Archive for the ‘ ~STERLING CT~ ’ Category

Trestle Trail West – Coventry/Sterling

  • Trestle Trail West
  • Hopkins Hollow Road, Coventry, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°41’22.76″N, 71°44’49.57″W
  • Last Time Hiked: September 11, 2015
  • Approximate distance hiked: 5.4 miles
  • Fairly easy.

This is an out and back hike along 2.7 miles of the former Providence, Hartford, & Fishkill railroad corridor. For the time being the walk is on crushed stone, sand, and areas of a pine needle covered pathway. There are plans, however, to extend the Washington Secondary Bike Path through this stretch of the former railroad creating a continuous bike path from the Connecticut border to Cranston. The bike path currently ends about 2.5 miles east of where this hike begins. I started this hike in the village of Greene along Hopkins Hollow Road at a small monument commemorating the railroad. The monument is a set of railcar wheels left on a small section of track and a plaque explaining the history of the railway that came through here. From the monument I started walking west across Hopkins Hollow Road following what appears to be a driveway. In fact, there are two “driveways” side by side here. The one on the left is the former railroad corridor. Stay on this one. I first passed a home on the left with some “guard” geese and a few goats. This is private property, please do respect that and enjoy the animals from a distance. The geese will be sure you do! Continuing, the driveway soon turns into a trail. Soon the former rail bed is wedged between two small hills, Fox Hill being the one on the left. A few stone retaining walls soon appear along this stretch. Just as the wall on the right ends and the wall on the left begins, look up the hill on the right. You will catch a glimpse of some old telegraph poles from yesteryear. Next I crossed Lewis Farm Road and continued ahead on the Trestle Trail. This stretch is a small part of the North South Trail. Just under the one mile mark, I went over the trestle that crosses the Moosup River. From this point forward to the Connecticut border you are in the Nicholas Farm Management Area. Hunting is allowed here, be sure to wear orange. The blue blazes of the North South Trail turn to the right toward Spencer Rock. I continued straight and came to an area that overlooks a stream below. In the distance you can catch a glimpse of Carbuncle Pond. The remainder of the hike is fairly quiet as it traverses toward and into Connecticut through heavily wooded areas. To the right and slightly uphill along this stretch is Rhode Islands least known airport. The aptly named, privately owned Riconn airport, sitting just about on the state line, has a couple of grass runways for small planes. Soon after that you will come to a trail on the right that leads to a large farm field. This trail intersection is just after the state line, you are now in Sterling, Connecticut. The last half mile of this stretch leads you out to Route 14A (Plainfield Pike). The railroad corridor continues further west if you cross the street. However, I turned around here and retraced my steps back to Greene.

Trail map can be found at: Trestle Trail West.

Along The Trestle Trail.

Along The Trestle Trail.

Nicholas Farm – Coventry/Sterling

  • Nicholas Farm – Nicholas Farm State Management Area
  • Nicholas Road, Coventry, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°40’50.23″N, 71°46’26.04″W
  • Last Time Hiked: August 10, 2015
  • Approximate distance hiked: 3.2 miles
  • Fairly easy with some significant elevation.

This 3 mile out and back hike offered two very distinctive landscapes. Starting from the parking area for Nicholas Farm and passing the red gate, you are immediately walking down a grass covered road that weaves northerly through areas of woods and large open fields. The fields are a haven for insects of all sorts. Grasshoppers, crickets, butterflies, bees, and cicadas were all abundant here. There were also some rather impressive ant mounds along the edge of the road. As the road ends, a narrower wooded trail appears on the right. This trail at first heads northerly toward the Moosup River and then turns to the west as it follows the river up on a ridge. It travels mostly through areas of pines and for the most part, with the exception of one large hill, is rather level. It is unblazed, but for the most part very discernible. At the end of the trail you have reached Connecticut. There is an area to the right to view the river. There is a gravel road that comes from the left and also a gravel trail ahead of you. These trails are part of the Pachuag State Forest, are unmarked, and can add miles of walking to your hike. If you choose to, be sure to have a trail map and/or GPS readily available, as the trail network can be a bit confusing. For this hike, I suggest that you retrace your steps back to the start of the hike.

Trail map can be found at: Nicholas Farm.

A Field At Nicholas Farm.

A Field At Nicholas Farm.