- Ballard Park
- Hazard Road, Newport, RI
- Trailhead: 41°27’53.96″N, 71°19’26.23″W
- Last Time Hiked: April 24, 2014
- Previous Visits: February 20, 2014
- Approximate distance hiked: 0.8 miles
- Easy with some significant elevation.
The days are getting longer. Enough time to drive from Providence to Newport after work and do a short hike before the sun sets. I opted to start this hike from the Hazard Road entrance. After following the entrance road into the property I came to a sign with a trail map on it. Shortly after the sign I followed a path to the left and then almost immediately left again and followed the Southwest Trail as it meandered uphill to the General Hazard Overlook. I spent a few moments here watching the sun set over Newport before I continued the hike following the outer perimeter of the park. I then followed the Swamp Maple Trail walking along the boardwalks until I got near the main entrance. I came across some deer tracks in the snow at this point. I turned right here and stopped at the Quarry Overlook. This is a shear 30 foot cliff overlooking an open meadow and vernal pool. Note that there is no rock climbing allowed here. On this particular day there was plenty of activity below. Volunteers were setting up for the 9th Annual Illuminated Garden event. I then continued my hike going by a large rock outcrop and then turning left to follow the Quarry Rim Trail back to the entrance road and to the end of this hike. If you would like to add more distance to this hike there are a couple other trails to explore. I found Ballard Park to very clean and well maintained. The Friends of Ballard Park protect and preserve this property and apparently several events happen here each year. I did stay around for a while to check out and take some photos of the Illuminated Garden.
I had returned to Ballard Park with a friend, her child, and her child’s friend for an event. During the event I made good use of the large boulder in the quarry to sit and soak up some of the spring sun. After the event we had went for a hike on the trails here. Again this hike started from the Hazard Road entrance and then we turned left and followed the trail to the Hazard overlook. This time, however, we turned right onto a trail the would lead to the edge of the quarry. We stopped at the quarry overlook before following the eastern edge of the quarry along a path that would eventually lead back down to the meadow near the vernal pool. After a quick stop at the vernal pool, we followed a trail on the backside of it up the hill, then turned left and followed it downhill to the entrance.
Trail map can be found at: Ballard Park.
This trail was featured in Rhode Island Monthly Magazine – October 2014