Archive for the ‘ ~1 to 2 Miles~ ’ Category

Spring Lake Trail – Cranston

  • Spring Lake Trail
  • Laten Knight Road, Cranston, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°44’44.41″N, 71°32’25.40″W
  • Last Time Hiked: March 24, 2020
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.2 miles
  • Fairly easy, significant elevation.

 

This newly blazed trail is on an old State property. Spring Lake is part of the Curran Reservoir State Park. This State Park, however was never developed. The northern end around Curran Reservoir is open to hunting. Although the southern end is not, it is advised to wear orange during hunting season nevertheless. The trail starts at a small parking area along Laten Knight Road and descends quickly down hill. The trail at first is hard to delineate, but the wide open forest floor leaves plenty of room to get back on track. A black sign is soon visible with a white arrow below a “Spring Lake” sign. For the remainder of this hike you continue forward looking for the next sign as it makes a loop through the southern end of the property. As the trail passes the lake there is a dead end spur trail that leads along and below the dam. The engineering of the dam is quite intriguing and worth checking out if you are so inclined. Following the signs you will complete the loop, the remainder of the hike will test your stamina as you retrace your steps all uphill to the parking area.

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Trail to Spring Lake

Patricia Sprague Forest – Charlestown

  • Patricia Sprague Forest Preserve
  • Railroad Avenue, Charlestown, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°27’4.63″N, 71°39’21.18″W
  • Last Time Hiked: February 2, 2020
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.4 miles
  • Fairly easy, some elevation.

 

For a relatively short, but stunningly beautiful hike just off of Route 112 in Charlestown, the Patricia Sprague Forest offers quite a bit. Starting from a small parking area along Railroad Avenue, follow the blue blazed, pine needle covered trail into the property first passing a stone wall and glacial boulders before coming to a split. For this hike stay to the right following the blue blazes northeasterly along the properties southern border. Ahead, just off the trail and on the right, is an old fire pit that overlooks the valley below. Continuing along the blue blazed trail you will catch glimpses of the Pawcatuck River down below on the right. The trail then descends rapidly into a valley, then climbs back uphill, over a ridge-line and finally into an open field. At the field stay to the right following the fields perimeter on a beaten path that traverses the northern reaches of the property. You will pass through a very young pine grove along this stretch as well. The trail leaves the field for the last time as it bears right into the tall pines and along the properties western border. Ahead you will pass through an old orchard before coming to the entrance trail. Stay to the right here and retrace your steps by the stone wall and back to the parking area.

 

Map can be found at: Patricia Sprague Forest.

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Stone Walls and Tall Trees

Westport Woods – Westport/Little Compton

  • Westport Woods/Cotton Preserve
  • Adamsville Road, Westport, MA
  • Trailhead:  41°33’30.54″N, 71° 7’29.09″W
  • Last Time Hiked: January 5, 2020
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.5 miles
  • Fairly easy.

 

Westport Woods is one of the newer trail systems in the area opening to the public in the summer of 2019. For this hike, about one and half of the almost 3 miles of trails was hiked. Starting from the kiosk at the parking area, first follow the paved road north a couple hundred feet then turn left onto a stone dust path. This path winds west then south through a field with tall trees. Soon you will come to the “Main Trail” sign on your right. This section of trail, blazed orange, enters the woods and follows the western edge of the property passing several types of trees, holly shrubs, and stone walls. At the second trail intersection the orange trail continues ahead and the yellow blazed trail begins at the right. For this hike continue ahead for now. (You will be retracing your steps back to this intersection). The orange trail now enters the Cotton Preserve owned by the Little Compton Agricultural Conservancy Trust. After crossing a stream you will come to a quarry pond. Take a moment to take in the beauty here before retracing your steps back to the yellow trail (now on your left). The remainder of this hike will follow the yellow trail with the exception of a short detour at your first left. Here you will follow a short loop trail to a vernal pool. After viewing the vernal pool return to the yellow trail and continue to follow it to the east. The trail will include a series of boardwalks in wet areas, followed by an interesting stone feature on the left, (presumably leftovers from the former St Vincent de Paul Camp), before winding along the eastern edge of the property to a stone bridge. From here the trail ends at an open field. Continue ahead to reach the kiosk by the parking area. Hunting is allowed here, Be sure to wear orange during hunting season.

 

Map can be found at: Westport Woods.

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Stone Structure at Westport Woods.

Homestead Loop Trail – Fall River

  • Homestead Loop Trail – Watuppa Reservation
  • Blossom Road, Fall River, MA
  • Trailhead:  41°42’56.24″N, 71° 5’19.86″W
  • Last Time Hiked: October 20, 2019
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.2 miles
  • Fairly easy.

 

Starting from a parking area surrounded by a split rail fence follow grass covered cart path away from the road. On the right before the power lines is the trail. The trail is first flanked on the left by a stone wall. A few hundred feet ahead the trail passes through the wall and then to a split. Staying to the left you will see the first trail marker (marked by a rabbit). The trail markers for this hike are at every tenth of a mile. There are no other blazes on this loop. The trail passes under the power lines before winding back into the woods. After passing some holly and small boulders you will come upon a trail on the right (marked by a bee). Ignore this trail for this hike and continue straight. You will soon enough come to another “rabbit” marker to confirm you are on the right trail. At the end of the trail, turn right onto the wide grass road and look for a trail on the left. Turn onto this trail and continue with the loop. At 0.3 mile marker there is a rather impressive holly tree. The trail winds a little further south and back west coming to a trail intersection just before the power lines. The trail to the right is the “bee” marked trail. Stay to the left here making your way to the power lines. The trail can be a little overgrown here. Continue ahead here passing under the lines and the trail becomes much clearer at the tree line. The next feature of the trail is a boardwalk (still under construction) before coming to the wide grass road once again. From here continue straight as the trail winds back to the first marker. From the first marker retrace your steps back to the parking area.

 

Map can be found at: Homestead Loop Trail.

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Marker Along The Homestead Loop

Sunset Farm Trail – Narragansett

  • Sunset Farm Trail
  • Point Judith Road, Narragansett, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°24’24.97″N, 71°28’48.22″W
  • Last Time Hiked: September 15, 2019
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.5 miles
  • Fairly easy with some elevation.

 

Tucked away behind Sunset Farm is one of the newest trail systems in Rhode Island. A working farm, you must first make your way past the gate and follow the signs along the dirt road through the farm area. Be sure to close the gate behind you!! The trail is to the left just as you approach a stone wall at the northern edge of the property. The trail is flanked by the wall to the right and a wire fence to the left. Along this stretch are sweeping views of the farm fields. At the next intersection, and for this hike, turn left and follow the trail into a wooded area. A stone wall will now be on your left. Look for a very distinctive and obviously out of place stone in the wall. At the end of this trail turn right. The path to the left is blocked with a gate. From here you will gently descend downhill through an area with old apple trees and grape vines. The scent of grapes was rather strong at the time of this hike, and with the fruit, the birds. There were many of them singing in the nearby shrubs. At the next trail intersection there is signage. Turn left here, cross over a boardwalk, and then slightly uphill to a small knoll with a bench. There is a small view corridor (likely larger when the leaves are off the trees) of Point Judith Pond. From here retrace your steps back to the intersection. Continue straight ahead and slightly uphill. At the next intersection continue straight and then retrace your steps back to and through the farm. Be sure to check out the farm stand for fresh fruits, vegetables, honey, sauces, and meats. Around the other side of the barn are pens. You may catch a glimpse of a cow or goat.

 

Map can be found at: Sunset Farm Trail.

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The Trail Flanked by Fence and Wall

Manning Field – Scituate

  • Manning Field
  • Danielson Pike, Scituate, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°49’49.29″N, 71°36’36.33″W
  • Last Time Hiked: August 12, 2019
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.4 miles
  • Easy with some slight elevation.

 

On property owned by the Town of Scituate, the High School cross country course makes for a nice short walk when either the course or the ball fields are not in use. Starting from the concession stand by the parking area follow the inside of the fence line of outer field of both baseball fields toward Rockland Road. Just after the field the entrance to the “Upper Loop” is visible. This loop winds through the woods for a bit and returns to this point. For this walk stay to the right as the path follows Rockland Road before turning into the woods. After completing the loop stay to your right and follow the tree line passing the backside of the baseball fields and the side of the soccer field. At the end of the soccer field turn left (still following the tree line). Then you will turn slightly right back into the woods. There will be a concrete structure and large block at the trail intersection. Stay to the right here and follow the path into the “Lower Loop”. This loop meanders up and down several small hills and above Dexter Pond before returning to the concrete structure. After passing the structure stay to your right to return to the parking area.

 

Map can be found at: Manning Field.

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Along the Lower Loop

Taylor Point – Jamestown

  • Taylor Point
  • Freebody Drive, Jamestown, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°30’34.63″N, 71°21’35.30″W
  • Last Time Hiked: June 23, 2019
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.2 miles
  • Easy, be careful near the edges.

 

Taylor Point is a work in progress and offers some great views of Narragansett Bay. The Taylor Point Restoration Association has been improving shoreline access and trails on the property. Some of the trails are narrow and others are wide and well mowed. Others have not been developed yet. There is two parking areas and public restroom. The rocks and edges can be clustered with fishermen. Do exercise caution along the edges. A hike just over a mile was done by doing several “anticipated” (see trail map) “in and out” trails and the roads that connect them.

 

Map can be found at: Taylor Point.

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The Iconic Newport Bridge From Taylor Point.