Archive for the ‘ ~FALL RIVER MA~ ’ Category

King Phillips Spring – Fall River

  • King Phillips Spring – Watuppa Reservation
  • Blossom Road, Fall River, MA
  • Trailhead:  41°42’56.24″N, 71° 5’19.86″W
  • Last Time Hiked: December 15, 2019
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.6 miles
  • Fairly easy with some slight elevation.

 

This 2.6 mile loop starts and follows the route of the Homestead Loop Trail before breaking off and heading east into the depths of the Watuppa Reservation. Starting from a parking area surrounded by a split rail fence follow grass covered cart path away from the road. On the right before the stone wall and power lines is the trail. The trail is first flanked on the left by the stone wall. A few hundred feet ahead the trail passes through the wall and then to a split. Staying to the left you will see the first trail marker (marked by a rabbit). You are on the Homestead Loop Trail at this point. The trail markers for this trail are at every tenth of a mile. There are no other blazes on this loop. The trail passes under the power lines before winding back into the woods. After passing some holly and small boulders you will come upon a trail on the right (marked by a bee). Ignore this trail for this hike and continue straight. You will soon enough come to another “rabbit” marker to confirm you are on the right trail. At the end of the trail you will come to a fire lane where you will turn left. First find a sign on a tree with “KP3” on it to confirm your location. For the remainder of this hike you will want to look for these signs. The trails are not blazed otherwise. Following the fire lane known as Brightman Path you will pass through a swamp before coming to a small pond and what appears to be a small levee on the left. Continuing ahead the path starts to climb uphill. At the next intersection (KP7) continue straight onto the Indian Turn Trail which continues to climb uphill. At the top of the hill is a four way intersection (KP8). Turn left here and within a few hundred feet you will bear to the left (KP16) and start a slow descent. Keep an eye to the left for a wide path. It is a dead end but it takes you to the highlight of this hike, King Phillips Spring. The spring with a large rock surrounding by a cluster of smaller ones is the headwater of Blossom Brook. Take some time here to linger before heading back up to the main trail where you will turn left to continue to make your way to intersection KP17. Bear to the left here and again bear left at the next intersection (KP18). The trail now starts to wind downhill a bit coming to what appears to be a cellar hole on the right. From here the trail bends to the west and narrows quite considerably as it passes through a swamp once again. This stretch, called Corduroy Path, offers very thick shrubs, hemlocks, and junipers. Stop and listen for the birds as it is a haven for them. The trail then passes under the power lines again, back into the woods, pass a gate and ends at Blossom Road. Turn left here and follow the road pass the Reservation Headquarters and over a much wider Blossom Brook. The parking area is a few hundred feet ahead on the left.

 

Map can be found at: King Phillip Spring.

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King Phillips Spring

 

 

Homestead Loop Trail – Fall River

  • Homestead Loop Trail – Watuppa Reservation
  • Blossom Road, Fall River, MA
  • Trailhead:  41°42’56.24″N, 71° 5’19.86″W
  • Last Time Hiked: October 20, 2019
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.2 miles
  • Fairly easy.

 

Starting from a parking area surrounded by a split rail fence follow grass covered cart path away from the road. On the right before the power lines is the trail. The trail is first flanked on the left by a stone wall. A few hundred feet ahead the trail passes through the wall and then to a split. Staying to the left you will see the first trail marker (marked by a rabbit). The trail markers for this hike are at every tenth of a mile. There are no other blazes on this loop. The trail passes under the power lines before winding back into the woods. After passing some holly and small boulders you will come upon a trail on the right (marked by a bee). Ignore this trail for this hike and continue straight. You will soon enough come to another “rabbit” marker to confirm you are on the right trail. At the end of the trail, turn right onto the wide grass road and look for a trail on the left. Turn onto this trail and continue with the loop. At 0.3 mile marker there is a rather impressive holly tree. The trail winds a little further south and back west coming to a trail intersection just before the power lines. The trail to the right is the “bee” marked trail. Stay to the left here making your way to the power lines. The trail can be a little overgrown here. Continue ahead here passing under the lines and the trail becomes much clearer at the tree line. The next feature of the trail is a boardwalk (still under construction) before coming to the wide grass road once again. From here continue straight as the trail winds back to the first marker. From the first marker retrace your steps back to the parking area.

 

Map can be found at: Homestead Loop Trail.

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Marker Along The Homestead Loop

Quequechan River – Fall River

  • Quequechan River Rail Trail
  • Wordell Street, Fall River, MA
  • Trailhead:  41°41’47.97″N, 71° 8’45.86″W
  • Last Time Hiked: December 21, 2017
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.8 miles
  • Easy.

 

The Quequechan River runs from South Watuppa Pond to the Taunton River and once had a series of eight waterfalls. Quequechan is a Wampanoag word meaning “falling water” in which the city received its name. Most of the river over the years has been built over or channeled for the massive mills that sprouted up along the river. Today a the river is the centerpiece of a former railroad bed that has been converted to a walking path/bike path. Starting from a parking area at the end of Wordell Street follow the paved path along the soccer field at Britland Park. Here you will find a informational kiosk showing the trails. Staying to the right I followed the main stretch of the trail down to Quequechan Street before turning around and retracing my steps. The trail passes over a series of wooden bridges and the river serves as a foreground of the historic mills. Once back to the kiosk, I opted to follow the paved path along between the soccer field and the river to its (currently) dead end and back. The map indicates that this may become a loop in the future. Once back to the kiosk again, I retraced my steps back to the parking area.

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The Fall River Mills serve as the backdrop of this walking path.

Veterans Memorial Bridge – Fall River/Somerset

  • Veterans Memorial Bridge/Pvt. Michael E. Bouthot Bicycle Path
  • Grand Army Highway, Somerset, MA
  • Trailhead: 41°43’43.18″N, 71° 9’37.92″W
  • Last Time Hiked: August 8, 2016
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.9 miles
  • Fairly easy.

On the tenth anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks, the new bridge spanning the Taunton River between Fall River and Somerset was dedicated to area veterans. The bike path that is on the north side of the bridge was then dedicated to Pvt. Michael E. Bouthot, a young resident of Fall River, who died in 2006 in the war in Iraq. The bridge and bike path officially opened a month later. The bike path in its entirety is just under a mile long starting at the intersection of Grand Army Highway and Brayton Avenue in Somerset. It then heads downhill to Riverside Avenue where there is a memorial to Pvt. Bouthot. The path then crosses the Taunton River on the bascule drawbridge. From the bridge you can see a power plant just north of Breed Cove and several miles beyond it. To the south you can see the old Brightman Street Bridge, Braga Bridge, Battleship Cove, Brayton Point, the Borden Flats Lighthouse, and the Mount Hope Bridge. After crossing the bridge the path curves around and under the bridge before concluding at Wellington Street in Fall River.

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Veterans Memorial Bridge

Fall River Waterfront – Fall River

Between Bicentennial Park and Fall River Heritage State Park is a 1.3 mile walk that follows the shore of the Taunton River. This walk follows paved paths, concrete walks, and wooden boardwalks. The views include the Braga Bridge to the south and beyond in the distance you can see the Mount Hope Bridge. To the west are the massive cooling towers of the Brayton Point Power Plant. Just under the Braga Bridge you can catch a glimpse of the Borden Flats Lighthouse. The highlight of this walk however, is Battleship Cove, a maritime museum featuring the worlds largest collection of World War II era ships. Among the ships here at the U.S.S. Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. (850) which is a destroyer and the U.S.S. Massachusetts (59) which is a battleship that saw significant action during World War II. Also at Battleship Cove is a memorial to the September 11th attacks. At the northern end of this walk at Bicentennial Park is a monument commemorating the battle of Iwo Jima.

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The boardwalk looking towards Battleship Cove.

Freetown South – Freetown/Fall River

  • Freetown South – Freetown State Forest
  • Bell Rock Road, Freetown, MA
  • Trailhead: 41°45’33.32″N, 71° 4’17.59″W
  • Last Time Hiked: December 14, 2014
  • Approximate distance hiked: 3.8 miles
  • Fairly easy with some elevation.

 

EXERCISE EXTREME CAUTION NEAR THE EDGES OF THE CLIFFS.

 

I ventured into the Freetown State Forest for the first of three planned hikes. This morning I choose to do the southern end of the forest. I was joined by a small group of hikers. We started from a parking area along Bell Rock Road. There are two trail heads here. We took the one by the large sign at the south end of the lot. The trail here is short, narrow, and well rutted from ATV use. It leads to a dirt road named Haskell Path. At the end of the trail we came to a gate. We turned right onto Haskell Path and followed it slightly downhill to a four way intersection with gates, passing several side trails we ignored. At the four way intersection we turned left onto a trail named Ledge Road. The road continues downhill and is flanked by the forest. We soon approached a fork in the road. We stayed to the left and continued to the a small stone bridge that crosses Rattlesnake Brook. (The road to the right would be our return route). After crossing the brook, and crossing briefly into Fall River, the road begins climbing, passing several side paths, as well as the Pond Trail and the Mothers Brook Trail. The road, well worn from the weather in areas, passes through areas of beech and pine trees. At the top of the hill a large area of ledge appears on the right. Use caution in this area. We explored the area enjoying the overlook. The view to the east looks over the pond below and the forest as far as the eye can see. We then returned to the road continuing north and started gradually going downhill. We then took a right onto the next road followed by another almost immediate right. This road leads to the shore of the pond. From here you get a good perspective of how high the ledge is. Here there is an intersection where we would turn left. However, we explored the short road along the edge of the pond before continuing. There are a few spots to enjoy the view here and there is a waterfall as well. We then turned left at the intersection and continued the hike crossing Rattlesnake Brook once again. Shortly after the brook we encountered another fork. The trail to the left is the Wampanoag Path. We stayed to the right passing a rather large gravel pit on the left before reaching the first fork we encountered. Here we went left and retraced our steps back to the parking area.

Trail map can be found at: Freetown South.

The Ledge and Pond

The Ledge and Pond

Tattapanum Trail – Fall River

  • Tattapanum Trail
  • Wilson Road, Fall River, MA
  • Trailhead: 41°44’10.91″N, 71° 6’11.73″W
  • Last Time Hiked: August 28, 2014
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.0 mile
  • Easy with slight elevation.

 

This loop trail in the woods of Fall River abuts the North Watuppa Pond. The trail begins from a small area for parking along the edge of Wilson Road. After passing the gate, a fellow hiker and I followed the trail to the split. At the split there is a sign with a brief history of the property and its namesake. We followed the trail to the right meandering through a fern covered forest of pine, birch, maple, oak, and holly trees to name just a few. We also stumbled upon some survey monuments with the letters “RC” inscribed in them. The “RC” is an abbreviation for the Reservoir Commission. After passing the Cobble Crossing and some stone walls we came to the East Look. Unfortunately at this time of the year the leaves on the tree prohibit a good view of the pond below. We then continued along the loop slightly uphill into a thick of a pine grove. From here we made our descent down to the split then retracing our steps back to the car.

 

I did not find a trail map on-line.

Along The Tattapanum Trail

Along The Tattapanum Trail