Archive for May, 2021

Fenway Trail – North Stonington/Griswold/Preston

  • Fenway Trail – Tri Town Ridgeline Preserve
  • Miller Road, North Stonington, CT
  • Trailhead:  41°30’46.07″N, 71°54’15.37″W
  • Last Time Hiked: May 22, 2021
  • Approximate distance hiked: 3.2 miles
  • Moderate.

This would be the second of three planned hikes here at the Tri Town Ridgeline Preserve. This hike would follow the yellow interior loop known as the Fenway Trail. Starting from the parking area at the bend of Miller Road, follow the red blazed trail into the preserve. The red trail, known as the Axis Road, cuts the property in two offering an easier connection to the two loops or an easier exit if need be. Soon the blue blazed Wapayu Trail comes in from the left. Continue straight ahead following the now red and blue blazes. At the next intersection the blue trails turns to the right. To the left is the yellow loop where you will exit from. Continue ahead here following now the red and yellow blazes. You will be under a canopy of beech trees along this stretch. You will pass a stone wall before coming to the split where the red stays to the left. Veer right here onto the yellow trail. The trail now follows an old cart path. You will get your first glimpses of ridges here and will notice the forest floor is covered with ferns.  The blue blazes rejoin the yellow trail for the first of three times. For this hike you will follow the yellow blazes. You are now leaving North Stonington and entering Griswold. The trail narrows a bit passing some stonework before dipping down into a small valley, crosses a brook, climbs up the first of the hills, before coming to a series of boardwalks. The trail here is rocky and root bound. Watch your step! The yellow trail splits from the blue again briefly as it weaves through an area of beautiful stone walls. Rejoining the blue trail, you will scramble up and over a hill through an area called Oak Alley. There are some rather large trees along the trail and some information about the Pequots. The yellow trail then turns to the left and zigzags down hill and rejoins the blue trail for the last time at the next right. The trail now follows an earthen dam for a bit before winding uphill passing an area of cairns, possibly of Native American origin, before coming to a sitting area. This is a good spot for a break as you are quite a distance from civilization. It tends to be quiet here. Continuing the trail winds downhill crossing over a brook. There is a spur trail to the left for a view of Lost Pond. The trail splits. Follow the yellow to the left. From here it follows a ridge and weaves through a fern covered forest. In this area you will cross into Preston, the third town of the Tri-Town Preserve. Next you cross a “log bridge” before coming to the intersection of the red trail. From here continue ahead and slightly to the right to continue to follow the yellow blazes. This will be the hardest part of this hike. That hill in front of you… you about to climb! You will spend sometime climbing to the top as the trail bends to the south and follows the ridgeline. I saw quite a few deer along this stretch. Near the top of the hill along the trail there is a boulder with a “spike” in it with the inscription “P & G”. Just after this point you will climb over the crest of the hill and start the long steady descent back into North Stonington. Near the end of the yellow trail it climbs slightly uphill one last time. At the next intersection turn right and follow the red blazes back to the parking area.

Map can be found at: Fenway Trail

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Fenway Trail Following A Ridgeline

Old Mill Creek – Warwick

There is an unmarked loop trail off of Draper Avenue opposite the parking area for the walking track. The main trail connects two neighborhoods and the other trail that makes the loop nears Old Mill Creek and Buckeye Brook. There is no actual view of the creek. The trails here are heavily used by ATV’s and dirt bikes.

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At The Entrance by Draper Avenue

Kinney Azalea Gardens – South Kingstown

  • Kinney Azalea Gardens
  • Kingstown Road, South Kingstown, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°28’39.44″N, 71°31’11.89″W
  • Last Time Hiked: May 8, 2021
  • Approximate distance hiked: 0.6 miles
  • Easy garden walk.

The Kinney Azalea Gardens is a privately owned property open to the public. There is no entrance fee, however donations are accepted. There are several species of azaleas and rhododendrons located among the several winding paths. There is a “Troll Bridge” and a “Hidden Bridge” and all the paths have names. Some are wide enough for service vehicles and other are very narrow. Also, look for the famous “moongate”. The best time to visit is May into June. For more information go to their website.

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Early May at Kinney.

Curtis Corner – South Kingstown

  • Curtis Corner – South Kingstown Athletic Fields
  • Curtis Corner Road, South Kingstown, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°27’45.50″N, 71°31’21.57″W
  • Last Time Hiked: May 8, 2021
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.1 miles
  • Easy with some slight elevation.

Curtis Corner offers a short walk and short hike behind the Middle School. But beware of the flying saucers!! There is a disc golf course here that is quite active. For the first part of the walk, make your way to the walking path that goes by the building by the parking lot. Follow this a bit and turn right keeping the soccer fields and stone wall to your right. The walking path wraps around the field passing another path to the left. Keep right here. The path soon enters the woods and ends at the roadway. Turn right and cross the road. You will soon see a trail head on the left. Follow the well defined trail around the small pond. The trail winds through the disc golf course. At the east end of the pond is a sitting bench with a great view. You are likely to see turtles here. Retrace your steps back to the road, turn left and the parking area is just across the street.

Map can be found at: Curtis Corner

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Stream Crossing

Sunnyacres Preserve – Westerly

Sunnyacres Preserve is one of Westerly’s lesser known properties. The walk follows the perimeter of the property along the tree line. The large open field is a haven for bees, butterflies, and other insects. The birds can be heard rustling in the shrubs and trees along the grass mowed path. Near the parking area at the top of the hill is an impressive cellar hole.

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Stone Walls and Trees

Depot Square Park – Hopkinton

What a nice surprise of a walk this was. Though short in length, this trail starting by the fire station winds into the woods passing towering old trees and stone retaining walls left behind from the days of the railroad. Near the end of the trail to the left is a sweeping, beautiful vista of the Wood River from a newly built boardwalk. There is a secondary trail that leads to Mechanic Street. In all you can get a stroll of about three quarters of a mile here.

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The Wood River

Allens Pond West – Dartmouth

  • Allens Pond West
  • Horseneck Road, Dartmouth, MA
  • Trailhead:  41°30’24.53″N, 71° 1’25.18″W
  • Last Time Hiked: May 1, 2021
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.6 miles
  • Fairly easy trails with rocky beach walk.

                                                                            

Allens Pond is a Masachusetts Audubon property along Buzzards Bay. The property offers 6 to 7 miles of trails. It is a diverse and beautiful property offering several types of features from beaches to fields to woodlands. With that being said, I have decided to break the property into three separate hikes to maximize visiting all of the trails without having an overwhelming hike distance. This hike, the third, covers the western portion of the property. Starting from the Field Station parking area stay to the left and follow the grass mowed trail towards an opening in a stone wall. The trail crosses through another grass field before coming to a dirt road. Turn left here and almost immediately you will be turning right passing an open gate. You are now on the Quansett Trail. You start getting your first glimpses of Allens Pond on the right. Ahead you will cross a stone wall. Here a rather extensive boardwalk begins. The first highlight is a viewing area to the right. The second, just after the bend is a bridge that crosses over a marshy area. The trail, back on land now, traverses through thickets, pass boulders and more stone walls before coming to a stretch of “stepping stones”. At the next intersection there is a distinctive boulder. Stay to the left here and continue following the Quansett Trail. You will cross a small brook before coming to the Tree Top Trail. Again bear to the left and continue on he Quansett Trail. You will come upon more boulders and a “stretch of green” featuring skunk cabbage and fiddleheads in early spring. For this hike, turn right at the next intersection onto the Fresh Pond Trail. (The Quansett Trail continues ahead here into the central part of the property.) Along the trail to the left is a spur to Poison Ivy Rock. There is a nice view of the cove here and a good spot to take a break. I did not see any poison ivy! Continuing along the Fresh Pond Trail you will soon come to the trails namesake on the right. Look for nesting swans and geese here along with several other birds. The trail then turns to the right passing a sitting area before coming to the “stone bridge”. Here you will get another glimpse of Fresh Pond to the right. After crossing the bridge the trail ends in a bit completing a loop. Turn left back onto the Quansett Trail, passing the stepping stones, boardwalks, and to the dirt road. Turn left onto the dirt road and follow it about a tenth of a mile to an area with sweeping views of Allens Pond. Look for osprey atop the pole, herons, and egrets. There will be a information kiosk on the right with a sandy path. Follow this path to the rocky beach. At the beach you will see the Elizabeth Islands in the distance. On a clear day you may be able to make out the Gosnald Tower near the end of Cuttyhunk, the island to the right. Turn right onto the beach and follow it to the large outcrop. The trail then climbs over the outcrop coming back down the other side to another rocky beach. After the zigzagged stone walls to the right the trail turns to the right coming into a grass field. From here follow the grass mowed path to the parking area. Check out the Bayside Restaurant across the street for their blueberry pie!!

 

 

Map can be found at: Allens Pond West

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Stone Walls and Boardwalks