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

Franklin Farm – Cumberland

  • Historic Metcalf Franklin Farm
  • Abbott Run Valley Road, Cumberland, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°57’59.58″N, 71°23’38.37″W
  • Last Time Hiked: December 3, 2017
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.4 miles
  • Easy with some small hills.

 

In the rolling hills of Northeast Rhode Island is Franklin Farm. The 65 acre town owned property was once a dairy farm now used for community gardening and historic preservation. The farm consists of an old 19th century farm house (currently under restoration) and a turn of the century dairy barn. On each side of Abbott Run Valley Road are large fields with farm trails that are open to the public. The fields are separated from the winding road by century old New England stone walls. Parking is available at the dairy barn. For this walk, first cross the street to get to the East Field. The entrance to the east field is marked with a sign at an opening in the stone wall. Use caution while crossing as there is a significant blind spot for approaching traffic. Once entering the East Field turn to the left and you will see a post with the number 1 on it. The farm trail follows the perimeter of the field and there are 10 numbered posts all the way. From the front of the field looking to the east offers a great wide open view of the sky. Sunrises can be spectacular here. When you are on the backside of the field you can catch glimpses of Rawson Pond down the bottom of the hill. After completing the loop cross back over to the West Field. Going up the driveway and right around the dairy barn back towards the old chain link fence you will find a post with the number 1 on it. The farm trail is again marked by numbered posts that leads you partly along the perimeter and partly across the farm fields. There is a small pond along the way that is a small haven for birds offering cover of shrubs and a small tree. I came across an owl here who seemed quite interested in my presence before flying off. The marked farm trail ends at the small gardens and chicken coup at the backside of the farm house. From here turn left to the parking area. The farm is active in the spring and summer months with gardeners and children at programs. The farm trails are open to the public from dawn to dusk. Do keep in mind though to wear proper shoes as the trail is all grass. The frosty farm trail quickly turned in morning dew on this walk.

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Perimeter Path in the East Field

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Gungywamp – Groton

  • Gungywamp
  • Groton, CT
  • Trailhead: Undisclosed
  • Last Time Hiked: November 26, 2017
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.4 miles
  • Fairly easy guided hike, some hills.

 

This 250 acre, State of Connecticut owned and protected property, is the home of some of the most mysterious structures in New England. Speculations have for years been made about the origins of the structures. Some are believed to be colonial, some Native American, or very early European such as the Irish. The property is lined with ridges that were forged by the glaciers and there are countless large stones and boulders as well as occasional seasonal waterfalls. The ridges, with nearby swamps and ponds, make for a natural limited access to Gungywamp. This land is believed to be sacred land of the Native Americans and was clear like a prairie. Buffalo, caribou, and cougars were known to be in these parts long before European settlement. There are several sites of interest including a few small chambers with all that is remaining are the side walls and large triangular stones. These chambers have direct sight lines to one another. In one such chamber a Dutch colonial pipe was found. There are also the remains of a colonial house with a fireplace. Old property records indicate that Hannah Adams once owned the property. Coins from the 1740’s have been found on this site. There are the remains of an animal pen nearby built on a steep slope possibly used to pen sheep or goats. The really interesting structures are grouped together. A chamber, complete intact with roof, has construction that is similar to early Irish construction. This sparks the question of whether St. Brendan (484-577 A.D.) had made it to North America. Inscriptions of a Chi-rho, an ancient Christianity symbol, have been found on the property also leading to speculation of very early European exploration of the area. There is a calendar chamber nearby. The largest of the chambers, it has a small opening on the back side that allows the western sun into the chamber. On the equinoxes the beam of light illuminates a 6 x 6 foot side chamber. The use or meaning of the side chamber is unknown. Upon a nearby hill is a double row of circular stones. It is similar in ways to the way Stonehenge is set up. There are several speculations of its use. Maybe a fire pit where the Native Americans held council. Possibly a calendar of some sort. Grinding stones have been speculated. If you look at it closely, you can make out the shape of a turtle. A turtle was used quite predominantly as a symbol by local tribes such as the Pequots, Mohegans, and Nehantics. In 1647, John Winthrop, an English settler, reported a fortification near Pequot, therefore predating the colonists. A little further into the woods there is a row of standing stones. They are mostly triangular in shape with the points to the sky. The alignment is due North South. One of the stones has a pictograph of what looks like a raven. Just beyond that site are the cursing stones. It is two large boulders with several smaller stones placed upon them. It is possible that the stones were set as a curse against ones neighbor. The Native Americans were known to place stones in a pile before battle then removing the stone after battle. The stones of the soldiers who did not returned remained. It is also possible that the pile serves as a cairn for directional purposes as it lines up perfectly with a nearby ridge. Further into the woods is another fairly large foundation remnant. There are also smaller foundations in the area indicating that there was possibly a village here. The property is very intriguing and holds a very historical place among the woods of New England, mostly because of its mysterious beginnings and of its age. Therefore the property is not open to the general public unless led on a guided hike. The Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center gives tours occasionally or by appointment.

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Circle of Stones

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Calendar Chamber (Note the light on the floor of the chamber)

Richardson Preserve – Attleboro

  • Deborah and Roger Richardson Nature Preserve
  • Wilmarth Street, Attleboro, MA
  • Trailhead: 41°55’21.41″N, 71°14’7.69″W
  • Last Time Hiked: October 27, 2017
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.2 miles
  • Fairly easy.

 

What a property this is and furthermore, what a property this is going to be. Easily one of the best of the Attleboro Land Trust properties, the Richardson Preserve offers fields, woods, a brook, and an old farm house. Originally slated to have its official opening for the fall of 2017, the preserve is still technically “under construction” and will likely have its grand opening in the spring of 2018. The Attleboro Land Trust webpage states that you are welcome to visit the preserve “when construction is not in progress”. The preserve is opposite mailbox 518 on Wilmarth Street. There is an old eighteenth century home upon a small hill with a large outcrop of ledge to the front left of the house. Currently it looks as if it is private property. A new and welcoming sign for the preserve is just behind the house. Trails are not marked here yet but the mowed grass of the fields are enough to guide one to the trails in the woods. The fields are fairly large and surrounded by a canvass of tall trees. Doing some exploring, I found two wooded areas that have trails (and construction flagging that indicated that these were future marked trails). The first area just east of the house has a maze of short trails that climb up a small hill. The other trail, (part of) the future loop trail, is at the southern and western part of the property. Two new boardwalks have been built here crossing part of Chartley Brook. This trail comes back out to a grassy area where there was once, looks to be, a greenhouse. A revisit in the spring will definitely be on the agenda to see how the final plans come to fruition.

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Fall Field at Richardson Preserve

Lincoln Greenway – Lincoln

  • Lincoln Greenway
  • Great Road, Lincoln, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°54’11.48″N, 71°25’14.09″W
  • Last Time Hiked: October 14, 2017
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.8 miles
  • Fairly easy with some steep hills.

 

The Lincoln Greenway connects three town properties, Chase Farm, Lonsdale Park, and Gateway Park. The blazing system of red squares (to Gateway Park), yellow triangles (to Chase Farm), and green circles (to Lonsdale Park) is simple to follow. For this hike, led for the Blackstone Heritage Corridor, we started at Gateway Park by the historic Arnold House. After a short loop within Gateway Park on the paved paths we made our way to the northwestern corner of the park to the yellow blazed trail that leads up a steep hill. The trail soon comes to a residential neighborhood where we crossed a street. From here we continued along the trail on the opposite side of the road. The Greenway now enters into Lonsdale Park which is a wooded area behind the Lonsdale School. Continuing to follow the yellow blazes we soon came out the open fields of Chase Farm. We turned to the left and follow the perimeter of the farm following a grass mowed path. It soon came to a pond which we made our way around before turning to the left and then right following the perimeter of a large field once again. Soon we were back at the trail that leads back into Lonsdale Park. From here we retraced our steps back to Gateway Park this time following the red blazes.

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Along The Lincoln Greenway

Crandall Preserve – Westerly

  • Crandall Family Preserve
  • Westerly, RI
  • Trailhead: Undisclosed
  • Last Time Hiked: October 5, 2017
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.5 miles
  • Fairly easy.

 

The Crandall Family Preserve is a Westerly Land Trust property that is only open to the public during guided hikes/tours, mostly because of the sensitivity of the land in the area.  Seeing an announcement for an event, I joined them for a full moon hike. The property offers a network of blazed trails, blazed yellow and red, that wind through a forest of pines and beech trees. There is an abundance of rhododendron and mountain laurel on the property. Crandall also offers the ruins of an old sawmill and an area known as Wolf Island. Hunting is allowed on this property. Blazed orange is required during hunting season. For more info about hiking here contact the Westerly Land Trust.

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Red Blaze and Signage.

 

Richmond Heritage Trail – Richmond

  • Richmond Heritage Trail
  • Country Acres Road, Richmond, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°30’10.50″N, 71°39’56.31″W
  • Last Time Hiked: September 22, 2017
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.9 miles
  • Fairly easy.

 

The Richmond Heritage Trail is one of the newest trail systems in the State opening in September of 2017. It comprises of three very distinctive types of walks. The first part is an ADA accessible stone dust path with a beautiful boardwalk. This section is about a half mile long and offers six informational boards about the history and heritage of Richmond. There is a blue blazed trail that meanders to the far reaches of the property. This trail was developed largely in part by Richmond Boy Scout Troop 1. The trail weaves through a forest of pines, beech, and maple trees. A gravel road is also on the property, that for the most part, parallels the blue trail. The back reaches of the gravel road passes fields of tall grasses and wildflowers that is a haven for butterflies and dragonflies. Adding a little of each of these three different walks, one can hike up to 2 miles. The trail-head is at the base of the towns bright blue water tower at the end of Country Acres Road.

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A Stretch of the Boardwalk.

Knight Farm Trail – Cranston

 

One of the newest trails in Rhode Island, opened in June 2017, the Knight Farm Trail offers three different and distinctive types of walks in one. This hike offers a walk along old roads, narrow trails, and a walk around a farm. And what a hike it is! A tall canopy of trees and thickly wooded, but yet so close to the city. The trail starts on Laten Knight Road opposite Beechwood Drive. There is a small sign at the trail head. The white blazed trail first follows a old narrow dirt road for several hundred feet before the power lines. Here the road turns to the right. Continue straight onto the narrow white blazed trail. Being a new trail and not overly used yet, the trail is yet to be well defined. It is, however, very well blazed. Be sure to keep an eye on the blazes. Soon you will reach a sign for the one mile loop. Stay to the right here and continue to follow the white blazes. A short spur trail to the right will lead you to a seasonal tributary of the Lippett Brook. Continuing along the loop trail, you will soon notice some small boulders and stone walls. The trail then turns to the left into a field. Stay to the right here and follow the perimeter of the field about half way around it. The field is actively cultivated so be sure not to wander into the crops. About halfway around the field look for the post with a single white blaze. The trail renters the woods once again and soon widens to another old dirt road. There are a couple boardwalks in the wet areas along this stretch. Keep an eye on the upcoming turn. The white blazes lead you to the left back onto a very narrow trail that will complete the loop back at the “Loop Trail” sign. Here, turn right and retrace your steps back to the trail head. Some notes on the blazing. All the trails are blazed white and use a single blaze for long straight sections. Turns are marked by a double blaze or a sign. Be sure to note to next blaze at a turn to make sure you are heading the right direction.

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Sign In The Woods