Archive for the ‘ ~JOHNSTON RI~ ’ Category

Cricket Field – Johnston

This small park offers a short, but easy walk along the Woonasquatucket River between Johnston and North Providence in an neighborhood known as Greystone. Previously the field was used as a ball field. In the early 20th century this property was used to play cricket (hence its namesake) and soccer by teams from the nearby Greystone Mill. Today the park is newly renovated with brick walking paths, a gazebo, and a canoe launch among its perennial flowers and fresh landscaping.

twri-cricket2

Woonasquatucket River In Greystone

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Dame Farm – Johnston

  • Dame Farm – Snake Den State Park
  • Brown Avenue, Johnston, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°50’39.92″N, 71°32’31.60″W
  • Last Time Hiked: October 3, 2015
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.3 miles
  • Fairly easy.

The history of this property dates back to the before the American Revolution when the Onley family ran the farm here. In the 1780’s the farm was sold to the Steere family, then in the 1890’s the farm was sold to the Dame Family. This portion of their farm was acquired by the State of Rhode Island in 1969 and soon after was placed of the National Register of Historical Places. The remainder of Dame Farm is across the street and still very active, especially during apple picking season. Today, this part of Dame Farm, now known as Snake Den Farm, is managed by the Northern Rhode Island Conservation District. The farm is made up of a farm house, a sprawling barn, two silos, and a couple other smaller structures. There is evidence that the farmhouse that is here may date back to 1767. The farm is active still with fields being leased to local farmers. One farmer has re-located his business to here from Virginia to grow tulips. They are expecting a field full of tulips next spring as they plan on planting nearly 300,000 bulbs this fall. Today’s walk was led by a member of the farms staff. The event was sponsored by the Rhode Island Land Trust as well as the Northwest Rhode Island Supporters of Open Space who have volunteered several hours clearing the current trail system. Today was also the grand opening of the new trail system here at Snake Den. At the entrance to the parking area is an old sign stating “State Property Keep Out”, ignore this sign, it will be removed soon now that the property is open to the public. At the parking lot is a kiosk with a copy of the trail map. Beyond the parking area is the large grey barn and just beyond it is a farm road. We followed this road, first taking a slight detour to the left to view an old cemetery. Continuing to follow the road we were soon bearing to the left following the edge of a field by the pond before turning right onto a wooded trail which is part of the Pond Loop Trail. This trail crossed a stream and climbed slightly uphill a bit before coming to another field. Turning right here we followed the path along the tree line, first passing an area of milkweed and then the pond once again. Next we turned left onto a narrow path, known as the Woods Trail, that ironically led into the woods. You will notice signs along the way with numbers on them. These are the trail markers that will lead you back to the farm. The rest of Snake Den is notoriously known for its miles of wandering mazes of trails. Be sure to follow the signs with the numbers and not any other faded, older blazes. The Woods Trail leads up and over a hill passing several rock outcrops, boulders, and a stone wall before coming to its end back at the farms barnyard. There is a museum here as well. If it is open it is worth checking out. Hunting is not allowed at the farm, however it is allowed in the remainder of Snake Den. Wearing orange during hunting season is recommended.

The Barn and Silos at the Farm.

The Barn and Silos at the Farm.

Johnston Town Forest – Johnston

  • Johnston Town Forest – Pascone Acquisition
  • Memorial Avenue, Johnston, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°49’40.69″N, 71°30’28.84″W
  • Last Time Hiked: May 18, 2014
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.3 miles
  • Easy with slight elevation.

 

I did not find much information on-line (almost nothing at all except minutes from town meetings) for the Johnston Town Forest. It is wedged between Memorial Avenue and Interstate 295 and features two ponds as well as the Pocasset River. The trails have been maintained and blazed by local boy scouts. I decided to follow the main orange blazed trail for a bit following the northeast edge of the first pond. When I came to a path blazed yellow on the right I opted to follow it. This path went around the second pond meandering up and down small hills and going by some areas of ledge. There were other trails that went off to the right along this stretch but I opted to keep the pond to my left making the full loop and returning to the orange trail. From here I retraced my steps back to the trailhead.

 

I did not find a trail map on-line for this site.

A Trail In The Johnston Town Forest

A Trail In The Johnston Town Forest

Johnston Memorial Park – Johnston

There are three short blazed walks here at Johnston War Memorial Park varying from a third of a mile to a full mile. I opted to follow the park walk (marked by yellow footsteps on the asphalt walk). Starting at a parking area just off Memorial Avenue I followed the path counter clockwise around Pocasset Pond. The pond itself is a haven for ducks and geese. I saw several lily pads here as well. After the small bridge over the waterfall the yellow footsteps move away the pond and into the area of the park with several monuments. There is a M60 A3 Main Battle Tank as well as a 105 MM Howitzer located here. The walk then continues by a baseball field and a pavilion before returning to the pond. At the pond I came across a few Canadian Geese and several gosling. They were for the most part very unbothered by people. I finished the walk by returning to the parking area.

I did not find a trail map on-line for this site.

Pocasset Pond

Pocasset Pond

Snake Den North – Johnston

  • Snake Den North – Snake Den State Park
  • Brown Avenue, Johnston, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°51’20.18″N, 71°32’0.02″W
  • Previous Hikes: August 6, 2013
  • Last Time Hiked: August 17, 2014 
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.5 miles
  • Moderate with some significant elevation
 

This hike was my second visit into the Snake Den State Park in the course of a week. Starting from a parking area on Brown Avenue I followed an old dirt road into the park quickly descending into a ravine like area. The trail narrowed slightly as the tall cliffs rose on each side. As I got to the bottom I came across some rock climbers scaling the face of one of the tall cliffs. I then continued on the trail until I came to a small open area of grass. A trail emerged on the left. I choose to take this trail. (The trail ahead would eventually head towards the southern end of the park.) I followed the trail through a rocky area that crosses a stream before turning right onto the next trail. This trail would then meander along a cliff for a bit. It would occasionally split before rejoining itself. At the top of the hill there is an overlook with a pretty decent view of western Johnston and Scituate. From this point I started back to the car occasionally wandering and exploring other paths. The trails are not blazed in this section of the path, so be careful to remember which paths to retrace. I did come across a lone deer on this hike who seemed keenly interested of my presence. This route was 2.5 miles in length.

Trail map can be found at: Snake Den North

View From The Snake Den Overlook

View From The Snake Den Overlook

Rock Formations

Rock Formations

Snake Den South – Johnston

  • Snake Den South – Snake Den State Park
  • Hartford Avenue, Johnston, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°49’48.83″N, 71°32’14.06″W
  • Last Time Hiked: July 30, 2013
  • Approximate distance hiked: 3.9 miles
  • Easy with slight elevation and narrow paths.

Snake Den in Johnston is a large and undeveloped State Park with many miles of trails to wander. I’ve decided that I would split it into more than one hike. I decided to hike the south end of the park first. Although maps are available, I would suggest using some sort of GPS unit if you are not overly comfortable with direction. Starting from a very well marked trailhead behind Johnston fire station #4 on Hartford Avenue I followed an orange blazed trail briefly through an area of woods before entering a meadow with very tall grass. Following the grass path across the meadow onto a wooded dirt road I continued following the orange blazes. As the meadow ended to the right of the wooded dirt road, a path to the right appears.  Orange blazes continue on the dirt road forward to a loop. I Followed the very narrow path to the right across the the northern end of the meadow into the woods once again to another orange blazed path. I followed this path to the next intersection. At this intersection I went right (somewhat straight) following a path that started me in a southeasterly direction into a maze of paths. After wandering around for a bit I retraced my steps back to the intersection. I then found a very narrow but well blazed path to the right almost immediately after the path I came in on. I choose to follow this path for a bit crossing over some small and muddy brooks and stone walls before coming to the Pocassett River. At the river, (at the time of this hike) there is a very large tree down at the trail. It is passable, however I decided that this was about the halfway point of the park and decided to save the rest for a future hike. I then, for the most part, retraced my steps to the car, taking a short detour through another meadow path. Along this path I came across many insects including several dozen praying mantis. I managed to snap a picture of the meadow and some wildflowers (probably some sort of weed) just before a maintenance worker came through on a tractor to cut the tall grass.  The States Division of Parks and Recreation headquarters is also on the property. I had stopped here to ask about trail maps. The staff was very helpful.

Trail map can be found at: Snake Den South

Summer Meadow

Summer Meadow