Archive for the ‘ ~EAST PROVIDENCE RI~ ’ Category

Little Neck – East Providence

  • Little Neck Cemetery
  • Cozzens Avenue, East Providence, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°46’3.58″N, 71°21’15.80″W
  • Last Time Hiked: December 1, 2016
  • Approximate distance hiked: 0.5 miles
  • Easy.

 

Sitting on a peninsula where the Ox Brook and the Mosskettuash Brook converge to form Bullocks Cove lies one of the oldest cemeteries in the United States. The narrow roads that wind through this historic cemetery offer about a half mile of walking. The cemetery, being established in 1655, is on the National Register of Historic Places. The oldest grave here is from 1662, that being the grave of John Brown, Jr. who was a Commissioner to the United Colonies. At the highest point of the peninsula is the oldest part of the cemetery. Some other notable graves here are that of Thomas Willett who was the first mayor of New York City and Elizabeth Tilley Howland who in 1620 came to the New World on the Mayflower. There are also 106 veterans buried here including the Civil War Medal of Honor recipient George Reed.

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The Graves of Elizabeth Howland and Thomas Willett

Rumford – East Providence

  • Rumford Historic Walk
  • Newman Avenue, East Providence, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°50’27.7″N 71°21’01.3″W
  • Last Time Hiked: October 16, 2016
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.0 miles
  • Easy.

 

The northern end of East Providence, known as Rumford, is part Blackstone River Valley National Historic Park. In 1636 Roger Williams passed through this area before being told he was still within the boundaries of Massachusetts. He went on across the river to settle Providence. A few years later Reverend Samuel Newman settled here establishing a village that would one day become what is now known as Rumford. For this walk, park at the parking area directly across the street from the Newman Congregational Church. The building that stands today was built in 1810 and is the fourth meetinghouse built on this site. After taking a look at the structure make your way into the cemetery. The oldest grave here is from 1658, that of William Carpenter. The towns most prominent settlers are buried here and there are over 100 American Revolution veterans as well. The most recent burial occurred in 2008. If you are interested in local history spend some time here wandering around. The carvings of the colonial era graves are fascinating. At the far end of the cemetery there is an exit. When you get to the paved road turn right and follow it to Greenwood Avenue. Turn left here a follow the road for a few hundred feet to the first house on the right. This is the Phanuel Bishop House and is one of the oldest houses in the area. It was built in the 1770’s and is as old as the John Hunt House at Hunts Mills. Keep in mind that the Phanuel Bishop House is a private residence. From here turn around and follow Greenwood Avenue toward the large brick mill buildings on the right. Up until 1966 this was the home of the Rumford Chemical Works, makers of Rumford Baking Powder. Today the complex is mostly residential with some offices and restaurants. Stop at Seven Stars Bakery for a quick snack and to view the historical photos on the walls. In the courtyard behind the bakery is the bust of Benjamin Thompson, also known as Count Rumford, in which this village was named for. Returning to Newman Avenue you will pass the post office and the 1930’s fire station which is also now a private residence. The road bends to the east and soon you will be back at the parking area across from the church.

 

More information can be found at: Rumford

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Newman Church (1810)

Lower Ten Mile River – Pawtucket/East Providence/Seekonk

  • Lower Ten Mile River
  • Daggett Avenue, Pawtucket, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°53’6.76″N, 71°20’43.05″W
  • Last Time Hiked: March 20, 2016
  • Approximate distance hiked: 10 miles
  • Moderate due to distance.

This hike explores the highlights of the lower Ten Mile River from Pawtucket, through East Providence, and into Seekonk. The route of this hike, ironically enough, is about 10 miles and is partly on a bike path, paved neighborhood roads, and trails. It is a one way hike and requires a car-spot. Starting at Doreen Tomlinson Field on Daggett Avenue in Pawtucket, you start this walk by first following the northern most part of the Ten Mile River Greenway Bike Path. The bike path, flanked by post and rail fence, follows the river for a little over three quarters of a mile before coming to Armistice Boulevard. Here, you will see a small dam and waterfall. After crossing the boulevard you are in Slater Park. Soon you will see the one mile marker. Shortly after the marker the bike path makes an abrupt curve to the right and back to the left again. At this point to the right and across the road you can see a pond. A loop around the pond is about a half mile if you choose. In December you will find several Christmas trees decorated here. Just before crossing the road and to the right is the Slater Park Carousel and at the far end of the pond is a bandstand. After you complete the loop of the pond return to the bike path and continue south. To your left the river runs through an area that looks like a canal. These walls were built during the 1930’s by the Works Progress Administration. The bike path then continues south leaving Slater Park, passing under railroad tracks, and soon the first large body of water on the left appears. This is Central Pond and it will remain on your left to the end of the bike path. The southern portion of the bike path crosses into East Providence passing through an old rifle range and former Water Department property before reaching Kimberly Rock Field. Here you want to turn right into the parking lot. A couple hundred feet ahead and on the left is a clearing and a short trail that leads to the adjacent residential neighborhood. The next six tenths of a mile of this hike is on roads. At the end of the trail turn left onto Wildwood Avenue, then right onto Redland Avenue. To the left you can still see Central Pond through the yards. At the end of Redland Avenue, turn left onto Bishop Avenue, and then left once again onto Newman Avenue (Route 152). Be careful here, as traffic is relatively heavy. When you reach Central Pond cross Newman Avenue. The body of water south of Newman Avenue is the Turner Reservoir. You will notice a trailhead just to the right of the reservoir. This is part of the Turner Reservoir Loop Trail. This section of trail follows the shore of the reservoir on one side and the back of a subdivision, with a post and rail fence along the property line, on the other. Soon the trail passes the subdivision and enters a small wooded area. There is a short unmarked trail to the right here that will lead you into the Bridgham Farm Conservation Area. Take it, at the end of the trail turn right and follow that trail to its end. It will come out to a cul-de-sac of the subdivision you just passed. To the left you will notice two things. First, a very large oak tree, said to be over 400 year old known as the Newman Oak. and second, just over the rooftop of the nearby house, you will catch a glimpse of the old windmill that was part of the old farm. After viewing the historic tree and windmill retrace your steps, but instead of turning left back to the reservoir, continue straight. The trail will lead you out to a large open field. This area is what part of the farm was conserved during the 1990’s. Continue straight through the grass field. The trail will slightly turn to the left and lead through the trees back out to the reservoir. Turn right here and follow the earthen embankment towards the Turner Dam. This dam was built in the 1930’s to create the Turner Reservoir as a drinking supply for the City of East Providence. It was used as the primary water supply until the late 1960’s. Continuing you will see a trail to your south that again follows the river. This short stretch of trail will lead you to the parking area along Pleasant Street (Route 114A). From here you want to turn right, then cross the street, and then turn left onto Hunts Mills Road. There is a split in the road, stay left. You will pass the first of two houses on the property. The house is currently boarded up and has seen better days, but there are plans to restore it. The second house, however, is a stunningly beautiful Georgian style home built in the second half of the 1700’s. This is the John Hunt House and it is the current home of the East Providence Historical Society. Just to the right of the house is a gazebo and just to the right of the gazebo is a post with a red trail marker. This is the beginning of the three quarter mile Hunts Mills Trail. The trail first cuts across the north side of the property passing a rather significant sycamore tree before reaching the Ten Mile River once again. Along this stretch there are two rock outcrops to view the river. The first, is somewhat high above the river, is known as Sunset Rock. The second, is by the rivers edge, is known as Otter Rock and received its name by multiple sightings of the river mammal. When the river is running low in the summer months you may catch a glimpse of turn of the century inscriptions on the rock. Continuing to follow the red blazes, you will find yourself in an area that seems abandoned. This is the former Fire Department training grounds. Here there are a couple old tankers and fire tower. There is also a large metal shed. This area is now being leased by the Ten Mile River Watershed Council and they have plans to convert it into a picnic area. Continuing to follow the red blazed trail will lead you to the large grass area behind the Hunt House. There are some informational boards here describing the history of the property. There was once an amusement park here with a carousel. The ring of granite blocks delineates where it once stood. You will next want to pass the gate between the Hunt House and the large stone pump house. Just ahead is the picturesque Hunts Mills Falls. The sounds of the water rushing of the falls makes this a good place to take a break. After taking in the falls for a bit, you will follow Hunts Mills Road back to Pleasant Street, turn right and cross the road once again. You will continue along Pleasant Street crossing the bridge over the Ten Mile River and then through the parking lot. Here is the trail-head to the eastern side of the Turner Reservoir Loop Trail. This section is mostly on boardwalks that cross over the wetlands by the river. Soon you will come back to the earthen dam. The path turns to the left. If you want another view of the waterfall at the dam follow the path, for this hike however, continue straight up the small hill. At the top of the hill you will have a sweeping view of the reservoir. This spot is particularly beautiful during the autumn foliage. To the right the trail continues to follow the edge of the reservoir. This is where you first cross into Seekonk. The trail is now faintly blazed blue and you will follow those blazes to Arcade Avenue with the exception of a few minor detours. Along this trail you will pass the Seekonk High School athletic fields. In the woods to the right you will find a shelter with a stone pillar by it. This is a monument to three Seekonk High School students who lost their lives on the reservoir in 1998. Further along the blue trail, there is a trail that splits to the left and leads out to a peninsula that offers great views of the reservoir in every direction. If you choose to visit either of these sites be sure to return to the blue blazed trail and follow it to Arcade Avenue. After reaching the road, you will have about a mile of road walking. You will want to turn left onto Arcade Avenue, then left onto Newman Avenue. You then need to cross Newman Avenue to get to and follow West Avenue. You will follow West Avenue to the fourth left. This is West River Street and you will turn left here. Turn left again at Reservoir Street and follow it to the end. The asphalt ends and the dirt road turns to the right. On the left is the sign for the Seacuncke Sanctuary and its trail-head. Follow the trail into the sanctuary. It soon splits, stay to the right and you will find yourself on the main trail, known as the Seekonk Trail, that runs along this side of Central Pond. There are other narrower trails that run parallel to this trail. As long as you are going north they all lead to the same spot. The trail then starts to turn slightly to the right and ahead you will see a split. There are two trails here with a gully in between. Both of the trails are blazed blue. The trail to the right will lead you to the majority of the trails of the Gaminno Pond Preserve. For this hike stay to the left. Soon you will be flanked by water. To the left is Coles Brook and to the right is Gaminno Pond. Continuing to follow the blue blazed trail, you will see a mulch covered trail on the left that leads to the Gaminno Pond parking area. Continue ahead a short distance. The blue blazed trail turns to the right. Stay to the left here following an old road that leads up to the Seekonk Meadows and to the parking lot for the Seekonk Library where you left another vehicle. This hike takes about four and half to five hours at a relaxed pace.

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Ten Mile River Greenway Bike Path

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Hunts Mills Falls

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Turner Reservoir

East Bay Bike Path North – Providence/East Providence

  • East Bay Bike Path – North
  • India Street, Providence, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°49’4.58″N, 71°23’29.93″W
  • Last Time Hiked: January 30, 2016
  • Approximate distance hiked: 5.8 miles
  • Fairly easy with some slight elevation.

 

 

Most people who ride their bikes or walk the East Bay Bike Path have no idea that they are passing through hundreds of years of history. This walk is not just 6 miles on a 10 foot wide paved path with great views of the water, but more of a tour of yesteryear. Starting at the picturesque Providence waterfront, the northern portion of the East Bay Bike Path leaves India Point Park and zigzags uphill towards the Washington Bridge. Over the years there have been several bridges built over the Seekonk River. The first built in 1793 was a covered drawbridge. The newly built George Redman Linear Park occupies what remains of the 1931 span. The bike path crosses the river through the linear park. There are several informational boards located here with history of the bridges and surrounding neighborhoods. After crossing the bridge, the bike path snakes down to Watchemoket Square in East Providence. Prior to the highway being built, the square was a bustling center of commerce and local government. It served as a crossroads where Taunton Avenue (Route 44), Warren Avenue (Route 6), and the railroad once met before crossing into Providence. The square was very active in the second half of the 19th century and well into the 20th century. Most of the buildings in the square were wood frame buildings like that at the corner of Warren Avenue and First Street (currently the Watchemoket Tavern). The most predominant building remaining in the square was built in the early 1920’s. The Neo-Federalist designed building served as a bank for several years and is now the home of the Comedy Connection. Most of the remaining buildings in the square were torn down by the 1960’s with the construction of Interstate 195. After crossing Warren Avenue, the bike path follows First Street for two blocks before turning right and along Veterans Memorial Parkway. This short section, about two tenths of a mile, is the only stretch of road walking/biking. Be sure to be aware of traffic. The next mile or so, the bike path first climbs up Fort Hill, past an overlook, and along the parkway before making its way to a former railroad bed. The fort on the hill, with others in the area, protected Providence during the Revolutionary War and The War of 1812. As the bike path climbs the top of the hill just before the lookout, you can see the Fort Hill Monument across the parkway. It is a large boulder near the intersection of Mercer Street. As the bike path winds around the first parking lot along the parkway you now have a good vantage point of the Providence skyline. The buildings of downtown, Rhode Island Hospital, the Manchester Street Power Plant, and the I-way bridge are all clearly visible from here. In fact, as of late, at 8:30 every evening people have been gathering here to shine their lights in the “Good Night Hasbro” event along with several other businesses in the area. The bike path next passes an area that is currently under construction. This will be the future home of The Village on the Waterfront. It is one of two major waterfront developments being built under the revitalization of East Providence’s waterfront. Both of the developments were once used for oil storage tanks and will soon be mixed residential and commercial areas with access to the shoreline. The bike path then bends to the right, passing the second parking lot along the parkway, and downhill as it descends to the waterfront. The remaining distance of the bike path all the way to Bristol now follows the rail bed that was once used by the Providence, Warren, and Bristol Railroad. As the bike path begins to follow the old rail bed, you are now on a causeway and are surrounded by water. To the right is the Providence River and the Port of Providence. You are very likely to see very large cargo ships docked here. To the left is Watchemoket Cove, the first and largest, of three coastal coves along this part of the bike path. All three of these coves are havens for swans and geese. Blue herons and cormorants among several other birds have been seen in these coves as well. After passing the first cove, the bike path passes over Kettle Point. To the left is the second major development along the East Providence waterfront. This development will be predominantly residential as it replaces another former oil tank farm. Just as you approach the next cove, there will be a future trail to the left that leads to Squantum Woods. The bike then crosses another causeway. After passing the aptly named Long Rock Cove to the left, you come to a series of buildings on the right. They belong to the Squantum Association, and the largest and most predominant building is the clubhouse. This building built in 1900 replaces the 1873 structure and is used for weddings and receptions. President Arthur and President Taft have attended events here. The bike path next passes the third coastal cove. This cove, with its long dock, is part of the Boyden Heights Conservation Area. Just after the cove there is a trail that leads into the property. The trails here are short and would add a nice little hike to your walk. Just after the trailhead the area to the left once hosted two amusement parks. Boyden Heights Park, opened in 1904, and Vanity Fair, opened in 1907, along with Crescent Park further south gave this area the nickname “Coney Island of the East”. Both of these amusement parks were closed by 1910. The next portion of the bike path continues to follow the waterfront and soon the Pomham Rocks Lighthouse becomes visible. The lighthouse sits on one of two large rock islands and was built in 1871. Recent restoration has saved the lighthouse and the island can be visited a few times per year. From here you will catch your last glimpse of the buildings of downtown four miles away. Next the bike path passes under Bullocks Point Avenue and comes out to Riverside Square. This was another bustling village back in the day, complete with a railroad station built in the mid to late 1800’s. Other buildings in the square also date back to yesteryear, but the most visited building here is the Dari-Bee, a local ice cream shop that is open from the spring to the fall. There are also a few “Mom & Pop” shops here as well including convenience stores for water or snacks. Also in the square in the Riverside World War II Memorial. It was originally located further up the road and was relocated to the square in the early 2000’s. The bike path, flanked by bird filled shrubs, then continues south passing through residential neighborhoods before coming to Bullocks Cove. Looking north from the causeway crossing the cove you can catch a glimpse of Little Neck which is home to one of the oldest cemeteries in the nation. The cemetery, established in 1655, serves as the final resting place of several colonists including one who was a passenger on the Mayflower and the first mayor of New York City. The cemetery is not accessible from the bike path however. The bike path then crosses Crescent View Avenue. If you so choose, follow Crescent View Avenue west to its end. There is the 1895 Looff Carousel, the only remaining structure of the once bustling Crescent Park Amusement Park that closed in the 1970’s. After crossing Crescent View Avenue, the bike path passes through another residential neighborhood, a small playground, and another small cove before reaching Haines State Park. This park, on the East Providence/Barrington border was established in 1911 and offers areas for picnics, ball fields, a dog park, trails, and access to the water. This is also where I decided to conclude this walk. The bike path continues another 8 miles to Bristol passing through Barrington and Warren. That will be a walk for another day!

 

Trail map can be found at: East Bay Bike Path North.

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The East Bay Bike Path Along Watchemoket Cove

 

 

 

George Redman Linear Park – Providence/East Providence

  • George Redman Linear Park – Washington Bridge
  • India Street, Providence, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°49’4.13″N, 71°23’30.03″W
  • Last Time Hiked: June 30, 2015
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.2 miles
  • Easy.

The first Washington Bridge was built over the Seekonk River in 1793. It was a covered drawbridge that connected Fox Point in Providence to Watchemoket Square in what is now East Providence. Since then several replacement spans were built along this stretch of the river. Today, you can walk across the Seekonk River on a section of the original 1930’s bridge that has been preserved. There are some informative boards near the center of the bridge explaining the history of the bridge and the surrounding area. The rest of the Washington Bridge that carries Interstate 195 over the river has been reconstructed. The linear park is made up of a bike path (part of the East Bay Bike Path) and a walking area with several park benches. The view to the south is the lower Seekonk River at India Point and Bold Point where it flows into the Providence River. The walk from India Point Park to Watchemoket Square is about six tenths of a mile. Longer distances can be added to this walk by adding India Point Park or continuing along the East Bay Bike Path.

I did not find a trail map on-line.

Looking Towards Providence Along The Linear Park.

Looking Towards Providence Along The Linear Park.

Seacuncke Sanctuary – Seekonk/East Providence

Seacuncke Sanctuary is a quiet wooded parcel on the east side of Central Pond with occasional clearings of tall grass. In these small clearing you will notice some rather large ant mounds. The sanctuary itself is in Seekonk and the remainder of the land is actually in East Providence. From the small parking area by the trail head sign follow the narrow trail into the sanctuary. Stay to the left at the split and you will soon notice the first of the ant mounds. The trail to the right leads to the Seekonk Trail and you can return on this trail. After staying to the left look for a wood post on the left of the trail. That is the approximate state line. The entrance trail then comes to an end. The trail to the left dead ends at a point that is suitable for kayak or canoe launching. The trail to the right is the Seekonk Trail and follows the shore of Central Pond for about a half mile (mile out and back). The trail ends at the gully and blue trail intersection of Gammino Pond. There are also some narrower less defined trails along this stretch if you care to explore. The property is rather quiet, very peaceful, and good for bird watching.

Trail With Central Pond In The Distance.

Trail With Central Pond In The Distance.

Rose Larisa Park – East Providence

Rose Larisa Park in the Riverside section of East Providence overlooks the Providence River. It is one of the cities newer parks being built in the 1990’s. Today the park is crisscrossed with walking paths that wander through trees and large fields of grass. This property has a long history though. It was once part of Crescent Park, a large amusement park, that attracted visitors from all over the region. The shore dinner hall was located here. The large wall with the wrought iron fence on it was part of the back foundation of the building. There was also a large dock here that stretched out into the river. Steamships from as far away as New York City would dock here to drop off visitors of the park. During low tide you can see some of the remains of the pilings below on the beach. The majority of the park was across the street including its midway and roller coaster. The amusement park started operations in the late 1800’s and ceased in the late 1970’s. The Looff Carousel was preserved and is still in operation today. This is a great park for the kids to run around before catching a ride on the carousel.

I did not find a trail map on-line.

A Walking Path Looking Toward The Crescent Park Carousel.

A Walking Path Looking Toward The Crescent Park Carousel.