Archive for June, 2016

Arcadia Trail – Exeter/Richmond

  • Arcadia Trail – Arcadia Wildlife Management Area
  • Ten Rod Road, Exeter, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°34’36.27″N, 71°42’13.25″W
  • Last Time Hiked: June 25, 2016
  • Approximate distance hiked: 7.0 miles
  • Moderate due to distance, some elevation and rocky footing.

 

This 7 mile one way hike leads you through the eastern parts of the Arcadia Management Area. Starting from Appie Crossing along Ten Rod Road follow the yellow blazes of the Arcadia Trail. The entire trail is blazed yellow and at times follows the blue blazes of the North South Trail as well. Soon you will come to an intersection. The white blazed Mount Tom Trail is to the right, continue straight following the yellow blazes. The trail soon traverses along the northeast face of Bald Hill before coming to a wider cart path of a trail. Turn left here and follow it, the trail is now joined by the North South Trail, to Bates School House Road. Turning to the right, follow the paved road briefly before turning left onto a narrower trail. The narrow trail will soon cross Arcadia Road. The next section of the trail winds through the trees crossing boardwalks before coming to Roaring Brook Pond. Here there is a long section of wooden walks that overlook the picturesque pond. Several types of birds are commonly spotted here. Continuing to follow the yellow blazes make your way through the parking area for Roaring Brook before turning left and towards Tefft Hill. The yellow blaze trail soon turns left, splitting briefly from the blue blazes of the North South Trail. Along this stretch you are on the backside of Roaring Brook Pond and may catch a glimpse of it. The trail soon comes to another wide cart path trail. Turn right here and then soon you will see markings on the left for the Arcadia Trail. After turning left the trail is rejoined by the North South Trail and hugs the west face of Tefft Hill. At the next intersection there is a small bench. The white blazed trail ahead is the Arcadia Crossover. Stay to your left here and continue to follow the yellow blazes. The trail becomes slightly hilly and much more rocky. In fact, along this part you will pass through a boulder field. After crossing a brook the North South Trail once again splits from the Arcadia Trail. Stay to the right following the yellow blazes. The scenery changes dramatically as you head through a grove of pines, then an area of stone walls, before coming to a series of boardwalks. The white blazed Arcadia Crossover comes in from the right at the brook crossing. Stay to the left here following the brook and yellow blazes. The trail then crosses KG Ranch Road and makes it over another small hill before concluding opposite of the Arcadia Headquarters on Arcadia Road.

 

Trail maps can be found at: Arcadia Trail

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Large Boulder Along The Arcadia Trail

The Glen/Sakonnet Greenway – Portsmouth/Middletown

  • The Glen/Sakonnet Greenway
  • Frank Cohelo Drive, Portsmouth, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°33’33.33″N, 71°14’25.54″W
  • Last Time Hiked: June 19, 2016
  • Approximate distance hiked: 6.0 miles
  • Moderate due to distance, trails are fairly easy.

I joined the Appalachian Mountain Club – Narragansett Chapter for their hike of The Glen and Sakonnet Greenway. They opted to do this hike as a one way trek, therefore the route that I will describe requires car spotting. We started from the parking lot at The Glen along Frank Cohelo Drive. We first made our way down a short walkway that leads to the road. We then turned right following the road past the Glen Manor House. We then passed the house to the south passing through the well maintained gardens. From here are wonderful views of the Sakonnet River. As we approached the edge of the lawn a trail appears to the right that leads into the woods. Following this trail we soon came to the beach below. To the south you can see Sandy Point. We followed the beach south for a short distance and turned right onto a trail as wide as a cart-path back into the woods. The trail soon crosses over a stream and then follows it to an old abandon building. The stone work near and around the building is quite impressive. Take note of the archway of the sluice by the building. We then continued following the trail to the end of The Glen property. We turned left onto a narrow paved road and followed it about 500 feet to a dirt road on the right. This is Linden Lane. We followed the road for about four tenths of a mile as we passed the Newport Polo Grounds to the left. Ahead in the distance we could see the historic Leonard Brown House. After the Polo Grounds, but before the house, on the left is the northerly trailhead of the Sakonnet Greenway. From here we started our southerly trek first passing the Polo Grounds to the left before entering the Pennfield School property. The trail traverses through areas of thick shrubs and tall trees before coming to the white gate at Sandy Point Avenue. After crossing the street we approached the Portsmouth Loop Trail. The trail follows the perimeter of a large open field. Be warned though that the field is surrounded by an electric fence. We opted to turn left here and follow the east edge of the loop while heading south. After leaving the loop trail we passed through a short section of woods before emerging out to another small field. The trail soon led into a wooded area. The trail crossed a couple small streams by bridges and boardwalks. After coming out of the woods again the trail followed the edge of another large field. Soon we came to a set of turnstiles, continuing straight the trail winded through a narrow stretch of woods that divided two fields. The trail then turned to the right following the southern edge of the field that was to the right. Ahead is a kiosk with the trail map near the road crossing. After crossing Bramans Lane the trail turns to the west between another field of tall grass and a stone wall. The trail then turns left keeping the field to the left. Wildflowers are abundant along this stretch. Soon we were on the property of the Newport National Golf Course. The Sakonnet Greenway at this point is well marked by signs as it skims the perimeter of the golf course. For the next two miles the trail is on the golf course property. On several occasions we caught glimpses of the greens and the golfers using them. At time the trail uses the road for the golf carts. There are also places to stop along the way to use the restroom. Also along this stretch, just after then bend after the gazebo the Greenway leaves Portsmouth and enters into Middletown. At the end of the golf course property the trail comes out to Mitchells Lane. We turned left here and followed the road about one tenth of a mile. Across the street is the trail that leads to the Middletown Loops. We followed this trail to the next intersection and turned left. We then followed this trail, part of the Middletown Southern Loop which is occasionally marked with yellow blazes, to the Wyatt Road Soccer Complex where we concluded the hike. This hike highlights the true beauty of Aquidneck Island. From its areas of forest to its sprawling farms.

 

Also thank you to Deb and Cyndy from the AMC for leading this hike.

 

Trail maps can be found at: Sakonnet Greenway

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View of The Sakonnet River From The Glen

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The Sakonnet Greenway Along A Field.

Paradise Valley Park – Middletown

This beautiful and well maintained park in Middletown offers just about a half mile of walking paths. The park is also home of an 1810 wind grist mill that was relocated to this property in 1995. The wind mill is still operational. The property also abuts the 1875 Paradise Schoolhouse. This structure is home of the Middletown Historical Society and is on the National Register of Historical Sites.

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Windmill at Paradise Valley Park

Reynolds Pond – West Greenwich

  • Reynolds Pond – Big River Management Area
  • Fish Hill Road, West Greenwich, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°39’35.06″N, 71°37’41.94″W
  • Last Time Hiked: June 16, 2016
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.6 miles
  • Fairly easy.

 

I have been exploring lesser known areas of the State Management Areas the last couple of hikes and I am convinced that the wildlife are quite content with being in these areas. Being mid to late afternoon I was surprised to run into deer. Not just one, but several. And furthermore, they didn’t seem to concerned of my presence. For this hike I followed a trail into the Big River Management Area from the bend on Fish Hill Road. Following the trail south I passed a sandy area to the left while making my way to the first split in the road. Here I turned left and then continued straight passing a cart path to the right. With a map in hand I intended to loop the pond, but soon found that the pond had overflowed onto the trail. At the time of this hike it was impassable. So after a quick peak at both Reynolds Pond and Big River I retraced my steps back to the last intersection. Here I turned left and followed the cartpath for a bit before making another left. This trail leads down to the southern side of Reynolds Pond via a trail that runs along Big River. Soon I was just shy of the spot I was before that was overflowed. From here I retraced my steps back to the car. Besides deer, I saw turtles, chipmunks, various birds, and kayakers!! It is highly suggestible to obtain a copy of the Great Swamp Press map of Big River before making your way into the area.

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Reynolds Pond

Skunk Hill – Hopkinton

  • Skunk Hill – Arcadia Wildlife Management Area
  • Skunk Hill Road, Hopkinton, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°32’36.79″N, 71°43’35.60″W
  • Last Time Hiked: June 13, 2016
  • Approximate distance hiked: 3.1 miles
  • Moderate.

 

This hike, on lesser known trails in the Arcadia Management Area, offered a wide array of animals and insects to view. Chipmunks, woodland birds, hawks, the aptly named Green June beetle, and an abundance of gypsy moth caterpillars were all observed on this hike. Thankfully, no skunk! I’ve also listed this hike as moderate for a couple of reasons. Though most of it is fairly easy, the trails here are not blazed, and in one section almost non-existent. There is also one stretch, being a hill, that climbs upward for a bit. I strongly advise having a trail map and/or GPS before doing this hike. Starting at a small parking area by a red gate on Skunk Hill Road I headed east descending slowly down Skunk Hill. The trail, named Richardson Trail, is a wide cart path. At about two-tenths of a mile there is a four way trail intersection. Turn right here. For the next half mile the trail follows the edge of the hill weaving through areas of mountain laurel. At the time of this hike the gypsy moth caterpillars were feasting on the woodland trees. The trail splits, stay to the left and again you will be descending downhill. There area tends to get wet and the trail can be muddy. About three tenths of a mile from the last intersection you will want to look for a narrow trail on the left. There is a small clearing in the area of the turn, but if you are not looking for it you will miss it. After turning left, follow the narrow trail out to Blitzkrieg Trail and turn left again. If you went the right way you should be on a dirt road with a gate. A driveway to the right will have a “Private” and “Deaf Cat” sign. For the next six tenths of a mile you will follow the Blitzkrieg Trail passing the unmarked but gated Richardson Trail on the left. After you come around the bend you will see a red gate ahead of you in the distance. Start looking for a trail on the left with a hill at its beginning. If you came to the stream you went too far. After turning onto the trail you will be following a small stream for a bit. It is on the right but the ferns hide it very well. Soon the trail starts it climb back up hill. After climbing the hill and about a half mile from the beginning of this trail there is a trail on the left. If your are adventurous then turn left here. It is a very narrow trail that is very overgrown and leads you back to the four way trail intersection at the Richardson Trail where you came in on. If you take this trail turn right at the Richardson Trail and follow back to the parking area. For the less adventurous, continue straight, the trail will lead you back to Skunk Hill Road where you can turn left and follow the road back to the parking area.

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Trail on Skunk Hill

Prince Pond – Barrington

 

This small town owned property in Barrington offers several grass mowed paths that hug the south shore of Prince Pond. There are also several narrow trails that wind throughout the property. There is a very small spot to park a vehicle at the trail-head. It is unmarked however and can be easy to miss along busy County Road. I went on this hike very early (around sunrise) on a Sunday morning. I came across several types of birds here as well as several rabbits.

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Prince Pond