Archive for the ‘ ~5 to 7 Miles~ ’ Category

Wahaneeta/Woody Hill – Westerly

  • Wahaneeta Preserve/Woody Hill Management Area
  • Moorehouse Road, Westerly, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°21’59.84″N, 71°45’34.04″W
  • Last Time Hiked: October 14, 2016
  • Approximate distance hiked: 5.1 miles
  • Moderate.

 

Splendid! This hike of just over five miles is on two adjacent properties. The Wahaneeta Preserve is owned by the Westerly Land Trust. It was once a girl scout camp and today is open to the public with a very well blazed network of trails. The bordering state owned Woody Hill Management Area is stunningly beautiful in its own right. The trails and dirt roads here are for the most part not blazed so using a GPS device and a reliable map are highly recommendable. For this hike, myself and fellow hiker Auntie Beak followed, for the most part, a friends track that he had done recently. Starting from the parking area off of Moorehouse Road we first followed the road up to the lodge before venturing onto the blue trail. This trail heads east following a stone wall before looping back toward the west. We then turned right at the white trail, crossed a small boardwalk before coming to a split in the trail. Here we stayed to the right following the white trail. Ahead is a sign for Shady Shelter. To the left there is a short yellow blazed trail that leads to a quite impressive overlook of a valley below. Be very cautious along the top of this ledge. From here we retraced our steps back to the white trail, turned left, and continued to follow it to the next split. Here we stayed to the right now following white blazes with a black dot. This is the perimeter trail and it follows a stone wall that serves as the property line between the preserve and land owned by the Narragansett Indian Tribe. Soon we crossed another boardwalk and passed an area of ferns before coming to a massive sweet black birch tree. The tree is a champion and there is a sign here explaining its significance. After passin the tree the trail bends to the left before coming to the next trail intersection. We turned right here at the opening in the stone wall onto an unmarked trail. At this point we were entering the Woody Hill Management Area. Next we came upon a cellar hole on the left. Opposite the cellar hole is the beginning of a blue dot blazed trail that we followed. This trail heads east first passing an old homestead. Here there is a couple cellar holes, a series of stone walls, and a well that is right along the trail. Be cautious not to fall into the well when the ground is covered by leaves or snow. Continuing along the blue dot trail we soon crossed another stream before coming to another stone wall to the right. The property on the other side is that of the Narragansett Indian Tribe once again. The next section of the trail is flanked in a ground cover known as club moss. The trail then soon comes out to a dirt road where we turned right. We then followed the stone covered dirt road for a bit soon coming to a four way intersection where we turned left onto another dirt road. We followed this road continuing straight at the next four way intersection. The road then curved to the left at the next intersection where we stayed to the left. Soon a pond becomes visible to the left. There are several narrow trails to the right. Be sure to stay on the main trail that follows the pond. We then came to an earthen dam with the pond to the left and a swamp to the right. Part of the dam appears to have been washed out and this will likely be impassable during a wet or rainy season. At the time of this hike it was passable. After crossing the dam the trail turns left following the shore before turning right and into the woods once again. This part of the hike leaves the management area briefly and is actually on land owned by the Town of Westerly. The trail climbs up and over a small hill and then narrows. Staying to the left the trail then passes an arm of the pond as it approaches a large rock outcrop. The trail then turns to the left. Start looking for a stone wall. Once you pass it, turn left again. This trail will lead you to the next intersection where we turned right onto a wider trail. This trail leads you back into the management area. Stay on this trail ignoring the few narrow side trails. When we approached the next intersection we turned left. We then followed this trail for a bit until we came to the “H” intersection. Here we stayed to the right and then turned immediately left onto a fine gravel road with a stone wall along its right edge. As this road starts to turn left and uphill we turned right onto a narrower trail opposite an old maple tree. This trail is grass covered and first crosses a stream. Soon the trail is flanked on both sides with stone walls. The trail soon bends to the right and becomes significantly narrower for a few hundred feet before widening again into a wider grass lane. Soon the trail comes to a wide stone wall flanked road where we turned left. You will see a gate ahead. After passing the gate we found ourselves on Fern Road, a paved road in a residential neighborhood. We then turned left onto a trail after Blossom Court opposite pole number 52. The trail is rather narrow at first passing through areas of mountain laurel. Continuing straight we then crossed another small stream before climbing uphill a bit and passing a couple stone walls. Soon after the second wall there is a pile of quarried stones. Soon we came to the cellar hole opposite the blue dot trail once again. From here we continued straight back into the Wahaneeta Preserve. At the next intersection we continued straight on the old dirt road crossing the white trail twice. At the second crossing we turned left onto the white trail following a manmade ridge before coming to a wood bridge by the pond. Immediately after the pond the trail veers to the left passing an old fireplace before emerging into a meadow. From here several trails meet including a trail back up to the lodge and a dirt road back to the parking area. Before leaving though, we decided to follow the orange trail a few hundred feet, then right onto the yellow trail to check out an old chimney. From here we retraced our steps back to the meadow and made our way to the parking area. Both the preserve and the management area are open to hunting. Wearing orange is a must during hunting season.

 

Trail maps can be found at: Wahaneeta and Woody Hill

twri-woody

Road at Woody Hill

 

Cornell Farm/Frank Knowles-Little River Reserve – Dartmouth

  • Cornell Farm/Frank Knowles-Little River Reserve
  • Smith Neck Road, Dartmouth, MA
  • Trailhead: 41°33’25.50″N, 70°57’18.82″W
  • Last Time Hiked: July 12, 2016
  • Approximate distance hiked: 5.2 miles
  • Fairly easy, some hills, unsteady bridge crossing.

 

These two properties owned by the Trustees Of Reservations and the Dartmouth Natural Resources Trust (DNRT) together make for a spectacular hike through various landscapes. The properties with town owned property abut each other and are connected by a series of trails. Starting from a parking area along Smith Neck Road you first followed the path that leads through an open field. Be sure to stay on the designated trails particularly in the Cornell Farm area as the farm is actively used. Through the first stretch of the hike you are likely to see farm animals. You will also pass a barn, a greenhouse, and wildflower gardens. The trail turns to the west away from the farm first flanked by stone walls then turns left before turning to the right and entering the woods. The trail, sporadically blazed red, then crosses over a small stream as it traverses through the woods. Soon you will come to a trail intersection in an open field. There is an old wood post here. Stay to the left and follow the trail to a peninsula that offers a nice scenic view of a marsh. After viewing the marsh retrace your steps briefly and look for a narrow path to your left that leads through a pine grove. This path meets with the main red blazed trail once again. Stay to the left here and you soon come to the first boardwalk that crosses the upper reaches of the Little River. The views here are stunning in the summer with the lush green grass of the marsh. After the first boardwalk you enter the DNRT property, pass through another short section of woods, and come to the second boardwalk that has views just as stunning. From this point forward the trails are blazed very well. Continuing along the red blazed trail you will cross another section of boardwalks, this one in the woods, before coming to another of this hikes highlights. The suspended bridge, supported by cables crosses over and through a red maple swamp. There is a platform to sit and rest along the bridge. The bridge itself is rather bouncy and is a little hard to negotiate. Take your time crossing it and follow the posted rules. The red trail, root bound in areas, then continues through the woods before coming to the green trail. Turn left and follow the red trail. It will soon come to the blue trail and then the white trail. Be sure to follow the blazes for the red trail through all of those intersections. Along this stretch, at the time of this hike, there was an abundance of wild roses in bloom. Continuing along the red blazed trail you will pass by and over several stone walls before coming to a clearing with a large cellar hole. This area was once part of a farmstead. There were wildflowers growing in this area as well with a pair of monarch butterflies circling the milkweed. From here the red trail continues west. You will want to follow the blue blazed trail to the east. The trail winds through some of the most portions of the property and is very narrow at points. The blue trail then joins the white trail briefly. Make note where the blue trail turns away from the white trail on the left. You will want to turn there to continue following the blue blazed trail. But first follow the white trail to its end. You will first pass an old red shed before coming to another scenic view of the marsh along Little River. From here retrace your steps back to the blue trail (now on your right). You will follow the blue trail back to the red trail passing more stone walls and a fern covered forest. There were plenty of birds in the area including a woodpecker. Near the end of the trail is an old barn foundation now filled with shrubs and wildflowers. From here turn right and follow the red blazes back to the parking area crossing the suspended bridge and boardwalks once again before ending the hike back at the farm. Most of this property is open to hunting during the season. Be sure to wear blaze orange during hunting season.

 

Trail maps can be found at: Cornell/Frank Knowles/Little River

TWRI-Cor4

Cornell Farm

TWRI-Cor2

Little River

TWRI-Cor3

Suspended Bridge From The Platform

 

Arcadia Trail – Exeter/Richmond

  • Arcadia Trail – Arcadia Wildlife Management Area
  • Ten Rod Road, Exeter, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°34’36.27″N, 71°42’13.25″W
  • Last Time Hiked: June 25, 2016
  • Approximate distance hiked: 7.0 miles
  • Moderate due to distance, some elevation and rocky footing.

 

This 7 mile one way hike leads you through the eastern parts of the Arcadia Management Area. Starting from Appie Crossing along Ten Rod Road follow the yellow blazes of the Arcadia Trail. The entire trail is blazed yellow and at times follows the blue blazes of the North South Trail as well. Soon you will come to an intersection. The white blazed Mount Tom Trail is to the right, continue straight following the yellow blazes. The trail soon traverses along the northeast face of Bald Hill before coming to a wider cart path of a trail. Turn left here and follow it, the trail is now joined by the North South Trail, to Bates School House Road. Turning to the right, follow the paved road briefly before turning left onto a narrower trail. The narrow trail will soon cross Arcadia Road. The next section of the trail winds through the trees crossing boardwalks before coming to Roaring Brook Pond. Here there is a long section of wooden walks that overlook the picturesque pond. Several types of birds are commonly spotted here. Continuing to follow the yellow blazes make your way through the parking area for Roaring Brook before turning left and towards Tefft Hill. The yellow blaze trail soon turns left, splitting briefly from the blue blazes of the North South Trail. Along this stretch you are on the backside of Roaring Brook Pond and may catch a glimpse of it. The trail soon comes to another wide cart path trail. Turn right here and then soon you will see markings on the left for the Arcadia Trail. After turning left the trail is rejoined by the North South Trail and hugs the west face of Tefft Hill. At the next intersection there is a small bench. The white blazed trail ahead is the Arcadia Crossover. Stay to your left here and continue to follow the yellow blazes. The trail becomes slightly hilly and much more rocky. In fact, along this part you will pass through a boulder field. After crossing a brook the North South Trail once again splits from the Arcadia Trail. Stay to the right following the yellow blazes. The scenery changes dramatically as you head through a grove of pines, then an area of stone walls, before coming to a series of boardwalks. The white blazed Arcadia Crossover comes in from the right at the brook crossing. Stay to the left here following the brook and yellow blazes. The trail then crosses KG Ranch Road and makes it over another small hill before concluding opposite of the Arcadia Headquarters on Arcadia Road.

 

Trail maps can be found at: Arcadia Trail

TWRI-Ar05

Large Boulder Along The Arcadia Trail

The Glen/Sakonnet Greenway – Portsmouth/Middletown

  • The Glen/Sakonnet Greenway
  • Frank Cohelo Drive, Portsmouth, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°33’33.33″N, 71°14’25.54″W
  • Last Time Hiked: June 19, 2016
  • Approximate distance hiked: 6.0 miles
  • Moderate due to distance, trails are fairly easy.

I joined the Appalachian Mountain Club – Narragansett Chapter for their hike of The Glen and Sakonnet Greenway. They opted to do this hike as a one way trek, therefore the route that I will describe requires car spotting. We started from the parking lot at The Glen along Frank Cohelo Drive. We first made our way down a short walkway that leads to the road. We then turned right following the road past the Glen Manor House. We then passed the house to the south passing through the well maintained gardens. From here are wonderful views of the Sakonnet River. As we approached the edge of the lawn a trail appears to the right that leads into the woods. Following this trail we soon came to the beach below. To the south you can see Sandy Point. We followed the beach south for a short distance and turned right onto a trail as wide as a cart-path back into the woods. The trail soon crosses over a stream and then follows it to an old abandon building. The stone work near and around the building is quite impressive. Take note of the archway of the sluice by the building. We then continued following the trail to the end of The Glen property. We turned left onto a narrow paved road and followed it about 500 feet to a dirt road on the right. This is Linden Lane. We followed the road for about four tenths of a mile as we passed the Newport Polo Grounds to the left. Ahead in the distance we could see the historic Leonard Brown House. After the Polo Grounds, but before the house, on the left is the northerly trailhead of the Sakonnet Greenway. From here we started our southerly trek first passing the Polo Grounds to the left before entering the Pennfield School property. The trail traverses through areas of thick shrubs and tall trees before coming to the white gate at Sandy Point Avenue. After crossing the street we approached the Portsmouth Loop Trail. The trail follows the perimeter of a large open field. Be warned though that the field is surrounded by an electric fence. We opted to turn left here and follow the east edge of the loop while heading south. After leaving the loop trail we passed through a short section of woods before emerging out to another small field. The trail soon led into a wooded area. The trail crossed a couple small streams by bridges and boardwalks. After coming out of the woods again the trail followed the edge of another large field. Soon we came to a set of turnstiles, continuing straight the trail winded through a narrow stretch of woods that divided two fields. The trail then turned to the right following the southern edge of the field that was to the right. Ahead is a kiosk with the trail map near the road crossing. After crossing Bramans Lane the trail turns to the west between another field of tall grass and a stone wall. The trail then turns left keeping the field to the left. Wildflowers are abundant along this stretch. Soon we were on the property of the Newport National Golf Course. The Sakonnet Greenway at this point is well marked by signs as it skims the perimeter of the golf course. For the next two miles the trail is on the golf course property. On several occasions we caught glimpses of the greens and the golfers using them. At time the trail uses the road for the golf carts. There are also places to stop along the way to use the restroom. Also along this stretch, just after then bend after the gazebo the Greenway leaves Portsmouth and enters into Middletown. At the end of the golf course property the trail comes out to Mitchells Lane. We turned left here and followed the road about one tenth of a mile. Across the street is the trail that leads to the Middletown Loops. We followed this trail to the next intersection and turned left. We then followed this trail, part of the Middletown Southern Loop which is occasionally marked with yellow blazes, to the Wyatt Road Soccer Complex where we concluded the hike. This hike highlights the true beauty of Aquidneck Island. From its areas of forest to its sprawling farms.

 

Also thank you to Deb and Cyndy from the AMC for leading this hike.

 

Trail maps can be found at: Sakonnet Greenway

TWRI-Sak02

View of The Sakonnet River From The Glen

TWRI-Sak12

The Sakonnet Greenway Along A Field.

Block Island North – New Shoreham

  • Block Island North
  • Corn Neck Road, New Shoreham, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°12’48.58″N, 71°34’1.12″W
  • Last Time Hiked: May 14, 2016
  • Approximate distance hiked: 6.0 miles
  • Moderate with areas of difficulty.

 

Block Island is 14 miles off the Rhode Island mainland coast. It is a bustling resort town in the summer months and host to only about 1000 folks during the brutal New England winters. New Shoreham (the one and only town on the island) is in fact the smallest town in Rhode Island by both area and “year round” population. Conservation on the island has been outstanding. Over 43% of the island is under some sort of conservation protection by several different organizations. For this hike, I covered a large portion of the northern end of the island. Parking at the Hodge Family Wildlife Preserve entrance, I first made my way toward Middle Pond following the main trail in the Hodge Preserve. The trail is grass mowed that traverses up and over several rolling hills of meadows before ending at the shore of Middle Pond. Along the trail there are sweeping views over the pond and Block Island Sound including the North Light at the tip of the island. From here I retraced my steps back to the parking area opting to follow the spur loop trails. Once back out to Corn Neck Road I turned right and followed the road south until I came to Clay Head Trail (just after the red house, number 728). The road, marked with a post, is a dirt road that leads to the parking area for the Clay Head Nature Trail. There are several private roads off of this road. Be sure to continue straight until you reach the trail head. From here the trail winds narrowly over meadow covered hills and wooded areas before reaching boardwalks near the Clay Head Swamp on the right. Shortly after the swamp the trail turns abruptly to the left and starts to climb upward, but first check out the beach and the massive clay bluffs. Continuing the trail climbs uphill and parallels the bluffs occasionally popping out to the edge. Exercise extreme caution along the edges. The views of Block Island Sound are quite impressive from the top of the bluffs. The trail passes through areas of shrubs and trees, with an abundance of birds, passing two small ponds to the left. There are also several spur trails to the left that lead into “The Maze”. If you opt to explore be sure to have a GPS device with you. For this hike, I followed the Clay Head Trail to its end. At the four way intersection, continue straight. Shortly thereafter the trail comes to a dirt road. Following the road to north you soon come to an intersection, turn left here and follow the road out to the paved Corn Neck Road. Turning right I followed the road to its end at Settlers Rock passing Sachem Pond on the left. The rock is a memorial to the original settlers and purchasers of the island back in 1661. From here the walking gets tough. If the hills of Clay Head have not already done a number on your muscles, the sands of the beach will. From Settlers Rock to the iconic North Light and back is all beach walking in soft sand through the Block Island National Wildlife Refuge. It is well worth the walk though. The light, built in 1867, is now owned by the town and is home to a museum (open seasonably). At the time of this hike I came upon several nesting seagulls. After spending a little time here I made my way back to Settlers Rock and then southerly along Corn Neck Road. On the left at a stone wall you will see a set of wooden stairs. If you opt to, this is the Atwood Overlook. From the top of the hill you can look back towards the North Light. A little further up the road on the right is the Labyrinth, again the entrance is a set of wood stairs over a stone wall. This unique spot is a somewhat spiral path, similar to a maze, but with no dead ends, that leads to the center. It is said to be sacred. After spending a few moments here, I made my way back to the road continuing south back to the Hodge Preserve parking area. I came across an abundance of birds along this 6 mile trek and ran into a few fellow hikers.

TWRI-Blog-01BIN-01

Meadow at Hodge Preserve

TWRI-Blog-01BIN-02

Clay Head Bluffs

TWRI-Blog-01BIN-03

Block Island North Light

Shelter Trail/Frosty Hollow – Exeter/West Greenwich

  • Shelter Trail/Frosty Hollow
  • Frosty Hollow Road, Exeter, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°35’16.69″N, 71°42’33.17″W
  • Last Time Hiked: April 18, 2016
  • Approximate distance hiked: 6.2 miles
  • Moderate with some significant elevation.

 

This 6 mile hike takes you through some of the most serene parts of the Arcadia Wildlife Management Area and can be a bit of exercise as well. The hike starts from the Frosty Hollow Pond Fishing Area parking lot in Exeter. First, head out to the road and turn right crossing the bridge over Breakheart Brook. After the bridge immediately turn left onto the white blazed trail. The trail first follows the shore of Breakheart Brook for a bit before turning away from it and up towards a camp site. After passing the camp site follow the white blazes to an old road on the left. You will follow this road until it starts turning downhill. Look for a trail on the left. Turn here following the white blazes. This section will lead you through a beautiful stretch of pine trees. The older tower well above you and younger trees cover the forest floor. Among the birds you may hear the sound of the Flat River in the distance. The trail then comes to an open field in which you pass through. After passing the field you will come out to Austin Farm Road. Turn left here and cross the bridge over the Flat River. Then look for the trail on the right with the white blazes. This is the continuation of the Shelter Trail and leads into West Greenwich. Be sure to follow the white blazes through this section as there are several spur trails and roads. The trail climbs a hill and soon you will find yourself at the ruins of an old campsite. There are several buildings left here as well as a water tower and the remains of a fireplace. Continuing on you will next look for a trail to the left with a sign that reads “Penny Cutoff”. Turn left here and follow that trail to its end. It will lead you through a valley of boulders and uphill to the Breakheart Trail. If you care to climb to the top of Penny Hill, turn left here and follow the yellow blazes to the top of the hill. For this hike, however, turn right, and follow the yellow blazes of the Breakheart Trail until you reach the Shelter Trail. Turn right and follow the white blazes of the Shelter Trail pass the Penny Cutoff, the ruins of the camp, and back to Austin Farm Road. Turn left and follow the road back over the Flat River and look for the second gate on the right. (The first gate is the trail you came in on). Turn right at the second gate and follow the unmarked grass covered road for a bit. Soon the Shelter Trail rejoins it and you will follow the white blazes back to your car.

TWRI-FHS03

Along The Shelter Trail

Tippecansett South – Exeter/Voluntown/Hopkinton

  • Tippecansett Trail South
  • Ten Rod Road, Exeter, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°34’25.48″N, 71°47’7.67″W
  • Last Time Hiked: April 15, 2016
  • Approximate distance hiked: 5.5 miles
  • Moderate to difficult, some strenuous spots.

 

The southern end of the Tippecansett Trail starts at Beach Pond and ends 5 and a half miles south at the state line marker along Green Falls Road near Hidden Lake. The hike can be quite challenging at times especially at the beginning and the end. The trail is well blazed in yellow and, for the most part, easy to follow. The hike described here is a one way trail and a car spot is required. After leaving the small parking area on the south side of Route 165, we found ourselves traversing the eastern edge of Beach Pond. The trail has several small ups and downs and is quite root bound as it passes several boulders along the waters edge. Soon you will come to a large outcrop that juts out into the pond. This is a good spot for viewing the pond. The trail then continues as it starts to make its way around the southern edge of the pond. After crossing a small wooden bridge large ledges loom to the left. They are quite impressive among the forest of pines and hemlocks. Soon you will come to a trail intersection. Ahead is a sign and the white blazes of the Deep Pond Trail. To the left you will see a rock with the word “LOOKOUT” painted on it and a trail that leads to the Hemlock Ledges Overlook. (Well worth the climb if you have never been up there). For this hike, turn right here and continue to follow the yellow blazes of the Tippecansett Trail. The trail first descends back down towards the pond before turning away and heading westward. This stretch is rather rocky and slightly uphill almost in its entirety. The trail then comes to an old dirt road. Turn left here and follow the road passing the blue blazes of the Hemlock Ledges Trail on the left. A little further up the road the trail turns right and heads for the state line. You will find survey markers along the trail as you approach the state line. The trail then crosses Noah’s Arc Road and starts to follow an old road that straddles the state line for a bit before turning back into Rhode Island and the southwestern extremities of the Arcadia Management Area. The trail then comes to Route 138 at the Exeter/Hopkinton border. Following the yellow blazes still, the Tippecansett follows the busy highway for a couple hundred feet before turning off onto a dirt road across the street. The street has a few homes along it. At the time of this hike we were first “serenaded” by a pair of hounds, and then greeted by a black lab at the next house. The trail shortly thereafter makes an abrupt right onto Boy Scout property. The trail on the property winds quite a bit. Be sure to follow the yellow blazes and avoid making turns on unmarked trails. This area is also in abundance of mountain laurel and rhododendron and the trail at times is quite literally a tunnel through these magnificent shrubs. Soon the trail comes to a large table rock. The trail blazes are now at your feet along the rocks. A (darker) blue blaze trail now joins the yellow blazes of the Tippecansett. This is where the trail becomes quite strenuous in spots. From this point forward as well you will want to follow the yellow and blue blaze trail as there are some spurs that use the same color blazes. You will soon approach a rather impressive upward climb. Take your time and make the right steps. This one is easy in comparison to the next. After making the climb the yellow and blue blazed trail turns to the left. The trail to the right is part of the Narragansett Trail that leads towards Green Fall Pond. Follow the trail south toward the next climb, when you get to it take a good look at it first. If you are not comfortable with the climb there is an unmarked trail to the left that loops around Dinosaur Caves. After climbing up the trail you will then be up on the very large boulders that make up Dinosaur Caves. The trail then descends down the other face of the large boulders and continues south ending at Green Fall Road. This is the end of the Tippecansett Trail and where your second car should be parked.

 

Trail maps can be found at: Tippecansett South 1 & Tippecansett South 2.

TWRI-TippeSouth

Some Climbing Along The Tippecansett.