- Tarbox Pond – Big River Management Area
- Hopkins Hill Road, West Greenwich, RI
- Trailhead: 41°37’51.32″N, 71°34’16.41″W
- Last Time Hiked: April 17, 2014
- Approximate distance hiked: 4.4 miles
- Moderate with some elevation.
This would be my third excursion into the Big River Management Area. Last summer I had hiked Carr Pond and Hungry Hill on this property. As with all of Big River a map is a must and GPS is highly recommended as there is a tremendous maze of unmarked trails here. With that being said I began this hike with my Great Swamp Press map in hand from a parking area on Hopkins Hill Road. Two trails lead away from the parking area. I took the one to the left. (The one to the right will take you to Carr Pond). I followed this trail downhill first overshooting the turn I should’ve taken at the first major intersection. You should turn right at the first major intersection (currently marked with orange flagging). I then followed this trail and it veered left to a stream crossing followed by a small hill with another stream crossing on the opposite side before reaching a very large rock outcrop. At the outcrop there was a very large “camping” area with makeshift benches and fire pit. A marking in a tree called off the stop as Indian Rock. I then followed a narrow path off to the left that followed the edge of a peninsula before winding back to a wider dirt road. At the road I turned left and followed it nearly to its end. I then turned right at what appeared to be a T intersection with a trail leading off to the right and uphill. After crossing the top of the hill the trail descended to its end onto the abandoned portion of the New London Turnpike. At the turnpike I turned left crossing an overflowing area of marsh before turning left at the next trail. Along this trail I came across an old brick building with some very positive graffiti scrolled across the facade. At the end of this trail I turned left onto the next trail keeping the marsh in sight. Toward the end of this trail a vast network of minor trails meander in and out of the area. I found myself following the trails closest to the marsh and pond while heading in a westerly direction. There were many great sights in this area including some handy work by beavers as well as their dams. There were also some spots with wide open views of the pond and marsh. I also came across a pair of ducks in flight (who apparently knew I was trying to capture a photo of them… I failed!). This area is well worth exploring but be sure to keep your bearings. I eventually made my way back to Hopkins Hill Road via small trails following the edge of the pond. At the road I turned left over a small dam and then left again onto a trail that led back into the woods. I followed this trail to the second intersection (after a stone wall). At this point I turned right and uphill back to the parking area. Keep in mind this area is open to hunting and orange should be worn during hunting season.
Trail map can be found at: Tarbox Pond.