Archive for the ‘ ~PORTSMOUTH RI~ ’ Category

Black Ledge Trail – Portsmouth

  • Black Ledge Trail
  • Bay Avenue, Portsmouth, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°36’15.40″N, 71°20’0.87″W (3 miles from ferry)
  • Last Time Hiked: July 31, 2018
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.5 miles
  • Fairly easy, use extreme caution at ledge.

 

This hike on the western side of Prudence Island seems to have had two names. On the map linked below it is referred to as Bay Avenue. In an older Prudence Conservancy newsletter it is called the aptly named Black Ledge Trail. To access the trail, park on Bay Avenue just south of the Stone Wharf at the “diving rock”. From here walk up the driveway (still a public road) then stay in front of the stone wall in front of the houses. Ahead you will see a gate and the entrance of the trail. The trail is an out and back leading to a beautiful (but dangerous) ledge that overlooks the West Passage. Along the way are several spots where you can catch a glimpse of the bay. The east side of the trail for several hundred feet is a wall of sweet pepperbush. It is in bloom late July into early August and is very fragrant. The ledge is just after the second gate on the right. The trail ahead ends briefly at a home, there is no need to continue ahead. The trail to the right is steep and narrow as it descends to the ledge. It is worth the climb down for the amazing view. Take some time to linger here before retracing your steps back to the car.

 

NOTE: If you plan on hiking on Prudence Island, be known that the island is not commercialized. There are no restaurants, lodging, or transportation services. Once you are off the ferry you are on your own. Bring everything you will need for a day hike with no services.

 

Trail map can be found at: Black Ledge Trail.

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Black Ledges of Southwest Prudence Island

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Prudence West – Portsmouth

  • Prudence West
  • Bay Avenue, Portsmouth, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°37’20.93″N, 71°19’21.29″W (1.5 miles from ferry)
  • Last Time Hiked: July 30, 2018
  • Approximate distance hiked: 3.1 miles
  • Fairly easy with some elevation.

 

This hike on the western side of Prudence Island covers a variety of trails. It starts at a picnic and parking area along Bay Road at the entrance of Pulpit Rock. The rock it self is a couple hundred feet from the trail head along the Blind Allen Trail. This rock is where Roger Williams use to preach to the Native Americans and is also believed to be the throne of Canonicus and Miantonomi of the Narragansett Tribe. Continuing a little further along the winding Blind Allen Trail you will come to a trail intersection. Take a left here onto the newly created Deer Chase Run. This trail, blazed with deer hoof symbols, slowly climbs up a hill that leads to the Desert, an area of the island that wind erosion has made unsuitable for farming. The area now is abundant with pitch pine trees and occasional areas of sand. Soon you will come to the intersection of the Desert Trail. Continue ahead here following the hoof symbols of Deer Chase Run. The trail winds slightly downhill to a bridge crossing at Mill Creek. The trail then winds easterly exiting at utility pole 11 along Sunset Hill Avenue. Turn right here and follow the dirt road for about a tenth of a mile passing the Sunset Hill Farm (Bacon Farm) on the right. Ahead of you will signage for trails. Continue straight and onto the trail. You will see signage for the Diamond Trail on a tree. Continue ahead for a bit and you will come to a trail intersection. This is the Diamond Trail. To the left it would lead you to Baker Farm. For this hike turn right onto the Diamond Trail and follow it, passing tall grasses and shrubs, for about two tenths of a mile to another dirt road. At the dirt road stay to the left and pass through the wall. You are now at a six trail intersection. Turn right here and start to follow the Division Wall Trail keeping the wall to your right for the time being. This trail is blazed with a mathematic division symbol. The wall, which runs almost completely across the island represents the division line between land owned by Roger Williams (to the north) and John Winthrop (to the south). The wall was built a century after the agreement was made in the 1630’s. The trail follows the wall dipping into a valley, crossing a small stream, and then slightly back uphill a bit before ascending to Bay Avenue. The Ballard Trail runs parallel to this trail and joins it before coming to the street. Across the street is the end of the wall and the Division Rock, the dividing point between the two property owners. Also at this location is the beginning of the Sunset Trail on which you will follow along the west shore of the island for a half mile. Along the way on the right you will find a grave of an unknown British sailor who perished in the American Revolution. The Sunset Trail ends at Chase Way, a dirt road. Stay to the left here and follow the road along the shoreline. The road passes Chase Beach before winding to the right. At the end of Chase Way turn left onto Bay Avenue and follow it to the parking area at Pulpit Rock.

 

NOTE: If you plan on hiking on Prudence Island, be known that the island is not commercialized. There are no restaurants, lodging, or transportation services. Once you are off the ferry you are on your own. Bring everything you will need for a day hike with no services.

 

Updated trail map can be purchased at NBNERR at South Prudence.

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Along The Division Wall Trail

Blind Allen Trail – Portsmouth

  • Blind Allen Trail/Pulpit Rock
  • Bay Avenue, Portsmouth, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°37’18.23″N, 71°19’29.50″W (1.6 miles from ferry)
  • Last Time Hiked: July 30, 2018
  • Approximate distance hiked: 0.3 miles
  • Easy.

 

This very short hike begins and ends at Bay Road on the western side of Prudence Island. The trail features a nice stone wall and is home to Pulpit Rock. This rock is where Roger Williams use to preach to the Native Americans and is also believed to be the throne of Canonicus and Miantonomi of the Narragansett Tribe.

 

NOTE: If you plan on hiking on Prudence Island, be known that the island is not commercialized. There are no restaurants, lodging, or transportation services. Once you are off the ferry you are on your own. Bring everything you will need for a day hike with no services.

 

Trail map can be found at: Blind Allen Trail.

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Pulpit Rock Along The Blind Allen Trail

Pine Hill Point – Portsmouth

  • Pine Hill Point
  • Neck Farm Road, Portsmouth, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°38’11.54″N, 71°20’18.77″W (2.5 miles from ferry)
  • Last Time Hiked: July 30, 2018
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.4 miles
  • Fairly easy.

 

This is a beautiful network of grass mowed fields that lead you to the bay. Starting from a small parking area along Neck Farm Road you will follow the Pine Hill Trail south for about a tenth of a mile. Turn right at the first intersection and follow the trail slightly uphill. The trail here is flanked by trees and overgrown fields full of wildflowers and buzzing insects. The trail soon turns to the left passing through a fairly large meadow. At the next intersection continue straight and you will soon be turning to the left again onto a trail aptly named Seaside Way. You will catch glimpses of the bay through the trees here. When you reach the Pine Hill Trail continue straight and the trail will lead you downhill to Jenny’s Pond on the left and the beach on the right. From the beach you have views of the Jamestown Bridge and the Newport Bridge as well as Quonset. In Jenny’s Pond you are likely to see seabirds including egrets. From here retrace your steps to the Pine Hill Trail, turn right and follow it back to the parking area.

 

NOTE: If you plan on hiking on Prudence Island, be known that the island is not commercialized. There are no restaurants, lodging, or transportation services. Once you are off the ferry you are on your own. Bring everything you will need for a day hike with no services.

 

Trail map can be found at: Pine Hill Point.

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Trail at Pine Hill Point

Sand Point Light – Portsmouth

  • Sand Point Light
  • Narragansett Avenue, Portsmouth, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°36’22.33″N, 71°18’17.89″W (1 mile from ferry)
  • Last Time Hiked: July 29, 2018
  • Approximate distance hiked: 0.4 miles
  • Easy.

 

There is a large grassy area on a hill just in front of the lighthouse along Narragansett Avenue. Walking down the hill leads you to a grass mowed path that will lead you to the historic lighthouse and beach area. The lighthouse, the oldest existing in Rhode Island, was built in Newport in 1823 and moved to Prudence Island in 1851 where it has since stood. Its green beacon can be seen throughout the East Passage and from the mainland from Bristol to Middletown. The lighthouse itself withstood the historic hurricanes of 1938 and 1954, but the keepers house was swept out to sea during the 1938 storm killing five people. Making your way out to the actual point you will get a sweeping view of the East Passage including both the Newport Bridge and Mount Hope Bridge. On clear days you see up Mount Hope Bay to Fall River and the Braga Bridge. The Hog Island Light is also visible from here. Continuing to the Town Dock onto Landing Lane and then right onto Narragansett Avenue will conclude this short walk.

 

NOTE: If you plan on hiking on Prudence Island, be known that the island is not commercialized. There are no restaurants, lodging, or transportation services. Once you are off the ferry you are on your own. Bring everything you will need for a day hike with no services.

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Sand Point Light With The Mount Hope Bridge In The Distance

Prudence South – Portsmouth

  • Prudence South – Narragansett Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve
  • T-Wharf Avenue, Portsmouth, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°35’25.29″N, 71°19’28.96″W (3 miles from ferry)
  • Last Time Hiked: July 29, 2018
  • Approximate distance hiked: 3.0 miles
  • Fairly easy, all road walking.

 

Once part of a Naval Base and ammunition storage facility during World War II, the southern end of Prudence Island is now a National Estuarine Research Reserve. The old roads of the former base offer several miles of walking “trails” on the property. For this hike, you will start at the Learning Center. Inside the building are several displays of the type of birds, butterflies, and flowers you may see along the hike. There is also a butterfly garden outside the building. From the Learning Center follow T-Wharf Avenue, just under a mile, south to the wharf itself. The wharf was built by the United States Navy and was quite active during the second world war. Today the wharf is used for recreational purposes. There is an Education Shed at the beginning of the wharf well worth checking out. Follow the wharf to its end for uninterrupted views of Jamestown and the Newport Bridge, but be sure to secure your cell phone. The spaces between the wharfs boards are just wide enough to lose a falling cell phone. Fishing is quite a common site here as well. Several types of birds can be commonly spotted here including seagulls, terns, and cormorants. Returning back to land turn left at the composting toilet (good time for a break if needed), and follow the gravel road (Levesque Memorial Road). It will lead you along an Interpretive Trail that offers an occasional informational board about the surrounding area. This road also offers areas along the left that reach out to the bay for some spectacular views including a memorial park with a picnic area. When you reach Brown Road, stay to the left. The road then starts to bend to the right to another intersection at Albro Farm Road. Stay to the right here and head east following the concrete road. You will start to see several former ammunition bunkers from yesteryear along this stretch. At the end of the road you will come to a Quonset Hut. Here turn left and retrace you steps back to the Learning Center.

 

NOTE: If you plan on hiking on Prudence Island, be known that the island is not commercialized. There are no restaurants, lodging, or transportation services. Once you are off the ferry you are on your own. Bring everything you will need for a day hike with no services.

 

Trail map can be found at: Prudence South.

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Newport Bridge From The Southern Point of Prudence Island

Farnham Farm – Portsmouth

  • Farnham Farm/Hope Brown Center
  • Mount Pleasant Avenue, Portsmouth, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°35’53.90″N, 71°19’28.87″W (2.5 miles from ferry)
  • Last Time Hiked: July 29, 2018
  • Approximate distance hiked: 0.5 miles
  • Easy.

 

This Prudence Conservancy property offers enclosed gardens and orchards at an old diary farm. There is also a community center on the property. There are two short grass mowed paths here. The first, and shorter, is to the left and behind the community center. It winds through an area of wildflowers and tall grass and dead ends at a shady apple tree. The second, known as Sarah’s Path, is to the right of the old farm house, first passing through a field of wildflowers with an occasional piece of abandoned farm equipment before wrapping around the backside and around the enclosed gardens and orchards. At the gazebo there is a brick walkway with names of members of the Prudence Conservancy past and present.

 

NOTE: If you plan on hiking on Prudence Island, be known that the island is not commercialized. There are no restaurants, lodging, or transportation services. Once you are off the ferry you are on your own. Bring everything you will need for a day hike with no services.

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Grass Mowed Path at Farnham Farm

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