Archive for April, 2016

Deep Pond North – Exeter

  • Deep Pond North
  • Ten Rod Road, Exeter, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°34’35.22″N, 71°46’19.04″W
  • Last Time Hiked: April 22, 2016
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.4 miles
  • Fairly easy with some elevation.

 

This is a relatively short hike in the western part of the Arcadia Management Area. The hike follows three main trails including the northern end of the Deep Pond Trail. If you want to actually see Deep Pond you would need to follow the southern end of the Deep Pond Trail. Starting from a gated trail head on the opposite side of the road from the Roscoe Dexter parking area, I followed the white blazed Deep Pond Trail. I immediately noticed several outcrops, and stone walls. About a thousand feet along the trail and on the left is a historic cemetery. The dates on the barely readable stones are from 1829 and 1837. Soon I reached a split in the trail. The white blazed trail continues ahead. I would return from there. For this hike I turned left and followed the unmarked trail through more areas of stone walls. The trail ends at the yellow blazed Tippecansett Trail where I turned right. At the time of this hike this section was quite muddy. I soon passed the blue blazed Pachaug Trail to the left while continuing to follow the yellow blazes. After a little bit of uphill hiking the Tippecansett Trail comes to Old Voluntown Road. The yellow blazes turn to the left here. The white blazes to the right represents the northern most portion of the Deep Pond Trail. I turned right here following the white blazes. Soon the trail leads to the end of the developed section of Old Voluntown Road. After a short stretch of road walking the white blazes lead you to the right and back into the woods. From this point follow the white blazes to the beginning of the hike.

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Intersection of the Tippecansett Trail and the Deep Pond Trail.

Shelter Trail/Frosty Hollow – Exeter/West Greenwich

  • Shelter Trail/Frosty Hollow
  • Frosty Hollow Road, Exeter, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°35’16.69″N, 71°42’33.17″W
  • Last Time Hiked: April 18, 2016
  • Approximate distance hiked: 6.2 miles
  • Moderate with some significant elevation.

 

This 6 mile hike takes you through some of the most serene parts of the Arcadia Wildlife Management Area and can be a bit of exercise as well. The hike starts from the Frosty Hollow Pond Fishing Area parking lot in Exeter. First, head out to the road and turn right crossing the bridge over Breakheart Brook. After the bridge immediately turn left onto the white blazed trail. The trail first follows the shore of Breakheart Brook for a bit before turning away from it and up towards a camp site. After passing the camp site follow the white blazes to an old road on the left. You will follow this road until it starts turning downhill. Look for a trail on the left. Turn here following the white blazes. This section will lead you through a beautiful stretch of pine trees. The older tower well above you and younger trees cover the forest floor. Among the birds you may hear the sound of the Flat River in the distance. The trail then comes to an open field in which you pass through. After passing the field you will come out to Austin Farm Road. Turn left here and cross the bridge over the Flat River. Then look for the trail on the right with the white blazes. This is the continuation of the Shelter Trail and leads into West Greenwich. Be sure to follow the white blazes through this section as there are several spur trails and roads. The trail climbs a hill and soon you will find yourself at the ruins of an old campsite. There are several buildings left here as well as a water tower and the remains of a fireplace. Continuing on you will next look for a trail to the left with a sign that reads “Penny Cutoff”. Turn left here and follow that trail to its end. It will lead you through a valley of boulders and uphill to the Breakheart Trail. If you care to climb to the top of Penny Hill, turn left here and follow the yellow blazes to the top of the hill. For this hike, however, turn right, and follow the yellow blazes of the Breakheart Trail until you reach the Shelter Trail. Turn right and follow the white blazes of the Shelter Trail pass the Penny Cutoff, the ruins of the camp, and back to Austin Farm Road. Turn left and follow the road back over the Flat River and look for the second gate on the right. (The first gate is the trail you came in on). Turn right at the second gate and follow the unmarked grass covered road for a bit. Soon the Shelter Trail rejoins it and you will follow the white blazes back to your car.

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Along The Shelter Trail

Tippecansett South – Exeter/Voluntown/Hopkinton

  • Tippecansett Trail South
  • Ten Rod Road, Exeter, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°34’25.48″N, 71°47’7.67″W
  • Last Time Hiked: April 15, 2016
  • Approximate distance hiked: 5.5 miles
  • Moderate to difficult, some strenuous spots.

 

The southern end of the Tippecansett Trail starts at Beach Pond and ends 5 and a half miles south at the state line marker along Green Falls Road near Hidden Lake. The hike can be quite challenging at times especially at the beginning and the end. The trail is well blazed in yellow and, for the most part, easy to follow. The hike described here is a one way trail and a car spot is required. After leaving the small parking area on the south side of Route 165, we found ourselves traversing the eastern edge of Beach Pond. The trail has several small ups and downs and is quite root bound as it passes several boulders along the waters edge. Soon you will come to a large outcrop that juts out into the pond. This is a good spot for viewing the pond. The trail then continues as it starts to make its way around the southern edge of the pond. After crossing a small wooden bridge large ledges loom to the left. They are quite impressive among the forest of pines and hemlocks. Soon you will come to a trail intersection. Ahead is a sign and the white blazes of the Deep Pond Trail. To the left you will see a rock with the word “LOOKOUT” painted on it and a trail that leads to the Hemlock Ledges Overlook. (Well worth the climb if you have never been up there). For this hike, turn right here and continue to follow the yellow blazes of the Tippecansett Trail. The trail first descends back down towards the pond before turning away and heading westward. This stretch is rather rocky and slightly uphill almost in its entirety. The trail then comes to an old dirt road. Turn left here and follow the road passing the blue blazes of the Hemlock Ledges Trail on the left. A little further up the road the trail turns right and heads for the state line. You will find survey markers along the trail as you approach the state line. The trail then crosses Noah’s Arc Road and starts to follow an old road that straddles the state line for a bit before turning back into Rhode Island and the southwestern extremities of the Arcadia Management Area. The trail then comes to Route 138 at the Exeter/Hopkinton border. Following the yellow blazes still, the Tippecansett follows the busy highway for a couple hundred feet before turning off onto a dirt road across the street. The street has a few homes along it. At the time of this hike we were first “serenaded” by a pair of hounds, and then greeted by a black lab at the next house. The trail shortly thereafter makes an abrupt right onto Boy Scout property. The trail on the property winds quite a bit. Be sure to follow the yellow blazes and avoid making turns on unmarked trails. This area is also in abundance of mountain laurel and rhododendron and the trail at times is quite literally a tunnel through these magnificent shrubs. Soon the trail comes to a large table rock. The trail blazes are now at your feet along the rocks. A (darker) blue blaze trail now joins the yellow blazes of the Tippecansett. This is where the trail becomes quite strenuous in spots. From this point forward as well you will want to follow the yellow and blue blaze trail as there are some spurs that use the same color blazes. You will soon approach a rather impressive upward climb. Take your time and make the right steps. This one is easy in comparison to the next. After making the climb the yellow and blue blazed trail turns to the left. The trail to the right is part of the Narragansett Trail that leads towards Green Fall Pond. Follow the trail south toward the next climb, when you get to it take a good look at it first. If you are not comfortable with the climb there is an unmarked trail to the left that loops around Dinosaur Caves. After climbing up the trail you will then be up on the very large boulders that make up Dinosaur Caves. The trail then descends down the other face of the large boulders and continues south ending at Green Fall Road. This is the end of the Tippecansett Trail and where your second car should be parked.

 

Trail maps can be found at: Tippecansett South 1 & Tippecansett South 2.

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Some Climbing Along The Tippecansett.

Johannis Farm – Barrington/Swansea

  • Johannis Farm Wildlife Preserve
  • Barrington, RI
  • Trailhead: Undisclosed
  • Last Time Hiked: April 9, 2016
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.2 miles
  • Fairly easy with some areas of mud.

 

Along the shore of the Palmer River, this uniquely fragile piece of land is one of the Barrington Land Conservation Trusts most beautiful properties. Partly the reason for that is the fact that it is quite preserved. The property is only open to the general public during tours. Johannis Farm includes open fields, farmland, salt water marshes and wetlands, as well as woodlands. The property is great for bird watching and is home to egrets, ospreys, geese, ducks, and bald eagles. The walk, just over a mile and led by a member of the Land Trust, covers all the features of the property. There are a couple wooden footbridges to cross. They are narrow, tend to be slick, and could be challenging to those with balance issues. It is a very damp site, so proper footwear is required, waterproof boots are highly suggestible. The property extends into Swansea and also abuts the Barney/Bell Preserve in Swansea as well. Please respect the rules of this property and only visit during public tours. You can contact the Barrington Land Conservation Trust at info@blct.org to inquire about their next public tour.

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Open Field at Johannis Farm