Archive for the ‘ ~LITTLE COMPTON RI~ ’ Category

Eight Rod Farm – Tiverton/Little Compton

  • Eight Rod Farm Management Area
  • Eight Rod Way, Tiverton, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°33’12.29″N, 71°10’28.39″W
  • Last Time Hiked: July 19, 2014
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.7 miles
  • Easy, mostly dirt roads.

 

Eight Rod Farm is a state management area that is still used for farming in the summer months and also used for hunting in the fall and winter. The section of the property that we explored today is on the west side of Eight Rod Way. We parked the car at the dead end and then started following the dirt road into the management area. The road hugs the Tiverton/Little Compton border. We walked briefly through an area of woods before we came across the fields. The fields are currently growing crops such as corn and such. We also came across a small pond with several frogs. We encountered a gentleman who was walking his dogs. He seemed very knowledgeable of the property and suggested to check out some of the side “roads”. He also stated that the State usually clears some of the trails here. After following the dirt road for about three quarters of a mile we retraced our steps back to the car occasionally checking out the side “roads” that led us to large fields overgrown with wildflowers. I saw several birds here including a hawk.

Trail map can be found at: Eight Rod Farm.

A Field Of Wildflowers

A Field Of Wildflowers

Sakonnet Point – Little Compton

  • Sakonnet Point
  • Rhode Island Road, Little Compton, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°27’47.32″N, 71°11’42.96″W
  • Last Time Hiked: July 19, 2014
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.5 miles
  • Easy, mostly a beach walk.

 

Sakonnet Point is the southern most point in Little Compton. It has long sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean and is a haven for birds. There are several rocky islands just off the point as well as the recently restored Sakonnet Lighthouse. On one of these islands you can see the ruins of what was once the building of the West Island Fishing Club. This club was once visited by people of tremendous wealth and power including the likes of J.P. Morgan and President Grover Cleveland. There are some restrictions to this walk however. First, parking is rather strict in the area. I had come here using a walk described in the book “Bird Walks in Rhode Island”. The book suggested parking at the Sakonnet Marina. It is clearly stated on that property that parking is for members only. So we found a spot near the intersection of Rhode Island Road and Sakonnet Point Road. Secondly, the point itself is only open to residents of Little Compton (and their guests) from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Thirdly, if you plan on walking to the end of the point you should go at low tide. I would not suggest walking to the end of the point during high tide. And lastly, only the west beach (facing the lighthouse) is currently open to the public. Although the land above is a conversation area it is off limits due to the fragile habitats of the birds. From the car, we started this walk by walking down Rhode Island Road to its dead end. Here there is a trailhead that leads to the rocky beach. After a few hundred feet a path opens up through the ocean-side shrubs. We followed this path for a bit before making our way down to the sandy beach. From here we walked to the end of the point with waves coming up on both sides. From this point we had a spectacular view of the Little Compton and Westport shoreline to the east, the rocky islands and lighthouse to the west, and the long strand of beach the makes up Sakonnet Point to the north. We came across several birds here including cardinals, goldfinches, cormorants, as well as seagulls. We then retraced our steps back to the car.

I did not find a trail map on-line.

Sakonnet Light From The Point.

Sakonnet Light From The Point.

Wilbour Woods – Little Compton

 

Wilbour Woods would be our third short hike of the day. I really had very little knowledge of what we would find here as I did not research it too much. Nonetheless, I found Wilbour Woods very peaceful and serene. We started this hike from a small parking area along the loop road. You can start from any point along the loop road. We then followed the loop road in its entirety counter clockwise. The loop road follows the shore of Dundery Brook as it passes through the property. We came across a trail head along the way and followed it into the woods. It was a short “lollipop” trail. We did come across some evidence of geocaching along this trail. After returning to the loop road we came across a small pond with a rather large stone and small waterfall. We saw some snails here. It seemed we were followed by butterflies that looked surprisingly similar to the ones we saw on our previous hike. We then continued along the loop road passing some signs posted on trees. One was a quote of Roger Williams. After some post hike research, I found that this area was a site of a Native American winter camp. We also came across some stone formations. One was a large slab that look as if it were to be some sort of monument. There are no inscriptions on it. There were some stone tables and benches here as well.

 

I did not find a trail map online.

Dundery Brook Through Wilbour Woods

Dundery Brook Through Wilbour Woods

Simmons Mill Pond – Little Compton

  • Simmons Mill Pond Management Area
  • Coldbrook Road, Little Compton, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°32’23.09″N, 71° 9’15.97″W
  • Last Time Hiked: June 19, 2013
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.7 miles
  • Easy with slight elevation.

 

If you like ponds and grass covered cart paths, then this is the place to go. My guests seemed to enjoy it as well, so it is safe to say that this hike is “kid friendly”. Starting from the parking area we followed the cart path into the management area. Shortly into the walk there was a sign on a tree explaining that there were hollow wood bird shelters along this path. This made for a good game to pass the time until we got to the ponds as the kids were looking for and counting them. I lost count. At the end of the this path it opens up to a grass area with Simmons Pond on the left and Cold Brook on the right. From here we followed the Farmsite Loop Road, straight ahead, back into the woods. Ahead there is a split with a path to the right. We followed that to the end where there is another small pond. A path off to the left was visible but a warning sign was there about it being overgrown and the presence of deer tick. We avoided that path and made our way back to the Farmsite Loop. Turning right back onto the loop we then came across two more ponds. Chace Pond to the left and Horseshoe Pond to the right. The path continued, coming to yet another pond before the next intersection. At this intersection we turned left following the signs for the Farmsite Loop. Along this path to the left there were the remains of old farm building and an old well (that has been covered). There is plenty of interesting signage here that explains the site history. The next intersection there is signage that shows a loop trail that begins by going straight and ends coming from the right (or vice versa). The sign says it adds approximately another half hour to the walk. We decided to continue the Farmsite Loop which goes to the left. We came across frogs here and the mountain laurel was still in bloom along this stretch as well. The last week and a half the area has had its fair share of precipitation. There were makeshift warning signs about the path being flooded (also a co-worker hiked here a few days before and said that it was rather flooded then). Indeed, there were some rather, but passable, muddy areas and deep puddles. At the next stream crossing the water was rushing over the path. It was not very deep and would not be a problem with the proper footwear. The kids seemed a little unsure of crossing here so we carried them over it. This path then continued back to Simmons Pond and to the access path to the parking area. Again, counting the bird shelters on the way out, I lost count.

Trail map can be found at: Simmons Mill Pond

Simmons Pond

Simmons Pond

Cart Path At Simmons Mill Pond

Cart Path At Simmons Mill Pond

Fogland Marsh – Tiverton/Little Compton

When I left Providence it was hot, humid and the temperature was about 85 degrees. There were thunderstorms forming to the north heading south. I made my way to Ruecker Wildlife Refuge along the shores of the Sakonnet. When I got there it was still quite sunny, so I decided hiking was “a go”.  When I finished that short hike I decided to head to Fogland Marsh for some additional walking. When I arrived it was 67 degrees, partly sunny, and there was a strong breeze coming ashore. One of the things I love about living in the Ocean State, 30 miles south of the city its 20 degrees cooler on any given summer like day. To get to the preserve you must come in from Tiverton. Most of the walk however is in Little Compton. The entrance to the preserve is rather tricky. Shore Road ends and becomes a rather treacherous rock road. In the distance there is a sign for the preserve. From the car it is a short beach walk to the estuary. Along the beach there are thousands of shells. There is also fenced off areas where piping plovers are nesting. At the estuary I took a couple of pictures of the marsh and of the dunes with flowers that were in bloom. I then made my way back to the car. As I was leaving, typical New England weather was in the making. To the north, I could see the beginnings of thunderheads growing and to the south was a dense and ominous fog moving up the Sakonnet River, but it was still sunny above.

Fogland Marsh

Fogland Marsh

Marvell – Little Compton

 

This was a short walk that served as a nice supplement after walking Goosewing Beach. The preserve is rather small with a few paths that meander through the property. I decided to walk the perimeter of the property checking out several dead end paths. There is a lookout tower here. There were also several wild flowers and many, many birds, blackbirds in particular. There is a small parking area on South Shore Road just before the beach.

Tunipus Pond From Marvell

Tunipus Pond From Marvell

Goosewing Beach – Little Compton/Westport

  • Goosewing Beach Preserve/South Shore Beach
  • South Shore Road, Little Compton, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°29’36.40″N, 71° 8’19.39″W
  • Last Time Hiked: April 30, 2013
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.4 miles
  • Easy with some rocky footing.

 

There are few things better than a stroll on the beach after a long day at work, and this walk did the trick.  The beach is in pretty good shape six months after Hurricane Sandy came barreling through the area. I had stopped here about a month ago and there were still signs of the storm. The parking area now is the only area that still has signs of the storm. I parked in the small lot at the end of South Shore Road and started walking easterly through South Shore Beach before coming to the Goosewing Preserve. The preserve is a stretch of beach along with a few ponds that serve as a sanctuary to some native birds, piping plovers to name one. Just after the weather worn preserve building I turned to the left a bit and followed the edge of a roped off area to check out Quicksand Pond. Most of the dunes here are roped off to protect nesting birds. After seeing the pond I then continued walking down the beach to its rocky end which is actually in Westport, Massachusetts. From here on a clear day you can see the towers at Gooseberry Island just south of Horseneck Beach. The taller one appears to be a lighthouse, but it is in fact a military watchtower. At this point I turned around and retraced my steps back to the parking lot. Along the way I saw several piping plovers and some sea life on the beach. The view of the ocean front farm is quite spectacular when heading back.

If you would like to add an additional half mile worth of walking you should check out the nearby Marvell Preserve.

Goosewing Beach

Goosewing Beach

Where The Beach Meets The Farm

Where The Beach Meets The Farm