Archive for the ‘ ~JAMESTOWN RI~ ’ Category

Mackerel-Sheffield Coves – Jamestown

  • Mackerel-Sheffield Coves
  • Beavertail Road, Jamestown, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°29’20.82″N, 71°23’2.43″W
  • Last Time Hiked: September 5, 2021
  • Approximate distance hiked: 0.5 miles
  • Easy beach walk, best at low tide.

The road to Beavertail Lighthouse passes through a small strip of land flanked by the Mackerel and Sheffield Coves. A short beach walk of a half mile can be achieved here by visiting both sides of the road. Mackerel Cove to the south offers views toward the ocean while Sheffield Cove to the north offers a view of Fort Getty and the Jamestown Bridge.

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Mackerel Cove

Watson Farm – Jamestown

  • Watson Farm
  • North Road, Jamestown, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°31’11.33″N, 71°22’47.07″W
  • Last Time Hiked: September 5, 2020
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.0 miles
  • Fairly easy with some elevation.

 

A Historic New England property, Watson Farm is a active working farm on the western slope of Conanicut Island with sweeping views of the West Passage of Narragansett Bay. Because it is a working farm it is only open to the public on certain days. There is also an entrance fee payable at the barn where the self guided walking tour begins. A trail map in a booklet will be provided to you. Also, it is advisable to check the tides before embarking to the shore. The barn itself offers quite a bit of New England history, different tools, saddles, and other equipment is visible. The animals were not in the barn at the time of this visit (other than a lumbering gray cat). Farm animals are likely to be in different areas of the farm at different times. To begin the walk, from the barn follow the dirt road between the barn and historic 1796 farmhouse uphill and then stay to the right. You will pass another farm structure to the right before cresting the hill at a farm gate. Take a peek behind you at the top of the hill. You will catch a glimpse of the towers of the Newport Bridge. Continuing ahead the road turns slightly to the left and the windmill becomes visible. The windmill here at Watson Farm is used to supply water throughout the farm by pumping it from below. Carrying on, the road turns slightly downhill giving you the first glimpses of the West Passage. There are sporadic single standing trees throughout the fields. These trees serve as shade for the farm animals. Soon the road splits. There is a sign here indicating to turn left for the short loop. For this hike continue ahead and downhill to the next split where there is another sign indicating the “Path to the Bay”. Turn left here, you will see a large outcrop of pudding-stone to your right before coming to a four way intersection by a stone wall. Turn right here, keeping the wall to your left for a bit. The pathway continues downhill. You will now have views of the Jamestown Bridge and Plum Island Lighthouse to your right across the fields. At the end of the path there is a gate. If it is closed, be sure to close it behind you after passing through it. The path now narrows as it turns to the left for a few feet, then right and downhill through some trees before reaching the shore. It is best to check the tides before reaching this point. High tide will leave only a narrow strand of beach. It is best to follow the shoreline at low tide as the beach is wider and offers a variety of stones and shells to view. When you reach the shore turn to the left and follow the shore away from the bridge behind you. The land ahead of you is Dutch Island. You will notice a portion of wall that was once of a long abandoned building. Dutch Island served the military for several years before being abandoned entirely. The island is now a State Management Area only accessible by boat. To the left of Dutch Island is Fort Getty, now a summer campground. Following the shore it soon bends to the left. Start looking for the “Buoy Post” where you want to turn left to get back onto the farm trails. Be sure to close the gate once again and continue ahead. From here you will continue straight gently uphill passing first a trail to the left before winding through an old orchard. Next you will pass through a gate, then a stone wall while traversing through large open fields. After the stone wall, the trail turns to the left and climbs gently uphill again before coming to the a trail intersection. Here continue straight ahead passing another stone wall. You will pass a pollinator garden on the right before coming to an old wagon parked behind the old farmhouse. The road then turns slightly to the right back to the barn. For more information click here.

A Lone Tree In A Field

Hull Cove – Jamestown

 

Hull Cove is a spectacular spot at the end of a short trail in southern Jamestown. The town owned land offers a short walk of a little over a quarter mile out and back with some wandering along the beach. When the surf is up, you will likely find surfers here.

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Rough Sea at Hull Cove (Passing of Hurricane Dorian – 2019)

Head’s Beach – Jamestown

  • Head’s Beach
  • Seaside Drive, Jamestown, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°32’16.05″N, 71°23’8.09″W
  • Last Time Hiked: September 7, 2019
  • Approximate distance hiked: 0.3 miles
  • Easy beach walk.

 

Head’s Beach is a small town owned beach on the west side of Jamestown with sweeping views that include the Jamestown Bridge, Plum Island Light, and Quonset Point. This walk is very short, just over a quarter mile, but the beach itself is serene. Parking is limited to residents from May 15th to October 15th.

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The Jamestown Bridge From Head’s Beach

Taylor Point – Jamestown

  • Taylor Point
  • Freebody Drive, Jamestown, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°30’34.63″N, 71°21’35.30″W
  • Last Time Hiked: June 23, 2019
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.2 miles
  • Easy, be careful near the edges.

 

Taylor Point is a work in progress and offers some great views of Narragansett Bay. The Taylor Point Restoration Association has been improving shoreline access and trails on the property. Some of the trails are narrow and others are wide and well mowed. Others have not been developed yet. There is two parking areas and public restroom. The rocks and edges can be clustered with fishermen. Do exercise caution along the edges. A hike just over a mile was done by doing several “anticipated” (see trail map) “in and out” trails and the roads that connect them.

 

Map can be found at: Taylor Point.

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The Iconic Newport Bridge From Taylor Point.

Conanicut Battery – Jamestown

  • Conanicut Battery National Historic Park
  • Battery Lane, Jamestown, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°28’53.46″N, 71°23’33.64″W
  • Last Time Hiked: September 13, 2016
  • Approximate distance hiked: 0.7 miles
  • Fairly easy with some slight elevation.

 

Many people pass this hidden gem of a property on their way to Beavertail State Park without even knowing it is there. It is a historically significant site that takes one through decades of military history. Like nearby Beavertail, Fort Wetherill, and Fort Adams, this property has remains of bunkers as well as it highlight, the battery. There is also a short wooded trail that circles around the property. On the north side of the parking lot (opposite side of the main entrance) is a trail entrance to the North Loop. At the first intersection stay to the right. The trail winds through an area of heavy brush, a haven for birds. At the next intersection stay to the right. This trail will lead you to a large lawn. In this area is the battery that was built during the American Revolution as a defensive fort. Among the mounds cannons would fire to nearby enemy ships. There is also a trail that leads to a significantly large boulder before turning north and uphill to a series of World War era concrete bunkers. These structures are actually spotting stations built upon Prospect Hill to warn the nearby armed forts of incoming enemy vessels. There are six bunkers in total. Evidence of Native American activity has also been found on this property. Though small, this property offers quite a bit and makes a nice supplement to a walk at Beavertail State Park.

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Mounds of the Battery

Conanicut Island Sanctuary – Jamestown

 

This lesser known property consists of a short loop trail and connector that features a few boardwalks. The trail can be a little muddy in spots and is a little root bound, so do watch your footing. There are three observation areas that overlook Marsh Meadows, a large salt cove. The first is an area with a sitting bench, the other two are raised observation decks. Many birds here have been seen including egrets, herons, sandpipers, ospreys, and ibis. Needless to say this spot for birdwatchers and photographers. Across the salt marsh is a farm and it is not uncommon to hear the mooing of cows. The property also features stone walls and a grove of white birch. Parking is not easy at all as the trailhead is actually at a highway off-ramp. The Jamestown Police Station is a few hundred feet south of the property. I had parked there. I did go in and ask permission to do so and suggest that you do to. The little bit of the walk from there to the trail head is well worth it though. This is a great property!

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Trail Marker And Stone Wall

Godena Farm – Jamestown

 

This Conanicut Island Land Trust property in the north central part of Jamestown is a large open field with old farm equipment and stone structures. The once active produce farm is now being used for plantings of native trees and shrubs, many with berries to attract birds. Several birdhouses are here as well and there is an effort to build nesting boxes for the eastern bluebirds who have made Godena their home. The walk here is along grass mowed paths throughout the property and there is signage explaining the history and plans of this property. Also, snowshoeing has been encouraged here the last couple of winters.

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Godena Farm

Parker Farm – Jamestown

 

Parker Farm is a Conanicut Land Trust property at the northern end of Jamestown. It is a quaint spot that has a mowed trail through some woods and fields. The parking area is just north of a stone drive that enters the property. The stone drive serves also as the driveway for the abutting property. I was joined by a friend for this hike and we started by making our way to the gate just after the driveway opening on the left. After passing the gate we followed the Mower Trail as it wound through an area of trees. I didn’t notice much of side trails even though they were shown on the map. When we came to the intersection we went left and completed the loop the followed the perimeter of the field. Returning to the intersection we turned left again following the trail to its dead end. From here we retraced our steps back to the car. We came across several birds and squirrels here as well as a few deer.

Trail map can be found at: Parker Farm.

Trail Along A Field

Trail Along A Field

Fort Wetherill – Jamestown

  • Fort Wetherill State Park
  • Fort Wetherill Road, Jamestown, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°28’49.65″N,  71°21’56.72″W
  • Last Time Hiked: April 24, 2014
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.1 miles
  • Moderate due to rocky footing in areas, some elevation.
 
EXERCISE CAUTION NEAR CLIFFS AND AROUND FORT.

I was joined by a group of explorers today for this hike. We had stopped initially to take in the views from the cliffs here. I stop here often when in the area and today was no exception. We first embarked towards the cliffs from the second parking area. From the cliffs you get a sweeping view of where the bay meets the ocean. Across the way you can see the Castle Hill Light and in the distance you can see the Beavertail Light. After showing my young guests the beauty of this location they discovered a narrow path. And off hiking we went. Wetherill has a vast network of narrow paths that meander throughout the park. In fact one could easily make a 2 mile hike here, if not more. Being lead by the kids there was no rhyme or reason to our route. I turned on the GPS out of curiosity to record the distance and off we went. Within a few minutes we came across the old fort. After giving a quick history lesson, the kids imaginations were running away of what this must have been like back in the day. We spent quite of bit time exploring the area being sure to stay in the safest areas. Many do venture into the fort. The rooms are damp, cool, and covered in graffiti. (Some of the graffiti is unsavory for children, however it seemed my guests were distracted enough by their imaginations and excitement). After we reached the far end of the fort we made our way back to the car.

I did not find a trail map online.

The View From The Cliffs

The View From The Cliffs