Archive for the ‘ ~EXETER RI~ ’ Category

Matteson Plain – Exeter/West Greenwich

  • Matteson Plain – Arcadia Wildlife Management Area
  • Matteson Plain Road, Exeter, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°35’53.32″N, 71°42’37.66″W
  • Last Time Hiked: August 21, 2016
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.8 miles
  • Moderate.

 

This hike, relatively short in distance, can be quite challenging due to footing. Starting from a parking area near the end of Frosty Hollow Road (Straight ahead as Frosty Hollow Road ends at Austin Farm Road), first pass the gate and then head north on Matteson Plain Road. The first mile of this hike climbs uphill, into West Greenwich, on the old road that is predominantly loose stone and gravel passing Newman Trail on the right. Along the way on the left you will notice several “No Trespassing” signs. This is the Camp-E-Hunt-Tee property and is not open to the public. At the top of the hill (around the one mile mark) you will notice yellow blazes indicating a turn to the right. Follow the yellow blazes. This is part of the Breakheart Trail and will lead you to the Newman Trail. This segment is all down hill and tends to be a little rocky. It is much easier footing than the first mile. Stay on the yellow blazed trail when you come to the trail crossing at the small footbridge. Ahead you will see some stone walls and eventually a trickling brook. The yellow blazed Breakheart Trail turns left at the north end of Breakheart Pond. Take a quick peek. It is a nice view, but you will be turning right here (west) onto Newman Trail. Now heading west you will first pass the Hicks Trail to the left, continue straight. You will soon pass another trail from the right, again continue straight. Soon you will see a hill ahead of you. There should be a trail to your left here. Turn left and take it. It is unmarked, lesser traveled, and leads through a beautiful fern covered forest back into Exeter and to the parking area.

 

Trail maps can be found at: Matteson Plain

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Matteson Plain Road at Breakheart Trail

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

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Large Boulder Along The Arcadia Trail

Deep Pond North – Exeter

  • Deep Pond North
  • Ten Rod Road, Exeter, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°34’35.22″N, 71°46’19.04″W
  • Last Time Hiked: April 22, 2016
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.4 miles
  • Fairly easy with some elevation.

 

This is a relatively short hike in the western part of the Arcadia Management Area. The hike follows three main trails including the northern end of the Deep Pond Trail. If you want to actually see Deep Pond you would need to follow the southern end of the Deep Pond Trail. Starting from a gated trail head on the opposite side of the road from the Roscoe Dexter parking area, I followed the white blazed Deep Pond Trail. I immediately noticed several outcrops, and stone walls. About a thousand feet along the trail and on the left is a historic cemetery. The dates on the barely readable stones are from 1829 and 1837. Soon I reached a split in the trail. The white blazed trail continues ahead. I would return from there. For this hike I turned left and followed the unmarked trail through more areas of stone walls. The trail ends at the yellow blazed Tippecansett Trail where I turned right. At the time of this hike this section was quite muddy. I soon passed the blue blazed Pachaug Trail to the left while continuing to follow the yellow blazes. After a little bit of uphill hiking the Tippecansett Trail comes to Old Voluntown Road. The yellow blazes turn to the left here. The white blazes to the right represents the northern most portion of the Deep Pond Trail. I turned right here following the white blazes. Soon the trail leads to the end of the developed section of Old Voluntown Road. After a short stretch of road walking the white blazes lead you to the right and back into the woods. From this point follow the white blazes to the beginning of the hike.

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Intersection of the Tippecansett Trail and the Deep Pond Trail.

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.

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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.

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Some Climbing Along The Tippecansett.

Arcadia West – Exeter/Hopkinton

  • Arcadia West – Arcadia Wildlife Management Area
  • Ten Rod Road, Exeter, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°34’34.41″N, 71°46’18.98″W
  • Last Time Hiked: March 9, 2016
  • Approximate distance hiked: 5 miles
  • Moderate with significant elevation and rocky footing, muddy in areas.

 

I had awoke this morning to hear of the sad news of the passing of Dorian Murray. His fight with cancer truly inspired us all as a community as well as individually. May he rest in peace. With that said, I dedicate today’s hike to him. #Dstrong

 

This hike in the western parts of the Arcadia Wildlife Management Area consists of three major trails, the Deep Pond Trail, the Brushy Brook Trail, and the Dye Hill Trail. It is about a five mile hike and some of the terrain can be a bit challenging. There are also many unmarked spur trails along this route. Be sure to stay on the blazed trails unless you are carrying a map or have GPS. Starting from a small parking area along Route 165 at the Roscoe M. Dexter entrance (there is a sign here) I made my way first along the white blazed Deep Pond Trail. The trail first parallels Ten Rod Road briefly before turning left into the depth of the woods. Immediately on the right is a swamp. At the time of this hike there were the sounds of wood frogs here. For the next half mile, the trail, an old service road, is flanked by mountain laurel and an occasional outcrop of ledge. Soon, on the left, you will see a sign for Deep Pond. Turn onto this trail, it is also blazed white. It is much narrower and again is flanked by mountain laurel. The trail raises gently above a valley below almost following a ridge line. Ahead in an area that seems to open up a bit are a series of cairns. After passing the series of unexplained piles of rocks the trail once again is towering above the land below. To the left is a rather high ledge before the trail starts to descend. Soon you will see a sign at a trail intersection. The sign indicates that this is the beginning of the Dye Hill Trail to the right, but first continue straight along the descending and rocky trail to the shore of Deep Pond. Spend a little time here, it is peaceful and you may catch a glimpse of wildlife. At the time of this hike, there was an otter or beaver swimming in the pond breaking the glass like flatness of the pond. I sure wish I had brought binoculars. After taking a break here, return back up the hill to the Dye Hill Trail (now on the left) and turn onto it. You will immediately have to scramble up a rather steep incline. Be sure to follow the blazes here as several spur trails appear here. This section of the trail is blazed both white and blue for a bit. When you right to point where the blazes split stay to the left and continue to follow the white blazes. (For this hike you will return from the blue blazed trail). The white blazed Brushy Brook Trail seems a lot like the Deep Pond Trail at first. It is rocky, hilly, windy, and towers above the land below for a while. The trail then descends quite substantially and you are soon into lower ground. Some of the area has patchy grass areas that the forest is slowly claiming. The blazes along this stretch become less, be sure to follow the main trail, keeping on eye out for the occasional blazes. The trail then starts to slowly turn to the west and soon you are in an area flanked by thickets and berry bushes. You have actually just crossed into Hopkinton. You will notice water on each side as you cross the swampy area and the trail here at times gets very muddy. Just ahead is a wooden bridge. This is where you first cross the aptly named Brushy Brook. After passing the brook the trail starts to climb. After passing a stone wall the trail now starts to turn slightly to the right. You will notice a stone wall now on your left. This wall is built approximately on the Exeter/Hopkinton border and you are now back in Exeter. For the next section of this hike you pass through an array of stone walls that was once part of an old farm. If you study the placement of them long enough you can make out where the road once was. After the former farm, the white blazed trail comes to an end. Ahead and to the right is the blue blazed Dye Hill Trail. The trail ahead will take you to near the top of Dye Hill. For this hike you will want to turn right, following the blue blazes. The trail will lead you down into a valley, crossing the Brushy Brook once again, before climbing back uphill to rejoin the white and blue blazed trail. When you reach the trail intersection with the Dye Hill sign. Turn left following the white blazes of the Deep Pond Trail and retrace your steps back to the parking area.

 

 

Trail map can be found at: Arcadia West.

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Foggy Sunrise on Deep Pond.

 

The Pines – Exeter

  • The Pines – Arcadia Wildlife Management Area
  • Mount Tom Road, Exeter, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°33’52.54″N, 71°43’43.33″W
  • Last Time Hiked: March 6, 2016
  • Approximate distance hiked: 3.6 miles
  • Mostly easy, very difficult in areas.

 

This is one of those hikes I would not suggest for beginners or those uncomfortable with being in very remote sections of the woods. In order to do this hike as described you should have a good sense of direction, instinct, and balance. Bushwhacking is required in one spot. A copy of the Great Swamp Press map for this area is highly suggested as well as GPS for backtracking. There are three distinctively different parts to this hike. The beginning and the loop around Deep Pond are nice gentle trails, a good portion is walking along dirt roads, and a stretch that follows an unmarked narrow trail has many challenges. This hike starts at where the Mount Tom Trail crosses Mount Tom Road. The reason for that is that a large portion of this hike is in areas where the gates are seasonably closed to automobile traffic. From the small parking area, follow the Mount Tom Trail east following the shore of Parris Brook. When you reach the Blitzkrieg Trail, turn right and cross over the bridge. The Blitzkrieg Trail is a dirt road that is surrounded by mostly tall pines. Follow it about three tenths of a mile to the beginning of the Deep Pond Trail on the left. Soon another dirt road on the right appears. This is the road to Deep Pond. Take this and then follow the loop trail around Deep Pond. The trail is rather narrow in areas and some sections tend to flood after excessive rain. After doing the loop return back to Deep Pond Trail and then turn right. You will see a rather large swamp area to the left. At the time of this hike I saw several ducks here. At the end of Deep Pond Trail there is a gate to the right. Pass the gate and make your way to the Wood River. Here is a canoe launch and people fish here quite often. This is the point where you may want to turn back and retrace your steps if you are not comfortable with a rather challenging hike. To the right you will see a rather narrow, leaf covered trail. For the next 3/4 of a mile, take your time. This trail, root bound in spots, is very narrow at times and rises above the river below. One slip could be disastrous. The trail also becomes undistinguishable at points. Be patient and be prepared to backtrack. There is one spot where it seems impossible to complete. The trail comes out to a peninsula with the river to the left and what looks like an old mill race to the right and seems unable to cross. Backtrack a few feet looking for some old stonework below to the right. You can cross pretty easily here pushing the shrubbery aside. When you reach the other side the trail is visible again. Hunters and fisherman have also used flagging to mark parts of the trail. I found the flagging fairly reliable. There are a few spots to take in the beauty of the Wood River. Stop. Enjoy it. If you have come this far, you deserve to take a few moments to enjoy the remoteness. The trail will soon come out to a parking area at the end of the Waterhole Trail. This area is known as The Pines. There is another canoe launch here as well as a picnic table. To finish this hike, follow the Waterhole Trail west back out to Blitzkrieg Trail. After turning right, follow the Blitzkrieg Trail back to the bridge. Turn left and follow the Mount Tom Trail back to the parking area.

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Wood River near The Pines