Archive for the ‘ ~NORTH KINGSTOWN RI~ ’ Category

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

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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

Casey Farm – North Kingstown

  • Casey Farm
  • Boston Neck Road, North Kingstown, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°30’43.45″N, 71°25’23.07″W
  • Last Time Hiked: September 24, 2016
  • Approximate distance hiked: 4.1 miles
  • Fairly easy with some elevation.

Most locals know Casey Farm for its farmer markets (one of the best in the state). Others know the farm for being a historical site. What a lot of people are not aware of is that Casey Farm offers miles of trails. For this hike, I joined a small group attending a Rhode Island Land Trust Days event. The hike was led by the very knowledgeable Dr. Bob Kenney of the University of Rhode Island. Mr. Kenney, (a walking encyclopedia of birds, mushrooms, and plants) volunteers quite often for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Audubon Society. In fact this is not the first of his hikes I have been on. In 1659, several colonists bought the land on Boston Neck for a mere 18 cents per acre from the Narragansetts. One of these families were the Richardsons. By 1702 half of that property belonged to the family that founded Casey Farm. The farm stretched from Narragansett Bay to the Narrow River as it still does today. The property, a working farm, is protected and owned by Historic New England. Atop the hill along Boston Neck Road is where the farm is located. It consists of several fields and structures including a large barn as well as old New England style stone walls. The first part of the hike took us into the eastern part of the property down to Casey Point. The old cart path passes through areas of wildflowers including wild snapdragon, black swallowwort milkweed, and heart leaved aster. There is also an abundance of ferns, mushrooms, and an invasive shrub known as devils walking stick. This area is also a haven for birds as we saw and heard catbirds, woodpeckers, and red tailed hawks. When we reached the point we had sweeping views of the west passage of Narragansett Bay. Across the bay is Jamestown and the large open field is part of Watson Farm (another Historic New England property). Beyond Jamestown you will see the Newport Bridge. To the north is the Jamestown Bridge and Plum Point Lighthouse. To the south you can see Beavertail Light and Dutch Island Light. After spending a little time on the point we retraced our steps back to the farm. From here we then followed another stone walled flanked cart path toward the heavily wooded western end of the property. We briefly entered the neighboring King Preserve, the newest Nature Conservancy property in Rhode Island. This preserve is a work in progress still. Most of the major trails are complete and open, however, there are a section of trails yet to be built. The trails are soft and there are boardwalks that cross wet areas and streams. There is plenty of ferns in this area among the birch trees and sassafras. We nearly reached the Narrow River at the bottom of the hill before making our way back uphill along old cart paths and dirt roads winding through the Casey Farm property. This stretch of the hike also offer sounds and sights of nuthatches, tufted titmouses, and eastern towhees. We then returned to the farm to conclude the hike. Casey Farm is open from June 1st to October 15th on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. There are also tours of the farm available. For more information please call 401-295-1030.

A note from the folks at Casey Farm:  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.

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Casey Point with The Newport Bridge in the distance.

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Flanked by Wildflowers

Ryan Park – North Kingstown

 

Ryan Park in North Kingstown offers a little bit of everything for everyone and it is easily accessible just off of Route 4 along Oak Hill Road. There are two entrances along Oak Hill Road. For this hike I used the entrance by the cluster of ball fields and then followed the roadway to the boat ramp. (Follow the signs for additional parking until you reach the first dirt parking area on the left. There is a sign by the boat ramp calling it off as a waterfowl hunting area.) Near the boat ramp there is a boulder with a pink blaze on it. This is where I started this hike. I followed the narrow root bound, pink blazed path as it winded through an area with ponds on each side. After crossing a short boardwalk I came to the bridge the crosses a narrow of Belleville Pond. Both the boardwalk and bridge can be slippery when wet. Continuing, I then came to the first of the a couple trail blaze changes. I continued straight now following the green blazed trail. Soon this trail led me to the yellow blazed trail. The yellow blazed trail to the right I would take later on this hike, but for now I continued straight/slightly left now following the yellow blazes. As the trail approached a line of houses the trail started bending to the left. Here the yellow blazes ended and the trail was now blazed orange. After a few hundred feet I was soon upon an old railroad bed. The trail would eventually lead out to the LaFayette Road park entrance. Along the way there is an old cemetery on the left. Most of the headstones are tumbled and destroyed. The two that remain have dates of 1827 and 1865 on them. There are also a couple small stream crossings. From the northern park entrance I then retraced my steps back along the orange trail, onto the yellow trail, to the intersection of the green trail. Instead of following the green trail, I continued straight following the yellow blazes. I passed a couple small ponds along the way. Soon I was at another intersection. To the right were double yellow blazes. I continued straight following the single blazed yellow, stopping occasionally at the small spur trails that led to a duck filled cove. The trail soon comes to a dam and waterfall and two bridges. Along this stretch are sweeping views of the pond. The trail then ends at a gate. I turned right making my way along a dirt road. To the right is the pond and to the left is the men’s softball field. Keeping right at the end of the parking lot led me back to where I had parked. The map provided does not show the trail blazes that are actually along the trails.

 

 

Trail map can be found at: Ryan Park.

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A snowy morning along the yellow trail.

Calf Pasture Point – North Kingstown

This hike in North Kingstown is tucked away on former military property out on Quonset Point. The hike offers quite a bit in both variety and views. A pair of binoculars is a must for this hike. Also, before embarking on this hike, you should check the tides. The beach portion of the hike will be nearly impossible and impassable during high tide. Starting from a parking lot at the end of Marine Road, we went to the eastern entrance to the bike path. The western entrance is the Quonset Bike Path that leads to Post Road. At the entrance is an informational board with a map. For the next 1.3 miles we followed the paved bike path to its terminus at Narragansett Bay. The bike path passes Allens Cove along the way. At the end of the bike path is Calf Pasture Beach. It is quite possibly one of the best kept secrets in the state as far as beaches. It is a long, clean strand with sweeping views of Narragansett Bay. To the north you can see the Warwick Neck lighthouse. To the northeast, you can see Barrington Beach and Rumstick Point nearly eight miles away. Even further, you can see the massive cooling towers in Somerset, Massachusetts, which are about thirteen miles away. To the east and southeast you can see almost all of the major islands of the bay including Patience, Prudence, Hope, Aquidnick, and Conanicut. Also visible from the beach are all three of the major Rhode Island bridges (Mount Hope to the east, Newport and Jamestown to the south). For the next mile we followed the beach south to the point where Allens Cove meets the bay. After traversing the point we soon found a rocky access road. The road soon starts to cut through the interior of the point. We first passed several shrubs before entering a pine grove. There are several spur trails to the right the meander around the property. Also, keep an eye out for a swing on the left. At the time of this hike it was safe for use. (Yes, it was tested!!) We followed the main trail to its end at the bike path, then followed the bike path back to the parking area. There are no blazed trails on the property.

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Along the Bike Path at Calf Pasture Point

Quonset Bike Path – North Kingstown

This bike path built in 2009 follows the edge of the industrialized and commercialized Quonset Point. The point is mostly known for its military presence and its airport. Today the point is being revitalized and several businesses have made Quonset home. The bike path itself is 2.3 miles long. Starting at the Marine Road parking lot, I followed the path first through an area that is mostly wooded. When the path makes an abrupt left it starts to follow Newcomb Road. The bike path will parallel this road the remainder of the way. The path concludes behind a shopping plaza at Post Road. There is a side path that leads to the Seabee Museum near the end of the path. After reaching the end of the path I retraced my steps back to the parking lot. Across the parking lot is the trailhead for Calf Pasture Point. A bike path there continues another 1.3 miles to Narragansett Bay.

Trail map can be found at: Quonset Bike Path.

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Quonset Bike Path