Archive for the ‘ ~THOMPSON CT~ ’ Category

Wakefield Pond – Burrillville/Thompson

  • Wakefield Pond
  • Wakefield Road, Burrillville, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°58’15.94″N,71°47’51.77″W
  • Last Time Hiked: October 21, 2016
  • Approximate distance hiked: 3.0 miles
  • Moderate due to footing and some elevation.

 

Wakefield Pond is often overlooked as it lies between some of the more predominate recreational areas. The Buck Hill Management Area to the north, the George Washington Management Area to the south, and the Quaddick State Forest to the west often overshadow this area. The pond is flanked to the west by a Boy Scout Camp and the northeast by a couple dozen homes. This hike is an out and back that follows dirt roads. Starting from the corner of Wakefield Road where it bends onto Croff Road there is a dirt road that heads to the east. Almost immediately you will come upon a historical cemetery on the left. The road then starts to descend downhill, into Thompson, to a four way intersection. Along the way there are a few trails to the left. Notice the “No Trespassing” signs, this is the land of the Boy Scouts. When you have reached to intersection turn left. This is Wakefield Pond Road and it heads south through the Quaddick State Forest for a bit before coming to more Boy Scout property. There is a long steady stretch of uphill walking here. After the top of the hill you will see a cellar hole on the right with an old shed behind it. The road then descends downhill once again and curves to the left heading back into Burrillville after crossing Blackmore Brook. In the distance to the left you will see the stonework of the stone and earthen dam that holds the water in Wakefield Pond. There is a trail to the left that leads to a wooden bridge and dam. This is private property. Continue ahead for a view of the pond. Next there is a road to the right that leads to Peck Pond. For this hike continue straight along the road. At the one and a half mile mark, just as the pond starts to turn away from the pond, there is a nice little spot with a sweeping view of the pond. From here retrace your steps back to the beginning of the hike. The roads that you follow for this hike are rather rocky, some loose in many spots. Beware of your footing.

twri-wakefield

Fall Colors By The Pond.

Quaddick State Park – Thompson

  • Quaddick State Park
  • Quaddick Town Farm Road, Thompson, CT
  • Trailhead: 41°57’21.27″N, 71°48’43.11″W
  • Last Time Hiked: August 2, 2016
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.6 miles
  • Easy with some elevation.

 

Just over the border in Connecticut is a quaint and small State Park used mostly for swimming. There is also a mile and a half red blazed loop trail that traverses throughout the park. It is a well blazed trail that gently climbs up and down rolling hills, follows the shore of the Quaddick Reservoir for a moment, and passes by Poor Farm Brook. There are many stone walls through the fern covered forest of towering pines. There are also many birds that could be heard here.

 

Trail maps can be found at: Quaddick State Park

TWRI-8-Quaddick

Stone Walls And Tall Pines

Robbins Preserve – Thompson

  • Robbins Preserve
  • Fred Davis Road, Thompson, CT
  • Trailhead: 41°59’47.09″N, 71°48’38.38″W
  • Last Time Hiked: April 4, 2015
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.5 miles
  • Fairly easy with some elevation.

 

This property, owned by the Wyndham Land Trust, offers a variety of different sights. The property sits on a series of rolling hills that is covered with areas of forest and open fields. The Five Mile River also passes through the property. We started the hike from the entrance at Fred Davis Road and followed the old gravel road slightly to the left, up and over the hill. The walk is entirely on these old gravel roads. We soon came to an open area. Ahead is the main road that leads further into the property. Slightly to the right you can see the road that takes you to the river. We followed the main road first nearly to its end passing through wooded areas and more open fields. Along the way we came across several birdhouses and various animal tracks. We also saw the first signs of spring with a variety of colorful lichens blooming. After retracing our steps, we then followed the road to the river. An old bridge spans the river which had a significant flow from all the recent snow-melt. We then followed a loop that traversed through an area that had been partially cleared at one point. From here we made our way back to the cars. At the entrance there is a box with trail maps.

 

Trail map can be found at: Robbins Preserve.

Five Mile River

Five Mile River

Tri State Marker – Thompson/Burrillville/Douglas

  • Tri State Marker
  • East Thompson Road, Thompson, CT
  • Trailhead: 42° 0’31.89″N, 71°48’32.66″W
  • Last Time Hiked: December 27, 2014
  • Approximate distance hiked: 4.2 miles
  • Moderate, difficult in areas with rocky footing and hills, rest is fairly easy.

 

Upon a knoll deep in the woods is where the states of Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut meet. At that point is a granite marker. It is not an uncommon occurrence in the United States. But here it is all on public land and there are trails leading to it. Although this hike was not just to the marker and back, it certainly is one of the highlights of it. This hike would lead us through all three states using various trails. We (myself, Auntie Beak, and a another fellow hiker) started at East Thompson Road where the Airline Trail crosses the road. This would be the first highlight of the hike. At this location on December 4, 1891 the Great East Thompson Train Wreck occurred. It was the only four train collision in the countries history. There is signage here explaining the event. From here we headed east along the Airline Trail. The trail itself is the former railroad bed. It is now just a flat wide dirt and gravel path. We soon came to an old wooden bridge that crossed the path. The bridge was apparently used to herd livestock safely over the railroad. Just after the bridge and to the left is a faint path that leads toward the bridge approach. Here is the next highlight of this hike. It is the Hermit Cave. The small hole in the side of the hill is the entrance to the cave. Inside the cave (flashlight required) is some impressive stonework. No one knows for sure who built it, but it appears to be similar to many root cellars found throughout New England. Continuing on the Airline Trail we soon came to a sign for the blue-blazed Tri State Marker Trail. Here we turned right and started the fairly short (three tenths of a mile) but relatively challenging uphill and rocky climb toward the next highlight of this hike. This trail follows the Connecticut/Massachusetts border. At the top of the trail is a small clearing with a large granite marker. This is the Tri-State marker. The monument, dated 1883, has the abbreviations of the three states inscribed in it. The trail to the right would lead you back to the Airline Trail if you decide you have seen enough. The trail straight ahead, called the Border Trail by locals, would lead you along the Connecticut/Rhode Island border into the heart of the Buck Hill Management area. We opted to follow the trail to the left (east) that follows the Rhode Island/Massachusetts border. We were in the extreme northern edge of Buck Hill along this trail. The trail, still rocky and somewhat difficult, continues to climb uphill, passing a few more state boundary markers along the way. The trail soon ends. We turned left onto the next trail and into the Douglas State Forest. The trail, unblazed and unnamed steadily descends down the opposite side of the hill we just climbed over. The hike from here on is relatively easy as most of the inclines were now behind us. Along this trail we came across the first of some quite impressive cellar holes. At the next intersection we turned left onto the yellow blazed Mid-State Trail. We followed the Mid-State for a while passing yet another impressive cellar hole. The Mid-State then turns to the right (sign on tree says “PARK”), we followed the trail to the left and continued downhill, passing a small stream, to a four way intersection at the Southern New England Trunkline Trail. This trail is a continuation of the railroad bed we came in on. It just has a different name on the Massachusetts side. Before turning left and following the trail back to the car, we did a little exploring to the right and straight ahead checking out some of the water features. Rocky Brook offers some small cascading waterfalls and the pond here was still with some nice reflections. Both Buck Hill in Rhode Island and the Douglas State Forest in Massachusetts are open to hunting. We did come across hunters on this hike. Be sure to wear blaze orange during hunting season.

Trail map can be found at: Tri-State Marker. (courtesy of Auntie Beak)

The Tri-State Marker

The Tri-State Marker

Reflections

Reflections

Pulaski Park/Peck Pond – Burrillville/Putnam/Thompson

  • Casimir Pulaski Memorial State Park
  • Center Trail, Burrillville, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°55’57.19″N,  71°47’49.01″W
  • Last Time Hiked: May 25, 2014
  • Approximate distance hiked: 4.8 miles
  • Easy with some slight elevation.

I think I have always been a bit of a naturalist. I would rather spend time in the woods rather than in front of a computer. I have always been tremendously intrigued by Thoreau and not so much Jobs or Gates. I would choose Walden Pond over the city any day. But this is the age of technology. Social media has come to rule my life for better or worse. With that being said, a year and a day ago I was contacted by a blogger simply known as Auntie Beak. She came across my hiking blog and suggested that we should talk. She was working on a similar project and we over time eventually became Facebook friends and became members of the same hiking groups. A series of misfortunes occurred last summer. Auntie Beak broke her ankle hiking Escoheag Trail in Arcadia in July and I followed in a less honorable Downtown Providence drinking incident of breaking my ankle in August. Obviously, we both needed to heal and then a long, cold, almost unbearable winter set in. In late April a rain delay of sorts would play into the cards. But at last… Auntie Beak and I have hiked together. Auntie Beaks blog is a wealth of information of the Southeastern Connecticut and Southern Rhode Island trails. I often refer to her site for hikes. She is also very knowledgeable in fungus and flowers. I have never been much into botany, but as of late, my interests have been peaked. I am grateful to have met Auntie Beak and the many others I have met through social media that have the same love and passion for the outdoors that I have. With that being said, today’s hike… Pulaski Park is a beautiful state park with Peck Pond as its centerpiece. The entrance road to Pulaski Park is off of Route 44 in Glocester, however, the parking area and all of the trails we hiked on the Rhode Island side are in Burrillville. We started from the main parking area near the restrooms. We followed the path to the beach area then turning right following a trail that was blazed white with a blue dot. This trail meandered through dense woods with some rocky footing. We had initially started off trying to follow the yellow blazed trail but took a wrong turn somewhere along the way. Whoops! We ended up doing a loop that brought us back to the beach area. We decided then to head over to the bridge that crosses the dam. The bridge aptly named the RI-CONN bridge crosses over into the extreme northeastern corner of Putnam, Connecticut before entering Thompson. We then followed a gravel road for a bit back into Burrillville. At the split we followed the road to the right. This road would eventually come to a covered bridge passing first some streams and old man-made stone works of interest. Most of this road had an occasional yellow blaze. Shortly after the covered bridge we came to a short trail on the right that would lead uphill to another gravel road. We then turned right following the road to a trail on the right that would cut through an open field. At the next intersection we went straight completing a loop that came out to our left. We should have turned right. From here we turned left at the next intersection and back to the parking area. We came across many flowers, again seeing Lady Slippers, as well as mushrooms and fungus on this hike and many insects. I did not see any wildlife other than birds and the occasional squirrel.

Trail map can be found at: Pulaski Park-Peck Pond.

Peck Pond

Peck Pond

Covered Bridge

Covered Bridge