Archive for the ‘ ~HOPKINTON RI~ ’ Category

Skunk Hill – Hopkinton

  • Skunk Hill – Arcadia Wildlife Management Area
  • Skunk Hill Road, Hopkinton, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°32’36.79″N, 71°43’35.60″W
  • Last Time Hiked: June 13, 2016
  • Approximate distance hiked: 3.1 miles
  • Moderate.

 

This hike, on lesser known trails in the Arcadia Management Area, offered a wide array of animals and insects to view. Chipmunks, woodland birds, hawks, the aptly named Green June beetle, and an abundance of gypsy moth caterpillars were all observed on this hike. Thankfully, no skunk! I’ve also listed this hike as moderate for a couple of reasons. Though most of it is fairly easy, the trails here are not blazed, and in one section almost non-existent. There is also one stretch, being a hill, that climbs upward for a bit. I strongly advise having a trail map and/or GPS before doing this hike. Starting at a small parking area by a red gate on Skunk Hill Road I headed east descending slowly down Skunk Hill. The trail, named Richardson Trail, is a wide cart path. At about two-tenths of a mile there is a four way trail intersection. Turn right here. For the next half mile the trail follows the edge of the hill weaving through areas of mountain laurel. At the time of this hike the gypsy moth caterpillars were feasting on the woodland trees. The trail splits, stay to the left and again you will be descending downhill. There area tends to get wet and the trail can be muddy. About three tenths of a mile from the last intersection you will want to look for a narrow trail on the left. There is a small clearing in the area of the turn, but if you are not looking for it you will miss it. After turning left, follow the narrow trail out to Blitzkrieg Trail and turn left again. If you went the right way you should be on a dirt road with a gate. A driveway to the right will have a “Private” and “Deaf Cat” sign. For the next six tenths of a mile you will follow the Blitzkrieg Trail passing the unmarked but gated Richardson Trail on the left. After you come around the bend you will see a red gate ahead of you in the distance. Start looking for a trail on the left with a hill at its beginning. If you came to the stream you went too far. After turning onto the trail you will be following a small stream for a bit. It is on the right but the ferns hide it very well. Soon the trail starts it climb back up hill. After climbing the hill and about a half mile from the beginning of this trail there is a trail on the left. If your are adventurous then turn left here. It is a very narrow trail that is very overgrown and leads you back to the four way trail intersection at the Richardson Trail where you came in on. If you take this trail turn right at the Richardson Trail and follow back to the parking area. For the less adventurous, continue straight, the trail will lead you back to Skunk Hill Road where you can turn left and follow the road back to the parking area.

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Trail on Skunk Hill

Kenyon Crossroads – Hopkinton

  • Kenyon Crossroads
  • Collins Road, Hopkinton, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°26’34.81″N, 71°45’40.66″W
  • Last Time Hiked: May 5, 2016
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.5 miles
  • Fairly easy with slight elevation.

 

This Hopkinton Land Trust property offers a variety of trails. Starting from the parking area follow the white blazes on a trail that meanders through pines and boulders. At the end of the trail there is an old road. Turn left here, it will lead you to an open area known as Four Corners. There is a large tree and a cellar hole here. Turn right (to the north) and follow the Tomaquag Trail along a driftway. After passing the gate you will see a “Hopkinton Land Trust” sign facing the other direction of a tree. Look for the yellow blazed Beaver Flood Trail to the right. This trail will lead you through some low lying areas before climbing uphill and coming to the old road. Turn right and look for the white blazed trail now on the left. Turn here and retrace your steps back to the car.

Trail maps can be found at: Kenyon Crossroads

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Along The Beaver Flood 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.

 

Blue Pond – Hopkinton

  • Blue Pond – Rockville Management Area
  • Canonchet Road, Hopkinton, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°30’19.31″N, 71°45’33.09″W
  • Last Time Hiked: March 6, 2016
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.2 miles
  • Fairly easy.

 

This hike is one of those hikes that gives you a glimpse of what once was. I also decided to shorten this hike and to keep it a simple out and back hike rather than the loop that it was once described as in an old Ken Weber book. Reason being is that the route described that followed the shore of the pond has started to overgrow substantially. In March of 2010, a dam here a Blue Pond failed and the level of the pond dropped quite significantly. Most of the land that was once under water has now produce vegetation and the former shoreline is now starting to fade. Starting this hike from a small parking area along Canonchet Road, I made my way down the old dirt road flanked in an almost tunnel of laurel. Soon on the right there is a small clearing. There once was a cabin here. There is no evidence of it any longer, however, if you look to the left here (you may have to crotch down to look under the shrubbery) you will notice an old fireplace. The next section of the hike winds through an area of boulders and to the right is a rather impressive ravine. At the end of the trail you will find the remains of another cabin. This one still offers its foundation for viewing. Just beyond the foundation there is a narrow trail the leads down to the former shoreline for a view of what is left of Blue Pond. This area was once very popular for fishing. If you follow the tree line to the left and there is enough recent rainfall you will find a small waterfall a couple hundred feet away. From here I retraced my steps back to the parking area.

 

Trail map can be found at: Blue Pond.

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Blue Pond

Hidden Lake – Hopkinton/Voluntown

  • Hidden Lake
  • Camp Yawgoog Road, Hopkinton, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°31’32.87″N, 71°47’21.05″W
  • Last Time Hiked: October 4, 2014
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.2 miles
  • Fairly easy with some moderate terrain, rocky in areas with some climbing.

 

The beautiful property, just north of Camp Yawgoog, is nearly pristine. The property is privately owned by the Rhode Island Boy Scouts, but the trails are open to the public. There is signage at the parking area that depicts this. For this hike, a loop, I parked at a small parking area with a sign for Hidden Lake.  I decided to eliminate the small road section of the hike first which resulted in me doing this loop in a clockwise direction. This would also save the lake views for the end of the hike. From the parking area I followed Camp Yawgoog Road west about 1/5 of a mile following the yellow blazes along the road. Soon, I found the yellow and blue blazes indicating the turn to the right. This trail is in fact the southern end of the Tippecansett Trail, as well as a portion of the Narragansett Trail. The trail is narrow but very well maintained. It meanders through boardwalks, outcrops, and through root bound areas as it straddles the Connecticut/Rhode Island border, continuously crossing back and forth into each state. I soon approached an area of large outcrops, boulders, and ledges. The trail seems to go downhill and around the towering ledge. The blazes, however, have you going over the outcrop. Following the blazes, I made my way to the top of the outcrop. This area is known as Dinosaur Caves. I then continued along the trail, eventually coming to a split. The trail to the left is the blue blazed Narragansett Trail, heading west into Connecticut towards Green Fall Pond. The trail to the right is yellow and blue blazed. There is a sign here indicating that it is the Tippecansett Trail. I turned right here and climbed down the very rocky trail. The trail soon comes to another large outcrop and the trail blazes split here. The yellow blazes of the Tippecansett Trail head to the left and the blue blazes continue straight. Along with the trail I had been following, the remainder of the blue blazed trail ahead of me is part of the Yawgoog Trail. After continuing on the blue blazed trail for a bit, I came to an intersection. The blue blazed trail turns right here. The trail to the left is the unmarked “Hill 431 Trail”. I turned right. This section of the hike is quite level and easy as it gently traverses downhill over a long stretch. This trail ends at the next intersection, where I turned right onto the white blazed trail that would lead me to Hidden Lake. This area becomes hilly again and the trail eventually splits at another outcrop. The option is yours on which way to go. The two trails join again on the other side of the lake. I choose to turn left going down another steep hill. The trail winds up and downs small hills before coming to a picnic area. Here there is a small rock peninsula that juts out into the lake. After spending a moment taking a few photographs and observing the ducks I continued along the white trail. The trail crosses over a spillway before joining the “other white trail”. Turning left here, I soon found myself back at the car.

Trail map can be found at: Hidden Lake.

Hidden Lake in Hopkinton

Hidden Lake in Hopkinton

This trail was featured in Rhode Island Monthly Magazine – October 2014

This trail was featured in RI Local Magazine – May 2015

Canonchet Trail – Hopkinton

 

This hike was a Rhode Island Land Trust Days event hosted by the Friends of The Hopkinton Land Trust. They had a good turnout for the hike as we gathered at the parking area along Route 3 entrance. This would be a one-way hike, so after some carpooling we started the hike from the Stubtown Road trailhead. From here we would follow the yellow blazed Canonchet Trail through two Nature Conservancy properties and a Hopkinton Land Trust property back to the parking area on Main Street. We were led by Harvey Buford who has a wealth of knowledge about the history of the properties. From Stubtown Road we meandered through the Canonchet Brook Preserve owned by the Nature Conservancy. This section offered several several stone walls and cairns most likely of Native American origin. The trail had several rocks and stones as well and was root bound in areas. There are also some sections of boardwalks here. We then crossed the Canonchet Brook as well as two side trails before crossing into the Hopkinton Land Trust-Brown Homestead property. As we continued along the yellow blazed Canonchet Trail we came across more cairns, one in particular on the right side looked like a turtle. The turtle plays an important role in Native American folklore. We then came to a road crossing at the end of the Land Trust property. To the left the a trail follows Lawton Foster Road to the Hoxsie Trail. We, however, continued along the yellow blazed trail into the Hoxsie Preserve owned by the Nature Conservancy. Next we came to a series of colonial era cellar holes and a foundation of a barn. On the backside of the barns foundation is a rather impressive root cellar. After exploring a bit we continued on the trail, passing several stone walls and a rather large boulder before we reached the stone slab bridge. At this location there was once a sawmill. The foundation is still here. The remainder of the trail then traversed through the woods down to the parking area where we first gathered. If carpooling is not an option, from this parking area, one could easily do a 2 mile hike on the Hoxsie property by following the Hoxsie Trail to Lawton Foster Road and returning on the Canonchet Trail. Most of the Canonchet Trail was once part of the Narragansett Trail when it ran from Lantern Hill in Connecticut to Wordens Pond in South Kingstown.

Trail maps can be found at: Canonchet Brook Preserve/Brown Homestead & Hoxsie Preserve.

Along The Canonchet Trail

Along The Canonchet Trail