Archive for the ‘ ~NORTHBRIDGE MA~ ’ Category

Shining Rock – Northbridge

  • Shining Rock – Richard T. Larkin Conservation Area
  • School Street, Northbridge, MA
  • Trailhead: 42° 9’0.54″N, 71°38’27.29″W
  • Last Time Hiked: June 16, 2017
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.3 miles
  • Moderate uphill hike.

 

A fellow hiker, and birder, led this hike for a small group up to Shining Rock in the Richard T. Larkin Conservation Area. The trail-head is just north of the house across the street from the parking area. Parking is available directly across the street from 373 School Street. The trail immediately starts to climb upward along a rocky dirt path under a canopy of beech, pines, oaks, and maples. Along this path on the left is an area that has been quarried. The drill holes are quite evident along the obvious man-made cuts. The trail splits ahead and we stayed to the right. The trail is slightly washed out in areas and could be challenging during rain events. At the next intersection we turned right passing a small cave on the left before coming to another split. Here we stayed to the right descending quickly down a few rocks before climbing back up to the trails end at the Shining Rock overlook. From here you have a sweeping view of the Blackstone River Valley below. The local teens have used the rock as an artistic canvass with some rather respectable graffiti, mostly being that of environmental concerns like “Save the Bees”. Be sure not to get too close to the edge as the rock towers over the pine forest below. From here we followed a trail westerly along the ridge of the rock downhill until we reached the trail we came in on. From here we retraced our steps back to the car. Along this hike we heard the songs of an indigo bunting, as well as oven birds, an osprey, a red belly woodpecker. The birds we saw up close were robins, a tanager. An eagle and its eaglets were observed in the distance from the overlook.

TWRI-Shining05

The View From Atop Shining Rock

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King Phillips Trail – Uxbridge/Northbridge

  • King Phillips Trail – Blackstone River & Canal Heritage State Park
  • Hartford Avenue, Uxbridge, MA
  • Trailhead: 42° 5’58.19″N, 71°37’9.02″W
  • Last Time Hiked: July 25, 2014
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.8 miles
  • Moderate due to some significant elevation.

 

Today’s hike would be my first of four planned hikes in this section of the State Park. I had previously did a hike last year at the southern end of the park at Blackstone Gorge. This hike would be an out and back hike with a small loop at the end. I started the hike from a parking area by Rice City Pond. I then followed a dirt service road into an area of fields. After the last field the road turns slightly to the right and uphill into an area of pines. Through this area the trail is rather indistinguishable. There are several picnic benches here and I made my way by them before finding the trail again. The trail then winds up and down through the woods keeping the cattails and marsh to the left as it makes it way into Northbridge. There are several other paths in this area (that are not on the map) but I kept to the one that seemed the most used. I eventually came to a four way intersection. The trail to the right (which I would return on) seemed to head to parking area on Wolf Hill Road. There were two trails to the left. One went downhill and the other seemed to head uphill. Looking to get to the overlook I opted to take the upward trail. It started its incline gently but toward the end it was more a literal climb. When I reached the top of Lookout Rock I took a breather and took in the view. Below I could see the hills of Uxbridge and the Blackstone River. I then followed what seemed to be the main trail downward before turning right down a side trail that brought me to another trail where I turned right again. This trail led me back to the four way intersection. From here I retraced my steps back to the car. I came across several birds and insects along this hike. This park is open to hunting during hunting season.

Trail Map can be found at: King Phillips Trail.

The View From Lookout Rock

The View From Lookout Rock