Archive for the ‘ ~LITTLE COMPTON RI~ ’ Category

Sakonnet Point Path – Little Compton

  • Sakonnet Point Path
  • Sakonnet Point Road, Little Compton, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°27’50.06″N, 71°11’43.81″W
  • Last Time Hiked: January 5, 2020
  • Approximate distance hiked: 0.5 miles
  • Easy.

 

This is a very short walk just being under a half mile in total. The walkway, open to the public, is provided by the Sakonnet Point Club. The short paved path wraps around a parking lot separated by a post and rail fence. The remainder of the walk is out to the end of the breakwater. The views here are spectacular. To the south is the lower reaches of the Sakonnet River meeting the Atlantic Ocean as well as the lighthouse just off shore. If you look closely you will spot the ruins of the West Island Fishing Club (just to the left of the lighthouse). To the northwest you can spot the Newport Bridge peaking over Aquidneck Island. If you do venture onto the breakwater use caution.

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Sakonnet Point Light and The Atlantic Ocean

Westport Woods – Westport/Little Compton

  • Westport Woods/Cotton Preserve
  • Adamsville Road, Westport, MA
  • Trailhead:  41°33’30.54″N, 71° 7’29.09″W
  • Last Time Hiked: January 5, 2020
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.5 miles
  • Fairly easy.

 

Westport Woods is one of the newer trail systems in the area opening to the public in the summer of 2019. For this hike, about one and half of the almost 3 miles of trails was hiked. Starting from the kiosk at the parking area, first follow the paved road north a couple hundred feet then turn left onto a stone dust path. This path winds west then south through a field with tall trees. Soon you will come to the “Main Trail” sign on your right. This section of trail, blazed orange, enters the woods and follows the western edge of the property passing several types of trees, holly shrubs, and stone walls. At the second trail intersection the orange trail continues ahead and the yellow blazed trail begins at the right. For this hike continue ahead for now. (You will be retracing your steps back to this intersection). The orange trail now enters the Cotton Preserve owned by the Little Compton Agricultural Conservancy Trust. After crossing a stream you will come to a quarry pond. Take a moment to take in the beauty here before retracing your steps back to the yellow trail (now on your left). The remainder of this hike will follow the yellow trail with the exception of a short detour at your first left. Here you will follow a short loop trail to a vernal pool. After viewing the vernal pool return to the yellow trail and continue to follow it to the east. The trail will include a series of boardwalks in wet areas, followed by an interesting stone feature on the left, (presumably leftovers from the former St Vincent de Paul Camp), before winding along the eastern edge of the property to a stone bridge. From here the trail ends at an open field. Continue ahead to reach the kiosk by the parking area. Hunting is allowed here, Be sure to wear orange during hunting season.

 

Map can be found at: Westport Woods.

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Stone Structure at Westport Woods.

Grays Mill Pond – Little Compton/Westport

  • Grays Mill Pond/Guild Preserve
  • Adamsville Road, Westport, MA
  • Trailhead:  41°33’21.52″N, 71° 7’36.93″W
  • Last Time Hiked: January 5, 2020
  • Approximate distance hiked: 0.5 miles
  • Fairly easy, can be muddy.

 

The trail and property is entirely in Little Compton, Rhode Island, however, you must park in Westport and venture your way to the property. The parking area is next to the pond on the north side of Adamsville Road. There is a sign here at the parking area the reads “Additional Parking Grays Daily Grind”. At the back side of the parking area is a post and rail fence with a gate. After passing through the gate you are in Little Compton. Stay to the right here and follow the brushline up a small hill after passing the small structures on the right. At the top of the hill is a sign at the entrance of the preserve. Just beyond the sign a trail appears downhill and to the left that leads to a footbridge that crosses the West Branch of the Westport River. Just after the bridge there is a loop trail that is currently blazed red. The trail itself is a little root bound and can be muddy in spots. At the north end of the loop there is a small clearly for another glimpse of the river. Another highlight of the property is stunningly tall holly tree along the trail. The property is small and the trail is short, but the river and nearby pond make for peaceful stops.

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Footbridge at The Entrance of The Property

MapGMP

Map Provided by Sakonnet Preservation

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
  • First Time Hiked: June 19, 2013
  • Last Time Hiked: May 12, 2020
  • Approximate distance hiked: 3.4 miles
  • Easy with slight elevation.

 

If you like ponds and grass covered cart paths, then this is the place to go. Also, if you are a birder be sure to bring your binoculars and camera. This place is truly for the birds! Before venturing out for the hike, check out the cemetery by the parking area. After viewing the cemetery we followed the cart path into the management area. This property is maintained by local volunteers. They mow the cart paths, trim shrubs from growing over into the paths, and place many, many signs that explain the types of trees, wildlife, and history of the property. You will see several of these signs throughout, especially along the access road. There are also several hollow wood bird shelters along this path. At the end of the this path it opens up to a grass area with Simmons Pond on the left and Cole Brook on the right. You will likely see people fishing here. From here we followed the Farmsite Loop Road, straight ahead, back into the woods. There are a few signs along the way indicating that you are following the loop trail. After traversing south a bit the trail swoops to the east where 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. The trail to the right leads to another parking area. 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. 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). This is the Amy Hart Loop. We turned right here and did the loop as it reaches into the northeast corner of the property passing several prominent stone walls and holly trees. At the end of the loop, and back at the four way intersection we turned right to continue the Farmsite Loop. On an earlier hike I had come across frogs here and the mountain laurel was still in bloom along this stretch. Also since the last visit the path has been raised just enough to keep your feet dry in the area that is notoriously known to be wet. Keep an eye out to the right for a concrete post. This post delineates the Cole Brook Line, a local survey line laid out in the 1670’s. At the next stream crossing the water can at times rush over the path. For this hike it was very easy to cross. The body of water to the left is Chace Pond once again. Continuing ahead this path then continued back to Simmons Pond. Just before the pond are two points of interest on the right. First a short spur trail that leads to the edge of the pond. Note the stonework at the shore. It was once part of an icehouse. Back to the main trail and up on a some hill was the site of a former cabin. After passing Simmons Mill Pond again continue ahead to the access path to the parking area.

Trail map can be found at: Simmons Mill Pond

Simmons Pond

Simmons Pond (2013 Hike)

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Along The Amy Hart Loop (2020 Hike)

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