Archive for the ‘ ~RICHMOND RI~ ’ Category

DeCoppett North – Richmond

  • DeCoppett North – DeCoppett State Management Area
  • Old Mountain Road, Richmond, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°32’16.02″N, 71°38’29.72″W
  • Last Time Hiked: April 25, 2020
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.3 miles
  • Fairly easy.

 

This hike in the northern end of DeCoppett is an out and back hike along an old cart path. Starting from the gated entry at Old Mountain Road, you are immediately greeted by two large boulders on the left. This is just a glimpse of the hike ahead. The cart path is flanked by boulders and stone walls almost all the way to Hillsdale Road. Not very far into the property and on the left is the George Beverly cemetery. The graves here date back to 1870. At the half mile and on the left there is an opening in the stone wall and a faded trail that leads to another cemetery. At the three quarter mile mark along the cart path and on the left again are the remains of a rather large foundation. At the end of the cart path turn left on the paved Hillsdale Road and follow it a few feet for a glimpse of the Beaver River. From here retrace you steps back to Old Mountain Road.

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Large Boulder Along The Trail

DeCoppett South – Richmond

  • DeCoppett South – DeCoppett State Management Area
  • Hillsdale Road, Richmond, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°30’44.97″N, 71°38’40.28″W
  • Last Time Hiked: April 19, 2020
  • Approximate distance hiked: 3.5 miles
  • Moderate due to navigation, difficult river crossing.

 

This hike in a lesser known State Management Area offers quite a bit. Beautiful trails, boulders, a pond, cemetery, and a nearly impossible river crossing. With that last part being said, be prepared to backtrack if the river is in fact impossible to cross as conditions change over time and can drastically be affected by recent weather. For this hike, in the southern section of the property, start from a small parking area on the west side of Hillsdale Road where Punchbowl Trail intersects. Cross the road towards the “Road Closed/Dead End” sign and follow the trail as it quickly descends downhill. Along this stretch you will observe several boundary signs before coming to the swiftly flowing Beaver River. This crossing offers a large planed log with a unique split at the far end. If you find this river crossing questionable, this hike may not be for you. Continuing ahead the trail slowly climbs uphill flanked by a stone wall on the left. Ahead, just off the trail and on the right is a cemetery. There are no visible inscriptions on the stones. This is the Phillips-Barber Cemetery with graves dating back to 1772. One of the graves is of that of Benjamin Barber who served in the American Revolution. Back on the trail, you will soon come to an intersection. Turn left here. In a few hundred feet the trail splits. Stay to the right here, the trail on your left is your “emergency exit”. The trail starts to climb uphill gently but for quite a while. After recent rains this section of trail can be quite muddy as it winds pass boulders small and large. At the top of the hill (1.1 miles from the start of the hike) take a sharp left turn. There is a small cairn here to mark the intersection. This trail starts the long,  and at times steep, descent back towards the Beaver River. Along the way you will pass through an impressive area of boulders and a trail on the left. Make note of this trail. If you can’t cross the river this trail is your “emergency exit” and will be the best way to exit as it avoids climbing the hill you just came down. When you reach the river you will notice there is no bridge. There is a row of stones here that can be used to cross when the river is low and calm. (At the time of this hike the river was swollen and rather deep after heavy rains. Crossing here was not an option. Wandering upstream a bit you will find a downed tree that crosses the river. Someone has tied a rope across the river where this tree is. Do not rely on the rope for balance. This is a difficult and dangerous crossing. You are on your own if you attempt this. After crossing follow the river downstream back to the trail.) On the other side of the river the trail becomes an area of grass. Stay to the left here, the trail turns slightly right and climbs gently uphill again passing sections of old fence and a cellar hole. There will be another trail to the right that follows an old split rail fence for a bit and up a small hill. Here is the Fielding-Vallet cemetery with noticeably modern graves as recent as 2010, that being of Hope Edwards, the last “tenant” of this property. After her death, per the wishes of Theakston de Coppett, this property was endowed to the State of Rhode Island to become a nature preserve. After checking out this cemetery, return to the last intersection and turn right. The trail soon comes out to Hillsdale Road. Turn left here and then right almost immediately and back into the woods. Along this stretch there is a short spur trail that leads to a field that is worth checking out. Continuing back on the trail you will come to a wide stream. After the last river crossing this one is a breeze. Still not easy though, as you have to jump from stone to stone. The trail then winds through pines and deciduous trees that have been ravaged by the recent gypsy moth infestations. At the next trail intersection, turn left. The trail is now covered in pine needles as you traverse your way through a pine grove. Ahead you will come to a four way intersection with a large boulder at the corner of a stone wall. You will eventually follow the trail to the left back to the parking area, but first you will want to follow the trail straight ahead of you. The trail leads to a large open field where you may catch a glimpse of hawks or turkey vultures. At the field turn right and follow the tree line for a bit to get a glimpse of Bailey Pond. From here retrace your steps back to the four way intersection where you will turn right to return to the parking area. The trails here are not blazed and there is no official map available for the property. It is highly recommended to use a GPS device here.

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The First River Crossing

Map

Trail Map – DeCoppett South

Grass Pond East – Richmond

  • Grass Pond East
  • Ellen Brady Drive, Richmond, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°29’18.02″N, 71°38’9.94″W
  • Last Time Hiked: August 19, 2018
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.1 miles
  • Moderate due to hill.

 

In 2014, I had ventured into the Nature Conservancy’s Grass Pond property and followed the yellow blazed trail. Since then, the D.E.M. portion of the property has been blazed with a blue loop trail. This blue loop trail is accessible from the cul-de-sac at the end of Ellen Brady Drive. After passing the trail-head sign stay to the right and follow the blue blaze trail as it bends slightly to the left passing a couple stone walls. Ahead is an intersection with blue blazes both to the left and ahead. Continue ahead here, the trail turns to the left once again (passing a “Beware of Dog” sign) and then turns to the right starting a long steady uphill climb to the top of Wilbur Hill. The trail is flanked by stone walls most of the way. After passing over the crest of the hill is another intersection. The trail ahead continues onto the Nature Conservancy portion of Grass Pond. Turn left here and continue to follow the blue blazes. The trail winds through a forest covered in ferns, pass tall shrubs, over a boardwalk before coming to a long section of downward trail to finish the loop of over just a mile.

 

Map can be found at: Grass Pond East

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Along the Blue Blazed Trail Climbing Wilbur Hill

Richmond Heritage Trail – Richmond

  • Richmond Heritage Trail
  • Country Acres Road, Richmond, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°30’10.50″N, 71°39’56.31″W
  • Last Time Hiked: September 22, 2017
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.9 miles
  • Fairly easy.

 

The Richmond Heritage Trail is one of the newest trail systems in the State opening in September of 2017. It comprises of three very distinctive types of walks. The first part is an ADA accessible stone dust path with a beautiful boardwalk. This section is about a half mile long and offers six informational boards about the history and heritage of Richmond. There is a blue blazed trail that meanders to the far reaches of the property. This trail was developed largely in part by Richmond Boy Scout Troop 1. The trail weaves through a forest of pines, beech, and maple trees. A gravel road is also on the property, that for the most part, parallels the blue trail. The back reaches of the gravel road passes fields of tall grasses and wildflowers that is a haven for butterflies and dragonflies. Adding a little of each of these three different walks, one can hike up to 2 miles. The trail-head is at the base of the towns bright blue water tower at the end of Country Acres Road.

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A Stretch of the Boardwalk.

Stetson Preserve – Richmond

  • Stetson Preserve
  • New London Turnpike, Richmond, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°32’56.50″N, 71°39’28.17″W
  • Last Time Hiked: March 4, 2017
  • Approximate distance hiked: 0.8 miles
  • Easy with some elevation.

 

Along a quieter stretch of the New London Turnpike is a quaint little preserve that offers a short trail system. Although short, this preserve is well worth a visit if you are in the area. The terrain is slightly hilly and the property is scattered with large rocks and boulders under a canopy of deciduous trees. There are two blazed trails that cover essentially all of the small property. The blue blazed trail loops around the perimeter and offers a glimpse at Beaver River. The yellow blazed out and back trail leads to a hill top with a sitting area. The rocky terrain and stone walls made the property a haven for chipmunks. Birds were also in abundance here, spotting and hearing several woodpeckers and blue jays. The property is quite comparable to the nearby Beaver River Preserve. In fact only a few hundred feet of private property separate the two properties. This hidden gem of a property is good for kids and beginners, as well as a nice supplemental walk to Beaver River. A must do!!!

 

Trail maps can be found at: Stetson Preserve

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Along the Blue Trail

Arcadia Trail – Exeter/Richmond

  • Arcadia Trail – Arcadia Wildlife Management Area
  • Ten Rod Road, Exeter, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°34’36.27″N, 71°42’13.25″W
  • Last Time Hiked: June 25, 2016
  • Approximate distance hiked: 7.0 miles
  • Moderate due to distance, some elevation and rocky footing.

 

This 7 mile one way hike leads you through the eastern parts of the Arcadia Management Area. Starting from Appie Crossing along Ten Rod Road follow the yellow blazes of the Arcadia Trail. The entire trail is blazed yellow and at times follows the blue blazes of the North South Trail as well. Soon you will come to an intersection. The white blazed Mount Tom Trail is to the right, continue straight following the yellow blazes. The trail soon traverses along the northeast face of Bald Hill before coming to a wider cart path of a trail. Turn left here and follow it, the trail is now joined by the North South Trail, to Bates School House Road. Turning to the right, follow the paved road briefly before turning left onto a narrower trail. The narrow trail will soon cross Arcadia Road. The next section of the trail winds through the trees crossing boardwalks before coming to Roaring Brook Pond. Here there is a long section of wooden walks that overlook the picturesque pond. Several types of birds are commonly spotted here. Continuing to follow the yellow blazes make your way through the parking area for Roaring Brook before turning left and towards Tefft Hill. The yellow blaze trail soon turns left, splitting briefly from the blue blazes of the North South Trail. Along this stretch you are on the backside of Roaring Brook Pond and may catch a glimpse of it. The trail soon comes to another wide cart path trail. Turn right here and then soon you will see markings on the left for the Arcadia Trail. After turning left the trail is rejoined by the North South Trail and hugs the west face of Tefft Hill. At the next intersection there is a small bench. The white blazed trail ahead is the Arcadia Crossover. Stay to your left here and continue to follow the yellow blazes. The trail becomes slightly hilly and much more rocky. In fact, along this part you will pass through a boulder field. After crossing a brook the North South Trail once again splits from the Arcadia Trail. Stay to the right following the yellow blazes. The scenery changes dramatically as you head through a grove of pines, then an area of stone walls, before coming to a series of boardwalks. The white blazed Arcadia Crossover comes in from the right at the brook crossing. Stay to the left here following the brook and yellow blazes. The trail then crosses KG Ranch Road and makes it over another small hill before concluding opposite of the Arcadia Headquarters on Arcadia Road.

 

Trail maps can be found at: Arcadia Trail

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Large Boulder Along The Arcadia Trail

Pratt Farm – Exeter/Richmond

 

I first came upon Pratt Farm in an old Ken Weber book. After a four mile hike in the area I decided to come here and check out the farm. The book had a hike that covered both the farm and a large loop over Bald Hill. I had previously hiked Bald Hill a year and a half ago and always meant to come here to cover the rest. The hike has three very distinctively different portions to it. Starting from a parking area at the bend of Summit Road, I followed the road to the east for about three tenths of a mile. The road is very secluded and very often will not have any traffic. To the right is a gate with a trail behind it. It is highly suggestible to use GPS and/or have a copy of the Great Swamp Press map of Arcadia. The best way to describe this section is to continue straight through the vast forest of young pines until you get to the hill. And what a hill it is… Using both feet and occasionally a hand for balance, I climbed the hill. At the top of the hill I turned right. The trail starts downhill and becomes almost undistinguishable at points. Near the bottom of the hill the trail turns to the left and you will notice a clearing. Popping out from the woods you are now in a large open field. It is quite surprising the contrast of one landscape to another. And this field is just stunning. Another of Rhode Islands best kept secrets. Here I turned right and followed the grass covered farm road over the next hill and back out to the parking area. There is also a beautiful New England style stone wall here and the remnants of an old barn built into the hill. Here I came across folks walking their dogs and a couple of horseback riders. If you want to check out the fields only then reverse the direction of the hike.

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Farm Field