Archive for June, 2020

Owen Bell Park – Killingly

 

Owen Bell is a town park featuring recreational facilities such as a running/walk track, baseball fields, basketball, volleyball, and tennis courts, a playground, a skate park and splash pad. It also is home to a cross country course which features pine needle covered and grass mowed trails at the northern end of the property. They zigzag throughout the wooded area offering over a mile of actual trails. From the eastern parking lot follow the asphalt path into the park and follow the fence line that hugs the highway. You will soon see the trail head to the right marked with a sign. After exploring the trails check out the pond. It is a haven for dragonflies, butterflies, and frogs.

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Along the Wooded Trail at Owen Bell Park

 

Wildcat Rock – Tiverton

  • Wildcat Rock
  • Lafayette Road, Tiverton, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°35’43.25″N, 71°11’19.02″W
  • Last Time Hiked: June 21, 2020
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.6 miles
  • Fairly easy with some elevation.

 

In the northern reaches of Weetamoo Woods are trails that are less traveled. The trails here are not blazed but for this hike are easy enough to follow. Starting from Weetamoo Woods Lafayette Road parking area continue to follow Lafayette Road pass the gate. The road is paved to the top of the hill. Nature and time has reclaimed some of the pavement though. At the top of the hill is an open field to the left and to the right is the Yellow Trail to Weetamoo Woods. From here continue straight ahead. The road narrows a bit and becomes gravel and grass from this point forward. To your right you will pass the Indian Trail and soon a split to the left. Ignore both and continue straight ahead. At the six tenths of a mile mark the trail splits again. Stay to the right to start heading south. There will be a trail coming in from the left. Ignore that trail and continue ahead. The trail then bends significantly to the right. Ahead is another split. Stay to the left here and the trail soon comes to an outcrop. There is another trail split here. It is your choice as both form a small loop to the top of Wildcat Rock. At the top of the rock you will find yourself high above the forest floor though there is not much of a view as the trees still tower above the rock. The height of the rock is still quite impressive nonetheless. The view would be better when the leaves are off the trees, but the challenge to find the rock (trails not shown on map) is worth the short hike in itself. From the rock, retrace your steps back to the parking area.

 

Map can be found at: Wildcat Rock.

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Highest Point at Wildcat Rock.

 

Shippee Sawmill Pond – Foster

 

This lesser known State property is more known for its fishing than trails, but there are trails here nonetheless. At the time of this hike none of the trails were blazed and there was defined loop. All the trails were out and back either dead ending or crossing onto private property. To explore the trails park by the green gate. The trails run west from the gate and split almost immediately at a small pond. The trail to the left climbs uphill and seems to just vanish after a bit. The trail to the right of the pond heads north and eventually leaves State property. There is a spur off this trail on the right where you can catch a glimpse of the back side of Shippee Sawmill Pond. For a good view of the pond and dam with waterfall, follow the dirt road north to a parking area. There is a short trail to the right of the parking area that brings you to the dam. Exploring all of the trails out and back will give you a walk of just over a mile.

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Trail at Shippee Sawmill Pond

Quandoc Conservation Area – Killingly

  • Quandoc Conservation Area
  • Brickhouse Road, Killingly, CT
  • Trailhead:  41°48’6.86″N,71°48’8.62″W
  • Last Time Hiked: June 7, 2020
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.4 miles
  • Moderate.

 

Right over the Rhode Island border is a great kept secret. Though the hike here is just about a mile and a half, the property offers near solitude as it winds through woods, fields, by bogs, and over a stream. Starting from the trail head just left of the kiosk you will find yourself climbing slightly uphill following the yellow blazes. The trail, narrow at points, traverses under a canopy of tall pines as it weaves pass stone walls. The trail then crosses a babbling brook at a stepping stone array. Just after the brook turn right at the trail intersection. This will begin the loop portion of the hike. The trail here descends downhill a bit and will come to a cart path. Turn left here at the cart path and follow it downhill. A trail comes in from the right, ignore it and continue ahead following the yellow blazes. Note another small babbling brook on the left. Soon you will pass some large boulders then the trail comes to an open field. Continue straight ahead through the grassy area keeping the stone wall to your right. You are likely to see many insects and butterflies here as there is milkweed in the field. Beyond the wall you will catch glimpse of a bog. The trail continues slightly uphill, turns slightly to the right, then passes through a pine grove. After the pines the trail splits, stay to the left here. In a few feet the trail splits again. Stay to the left here and note the yellow blazes on the rocks in the ground. From here the trail climbs steeply for a bit. Your stamina and lung capacity will be tested on this hill. This is the northern most part of the trail system. From here the trail gently winds up and down small hills passing under a canopy of pine and beech trees while passing more stone walls. You will notice some white quartz stones along the trail just before your turn to the right. After turning right and crossing the brook once again you will retrace your steps back to the parking area following the yellow blazes.

 

Map can be found at: Quandoc.

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Late Spring Ferns at Quandoc