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

Martin – North Attleborough

  • Martin Conservation Area
  • Wild Acres Road, North Attleborough, MA
  • Trailhead: 41°57’35.39″N, 71°19’32.02″W
  • Last Time Hiked: April 27, 2017
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.3 miles
  • Fairly easy.

 

At the end of a long gravel road along the west side of Lower Falls Pond is a quiet parcel owned by the North Attleborough Conservation Commission. Parking is restricted to a small area just before two boulders that block the remainder of the road. To the right is a few radio towers and to the left is the pond. Passing the boulders will lead you to the old parking area. There are two spots to enter the woods and the trail system here. The first option is to turn to the right through the old parking area and to a trail head at the southwest corner of the lot. The other is to continue ahead through a set of gates to the end of the road and slightly to the left. Both trails will lead you into some impressive pine groves and a brook that cuts through the property. The trails on the property are not blazed and can be narrow in places. It is advised to use a GPS device here if you start to explore deeper into the woods. There are several short spur trails that lead to the pond as well. Also, after heavy rains the swamp areas of the property turn into small ponds making some of the trails impassable.

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Stream Crossing At Martin

Narragansett Trail West/Lantern Hill – North Stonington

  • Narragansett Trail West – Lantern Hill
  • Wintechog Hill Road, North Stonington, CT
  • Trailhead: 41°28’0.82″N, 71°56’44.18″W
  • Last Time Hiked: April 17, 2017
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.9 miles
  • Difficult to Strenuous With Some Climbing.

 

The Narragansett Trail runs from Lantern Hill in North Stonington, Connecticut to Ashville Pond in Hopkinton, Rhode Island. Unfortunately, the trail is closed in some sections and has become non-continuous. At the moment there are three separate sections that can be hiked. The western most portion climbs over Lantern Hill just southeast of the Foxwoods Casino complex. Starting from a makeshift parking area (with no signage) along Wintechog Hill Road the light blue blazed trail immediately begins to climb the hill following an old cartpath. After a couple hundred feet the trail levels off for a bit before coming to a red blazed Lantern Hill Loop Trail. Be sure to be aware of the blue blazes of the Narragansett Trail when you approach trail intersections. You will want to follow them and not the red blazes for this hike. The Narragansett Trail then starts to steadily climb the hill once again. The inclines are quite impressive at times. The trail first overlooks the Pequot Reservation to the north and west offering views of the casino and Lantern Hill Pond below. The trail then climbs over the summit to a stunning overlook with miles and miles of sights to the east and south. Clear days will offer a view of the Atlantic Ocean to the south. It is also interesting to see the hawks and vultures soaring through the sky sometimes below you. Use extreme caution along the edges here as a fall would surely be fatal. Also here on the first day of Spring the Westerly Morris Men climb the hill for their annual sunrise dance at the summit. The hill got its name from the War of 1812 as the hill was used as a lookout. When the British were spotted approaching, barrels of tar were ignited to warn nearby residents. After spending some time at the summit continue following the blue blazed trail as it winds, at times steeply, down the hill. There is one section, that we dubbed the Lemon Squeeze, that will challenge your footing, balance, and upper body strength. The trail then traverses the south side of the hill passing through groves of mountain laurel before coming out to the North Stonington Transfer Station. Again, be sure to pay attention to blazes and turns at intersections. After the Dog Pound the trail turns to the left through the transfer station and out to the road. At this point you have hiked 1.4 miles of the Narragansett Trail. The trail continues ahead, however it is closed (from Wintechog Hill Road to Route 2) at the moment because of logging. For this hike turn left and follow Wintechog Hill Road back to the parking area.

 

Trail maps can be found at: Narragansett Trail West

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The View At The Top Of Lantern Hill.

Easton Pond – Newport

 

Known mostly by locals, is a short stone dust path atop a portion of the levees of Easton Pond. The path follows most of the western edge and part of the northern edge of the pond. There are two entrances to the walking path. One is on Old Beach Road, but parking is not really an option here. The second entrance is at a parking lot for the Newport Little League field on Ellery Road. From the walking path looking south you can see over Memorial Boulevard and First Beach to the Atlantic Ocean. Keep in mind that only the stone dust path is open to the public. The remainder of the levees are off limits. You could add additional mileage to this walk by following Old Beach Road south to Memorial Boulevard and then continuing along the Cliff Walk.

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Walking Path Along Easton Pond

~~This walk is dedicated to a friend who recently experienced a tragic loss. You are in all of our thoughts my friend. Hang in there.~~

Middletown Northern Loop – Middletown

  • Middletown Northern Loop – Sakonnet Greenway
  • Mitchells Lane, Middletown, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°32’5.34″N, 71°15’55.26″W
  • Last Time Hiked: April 3, 2017
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.7 miles
  • Fairly easy.

 

Part of the Sakonnet Greenway Trails, the Middletown Northern Loop abuts Albro Woods, which is also the best access to the loop. The green blazed trail winds around the edges of several open fields. The loop trail is mostly grass paths, much like the Southern Loop, and is flanked in several areas by thick brush. Several birds can be spotted here including the red winged blackbird. Most of the trail is well blazed, however small section that runs right along East main Road is not. The well mowed paths are easy enough to follow though.

 

Trail maps can be found at: Middletown Northern Loop

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Along the Middletown Northern Loop

Blackall Preserve – Cumberland

  • Blackall Preserve
  • Old West Wrentham Road, Cumberland, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°59’36.20″N, 71°27’33.89″W
  • Last Time Hiked: March 23, 2017
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.3 miles
  • Fairly easy.

 

Tucked away along a road less traveled in the northwestern part of Cumberland is this lesser known preserve. The road itself is dotted by historical homes that date back over 200 years and abut the property. The Blackall Preserve offers trails that wind around the property passing impressive stone walls from yesteryear. The canopy above is mostly oak and maple with an occasional beech, pine, and birch. There is a small pond on the western edge of the preserve as well. The trails are easy to follow and are well defined. However, they are not blazed nor is there currently a map for the property. There are three entrances to the property along Old West Wrentham Road. The main entrance is just north of utility pole number 53. An abundance of birds and deer tracks were observed here at the time of this hike.

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Snow Covered Trail at Blackall

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