Bradford Preserve – Westerly

  • Bradford Preserve
  • Bradford Road, Westerly, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°23’29.15″N, 71°45’16.67″W
  • Last Time Hiked: September 2, 2017
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.2 miles
  • Fairly easy with some elevation.

 

A hidden treasure along Route 91 in Westerly. I have driven by the sign several times and glanced across the athletic fields. What I never knew (until I did a little research) is that there is a great hiking trail here. The trail is in fact a cross country trail for the Westerly High School but open to the public when not in use by them. The trail is blazed orange, but at the time of the hike, the blazes were a little faint. Just be sure to keep an eye for them at turns and intersections. The access the trail head from the parking area you must cross the large grass field to the right. You will find the trail head at the back end of the field. A short entrance trail will be the first part of the hike. Turn left at the intersection to do the orange blazed loop. The trail climbs slowly and steadily uphill for a bit passing stone walls, a vernal pool, and a fern covered forest first heading northerly before turning to the south. Ahead a trail to the left will lead you into the Woody Hill Management Area. Continue to the right here and continue to follow the blazes. When you reach the southern end of the loop you will come upon a large open field filled with tall grass and wildflowers. A path to the left will lead you back into the woods. Turn right here and follow the path along the edge of the woods keeping the field to your left. Take your time here and enjoy the sights. At the time of this hike the field had a variety of butterflies and the sounds of crickets. But the dragonflies stole the show, literally hundreds of them buzzing around. Soon the field path enters back into the woods and the trail starts its long descent downhill. Keep an eye out for a spur trail to the left. This trail leads you to a monument in the woods built in 1886 in honor of the Vars family who first came to the colonies in 1680. After stopping by the monument continue along the orange blazed trail, still descending, to the entrance trail. Here you will want to turn left and cross the field once again to the parking area.

 

Trail map can be found at: Bradford Preserve.

TWRI-BradfordWest

Trail in the Bradford Preserve

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