Archive for the ‘ ~NORTH KINGSTOWN RI~ ’ Category

Spink Neck Beach – North Kingstown

 

Hot summer day… check, very short walk… check, by the water… check. Spink Neck Beach is near the north end of Quonset Point by the entrance of Allen Harbor. This short beach walk offers views of Patience, Prudence, and Hope Islands.

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Looking North Along The Beach

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Compass Rose Beach – North Kingstown

  • Compass Rose Beach
  • Roger Williams Way, North Kingstown, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°35’12.07″N, 71°24’56.55″W
  • Last Time Hiked: August 8, 2018
  • Approximate distance hiked: 0.3 miles
  • Easy beach walk

 

Hot summer day… check, very short walk… check, by the water… check. Compass Rose Beach is a very small beach at Quonset Point facing south towards the West Passage. It is just west of the Martha’s Vineyard Ferry Terminal at the end of Roger Williams Way. Though small and in an industrial area, the beach is very clean with views of the North Kingstown shoreline, Jamestown, and the Jamestown Bridge.

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Looking Towards The Jamestown Bridge

 

Gilbert Stuart – North Kingstown

  • Gilbert Stuart Birthplace and Museum/Nature Trail
  • Gilbert Stuart Road, North Kingstown, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°31’12.35″N, 71°26’39.08″W
  • Last Time Hiked: July 6, 2018
  • Approximate distance hiked: 0.7 miles
  • Fairly easy, cost for admission.

 

The very well known local gem, being that of the Gilbert Stuart Birthplace and Museum in North Kingstown, offers history, art, and nature. The museum consists of several structures including the house that Gilbert Stuart was born in. Mr. Stuart is known for painting nearly a thousand portraits of famous early Americans including George Washington. His depiction of the first President of the United States was used on the American one dollar bill. The house he was born in, built in 1750, showcases several replicas of his paintings. Furthermore, the house has a waterwheel and in the basement is a snuff mill. The adjacent grist mill, built a few years after the house, also has an operating waterwheel that powers the large grindstones that make corn meal. The gift shop/admission office features a back room that showcases art exhibits. In this room are a couple of Gilbert Stuarts paintings as well as a painting of Mr. Stuart produced by his daughter Jane. There is also a network of nature trails here. The trail head is just over the wooden bridge by an entry gate. The outer loop is blazed with a yellow dot and passes the colonial era Burlingame Cemetery. For this hike ignore the left turn ahead at the red dot connector trail and continue straight to the Carr Pond Overlook. Take a moment to take in nature here. You might catch a glimpse of a great blue heron above the pond that was formed from the dam at Gilbert Stuart. Continuing along the yellow blazed trail you will pass under a canopy of tall oaks and beech trees before coming to the green dot connector trail. Turn left here and soon you will come to the Hammond Cemetery with several gravestones dating back to the 1800’s. Continuing ahead you will pass an impressive New England style stone wall before coming to a three way trail intersection. Turn right here onto the blue dot connector trail. It will lead you back to the yellow blazed outer loop trail. At this intersection on the left is a rather deep cellar hole built upon a hill. To conclude this hike turn left onto the yellow blazed trail and follow it back to the museum. The trails here are only open when the museum is open and there is an admission fee for a guided tour of the buildings, gardens, and entry to the grounds. Be sure to check their website for hours of operation.

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Gilbert Stuart Birthplace

Blue Beach – North Kingstown

  • Blue Beach
  • Circuit Drive, North Kingstown, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°35’12.85″N, 71°25’51.92″W
  • Last Time Hiked: December 16, 2017
  • Approximate distance hiked: 0.6 miles
  • Fairly easy beach walk.

 

Blue Beach is well hidden among the industrial complex of Quonset Point. The stone dust path leads from a small parking area to the beach that faces south on Narragansett Bay. From the beach you see the Jamestown Bridge in the distance. There is a brook that breaks the beach at times making the walk rather short. From this beach to the southwest you can catch a glimpse of the Poplar Point Light about a mile away.

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Blue Beach on a Winter Afternoon

Feurer Park – North Kingstown

  • Feurer Park
  • LaFayette Road, North Kingstown, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°34’26.86″N, 71°29’26.91″W
  • Last Time Hiked: June 1, 2017
  • Approximate distance hiked: 0.4 miles
  • Easy with a small hill.

 

While in the neighborhood (after visiting Ryan Park) and visiting every trail I can find in Rhode Island, I decided to stop by Feurer Park. Behind the ball field is a small network of nature trails that wind along and across the Annaquatucket River. The trails under the power lines and the property will end by the railroad tracks. Do not go onto or cross the tracks.

 

Trail map can be found at: Feurer Park

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Annaquatucket River

Ryan Park West – North Kingstown

 

The west side of Ryan Park in North Kingstown offers fields of tall grass a buzz with chirping crickets, leaping grasshoppers, and fluttering butterflies. The trees, shrubs, and surrounding woods also attract several species of birds. From the parking area on Lafayette Road, there is a dirt road of just under a mile that winds gently up and down over small hills to Oak Hill Road. Into the surrounding woods are spur trails that can be explored. If you care to make your way to the other side of Ryan Park follow the trail (orange blaze on tree) from the parking area onto the former railroad bed and head east.

 

Trail map can be found at: Ryan Park West

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Late Spring Afternoon in Ryan Park

King Preserve – North Kingstown

  • King/Benson Preserve
  • Boston Neck Road, North Kingstown, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°30’56.02″N, 71°25’23.72″W
  • Last Time Hiked: November 25, 2016
  • Approximate distance hiked: 3.5 miles
  • Fairly easy with slight elevation.

 

Named for Dave King, the first executive director of the Champlin Foundations, this is Rhode Islands newest Nature Conservancy property that now has trails open to the public. It is so new in fact that the trails in the Benson Preserve property are still under development. The property is just north of Casey Farm and stretches from Boston Neck Road westward to the Narrow River. The blue trail from the main parking area meanders westerly into the property, passing stone walls and small boulders, for about a mile before coming to the yellow trails. Turn left at the yellow trail and follow it to its end. Along the way look for a rather unusual rock on the right that seems to point. You will pass a yellow trail to the right as well. You will return on this trail. At the end of the yellow trail you will come to a four way intersection. The yellow loop trail is to your immediate right and a trail spurs to the left to Casey Farm. Ahead and to the right is the white blazed Pettaquamscutt Trail. Follow this trail to two of the preserve features. The first on the left is a small beach that overlooks Narrow River. This is an old Girl Scout Camp beach. Back on the white trail you will soon find yourself walking through a canopy of tall spruce trees. Here we spotted a fox. The white blazed trail then turns to the right and comes to a set of trickling waterfalls. Continuing along the trail you soon cross onto the Benson Preserve. There is signage indicating that the trails are still being developed. From here you can retrace your steps or forge ahead follow the un-blazed trails. If you choose the later be sure to use some sort of GPS in case you need to backtrack and be very aware of your footing. The white trail is blazed for a few more hundred feet. Soon you will see a trail to the right. It is currently marked with pink survey flagging. Following this flagging (soon to be blazed white) and carefully following the currently less defined trail you will come to a wood footbridge at a stream crossing. A few feet after that you will turn left onto the blazed yellow trail. Follow this trail to its end turning left again onto the main yellow trail. From here retrace your steps back to the parking area following the yellow then blue trails. Hunting is allowed on this preserve, be sure to wear orange during hunting season.

A note about the bordering Casey Farm property: Casey Farm is open to the public during daylight hours for hiking trails at Casey Point or those adjacent to King Preserve. Please note dogs must be on leashes, clean up of course, and respect the young people and farm animals by keeping dogs away from the farmyard and fields. Access Casey’s woodland trails via the King Preserve. Camp Grosvenor is not open to the public for hiking. Access Casey Point on Narragansett Bay via the gate on Boston Neck Road. We are working on getting better signage. Feel free to contact me with any questions: Jane Hennedy, site manager, 401-295-1030 ext. 5, jhennedy@historicnewengland.org.

 

Trail maps can be found at: King Preserve

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Spruce Grove

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