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
  • 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