Barney Pond – Lincoln

  • Barney Pond
  • Table Rock Road, Lincoln, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°54’8.96″N, 71°25’34.68″W
  • Last Time Hiked: July 1, 2017
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.6 miles
  • Moderate to difficult due to navigation, otherwise fairly easy.

 

Lincoln Woods State Park is a sprawling property with miles and miles of unmarked trails. Most people that come here to walk do the loop trail around Olney Pond. But for the more adventurous there are places to see that most wouldn’t. Barney Pond, to most, is accessible along Smithfield Avenue in Lincoln. There is a small bridge and parking area here by the dam that creates the pond. On the opposite side is a series of trails that most people are not aware of. For this hike we explored that lesser known shore and other highlights of Lincoln Woods. Starting from a parking area at the baseball fields, we made our way down the road back towards the entrance and slightly downhill turning right into picnic site 5. Here at the sites entrance is a large outcrop known as Pulpit Rock. It is said that Metacom, a Wampanoag leader, would address his warriors here. Just beyond the picnic site are two trails. For this hike take the one to the left. It passes a small quarry on the left and a small pond on the right before it starts climbing uphill with a stone wall on the left. The trails soon come together, stay to the left here on the more defined trail. This trail continues to climb uphill and soon bends to the right. Ignore the trail to the left and continue another 30 feet or so to the next trail intersection. It is here you will turn left and follow the trail passing a boulder on your right. Continue straight, staying to the left trail downhill as it traverses over an outcrop and then soon a wooden bridge over a stream. After the bridge, turn left at the row of wood bollards into picnic sites 10 and 11. To the left is a massive outcrop known as Goat Rock, apparently named so because a goat once got stuck in one of its crevices. From here follow the road and stay to the left passing site 9 on the left and a large cluster of boulders on the right. Soon you will pass a gate and a wood guard rail to the right. Cross over Table Rock Road towards a large outcrop. Stay to the right of it and follow the road to picnic site 66 -80. After the road bends to the right start looking for picnic site 79 which is setback off the road. Cross through the picnic site to a trail at the back end of it. From this point forward navigation becomes difficult in areas. If you are not overly adventurous and/or do not have a good sense of direction you may reconsider this portion of the hike. GPS is also highly recommendable from this point forward. From the back of the picnic site follow the less define leaf covered trail slightly downhill away from the site. After a short distance turn left onto a trail that has been partially washed out. This trail looks like an old cartpath from yesteryear. It is obvious that people still use the trail but it is also obvious that it is not many people. The trail at times become very narrow, almost to the point of non-existence. Along this stretch we encountered deer. After going downhill for a bit the trail finally widens as you catch a glimpse of Threadmill Brook down in a valley to the right. Continuing straight and downhill, you will soon pass a trail on the left. Keep going straight passing a formation of stones in the trail that are obviously manmade. Ahead you will catch your first glimpse of Barney Pond. The main trail bends to the right here following the shore to a small bridge that crosses Threadmill Brook. Beyond the bridge is private property. For this hike, as the trail approaches the pond you want to turn to the left following the shore. You will soon find a narrow trail that parallels the west shore of the pond. The trail heads in a generally northerly direction and can be quite overgrown in areas, but it offers a few areas that overlook the pond. We were greeted by ducks and swans at one of these spots. Barney Pond is a manmade pond created when the Moshassuck River was dammed at Smithfield Avenue. The pond is about 25 acres and used primarily for fishing and kayaking. After passing a makeshift log “road” and a stone wall the trail widens as it enters a canopy of the woods. There is a homemade dock at a peninsula. From here the trail continues north into an area of Japanese Knotweed. In the height of summer the trail can vanish, quite literally. If the trail has been used recently you should be able to make your way through the broken knotweed. If not, your other choices are to retrace your steps or follow a faint trail from the homemade dock in a westerly/southwesterly direction up the hill where you should find a cartpath. That cartpath will lead you back to the trail that runs along Threadmill Brook. Either way, be sure to use GPS. For this hike, continue following the trail through the knotweed. It soon comes to the northern reaches of the pond, now slightly off into the distance to the right. This trail soon comes to Table Rock Road. If you have come this far, congratulations, well done! Turn right and follow the road to the shack. Here you will see the iconic Lincoln Woods covered bridge. Turn left onto the road to the baseball fields. Soon you will come to where your vehicle is parked. Again, this hike is only suggested for those who are comfortable being in the woods, adventurous and/or have a good sense of direction.

 

Trail Map can be found at: Barney Pond

TWRI-Barney

Swans on Barney Pond

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    • Chris G
    • September 24th, 2017

    This is a great portion of Lincoln woods to explore in early spring and late winter when the bamboo is just starting to sprout as it’s pretty easy to navigate, but still feels hidden and tucked away from the rest of the park. I went late April/ early May a few times after discovering it on an exploratory trail run. Then when returning a couple weeks later in early June it had completely disappeared.

    It’s kind of fun that the trail system almost changes based on the season.

    Also of note: This is fun to connect to the sunset hiking trails area if you take it in reverse head West past the picnic areas and the waterfall that drains from Olney pond up to the Les Pawson loop. Endless possibilities!!

    Thanks for sharing this post! Happy hiking!

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