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

Smith Farm – Dartmouth

 

What a pleasant surprise of a property. One must say that the Dartmouth Natural Resources Trust has some beautiful properties. Just down the road from Cornell Farm is Smith Farm. In comparison the trail system at Smith Farm is much shorter than Cornell but it is well worth the visit. The front end of the property offers a series of stone walls and what appears to be foundations. Starting by following the red blazed trail, you soon enter the woods. Among the deciduous trees are several holly trees and shrubs. The red trail soon comes to a large open field with one prominent pine tree. Follow the path across the field to continue following the red blazed trail. The next section of woods offer some swamps, wetlands, and stone walls. Next follow the blue blazed trail around Horseshoe Pond. It crosses several trickling streams as it follows the ponds edge. At the time of this hike I had come across an owl and several ducks. After following the blue blazed trail around the perimeter of the pond turn left at the red blazed trail and follow it to its end. Turn left and follow the orange blazed trail to its end. There you will find an observation platform that overlooks Nonquitt Marsh. From here follow the orange blazed trail back, staying on it to the parking area. It follows an old cart path road passing several stone walls and a vernal pool.

 

Trail maps can be found at: Smith Farm

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Field at Smith Farm

Sheep Farm – Groton

  • Sheep Farm
  • Hazelnut Hill Road, Groton, CT
  • Trailhead: 41°21’21.83″N, 72° 1’21.21″W
  • Last Time Hiked: December 30, 2016
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.3 miles
  • Fairly easy with some elevation.

 

This interesting property features a loop red blazed trail, a yellow trail, and a blue trail that cuts through the property. Fort Hill Brook is the highlight of this hike with its series of waterfalls. There are also remains of old mill sites throughout the property. The property is covered with scattered boulders and there is an open field with bird boxes.

 

Trail maps can be found at: Sheep Farm

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Falls at Fort Hill Brook

South Farm Preserve – Charlestown

 

This property is made up of two farm fields and woodlands. There is a set of perimeter trails around each field and blazed trails in the woodlands at the southern end of the property. A loop around the property is just a little over a mile. The farms here were once used for diary and sheep. Now the fields are essentially sanctuaries for birds and butterflies. In the north field two structures dominate the landscape. An old sauna (the chimney looking structure) and the re-built sheep barn offer a glimpse into the properties past. There is also a historic cemetery on the grounds, that being of the Card family. Graves here date back to the late 1800’s.

 

Trail maps can be found at: South Farm Preserve

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Sheep Barn at South Farm

Moraine Preserve – Charlestown

  • Moraine Preserve
  • Kings Factory Road, Charlestown, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°23’8.76″N, 71°39’58.90″W
  • Last Time Hiked: December 3, 2016
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.9 miles
  • Moderate with some elevation.

 

A fellow hiker stumbled upon this aptly named preserve and today we decided to check it out. A moraine is defined as “a mass of rocks and sediment carried down and deposited by a glacier, typically as ridges at its edges or extremity”. During the last ice age, much of this area was defined by the glaciers. This preserves features resembles that of the Champlin Glacier Park and Duval Farm. And what a property it is!! There is a short loop trail (approximately 3/4 of a mile) in the front half of the property that is blazed blue. It winds, twists, and turns over small but steep ridges and the trails are flanked by groves of mountain laurel. At the time of this hike we stumbled upon the construction of the back loop. Technically open, the trail is in fact under construction and the features are the same of the loop trail up front. The trail is mark only by flagging at this time but will be blazed blue as well. Footing is a little rough so watch your step. There are some quite impressive views of Block Island through the trees atop the ridge that overlooks Route 1. A return visit in the spring will be necessary to see the new trail in its completed state.

 

Trail maps can be found at: Moraine Preserve

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Uphill Through Mountain Laurel

Francis Carter West – Charlestown

  • Francis C. Carter Preserve – West
  • Old Mill Road, Charlestown, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°25’56.53″N, 71°40’9.61″W
  • Last Time Hiked: December 3, 2016
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.8 miles
  • Fairly easy with some elevation.

 

The Nature Conservancy has been doing some improvements to their properties recently and Francis Carter is no exception. New trails have been added to Lime Rock and Dundery Brook, and a new preserve has opened in North Kingstown. At the western end of Francis Carter some new land has been acquired and the Nature Conservancy is in the process of adding a new red blazed trail. At the time of this hike though that trail is not open and is expected to opened in the spring of 2017. For this hike we started at the Old Mill Road trail-head and followed the yellow blazes down an old cart path known as the Narragansett Trail. At the bottom of the hill we turned right and followed the perimeter of a large open field completing a loop back to the cart path. Within the large open grassland is a habitat for deer, various birds including bluebirds and warblers, dragonflies, and small mammals. There are informative boards here explaining the habitat. Along the edge of the field is a variation of shrubs and trees including pines, sassafras, and aspens. There were also pods left from this years milkweed. From here we retraced our steps back to the parking area. Hunting is allowed on this property. Be sure to wear orange. A visit in the spring will be in order to check out the new trail when complete.

 

Trail maps can be found at: Francis Carter West

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Grasslands at Francis Carter

Pasquiset Pond West – Charlestown

  • Pasquiset Pond – West
  • Narragansett Trail, Charlestown, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°24’42.67″N, 71°37’12.49″W
  • Last Time Hiked: November 19, 2016
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.5 miles
  • Fairly easy with slight elevation.

 

The Pasquiset Pond Preserve in Charlestown has two separate trail systems. The trail that leads into the western part of the preserve is at the end of Narragansett Trail. This road has no signage and has two houses at the end of it. There is a small spot for a vehicle to park in front of the wooden barrier at the very end of the drivable road. Be sure not to block the residences access to their homes. The trail that leads into the preserve is actually a continuation of Narragansett Trail. It is a wide footpath that weaves through the southern edge of the property winding over gentle hills. There are some nice stone walls along the way and a couple spur trails. A little over a half mile the trail splits. The trail to the left, a continuation of Narragansett Trail, eventually leaves the property and comes to a nearby farm. Stay to the right here and follow the trail to a remote large grassy field. If you are lucky you will catch a glimpse of wildlife. The field and nearby trees are a haven for birds. I noticed several at the time of this hike including blue jays, woodpeckers, cardinals, and chickadees. After spending a moment at the field retrace you steps back to the trail-head. The remainder of the trails at this preserve are off of Old Coach Road about a quarter mile away.

 

Trail maps can be found at: Pasquiset Pond

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The Field At Pasquiset Pond

Richard Trails – Charlestown

  • Richard Trails
  • South County Trail, Charlestown, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°24’11.90″N, 71°38’28.97″W
  • Last Time Hiked: November 19, 2016
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.1 miles
  • Easy with some elevation.

 

This is property off of South County Trail has a small network of blazed trails that traverse up and over a couple small hills. The property is maintained by the Charlestown Conservation Commission. The trails pass under several types of trees including oaks and pines. There are also several birdhouses placed throughout the property. Exploring just about all of the trails will give you a hike of just over a mile.

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Late Autumn at Richard Trails