Archive for the ‘ ~NEWPORT RI~ ’ Category

Miantonomi Hill – Newport

  • Miantonomi Hill
  • Hillside Avenue, Newport, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°30’32.25″N, 71°18’28.51″W
  • Last Time Hiked: September 13, 2015
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.0 miles
  • Fairly easy with some elevation.

Atop the highest point in Newport stands the Miantonomi Tower. It was built in the 1920’s as a memorial to the soldiers who served in World War I. Around the base of the hill and up to the tower are a short network of well groomed trails that meander around the property. Parking is available along Hillside Avenue and the trailhead leading to the tower is just beyond the playground. The trail climbs slightly uphill a bit before coming to an intersection. The trail to the left exits the property, the trail ahead wraps around the base of the hill, and the trail to the right leads up to the tower. I took the opportunity to explore most of the trails here totaling in just about a mile. Some of the side trails lead to the edge of ledges and outcrops of conglomerate rock that are well worth checking out. The Aquidnick Island Land Trust also opens the tower at times for the general public to climb. The views from the top of the tower are quite impressive.

I did not find a trail map on-line.

The Tower at Miantonomi Hill (photo by K. Chapian)

The Tower at Miantonomi Hill

Cliff Walk – Newport

  • Cliff Walk
  • Memorial Boulevard, Newport, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°29’6.60″N,  71°17’51.21″W
  • Last Time Hiked: November 11, 2014
  • Approximate distance hiked: 7.1 miles
  • First section is easy and mostly paved, last part moderate to difficult.

 

The Cliff Walk is easily one of the most visited “trails” in Rhode Island. It is one of Newport’s premier tourist attractions with sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean on one side and some of the nations most famous mansions on the other. The first part of the walk is the most heavily traveled as it is paved and suitable for most people. The later parts of it, you will find yourself scrambling over rocks along the shore. I started this walk from Memorial Boulevard just west of Eastons Beach. The paved path first meanders along the cliff above Easton Cove. In the distance you can see the Sakonnet Point Lighthouse as well as Sachuest Point. I soon came to Forty Steps. The steps lead down toward the water for a view from below the cliff. On days with high waves and sometimes at high tide you may get a little wet. Continuing on, I made my way through the Salve Regina University properties. Here I came across several sections of fence with padlocks on them. A closer look, I realized the meaning of them. A clever modern day way of expressing your feelings for loved ones. I also came across some very old and creative brickwork at one of the stairways. The craftsmanship of yesteryear is quite impressive. After passing the two large and magnificent university buildings, including Ochre Court, I made my way to The Breakers. Quite possibly the most famous of the mansions, The Breakers, with its limestone walls and red tile roof, was built in the 1890’s by the Vanderbilt family as a summer home. I then came to Ochre Point on the back of the Breakers property before making my way through the large wrought iron gates at Ruggles Avenue. The next section of the walk is along a concrete walk with a fence right along the water. Along this section, the walk juts out to a point featuring a round, predominantly glass structure. The view here is wonderful in all directions. At the one and a half mile mark I came across the first section that was not a walkway. For a few hundred feet I had to traverse over fairly flat stones. Beyond that the walk is a combination of flat rocks, dirt paths, and paved paths for the next three quarters of a mile or so. On this section you can get a glimpse of the Rosecliff mansion. Just after Rosecliff the walk goes to the right, up some stairs, and then around an ivy covered building on the left. This building, the only directly on this side of the walk, was built as an artist studio. The next landmark is the Chinese Tea House on the Marble House property. It is a replica of a Song Dynasty temple. The walk continues through a tunnel under the Tea House. At this point you are at the two-mile mark. The remainder of the walk becomes progressively more difficult. After passing through the tunnel the walk continues for a bit to a second a shorter tunnel at Sheep Point. The last “easy” section passes in front of the Miramar mansion. A plaque at the end of this section reads “Rough Terrain Ahead”. From this point to Ledge Road is moderate to difficult. It is advised not to do this section if the rocks are wet as they become very slippery. I decided to proceed slowly for two reasons. The first as to watch my step, and the other to stop and take in the views. The ocean views are breathtaking along this stretch. The walk continues pass Rough Point, the former summer home of Doris Duke, to a bridge over a chasm that waves crash into. Along this section, to Lands End, and pass Ledge Road the trail is marked with an occasional bronze disk imbedded into the rocky shoreline. At Lands End, an aptly named peninsula, you may be able to see Point Judith, Black Point, and Narragansett Pier if the weather is good. After making my way past Ledge Road the walk continues to its end at Baileys Beach. After reaching the end I turned around and retraced my steps.

Trail maps and information can be found at: Cliff Walk.

Along The Cliff Walk

Along The Cliff Walk

At Lands End

At Lands End

Newport Wharf – Newport

  • Newport Wharf
  • Thames Street, Newport, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°29’5.85″N, 71°18’53.40″W
  • Last Time Hiked: March 23, 2014
  • Approximate distance hiked: 4.0 miles
  • Easy with slight elevation. Some cobblestone sidewalks.

For the most part, with some slight variation, following the route in Ken Webers “More Walks & Rambles in Rhode Island”, this walk covers a good chunk of some of Newport’s most visited sites. I parked on Thames Street near the Post Office. Currently parking at this location is non-metered from November 1st to April 30th with 3 hour parking Monday through Friday from 6PM to 9PM, Saturdays 1PM to 9PM, and Sundays from 9AM to 9PM. The rest of the time it is only 15 minute parking. I started the walk by walking north along Thames Street passing some interesting architecture of buildings such as the Kinsley, currently home of the Newport Blues Cafe. This stretch offers many eateries and souvenir shops. I then turned right at the pathway that leads to the Trinity Church that was built in 1726. Locals claim that George Washington had given a speech at this church in 1781. Other notable visitors of the church have been Queen Elizabeth II and Desmond Tutu. After passing the right side of the church I turned right onto Spring Street and then left onto Mill Street. The walk up Mill Street passes homes on the National Register Of Historic Places including the Corne House. I also came across a massive London Planetree which was marked with a plaque by the Newport Arboretum. I would notice several more trees along this walk with these plaques. At the top of Mill Street is one of Newport’s biggest mysteries. It is the Old Stone Mill in Touro Park. It is sometimes referred to as the Newport Tower. It is widely thought to be an old windmill but there is much debate to it’s construction date and furthermore of who built it. Some theories have it being built before Columbus reached America, possibly by the Norse, Templars, or Portuguese to name a few. After spending a little time here I then followed Bellevue Avenue in a northerly direction making my way pass the Hotel Viking before turning left down the narrow Touro Street. I then came to the backside of the District Courthouse, turned right on Farewell Street toward the side of the Colony House, turned left into Washington Square. The Colony House was built in the 1730’s and was once the State House. In July of 1776 the Declaration of Independence was read to the public here. I then continued down Washington Square and through the Long Wharf Walking Mall before reaching America’s Cup Avenue. The avenue is name after the famed yacht racing event that was held in Newport from 1930 to 1983. I then crossed the avenue and onto Long Wharf to take a peek at Newport Harbor. Most of the boats here at this time of year are settled in for the winter but in the summer months this is a bustling and very wealthy harbor with many yachts. I then continued my walk back to America’s Cup Avenue and started following it southerly towards Bowens Wharf and Bannisters Wharf. The two wharfs offer several restaurants and small shops. I then continued along America’s Cup Avenue to a sculpture simply known as The Wave. I then turned right onto Thames Street following it quite a distance pass several shops until I got to Wellington Avenue. Turning right onto Wellington I walked down the sidewalk pass a couple ball fields and into Kings Park. In the park there is a statue of Rochambeau, who was a French general that assisted the Americans during the American Revolution. There is a sweeping view of Newport from here as well as the Newport Bridge. I then retraced my steps back to Thames Street, crossing it and following the opposite sidewalk back towards Memorial Boulevard passing several more shops. I then turned right onto Memorial Boulevard and followed it uphill for one block until I got to St. Mary’s Church. This church built in the mid 1800’s was the location of the wedding of John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Bouvier in 1953. I then crossed the boulevard and followed it back down Thames Street passing the Post Office back to the car.

Scroll down to view a photo of a map that is outside the Visitors Center.

The Newport Tower

The Newport Tower

Map Of The Area Walked

Map Of The Area Walked

Ballard Park – Newport

  • Ballard Park
  • Hazard Road, Newport, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°27’53.96″N, 71°19’26.23″W
  • Last Time Hiked: April 24, 2014
  • Previous Visits: February 20, 2014
  • Approximate distance hiked: 0.8 miles
  • Easy with some significant elevation.
 
 

First Visit:

The days are getting longer. Enough time to drive from Providence to Newport after work and do a short hike before the sun sets. I opted to start this hike from the Hazard Road entrance. After following the entrance road into the property I came to a sign with a trail map on it. Shortly after the sign I followed a path to the left and then almost immediately left again and followed the Southwest Trail as it meandered uphill to the General Hazard Overlook. I spent a few moments here watching the sun set over Newport before I continued the hike following the outer perimeter of the park. I then followed the Swamp Maple Trail walking along the boardwalks until I got near the main entrance. I came across some deer tracks in the snow at this point. I turned right here and stopped at the Quarry Overlook. This is a shear 30 foot cliff overlooking an open meadow and vernal pool. Note that there is no rock climbing allowed here. On this particular day there was plenty of activity below. Volunteers were setting up for the 9th Annual Illuminated Garden event. I then continued my hike going by a large rock outcrop and then turning left to follow the Quarry Rim Trail back to the entrance road and to the end of this hike. If you would like to add more distance to this hike there are a couple other trails to explore. I found Ballard Park to very clean and well maintained. The Friends of Ballard Park protect and preserve this property and apparently several events happen here each year. I did stay around for a while to check out and take some photos of the Illuminated Garden.

Second Visit:

I had returned to Ballard Park with a friend, her child, and her child’s friend for an event. During the event I made good use of the large boulder in the quarry to sit and soak up some of the spring sun. After the event we had went for a hike on the trails here. Again this hike started from the Hazard Road entrance and then we turned left and followed the trail to the Hazard overlook. This time, however, we turned right onto a trail the would lead to the edge of the quarry. We stopped at the quarry overlook before following the eastern edge of the quarry along a path that would eventually lead back down to the meadow near the vernal pool. After a quick stop at the vernal pool, we followed a trail on the backside of it up the hill, then turned left and followed it downhill to the entrance.

Trail map can be found at: Ballard Park.

Quarry Meadow From East Edge - Apr. 2014

Quarry Meadow From East Edge – Apr. 2014

This trail was featured in Rhode Island Monthly Magazine – October 2014

Fort Adams – Newport

  • Fort Adams State Park Bay Walk
  • Harrison Avenue, Newport, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°28’40.47″N,  71°20’7.27″W
  • First Time Hiked: December 22, 2013
  • Last Time Hiked: March 16, 2016
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.2 miles
  • Easy.
 

I’ve been to Fort Adams many times and it is a very picturesque location. On a clear day you see the Beavertail and Rose Island lighthouses to name a few. The Newport Bridge, Newport Harbor, Fort Wetherill, and boats of all sorts are also visible from Fort Adams. The walk is marked by “Bay Walk” signs. The walk is about two miles long mostly on paved paths and service roads and follows the perimeter of the state park. Some of the highlights are the defensive fort itself, a monument to the U.S.S. Bennington, and the Eisenhower House. Construction of the massive stone fort started in 1824 and continued for nearly three decades. There were other fortifications on the property prior. Being the day before St. Patrick’s Day, the Irish flag was flying proud above the fort. Ironically, the fort was built mostly by Irish laborers. We (walked with the Appalachian Mountain Club – Narragansett Chapter)  started the walk from the visitors center and followed the loop path counter clockwise.

Additional information can be found at: Fort Adams

FA16

Fort Adams with the Irish Flag flying.

Brenton Point – Newport

I kept an eye on the radar all day before finally deciding to venture to the coast. Southern New England has been experiencing a rather warm and muggy stretch of weather as of late and there was plenty of rain and scattered thunderstorms all afternoon throughout all of the area.  When I arrived at Brenton Point the weather was just downright “weird”. A dense fog hovered over the Atlantic Ocean and Lower Narragansett Bay as the sun was shining above. By the time I left, dark clouds had gathered and it started to sprinkle. I parked my car near the entrance to the lot. I then walked across the street and followed the seawall southerly along the coast. Jamestown and the Beavertail Light to the west and Castle Hill to the north were nothing but a faint silhouettes through the fog. I ventured down the stairs near the jetty to take some pictures. There were several gulls and cormorants here.  I then continued walking along the seawall around the point and then in easterly direction passing an area of rocks where there was people fishing. I continued walking, coming across some young rabbits near two large shrubs, then passing the end of the seawall until I reached the entrance of the King’s Beach Fishing Area. (There is a sign here.)  I then followed the road to the point passing several shrubs that were bearing red berries and were full of birds. After lingering at the point for a bit, I retraced my steps along the shore and seawall until I was opposite the road that leads to the park headquarters building. I crossed the street and made my way to the building. (As a side note, there are restrooms here). I then followed the grass and gravel road past the building until I came to the abandon stables. There are several other grassy paths in the area off of the main road, but I opted to continue straight until I came to the stables. Some people believe that the stables are haunted. Just before the stables there is a path that leads to the right. I followed that path to its end to a stone observation tower. The tower has been tagged quite a bit with graffiti but the view from the top is rather decent. I then found my way out of the area by retracing my steps back along this path, taking a right, passing the stables, and taking a left to an open field where some kids were flying kites. I then crossed the field to the parking lot and to my car.

I did not find a trail map online.

From Brenton Point Looking West

From Brenton Point Looking West