Sainio and Schneider Properties owned by the Foster Land Trust. There are no blazed trails on those properties and most of the discernible trails lead off to private property. After reaching the end of the trail at Shady Acres I turned around and retraced my steps making for a hike just over 3 miles.

I did not find a trail map for the walk.