Archive for the ‘ ~SOUTH KINGSTOWN RI~ ’ Category

Worden Pond – South Kingstown

  • Worden Pond – Great Swamp Management Area
  • Great Neck Road, South Kingstown, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°28’8.48″N, 71°34’46.65″W
  • Last Time Hiked: April 17, 2020
  • Approximate distance hiked: 4.5 miles
  • Fairly easy with slight elevation.

 

The Great Swamp Management Area offers a little of everything. This hike will take you to the shores of Worden Pond and over the “heights” of Great Neck. Starting at the parking area, follow the road pass the kiosk. It will pass areas of swamp and small ponds before coming to the first split. Here there is a stone memorial marker for Dr. John Mulleedy. Stay to the left at this split and continue ahead. This road will soon pass under the power lines and gradually climb up hill for a bit pass stone walls and holly trees mixed among the other pines and deciduous. At the next split there is another stone memorial marker, this one for George McCahey. Again stay to the left at the split and continue ahead. You will notice that this road is a little less traveled. Not too far ahead is yet another split. There is no marker at this one and again stay to the left and continue ahead. When the hill finally crests (approximately 1.6 miles from the start of the hike) look for a side spur trail to the left. This is well worth checking out. In just a few foot steps you will come to a ledge that overlooks the land and swamp below. Take a moment here and then retrace your steps to the main trail and turn left. The road now winds downhill passing boulders, ledge, and mountain laurel before bending to the left and to a cove at the pond wedged between Stony Point and Case Point. Geese an ducks are a common site here and may startle you as you approach. The large concrete slab here is all that remains of a seaplane hanger. After checking out the pond for a bit make your way back a few feet and turn left. This spot is particularly muddy after stormy weather. This is a swamp after all!! The trail soon turns to the north and climbs quickly uphill. After two small fields on the right and one on the left you will come to the next split. Turn left here and follow the left side of the field, pass a stone wall at the treeline, and then follow the right side of the next field. You will then turn right onto a well defined road. This road will take you over some of the highest points of the property, known as Great Neck. You will start to come across several fields, particularly on the left. These fields offer clearings that give you sweeping views of the western portions of the property including the wildlife marsh that is featured on the Great Swamp hike. These fields are known to be a haven for American Woodcocks and Northern Flickers among several other birds (thank you URI student for that info!!). At the next intersection turn left and the road starts to descend. There are still great views over the fields on the left. As the road reaches the bottom of the hill you will pass under the power lines once again. Shortly after that is a small pond on the left. At the next intersection stay to the right and continue to follow the power lines until the road veer to the left away from them. Pass another field on the left and you will soon come to the Mulleedy Marker once again. Stay to the left here and follow the road back to the parking area.

 

Map can be found at: Worden Pond.

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Worden Pond

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moonstone Beach – South Kingstown

  • Moonstone Beach
  • Moonstone Beach Road, South Kingstown, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°22’18.72″N, 71°34’20.77″W
  • Last Time Hiked: April 17, 2017
  • Distance: Less than a mile April to September, up to 4 miles rest of year.
  • Easy Beach Walk.

 

Moonstone Beach for years was known for its reputation as being a nude beach. Today, no longer a nude beach, it is one of Rhode Islands most stunning beaches with its scattered stones along the sand. The beach surrounded and part of the Trustom Pond National Wildlife Refuge offers nearly 2 miles of strand between Roy Carpenters Beach and Green Hill Beach. The quiet beach is not easy to visit due to many seasonal restrictions. From May 1 to September 15 a parking pass is required to park along Moonstone Beach Road. Also in most of the spring and summer large sections of the beach are cordoned off to protect the piping plovers. The beach is stunningly beautiful in the winter months if you can handle the sometimes brutal winter winds. The best time to visit is very early spring, the autumn and winter. The beach is also noted for its birds as three salt ponds abut the beach including Trustom Pond and Cards Pond. Killdeers, Sandpipers, Herons, and Egrets are also known to frequent Moonstone. Be sure to bring a camera!!

 

More information about the birds of Moonstone Beach can be found here.

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Waves Crashing On Moonstone Beach

Browning Woods Farm – South Kingstown

  • Browning Woods Farm
  • Shannock Road, South Kingstown, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°24’47.16″N, 71°36’22.06″W
  • Last Time Hiked: October 30, 2016
  • Approximate distance hiked: 3.1 miles
  • Fairly easy with slight elevation.

 

At the extreme western edge of South Kingstown lies Browning Woods Farm. This property, owned by the South Kingstown Land Trust, was part of the original Pettaquamscutt Purchase of 1657 and belonged to the Browning Family as far back as the early 1700’s. The farm was used mostly to raise animals such as sheep, cattle, and pigs. Today there is a two mile loop and a half mile access trail that winds through the property. There is quite an elevation change on the property but it is so gradual that it is almost unnoticed. The trail passes several stone walls and the Browning Homestead where there is an impressive cellar hole. There are several side trails and old woods roads that spur off the blue blazed loop trail. Be sure to stay on the well marked blue blazed trail. Along with maples and pines there are also holly trees and winterberry. Chipmunks and squirrels can be seen here as well as a variety of songbirds. This is a great hike for someone who is just getting started with local hiking as the trail is easy to follow and mostly flat.

 

Trail maps can be found at: Browning Woods Farm

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Stone Walls And Boardwalks

DuVal Farm – South Kingstown

  • DuVal Farm/Susannah’s Woods
  • Post Road, South Kingstown, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°24’1.81″N, 71°35’5.67″W
  • Last Time Hiked: August 28, 2016
  • Approximate distance hiked: 3.9 miles
  • Moderate with some elevation.

 

Duval Farm, also known as Susannah’s Woods, is a South Kingstown Land Trust property that offers quite a bit. There are four separate trails here that wander through the woods, over hills, and by a pond. This property has an abundance of both mountain laurel and wild blueberries. Hiking in June for the mountain laurel or July for the blueberries are highly recommended. There is also a scenic overlook on the property and on clear days you can see Block Island. The view, somewhat boxed in by trees in the summer would be more impressive when the leaves are off the trees. There is a parking area in front of the cemetery along Post Road for a few automobiles. From here head west a few feet west along Post Road (following the blue blazes) to the trail head. The trail then heads into the woods passing a kiosk with the trail map. For this hike follow the blue blazed trail briefly to the first intersection. Turn left onto the red blazed trail (Polly’s Rock Loop). You will soon be along a ridge of a hill that is covered with low lying wild blueberry shrubs. The amount of them looks like waves along the slopes of the hills. You will also catch your first glimpse of the mountain laurel among the forest of oaks and pines. At the next intersection turn left onto the green blazed trail (Jones Camp Trail). The trail passes stone walls and areas of ferns. There are also some low lying wires to watch for. The trail will lead you west and eventually to Bull Head Pond. Near the end of the trail there is a small loop and you can see the pond through the trees. After the loop retrace your steps back to the red trail. Here turn left and follow the red blazes to the intersection of the yellow trail. Along the way there is a grove of mountain laurel that would look spectacular in bloom. The trail then climbs a rather significant hill before coming to a trail on the left. It is a short crossover trail that will shave a bit off your distance. For this hike continue straight following the red blazes passing the other end of the crossover trail. Soon you will reach the yellow trail (Lyn’s Loop) where you will turn left. The yellow trail heads north almost to Gravelly Hill Road before looping back south to a four way intersection with the blue blazed trail (DuVal Trail). Turn left here onto the Duval Trail and follow it to Gravelly Hill Road. Turn right onto the road and look for the blue blazed trail on the left just after a driveway. The trail then quickly climbs a hill, turns right (at the intersecton), and follows a ridge above the road. The blazes become far an few between along this stretch. Soon the trail widens at a rocky and sandy area. This is the overlook where on clear days you can see the ocean and Block Island off in the distance. The Duval Trail continues for nearly 2 more miles (4 miles out and back) to Red House Road up and over several hills. If you would like a hike of up to eight miles feel free to hike to the end of the trail. For this hike retrace your steps along the blue blazed trail back to the four way intersection. Here you will turn left onto an unmarked trail (non-system trail) that quickly descends downhill. The trail splits, stay to the right and follow it to the back side of the cemetery. The other trail loops around and eventually rejoins the unmarked trail. The trail then passes through the cemetery. There are graves from the early 1800’s here and at the front end of the parcel is the site of a meeting house that was built in 1750. After passing through the cemetery the trail winds downhill to the parking area.

 

Trail maps can be found at: Duval Farm

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Pine Needle Covered Trail

Eppley Refuge – South Kingstown

  • Marion Eppley Wildlife Refuge
  • Dugway Bridge Road, South Kingstown, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°31’16.37″N, 71°35’17.93″W
  • Last Time Hiked: May 5, 2016
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.5 miles
  • Easy.

 

The Eppley Wildlife Refuge is one of the Audubons largest properties and it is almost untouched. There is good reason for that. The property is not open to the public except for special events and programs. For a list of scheduled events go to the Audubons website and search their calendar. The property offers two loop trails trails, one blazed red, the other blue. After crossing the Queens River on an old rickety bridge the trails wind through areas of tall pines. There is a small unnamed pond along the red trail as well. For this visit I had joined a bird watching group. A list of birds seen or heard on this hike included: white breasted nuthatch, blackpool, northern water thrush, blue jay, sparrow, barn swallow, chickadee, oven bird, mourning dove, pine warbler, and yellow warbler. Great horned and barred owls are also known to be on the property. Please do not visit this property without joining an event.

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Bridge Across The Queens River

Marina Park – South Kingstown

 

 

This aptly named park sits between the busy Route 1 and the marinas of Upper Point Judith Pond. The park has just about a half mile of paved pathways. There is an amphitheatre here by the edge of Silver Spring Cove. This park is dog friendly, but they must be leashed. Just across the street there are some benches overlooking the pond.

 

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Marina Park

Tuckertown Park – South Kingstown

  • Tuckertown Park Nature Trail
  • Tuckertown Road, South Kingstown, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°25’34.86″N, 71°33’13.81″W
  • Last Time Hiked: December 21, 2015
  • Approximate distance hiked: 0.9 miles
  • Easy.

 

This short nature trail, just under a half mile in length, starts behind the historical cemetery and ends by the little league field at Tuckertown Park. The trail passes along a wooded swamp. There are also large clusters of rhododendron here which bloom in late spring/early summer. There were several birds here including several dozen blue jays. A walk down to the picnic area will provide you good views on Tucker Pond.

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Rhododendron at Tuckertown