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

Headwaters – Westport

  • Headwaters Conservation Area
  • Blossom Road, Westport, MA
  • Trailhead:  41°41’20.19″N, 71° 5’37.57″W
  • Last Time Hiked: August 1, 2021
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.8 miles
  • Fairly easy.

This property at the extreme northern end of Westport is made up of two very distinctive parts. The first western half is open to the public and is accessible by trail. The eastern half including the Bread and Cheese Brook is left for nature. For this hike, nearly 2 miles in length, follow the red blazes from the small parking area along Blossom Road. The trail climbs steadily uphill for a bit. Follow the red trail, ignoring the blue blazes to the left and the yellow blazes to the right. You will pas through an impressive pine grove before coming to the properties “major intersection”. Here continue ahead following the red blazes. The trail becomes more of a cart path for a bit surrounded by a forest floor covered in ferns. The trail soon comes to a road. After crossing the road the trail crosses over some boardwalks before coming to a loop. For this hike stay to the left and follow the red blazed trail. At the next split stay to the left and continue following the red blazes. When you reach the orange blazes turn left and follow them. This short trail will get you as close as possible to the brook. Turn left onto the red trail next. It will come into an area of shrubs. Here the trail narrows significantly, especially during the summer months. The trail then heads back into the woods and completes the loop. Stay left here, back over the boardwalks, cross the road, and look for the yellow blazes to the left. Turn onto the yellow blazed trail. It will swoop to the south before turning back to the north. Stay to the right and the trail comes to the “major intersection”. Continue ahead here onto the blue trail and follow it to the red. Staying to the right will bring you back to the parking area.

Map can be found at: Headwaters

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Yellow Trail at Headwaters

Booth Pond – North Smithfield/Woonsocket

  • Booth Pond Conservation Area
  • Dowling Village Boulevard, North Smithfield, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°58’44.15″N, 71°30’21.44″W
  • Last Time Hiked: July 10, 2021
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.8 miles
  • Fairly easy, some significant elevation.

A hidden gem behind a bustling shopping area preserved from further development. Starting by a kiosk at the Dowling Village Apartments follow the access trail through a power line easement and into the woods. For this hike we turned left at the first intersection onto the Booth Pond Trail and followed it to the southern shore of the pond. Here you will find evidence of beaver activity and their handy work of tree trimming. Continuing along the trail we then turned left at the next major intersection onto the Border Trail. This trail straddles the town line with Woonsocket. The trail bears to the right when it reaches the pond again. From here we continued pass the “Seasonal Passage”. This area is quite unique as the trail dips substantially below the water level of the pond. A wall of logs and branches of a beaver dam holds the pond back. There is a rocky outcrop just after the dip that looks over the northern end of the pond. This is a good spot to take in the views. From here we continued ahead to a multiple trail intersection. Here we turned to the right onto the Pitch Pine Trail. This trail looks as if was an old cart path as it climbs steadily uphill most of its length. We ignored the trails to the left and then on the right on the way up the hill until we found the trail that turns to the right and goes through the Pitch Pine Grove. At the end of that trail we then turned right onto the Border Trail for a bit and then left onto the Vista Trail back into North Smithfield. We soon passed a trail to the right that we would later exit on. soon we turned left onto a trail to the left that continued to climb uphill a bit until it reached the power lines. We turned right here and followed the trail to the overlook. From the overlook we followed the Vista Trail north and then turned left (trail we passed earlier) and scaled downhill passing some impressive ledges. We then turned left onto the Booth Pond Trail and retraced our steps back to the entrance. There are no blazed trails here (yet) however maps are available at the kiosk. There are many more trails here to explore if you are looking to look around a little further.

Map can be found at: Booth Pond

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Visitor to Booth Pond

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

Swan Point River Trail – Providence

Swan Point Cemetery is a well known walking site. Many do not realize that there is actually a three quarter of a mile trail here that runs along the Seekonk River. The trail starts at Swan Point (proper) at the end of River Road. This road is a locally named road part of the cemetery layout and not the River Road that is by Blackstone Park. From Swan Point, you can follow the trail north with the river to the right and a high hill to the left. The trail comes to another road at about two tenths of a mile. Continuing ahead the trail will pass a small grove of mountain laurel before it eventually ends at a cul-de-sac at Stony Point. The second section can be a bit muddy at times. From here retrace your steps back to Swan Point.

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Along The Swan Point River Trail

Central Pond – East Providence

This walk is a combo of trails and bike path on city property along the western shore of Central Pond. The property has an unique history of its own being once used as a Navy rifle range where soldiers and sailors trained to uses guns and artillery during World War I and then later when the Water Department used the land. Starting from the end of the parking area at Kimberly Rock Field, follow the Ten Mile River Bike Path north keeping the ball fields to your left. You will pass the first evidence of the former rifle range on your left. All that remains is a seemingly old chunk of concrete wall. You will notice trails leading into the woods on the left. The cross onto private property. For this walk, continue ahead, passing a small vernal pool before the bike path comes to a clearing with a bench. Opposite the bench a trail leads into the woods. Turn left here and follow the trail. It is wide as it was once used as an access road. You will continue straight ignoring all the side trails until you reach where the access roads come together. Continue ahead here as the trail veers to the right. A chain link fence will now be on your left. Follow this trail for a few hundred feet. It splits again. Stay to the wide trail veering to the right. It descends slightly downhill toward the water. Along the way on your right are ruins from when the Water Department used this property. The water to the left is an inlet from Central Pond. Follow the trail along the water until you reach the bike path once again where you will turn right. Back on the bike path, you are now heading south. The path winds a bit before straightening out. When it does, start looking for a narrow trail to the left (it will be approximately at 0.8 mile mark of this walk). Follow this trail for the remainder of this walk as it winds through the woods offering occasional views of Central Pond. When you reach nearly the end of the trail turn right to the beginning of the bike path and parking area.

Map can be found at: Central Pond

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Central Pond in Winter

Dawley Farm – Warwick

  • Dawley Farm
  • Cowesett Road, Warwick, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°41’8.09″N, 71°29’6.65″W
  • Last Time Hiked: November 9, 2020
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.7 miles
  • Fairly easy, steady uphill climb.

Dawley Farm is one of those places people drive by all the time and not even realize it is there. It is a City of Warwick owned, hidden gem of a property with a ton of potential. There is no parking lot for this hike. Parking is extremely limited along the side of the road. There is just enough room (off road) to park a car at pole 87 just at the entrance. Please do not block the entrance in case of an emergency. After parking you will see two wooden posts that once served as part of a gate. From here follow the cart path into the property. This path winds down into a valley of boulders and then crosses a stream (the Maskerchugg River). At the first trail split stay to the right. The other side of the wall is private property. This is where you will start you long steady up hill climb. At the next trail split continue straight ahead ignoring the trail to the right. Soon you will cross another small stream. Continuing ahead another trail comes in from the left. For this hike continue ahead. The grade starts to increase as the trail starts turning to the southwest into the heart of the property. You will notice towering oaks mixed with an occasional birch along the way. As the trail flattens near the top of the hill you will go through a grove of hemlock mixed in with other varieties of pine. From here the trail slightly descends, (loops left around a downed tree), and then continues ahead to a pond. When you reach the pond you may notice the dam and small spillway. The trail does continue ahead wrapping around the south end of the pond, however, that is onto private property. For this hike, take a moment to enjoy the view of the pond and then retrace your steps back to Cowesett Road.

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Pond at Dawley Farm

Alewife Brook Preserve – South Kingstown

  • Alewife Brook Preserve
  • Tuckertown Road, South Kingstown, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°25’42.77″N, 71°33’47.93″W
  • Last Time Hiked: November 6, 2020
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.2 miles
  • Fairly easy.

One of the newest trail systems in Rhode Island offers quite a bit for those interested in dendrology. Starting from the parking area follow the blue blazed trail from the kiosk, for this hike clockwise. The trail starts winding through a forest of pines, oaks, and maples with scattered mountain laurels and holly shrubs. As you approach the yellow blazed trail the terrain noticeably changes as you enter an area with thick low shrubs with towering trees. Turn left onto the yellow blazed trail and follow it as it winds close to Alewife Brook. You can catch a brief glimpse of it here and there to the left. There is also a tall holly and a grove of rhododendron along the yellow trail. At the end of the trail turn left onto the blue loop once again. The trail gently climbs back up hill to the parking area.

Map can be found at: Alewife Brook.

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Trail through Alewife Brook Preserve

Barrington Beach – Barrington

  • Barrington Beach
  • Bay Road, Barrington, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°43’21.25″N, 71°18’32.90″W
  • Last Time Hiked: October 5, 2020
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.5 miles
  • Fairly easy beach walk.

Barrington Beach overlooks Narragansett Bay with views of Warwick and Prudence Island. The beach is open to non residents in the off season. From the parking lot at the end of Bay Road you will be able to walk in either direction for quite some distance. You will be able to get just about a mile and half in total.

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Barrington Beach at Sunset

Latham Brook Preserve – Smithfield

  • Latham Brook Preserve
  • Burlingame Road, Smithfield, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°55’29.44″N, 71°33’33.28″W
  • Last Time Hiked: August 30, 2020
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.2 miles
  • Fairly easy with some elevation.

 

Bold prediction! When the Smithfield Land Trust is done developing this property it will stand out as one of their best properties. With that said, the natural beauty of this property is spectacular. The trail system is still primitive however, but easy enough to follow. Starting from the cul-de-sac at the end of Burlingame Road (the section off of Latham Farm Road) you will follow a narrow unmarked trail into the property, first through a tunnel of knotweed and grapevines, then you will pass trees with berries before coming to a trail split. Stay to the right here and follow the more inviting trail as it starts its long steady climb uphill. (The trail to the left dead ends at a small pond). Soon you will have a stone wall to your right. Just ahead is another trail intersection. The trail to your left is where you will complete your loop. Continue straight ahead still slightly climbing uphill. The trail splits once again. Stay to your left here following the wider and more defined trail. The climb uphill becomes more significant as the trail climbs to the crest of the hill. You will be under a canopy of beech, maple, and a sporadic pine tree at the top of the hill. Continuing ahead a trail comes in from the right before the trail splits yet again. Continue straight ahead here ignoring the trail to the right. Start looking for a narrow trail to the left marked with a three stone cairn. This will be just before the main trail dead ends at a residential neighborhood. Turning left onto the much narrower and primitive trail, you will decline slightly before coming to a stone wall. Crossing this wall is a little tricky. The trail continues to descend then turns left in a southerly direction before crossing another stonewall. From here the trail winds gently up and down along the slope of a hill. To the right the hill turns to steep ledges where you have a sweeping view of the valley below. At the next trail intersection is a cluster of boulders and a fire pit. Continue straight ahead as the trail starts to descend once again. Ahead is a ledge to the left as the trail turns sharply to the right and downhill. It then veers left and wanders through a floor of ferns before arcing to the left. The trail soon ends at an intersection. Turn right here onto the trail you came in on and retrace your steps back to the cul-de-sac.

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Ledge Along The Trail

Carr River – West Greenwich

  • Carr River – Big River Management Area
  • Hopkins Hill Road, West Greenwich, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°37’51.90″N, 71°34’16.59″W
  • Last Time Hiked: August 8, 2020
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.7 miles
  • Fairly easy with some elevation.

As with most hikes at Big River, be sure to have a map and/or GPS. This hike partly on each side of Hopkins Hill Road follows trails less used. Starting from the large parking area for Tarbox Pond and Carr Pond hikes follow the trail to the left into the property. The trail starts a long descent downhill. There is a spur trail to the left. Ignore it and continue straight ahead to the (next) four way intersection. Here you will turn left and continue straight to Hopkins Hill Road. There will be a couple spur trails and intersections along the way. Ignore them all. When you reach the road, follow it downhill to the pond. Tarbox Pond is flanked by pine trees as it stretches to the east. In the summer months the small coves along the pond will be filled with lily pads. Across the street is a wooden guard rail. Directly to the left of it is a narrow trail-head. This is where you will go to continue this hike. Be careful crossing the street here as there is bit of a blind spot. Once on the trail you will notice a narrow river to the right and down the bank. The trail splits, stay to the right as the trail descends downhill once again. The trail widens a bit then bends to the left. The trail traverses through a forest floor of ferns as it continues ahead. To the right you will catch glimpses of tall dead trees in a swamp. This is the Carr River. Soon you will pass two trails to the left. Make note of the second one, this will be used on your exit. The trail then turns slightly to the left. Just ahead you will see a pile of debris that was used to block a former trail. At this point and on the right is a very narrow (almost non-existent) trail that climbs up a small knoll. It dead ends at the end of the peninsula surrounded by the swamps of the Carr River. This is a great and secluded spot to sit on a fallen tree and take in nature for a few moments. From here retrace your steps the “second left” now on your right. Follow this trail as it climbs uphill and bears to the right joining the main trail that climbs uphill. You will pass two four way intersections (not very far apart). Continue ahead and at the next major intersection turn left. This trail (sometimes referred to as the Big River Expressway) will lead you back to Hopkins Hill Road directly across from the parking area. Make note that hunting is allowed here.

Trail Map: Carr River

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Carr River From The Knoll