Archive for May, 2016

Martin Trails – New Shoreham

  • Martin Trails
  • Old Mill Road, New Shoreham, RI
  • Trailhead: 41° 9’54.07″N, 71°35’57.44″W
  • Last Time Hiked: May 15, 2016
  • Approximate distance hiked: 0.8 miles
  • Easy with some elevation.

 

This small but very hilly property maintained by the Block Island Conservancy at the intersection of Old Mill Road and West Side Road is perfect for a short little stroll. The trails all follow the edges of stone walls that surround four open fields. This property is a good example of how hilly Block Island really is.

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Trail Along The Stone Walls

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Rodman’s Hollow – New Shoreham

  • Rodman’s Hollow
  • Cooneymus Road, New Shoreham, RI
  • Trailhead: 41° 9’35.37″N, 71°35’28.22″W
  • Last Time Hiked: May 15, 2016
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.5 miles
  • Moderate with some significant elevation.

 

One of the most famed spots on Block Island for hikers is Rodman’s Hollow and Rodman’s Hollow at sunrise is a spectacular place to be. Being the first to step foot into the property as the sun was rising I had the opportunity to see quite a bit of wildlife. Starting from the parking lot I made my way south following a dirt road (Black Rock Road) straight to just about the ocean passing a wooden gate with a turnstile and a metal gate, both on the left. The road winds through slight valleys with rolling hills and meadows on each side. There are also several stone walls along this stretch. It was along here I ran into a few white tailed deer. I also came across what I believe might have been pheasants or turkeys. I did not get a good look at them as they flew away after we startled each other. At the end of the road I turned left and followed it to the east. Soon there was another road to the left. I continued straight climbing slightly uphill to reach Tom’s Point. Here is a bench atop a hill that overlooks the surrounding area and ocean. Take some time to sit at and take it the almost inexplicable beauty of the coast. After taking a few moments I continued to follow the path along an open field. Soon it came to a road and I turned right. After following the road for a bit a trail appears on the left. Turn here. The trail leads you north towards the hollow. At the next intersection stay to your right and right again at the next intersection. From here the trail drops deep into the hollow. In mid-May this area is flanked by shadbush that is in full bloom. At the next trail intersection stay to the left following the Rodmans Hollow Loop. Soon you will be passing a stone wall with several of the shadbushes by it. They have a very distinct trunk. After climbing uphill a bit turn right at the next intersection. This will lead you to the turnstile. From here turn right and retrace your steps back to the car.

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Overlooking Rodmans Hollow

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Fields and Stonewalls

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The Coast Looking East From Rodmans Hollow

Block Island Southwest – New Shoreham

  • Block Island Southwest
  • Dickens Road, New Shoreham, RI
  • Trailhead: 41° 9’30.42″N, 71°36’9.67″W
  • Last Time Hiked: May 14, 2016
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.9 miles
  • Fairly easy with some significant elevation.

 

Miles from the ferry landings in town, this portion of the island is rarely visited by the everyday tourist. The two properties that make up part of this hike are in nearly pristine condition. The trailhead is unmarked and is in fact at the end of an unnamed road. Turn onto Dickens Road off of Cooneymus Road and follow it south. At the intersection Dickens Road turns to the right. There is a trail to the left. Continue straight passing a house on the right and to the top of the hill. There is just enough room for one car. Across the field to the east is an opening in the stone wall. This is the trailhead. The trail immediately climbs uphill into the Win Dodge Preserve before coming to a trail intersection at the top of the hill. Here I turned right and followed the trail as it winded back downhill. At the next two intersections I stayed to the right. Soon I came to the first of two stone walls with weathered wooden stairs over them. After the second set I turned left following Dickens Road until I reached the trailhead for the Lewis Dickens Farm property owned by the Audubon Society. From here I followed the trail as it winded through fields on rolling hills. (A local who I met compared this part of the island to that of Ireland or Newfoundland). At the end of the trail is a Memorial Rock and just beyond that a towering bluff that overlooks the Atlantic Ocean. Exercise extreme caution along this edge. From here I retraced my steps back to Dickens Road passing the weathered stairs over the stone wall that I had came in on. I continued to follow the road to the intersection and then continued straight onto a trail that would lead me back uphill and passing several cellar holes and foundations. At the next intersection I turned right and followed the trail back to the car.

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Dickens Trail

Mohegan Bluffs – New Shoreham

  • Mohegan Bluffs – Payne Overlook
  • Mohegan Trail, New Shoreham, RI
  • Trailhead: 41° 9’11.07″N, 71°33’18.53″W
  • Last Time Hiked: May 14, 2016
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.0 miles
  • Moderate to difficult.

 

A short, but grueling one mile walk to one of the most picturesque locations on the eastern seaboard. The bluffs here are where the glaciers ended craving out these 180 foot drops to the beach below. A top the bluffs is the historic Southeast Light built in 1873. The bluffs got there name from a 16th century Native American battle in which a tribe of Manisseans (locals) drove an invading force of 40 Mohegans over the bluffs to their deaths. This is not an easy trek. Starting from the parking area at Payne Overlook, I followed the short path that leads to the stairs. I then followed the approximately 150 stairs down to a viewing platform about 3/4 of the way down the bluffs. From here I scaled down the steep incline to the beach. From this vantage point the bluffs are amazingly massive. I walked the beach in each direction for a bit before returning back up the base of the bluff and stairs. From here I walked back to the parking area and out to the road. Turning right I followed the road several hundred feet to the entrance of the lighthouse grounds. I wandered around the grounds briefly, taking several photos of the historic light, before returning back to the car parked back at Payne Overlook. Though a short walk/hike, it is without a doubt a must see.

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Mohegan Bluffs, showing the Payne Overlook Stairs and the Southeast Light. (Note the people on the beach for perspective)

Meadow Hill – New Shoreham

  • Meadow Hill Greenway
  • Old Town Road, New Shoreham, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°10’17.27″N, 71°34’18.74″W
  • Last Time Hiked: May 14, 2016
  • Approximate distance hiked: 0.8 miles
  • Easy with some elevation.

This short four tenths of a mile trail arches around the base of Meadow Hill. The trail runs from a marker along Old Town Road to that roads intersection with Connecticut Avenue. Though disconnected from the main portions of the Block Island Greenway, it is generally considered part of it.

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Along The Meadow Hill Greenway

Dunn’s Bridge Path – New Shoreham

This short grass mowed trail system off of Beach Avenue follows the perimeter of a small field that overlooks a cove south of Great Salt Pond. The signage at the trail head read “Beach Ave. Trails”. The book “On This Island” refers to the property as the Dunn’s Bridge Path.

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Dunn’s Bridge Path

Andy’s Way – New Shoreham

At the end of Andy’s Way is a small parking area. Just beyond the parking area is a path that leads to a public beach on the northeast shore of The Great Salt Pond. The beach is short but very picturesque nonetheless. It is a good spot for bird watching and photography.

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Beach at Andy’s Way.