Archive for the ‘ ~LINCOLN RI~ ’ Category

Blackstone Canal – Lincoln

  • Blackstone Canal
  • Interstate 295, Lincoln, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°56’22.58″N, 71°26’39.25″W
  • First Time Hiked: June 4, 2015
  • Last Time Hiked: April 8, 2017
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.8 miles
  • Easy with some slight elevation

Long before highways and even before the railroad came through these parts, the Blackstone Canal was the primary means of transporting goods from Providence to Worcester. The canal and its several locks ran along side the Blackstone River and was in use in the early 1800’s. Today most of it is long forgotten. It has been either covered over or nature has taken it back. But here in Lincoln a long stretch of it has survived the test of time and is well preserved for all of us to look back at yesteryear. It seems very fitting that this walk starts from the visitor center along Interstate 295 North. There is a 0.8 mile long stretch of bike path that winds gently down to the Blackstone River Bike Path. Following this stretch of bike path the roaring sound of the interstate soon vanishes and is replaced by the sound of the water falling over the Ashton Dam. I first came to a spur of the bike path that led to the right. I continued straight following it further downhill and the canal soon appeared on my left. I soon came to a path on the left with a wooden bridge. I continued straight again. I would return over that bridge toward the end of the walk. After walking under the large arched bridge that carries Route 116 over the Blackstone River I turned left and crossed a bridge toward the Kelly House Museum. This area features several granite bollards with inscriptions on them of structures that stood years ago including the Kelly Mill, the barn, and the 1825 Towpath Bridge. I then turned right, keeping the house was on my left and the canal on my right. After passing the barn site the “road” turns to the left. I continued straight (bearing slightly right) onto the towpath the follows the edge of the canal. The towpath ends at the Blackstone River Bike Path. Here I turned left following the bike path back to the large arch bridge. I then turned left and made a quick right passing through a parking lot under the bridge that leads to another trail. This trail first passes the Kelly Mill site and then the wooden bridge (on the left) before dead ending. At the end on the right is the Blackstone River as it cascades over the Ashton Dam, on the left is one of the old locks on the canal. From here I retraced my steps back to the wooden bridge. Take a moment to look at the canal from the wooden bridge. Here is the best vantage point to look at the stone work of the canal walls. After crossing the wooden bridge I then turned right following the bike path back to the parking lot at the visitors center.

I did not find a map on-line.

The Blackstone Canal

The Blackstone Canal

Blackstone River Central – Lincoln/Cumberland

  • Blackstone River Bikeway – Central
  • New River Road, Lincoln, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°58’5.51″N, 71°28’1.02″W
  • Last Time Hiked: May 20, 2015
  • Approximate distance hiked: 3.0 miles
  • Easy.

Starting where we left off a couple weeks ago (Blackstone River North), we continued our walk along the Blackstone River Bikeway. The first mile or so of this walk is along a stretch of the bike path that is flanked by the railroad on the right and the river on the left. Most of it is fenced, but there are occasional trailheads that appear along the left. The Albion Dam soon appears on the river to the left. The water cascades over the dam then ripples downstream under the School Street Bridge. This is a good spot to relax and take in the scene. At the halfway point of this walk we crossed a bridge that spans the river. We were now entering Cumberland and the bike path climbs a small hill. There is some impressive looking ledge at this location. Soon we came to a railroad crossing where the bike path switches sides. Do not walk down the tracks. These are active tracks and occasionally a freight train will come rumbling through. We then continued along the bike path crossing under Interstate 295. About 2/10 of a mile after the interstate a path appears on the right. It leads to the river. Another path follows the river downstream pass the Ashton Dam. This path loops back to the bike path. We then continued south along the bike path crossing under the arched bridge that carries Route 116 over the Blackstone River. We then came to the Ashton Mill complex where we concluded this leg of the Blackstone River walk.

Trail map can be found at: Blackstone River Central.

The Albion Dam Along The Blackstone River.

The Albion Dam Along The Blackstone River.

Blackstone River North – Woonsocket/North Smithfield/Lincoln

  • Blackstone River Bikeway – North
  • Davison Avenue, Woonsocket, RI
  • Trailhead: 42° 0’2.26″N, 71°29’54.91″W
  • Last Time Hiked: May 6, 2015
  • Approximate distance hiked: 3.1 miles
  • Easy.

I’ve decided to walk the Blackstone River Bikeway and take in the sights along the way. I’ve broken it up into three sections, all around 3 miles in length. The route I describe will be a one way route, therefore, if you are not doing a car spot you must double the distance listed. I also decided to start in Woonsocket and work my way south for this walk. Starting from the parking area on Davison Avenue, the bike path first follows an access road to the athletic complex. Soon we were passing a soccer field and then following the bike path that lies between the Blackstone River and the Providence & Worcester railroad tracks. Along the bike path there are mile markers. The distances listed are the miles to Providence. Interesting enough there are mile markers along the railroad as well. The “P” stands for Providence and the “W” stands for Worcester. We came across some ducks and swans in some of the inlets of the river. The trees were in spring bloom and the colors were reminiscence of autumn. Next we came to a granite marker with the names of the three towns that converge here. Soon we were passing under the highway bridge that carries Route 99 over the Blackstone. From under the bridge you can get a sense of how deep the valley is here by how high the bridge is. We then came to an area along the river that had a channel next to it. This is one of the sections of what is left of the Blackstone Canal. The canal was built in the 1820’s to connect Providence and Worcester. It would remain in operation until the late 1840’s. By then the railroad had become the primary means of transportation. Most of the canal today has been filled in or is covered in thick brush. The final highlight of this portion of the walk is the Manville Dam. It was built in 1868 and a few years later a mill was built at this site. The mill at the time was the largest textile mill in the United States. We then continued passing under Manville Hill Road and making our way to the parking lot off of New River Road. A couple weeks later we would continue our walk onto the next section of the bike path.

Trail map can be found at: Blackstone River North.

Manville Dam.

Manville Dam.

Valley Marsh – Lincoln/Central Falls

**August 2015 – Access to the parking area is currently restricted by locked gates**

This walk starts at the parking area for the Lincoln Almond Ball Field. It is a straight “in and out” walk along a half mile path. The path is just beyond the barricade gate. The walk starts at first going along the path. Soon water appears on each side. This is part of Valley Falls Pond. The path dead ends at a peninsula where there were several swans, blackbirds, and other varieties of birds. At this point you have actually crossed over into Central Falls. From here I turned around and retraced my steps.

I did not find a trail map on-line.

Valley Falls Pond

Valley Falls Pond

Gateway Park – Lincoln

Gateway Park in Lincoln is a great little spot to take a walk with young children. It is also short, flat, and level which is good for someone who is nursing a nuisance of an injury. On this walk I was led by a “little hiker”, full of 2 year old energy, as she meandered around the park. The weather was perfect. Blue skies with white puffy clouds. The grass is getting green and the shrubs and trees are budding. This property also abuts the magnificent Arnold House, a historical house (by the parking area). There is also a trail that leads uphill from the park that goes to Chase Farm down the street. It is part of the Lincoln Greenway (hike for another day).

I did not find a trail map on-line.

Bench and Path At Gateway Park

Bench and Path At Gateway Park

Notte Park/Camp Meehan – North Providence/Lincoln

  • Governor John Notte Memorial Park/Camp Meehan
  • Douglas Pike, North Providence, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°52’15.85″N, 71°27’37.01″W
  • First Time Hiked: March 21, 2015
  • Last Time Hiked: November 22, 2015
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.5 miles
  • Fairly easy with some elevation.

 

The Boy Scouts of Troop 5-North Providence in September of 2015 completed the new trail system here at Governor Notte Park. There are now over two miles of trails on the property that features ball fields and tennis courts. This hike, about a mile and a half, features most of the parks highlights. Starting from the parking area by the Recreation Offices for the Town of North Providence (Building 2), a set of stairs leads away from the parking lot and uphill into the woods. There is almost immediately a trail junction. I continued straight following the blue square blazes of the West River Trail. This trail climbs uphill for a bit passing a narrow trail to the left. Near the top of the hill there is a narrower trail to the right. This is the continuation of the West River Trail. It hugs the North Providence/Lincoln town line. Turn here, passing a trail on the left, and follow the West River Trail as it crests over a hill, passing stone walls, and then descends to a crossing at the river. After crossing the boardwalk bridge the trail does a small loop and returns to the boardwalk bridge. From here retrace your steps back over the hill and turn right at the blue triangle blazed trail with signage to Camp Meehan. Following this trail will lead you downhill to a parking area near the pavilion. There is a paved road to the right that leads to Angell Road. For this hike however, I stayed slightly to the left passing the pavilion and started heading down the path that leads from the pavilion to the beach that overlooks the Wenscott Reservoir. Passing the beach towards the bridge the parks paths split. Stay to the left and follow the path that leads downhill and around the ball field. Stop to take a look at the bridge that crosses a dam and waterfall. Continuing, there are white square blazes along this path that will lead you back to the parking area where the hike began. No dogs are allowed on this property.

 

I did not find a trail map on-line.

Bridge Crossing The Dam And Waterfall

Bridge Crossing The Dam And Waterfall

Lincoln Central – Lincoln

  • Lincoln Central Environmental Trail
  • Great Road, Lincoln, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°55’44.02″N, 71°26’43.47″W
  • Last Time Hiked: December 28, 2014
  • Approximate distance hiked: 0.5 miles
  • Easy.

Behind the Lincoln Central Elementary School in Lincoln is a small network of trails. This morning I explored this property. The main loop trail, marked with numbered stones is well worn. The other trails seem to be a little overgrown and I choose not to explore them. The property features some stone walls and a small grove of pines as well as an intermittent brook.

I did not find a trail on-line.

Trail At Lincoln Central

Trail At Lincoln Central

Handy Pond – Lincoln

  • Handy Pond Preserve
  • Old River Road, Lincoln, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°57’32.74″N, 71°28’17.71″W
  • Last Time Hiked: November 15, 2014
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.7 miles
  • Easy with slight elevation.

 

This town owned property between Albion and Manville is another of Rhode Islands better kept secrets. I did not find much online about the property at all and used social networking to do most of the research on it. Recently an Eagle Scout of Troop 711 Albion cleared trails here and mapped them as part of his project (see below).  We started north of the main entrance by the pond opposite Mussey Brook Road. There is a pull off large enough for two to three cars here. We started following a short segment of the blue blazed trail to the dam. At the dam we turned left then right along the shore of Rochambeau Pond on the blue blazed trail. The trail wanders up and down small hills between the pond and Old River Road. When we reached the end of the trail we turned right onto an old cart path with green blazes. (The main entrance is uphill and left at this point). We followed the cart path over an old dam and stream, staying left at the next intersection. We then found an old, presumably, family cemetery on the right. The headstones were small with no indication of names or dates. To the left were a pair of stone walls. It appears that there may have been an old road there at one time. After passing the power lines we continued following the green blazed trail as it wound through the leaf covered woods with an occasional large outcrop. At the next intersection we continued to follow the green blazes. Soon we were crossing under the power lines again following green blazes for a bit until we reached a multi trail intersection. Here the was a sign with an arrow and the word pond. We followed this trail to its end. Along this stretch on the right there is another outcrop. Some of us climbed it. Being mid November and the leaves being all but gone there was a decent view through the bare trees. Below was the pond and in the distance we observed the towers near Diamond Hill. At the end of the trail it approaches neighboring residential properties. Please respect the private property and continue to the road by passing the locked gate. When we reached the road we turned right and followed it to the cars. There are several more trails on this property and I will likely be back in the future to further explore it.

 

Rochambeau Pond

Rochambeau Pond

Handy Pond Map (provided by Brian Hasewaga of Troop 711-Albion)

Handy Pond Map (provided by Brian Hasewaga of Troop 711-Albion)

Chase Farm – Lincoln

  • Chase Farm Conservation Area
  • Great Road, Lincoln, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°54’22.43″N, 71°25’43.05″W
  • First Time Hiked: October 18, 2014
  • Last Time Hiked: August 27, 2015
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.6 miles
  • Easy with slight elevation.

Nestled within the Great Road Historic District, Chase Farm offers a picturesque stroll in the rolling hills of Lincoln. The farm was established in 1867 and a couple decades later became a dairy farm serving customers not only in Lincoln, but Pawtucket and Central Falls as well. The farm ceased operations in the 1960’s and the land and the Chase Farm House would eventually become the property of the town. I started this walk from the parking area following a stone dust road uphill to its end near a small pond. The road passes large open fields, a rather large tree, and a garden along the way. At the end of the road I then turned left and followed a path through a “tunnel of trees”. I then turned right keeping the tree line to my left and another large field to my right. I followed this path behind the small pond to its end. I then turned left followed by a right, again keeping the tree line to my left. This path looped back to the end of the entrance road by the pond, all the time climbing slightly uphill. At the end of this path you have a sweeping view of the fields and Great Road below. You can also see the silos of the farm and the Hearthside House on the adjacent property. From this point I retraced my steps back to the parking area. I came across several folks walking their dogs here. They were very friendly as they greeted me. Keep in mind though that the rules require you to leash your dogs. I also came across some photographers and a couple picnicking. The local Boy Scout pack was here at the time of my visit launching rockets and hiking. This property is also used for events year round.

I did not find a trail map on-line.

A Path At Chase Farm

A Path At Chase Farm

Les Pawson Loop – Lincoln

  • Les Pawson Loop – Lincoln Woods State Park
  • Twin River Road, Lincoln, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°53’13.93″N,  71°26’14.29″W
  • Last Time Hiked: December 25, 2013
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.8 miles
  • Easy with slight elevation.
 
 

I decided this very cold Christmas morning to take a walk between gift opening and dinner. Still following doctors orders (for the most part) of no hiking I choose Lincoln Woods because of the loop road that goes around Onley Pond. Starting at a parking area near the beach I walked the loop road counter clockwise around the pond. Along the way I came across a small tree someone had decorated for Christmas. After the dam I came to an intersection. I followed the road to the left until I came to a sign for the Sunset Hiking Trails. I did venture off briefly onto a small set of trails that ran along the edge of the pond that would come back out the road again. I then followed the road to the left and back to the car. I will probably return here in the future to explore the off road trails further.

Trail map can be found at: Lincoln Woods

Unsafe For Skating

Unsafe For Skating