Archive for the ‘ **BEST OF TRAILS AND WALKS** ’ Category

Neutaconkanut Hill – Providence

  • Neutaconkanut Hill
  • Plainfield Street, Providence, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°48’40.99″N, 71°27’45.71″W
  • First Time Hiked: March 17, 2013
  • Last Time Hiked: February 26, 2017
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.8 miles
  • Moderate with some significant elevation.

 

 

Providence is a bustling New England city with miles and miles of blocks of brick buildings, mills, and tenement houses.In the western end of the city a large tract of land is preserved as open space. When you are on the trails of Neutaconkanut Hill you soon forget that you are still in fact in the city. The hill once served as the northwestern boundary of Providence as agreed upon by the founder of Rhode Island, Roger Williams, and the Native Americans. Starting at the parking area by the Recreation Center on Plainfield Street, first follow the orange blazed trail into the woods. You will soon come to a trail intersection. Turn left onto the red blazed Pond Trail. You will first soon King Pond below to the left before coming to the Great Stone Steps. This stretch is very steep and can be difficult. Just beyond the top of the hill is a four way intersection. Turn left onto the orange blazed trail. It will eventually come the first of several outlooks. From this side of the hill on clear days you will be offered sweeping views to the southeast. A glimpse of the Easy Bay and Newport is possible during the weather conditions. After a quick stop at the outlook continue along the orange blazed trail to the Pinnacle Boardwalk. There is a nice bench here to take a quick break. Continuing to follow the orange blazed trail will lead you next to the remains of two Camaros. This site is a testament to how nature reclaims the land and objects left there. The trail then wraps to the left. A trail to the right leads down a steep bank and over a stream. For this hike do not take that turn, continue straight and follow the straight, level trail that descends slightly downhill. The trail then turns to the right a bit and winds towards the King Monument, named after the family who donated the land. After the monument, look for the blue trail on the left. Follow the blue trail in its entirety. The trail winds through the hillside offering another (unmarked) overlook near its southern most bend before looping back to the north passing well above an area of swamp to the left. At the end of the trail turn left onto the orange blazed trail and follow it to the road. Across the road is a meadow, walk through this area to a set of rock outcrops. From these outcrops is an impressive view of Downtown Providence. There is also the ruins of a bandstand here. In the early to mid 20th century this spot was used for concerts and gatherings. Make your way down the hill to the road below. Along the timber guardrail is an opening that leads to the WPA (Works Progress Administration) steps and path that will lead you down to the bottom of the hill to the park and ball fields by the parking area.

Trail map can be found at: Neutaconkanut Hill

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Overlooking Providence

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Fort Barton Woods – Tiverton

  • Fort Barton Woods
  • Highland Road, Tiverton, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°37’30.05″N, 71°12’27.05″W
  • First Time Hiked: March 15, 2013
  • Last Time Hiked: September 4, 2017
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.3 miles
  • Moderate with some significant elevation.

 

A few hills and a few valleys made for a good after work hike. Starting at the parking area across from town hall I followed the paved path to the beginning of the natural path. This was the red trail I was on. I followed it until it split. I took the right path and hiked just about the entire red trail counter clockwise winding through areas of holly trees and several brook crossings. Some spots on the trails were very muddy (almost ankle deep in some areas), but those were mostly in the areas near the brooks. The Sin and Flesh Brook made for some good photo opportunities.  The red trail is the main loop and is very well marked. I would suggest staying on that trail. Near the end of the red trail loop I opted to check out the blue trail which was poorly marked and overgrown at the time of this hike.  I did actually end up off the trail and onto private property for a bit. After getting back onto the red trail and to the exit I stopped off at the observation tower which has great views of the Sakonnet River and the Mount Hope Bridge. Fort Barton also has historical significance as it is a Revolutionary War redoubt and served as a staging area for troops.

Trail map can be found at: Fort Barton Woods

Sin And Flesh Brook

Sin And Flesh Brook

Black Farm – Hopkinton

  • Black Farm State Management Area
  • Rockville-Alton Road, Hopkinton, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°28’2.46″N, 71°43’42.15″W
  • Last Time Hiked: March 9, 2013
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.7 miles
  • Easy with slight elevation.

 

A beautiful hike, pure solitude at some points.  From the trail-head  I had followed the path for a little over a half mile going through some heavily wooded area until I came to a field. At this point I turned left, crossed the Canonchet Brook by bridge, then took another immediate left. About halfway along this trail on the right was an old cemetery.  I had stopped to look around and discovered that there was a grave of a Civil War soldier here.   I then continued along the trail and took a right at the next split.  This took me by Plain Pond.  It was like being in New Hampshire or Maine.  So quiet and peaceful.  As I continued on the trail it turned and looped towards some open fields not before passing through an area of pine trees. Here I found myself stopping to listen… to nothing at all.  When I got to the field I turned right, took another right and a quick left and headed down an old railroad bed, crossing a very questionable bridge, continuing to the end where an old bridge abutment overlooks the Wood River.  This is where the original Narragansett Trail crossed the Wood River when it ran from Lantern Hill in Connecticut to Wordens Pond in South Kingstown.  I then retraced my steps back down the railroad to the path turned left which brought my back to the bridge that crossed the brook.  From here I retraced my steps about halfway back  to the trail-head where a path splits to the right.  I followed this path down to the brook where I found some small falls.  After lingering for a bit. I went back up the hill I came down went to the right and back to the parking area.  The trails here are not blazed but are fairly easy to follow. To this point this has to be my favorite hike.

This area is open to hunting. You should check hunting season schedules before hiking here.

Trail map can be found at: Black Farm

Canonchet Brook From The Bridge

Canonchet Brook From The Bridge

Wood River

Wood River

Beaver River – Richmond

  • Beaver River Preserve
  • Fox Ridge Drive, Richmond, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°32’30.50″N, 71°39’13.00″W
  • Last Time Hiked: January 27, 2013
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.5 miles
  • Easy with some slight elevation and climbing.
 

I found Beaver River to be a beautiful place for a hike. It is heavily wooded with many boulders. It was suggested to do this hike before the leaves were on the trees. A lot of the trails are along ridge lines of the hills which have great views of the valleys. I started this hike at the dead end section of Fox Ridge Drive and proceeded to follow the loop by first going to the left at the first intersection.  This path went through many areas of boulders and then through a pine grove. At the next intersection a spur goes to the left which I took to get to the river. Beaver River itself had two beaver dams built in it and was quite iced over. Retracing my steps back to the beginning of the spur, I then took a left back onto the loop.  At this point some climbing is necessary but not difficult.  The trail eventually brings you back to the trail-head.  There are several plank bridges along the paths and the entire trail is well marked with yellow blazes. I did not see any wildlife to speak on this hike. Maybe it was just too cold.

Trail map can be found at: Beaver River Preserve

Beaver Dam On The Frozen Beaver River

Beaver Dam On The Frozen Beaver River

Some Climbing Required

Some Climbing Required

Trustom Pond – South Kingstown

  • Trustom Pond National Wildlife Refuge
  • Matunuck School House Road, South Kingstown, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°22’59.77″N, 71°35’7.49″W
  • Last Time Hiked: January 19, 2013
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.4 miles
  • Easy.
 

I decided to wake up very early to get to Trustom Pond for sunrise. A decision that was well worth it for picture taking. The hike was not too cold until the wind picked up but it was bearable.  From the parking lot I went right along the Farm Field Loop Trail to get to the Osprey Point Trail.  I followed that to the end where there is an observation area that overlooks the pond. I then retraced my steps until I got to the Red Maple Swamp Trail.  I followed this trail to the end passing on the right an old windmill.  I then proceeded to turn right following the Otter Point trail to its end.  Again retracing my steps until I got to Farm Pond. Then I followed a path that wound through an open field that had one very wind blown tree in it and then back to the parking lot. I saw some wildlife as well along this hike. A few white tailed deer, red tailed hawk, several Canadian geese, and an osprey were all seen on this hike.

Trail map can be found at: Trustom Pond Trail Map

Trustom Sunrise

Trustom Sunrise

Lone Tree In A Field

Lone Tree In A Field

Lime Rock – Lincoln

  • Aust Family Preserve at Lime Rock 
  • Wilbur Road, Lincoln, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°55’18.64″N, 71°28’3.89″W
  • First Time Hiked: January 13, 2013
  • Last Time Hiked: January 1, 2016
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.3 miles
  • Moderate due to some elevation.

 

Featuring one of the newest loop trails in Rhode Island, the Nature Conservancy’s Lime Rock Preserve in Lincoln offers a variety of flora and an abundance of outcrops. The new blue loop trail was established in the spring of 2015 and adds a pleasant addition to the existing yellow loop trail. For this hike I combined the two to highlight almost all of the features of the property. Starting from a small parking pull off along Wilbur Road (41°55’18.6″N 71°28’03.9″W), I followed the yellow blazed trail a few hundred feet to the first trail intersection. Here I turned right onto the blue blazed trail, up a set of stairs, and immediately uphill passing several boulders, outcrops, and beech trees before the trail levels slightly. After passing a set of boardwalks, the trails climbs uphill again to the first of several stone walls. The trail stays to the right of the stone wall at first, then passes through it to another trail intersection. This is actually the blue loop trail. Here I decided to continue straight soon passing through an area of ferns. Soon the trail comes to an old cart path. I turned left here continuing to follow the blue blazed trail. Below to the right is the Moshassuck River and a hill is to the left. This stretch of the trail is quite pretty with plenty of young beech trees. At the next trail intersection I turned right onto a spur trail, still blazed blue, that leads to the yellow loop trail. There is a spot where you need to climb over a stone wall. Use caution here, especially during wet conditions. When I reached the yellow trail I turned right and soon found myself at the dam. To the left is the reservoir and on the right down below are the headwaters of the Moshassuck River that flows to Downtown Providence. After crossing the dam the trail turns left uphill following a stone covered service road for about a tenth of a mile. The yellow blazed trail then turns left back into the woods as the service road bears to the right. Soon I approached an area with a few large boulders and a stone bridge that crosses of a trickling stream. The trails then meanders north of the reservoir before turning left at the next intersection. You may notice that the trail ahead is very straight and level. This stretch is an old railway bed that once was used by electric railcars for service between Providence and Woonsocket. Because of the need to be level for railroad use it makes for an interesting trail as it first passes through areas where ledge was removed and then passes high above the valley below. As the terrain around the trail levels out a bit another trail intersection appears. If you care to avoid the hills of the blue loop again, you can continue straight at this intersection following the old railroad bed (also blazed yellow) back to the parking area. I turned left to complete the yellow blazed loop, crossed the boardwalk, and followed the trail to the blue trail on the right. Turning here, I soon was crossing the stone wall once again before coming to the blue loop trail once again. I turned right and started a slow steady climb up the hill along a very quiet and secluded stretch of trail. The trail takes a sharp right at a massive boulder and continues climbing uphill until it reaches a ridge at the top of the hill. Continuing to follow the blue blazes I soon found myself at a trail intersection. Here I turned right, retracing my steps downhill, across the boardwalks, and down the steps, to the yellow trail. Turning left I was soon back at the Wilbur Road.

Trail map can be found at: Lime Rock Trail Map

The Blue Trail At Lime Rock.

The Blue Trail At Lime Rock.

 

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