Archive for the ‘ ~1 Mile or Less~ ’ Category

Pic-Wil Nature Preserve- Barrington

  • Pic-Wil (Picerelli-Wilson) Nature Preserve
  • Barrington, RI
  • Trailhead: Undisclosed
  • Last Time Hiked: June 25, 2017
  • Approximate distance hiked: 0.8 miles
  • Easy.

 

Mr. Ray Marr of the Barrington Land Conservation Trust and an avid lover of purple martins gave a public tour today of this property in Barrington. The Pic-Wil Nature Preserve, named after the former land owners Picerelli and Wilson, became a Barrington Land Conservation Trust property in 1987. The property was once the home to a bottling factory known as Deep Rock Water Company. Today, the property has three large meadows,  a small forest and a salt marsh on the upper reaches of Narragansett Bay. This property is a haven for birds. In fact it is known for its purple martins as they nest and resort here in the late spring and into the summer. The purple martin is a type of swallow, and here at Pic-Wil they reside in one of several gourd rack nests. At the time of this hike there were 53 nesting purple martins and over 100 in total. There are several bird boxes here as well as there is an attempt to attract the Eastern Bluebird. House wrens, hawks, and ospreys were also spotted here. The property has been home to deer, coyote, fox, weasels, squirrels, chipmunks, and rabbits as well. The small network of trails here lead you through the fields, the forest, and into the salt marsh. There is an active bee hive here on the property as part of a local pollination project. From the property you can see the Conimicut Lighthouse and across the bay to Warwick, North Kingstown, and Prudence Island. The property is not open to the public except when guided tours are offered. The tours are usually posted on their website or Facebook page. For more information contact the Barrington Land Conservation Trust.

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Summer Meadow (Note the gourd rack nest)

Feurer Park – North Kingstown

  • Feurer Park
  • LaFayette Road, North Kingstown, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°34’26.86″N, 71°29’26.91″W
  • Last Time Hiked: June 1, 2017
  • Approximate distance hiked: 0.4 miles
  • Easy with a small hill.

 

While in the neighborhood (after visiting Ryan Park) and visiting every trail I can find in Rhode Island, I decided to stop by Feurer Park. Behind the ball field is a small network of nature trails that wind along and across the Annaquatucket River. The trails under the power lines and the property will end by the railroad tracks. Do not go onto or cross the tracks.

 

Trail map can be found at: Feurer Park

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Annaquatucket River

Eagle Scout Nature Trail – Plainville

  • Eagle Scout Nature Trail
  • Everett Skinner Road, Plainville, MA
  • Trailhead: 42° 1’30.60″N,71°19’43.37″W
  • Last Time Hiked: May 10, 2017
  • Approximate distance hiked: 0.7 miles
  • Fairly easy with slight elevation.

 

This short trail winds through a canopy of birch, maple, and pine trees. Starting from a parking area along Everett Skinner Road the loop trail begins to the left of the sign. The trail then follows the shore of Old Mill Brook a bit before turning inland and uphill. The trails are mostly covered in pine needles along most of the loop. Be sure to look for and follow the white arrows to complete the loop. There are other trails that spur off of the loop. There is also a “bridge to nowhere” here. It is an observation deck that hovers over a small pond to view wildlife and plants. The loop is short, but several miles can be added to this walk on adjacent properties.

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Bridge Crossing Old Mill Brook

King Phillips Chair – Bristol

  • King Phillips Chair/Miery Swamp
  • Bristol, RI
  • Trailhead: Undisclosed
  • Last Time Hiked: April 29, 2017
  • Approximate distance hiked: Less than 1 mile on two separate walks.
  • Fairly easy.

 

A notable site more so for its history than its hiking, King Phillips Chair is well worth the visit if you are in the area. There are some restrictions though as the “chair” and nearby spring in Miery Swamp are not publicly open unless you receive permission. Both the “chair” and the spring are on property owned by Brown University on Mount Hope. This area in the 1600’s was part of the Wampanoag/Pokanoket tribes lands known as Sowams. The “chair”, at the base of the largest outcrop of white granite in Rhode Island served as the seat of Metacom (known by the English colonists as King Phillip). It is said that Metacom held meetings here and the top of the rock served as a lookout. From 1675 to 1678 a war between the Native Americans and English colonists was fought in this area. The King Phillips War was by far the bloodiest war in American History (per population) as nearly 10 percent of the population were killed on both sides. Some of the fiercest fighting occurred in the nearby towns. King Phillip met his end in Miery Swamp a mere half mile southwest of King Phillips Chair on August 12, 1676. A monument, placed by the Rhode Island Historical Society in 1877, now stands by the spring on the site of his death. Nearby Mount Hope Farm abuts the woods and to gain access to King Phillips Chair and Miery Swamp you must contact the office at 401-254-1745 for permits and parking passes. Groups of more than 10 will require insurance (per Brown University) to visit the site.

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The Base of the Large Outcrop Served as King Phillips Chair

Whiting Pond – North Attleborough

 

Known more for its trout fishing, Whiting Pond offers a very short quarter mile trail that runs along the east shore of the pond. The trail is very primitive and narrow but does offer a couple views of the pond you wouldn’t see otherwise. If you have a fishing pole, stay a while. Across the pond is another public access.

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Whiting Pond

Moonstone Beach – South Kingstown

  • Moonstone Beach
  • Moonstone Beach Road, South Kingstown, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°22’18.72″N, 71°34’20.77″W
  • Last Time Hiked: April 17, 2017
  • Distance: Less than a mile April to September, up to 4 miles rest of year.
  • Easy Beach Walk.

 

Moonstone Beach for years was known for its reputation as being a nude beach. Today, no longer a nude beach, it is one of Rhode Islands most stunning beaches with its scattered stones along the sand. The beach surrounded and part of the Trustom Pond National Wildlife Refuge offers nearly 2 miles of strand between Roy Carpenters Beach and Green Hill Beach. The quiet beach is not easy to visit due to many seasonal restrictions. From May 1 to September 15 a parking pass is required to park along Moonstone Beach Road. Also in most of the spring and summer large sections of the beach are cordoned off to protect the piping plovers. The beach is stunningly beautiful in the winter months if you can handle the sometimes brutal winter winds. The best time to visit is very early spring, the autumn and winter. The beach is also noted for its birds as three salt ponds abut the beach including Trustom Pond and Cards Pond. Killdeers, Sandpipers, Herons, and Egrets are also known to frequent Moonstone. Be sure to bring a camera!!

 

More information about the birds of Moonstone Beach can be found here.

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Waves Crashing On Moonstone Beach

Howland Reserve – Dartmouth

 

The hardest part of Howland Reserve is finding it. The trail starts slightly set back on the east side of North Hixville Road at the clearing for a gas pipeline easement. But once you find it, you are in for a treat. This property has a small network of trails blazed red, orange, and yellow. For this hike I made a loop using a little of each trail. The trails wind through a canopy of towering pines and there is a spot to take a quick peek at the Copicut River. It is suggested to wear orange at this property as it is close to a rod and gun club. In fact the sound of gunfire is common. I came across several birds and a few ducks on this property.

 

Trail maps can be found at: Howland Reserve

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Tall Pines Along The Trail