Archive for the ‘ ~WESTPORT MA~ ’ Category

Westport Woods – Westport/Little Compton

  • Westport Woods/Cotton Preserve
  • Adamsville Road, Westport, MA
  • Trailhead:  41°33’30.54″N, 71° 7’29.09″W
  • Last Time Hiked: January 5, 2020
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.5 miles
  • Fairly easy.

 

Westport Woods is one of the newer trail systems in the area opening to the public in the summer of 2019. For this hike, about one and half of the almost 3 miles of trails was hiked. Starting from the kiosk at the parking area, first follow the paved road north a couple hundred feet then turn left onto a stone dust path. This path winds west then south through a field with tall trees. Soon you will come to the “Main Trail” sign on your right. This section of trail, blazed orange, enters the woods and follows the western edge of the property passing several types of trees, holly shrubs, and stone walls. At the second trail intersection the orange trail continues ahead and the yellow blazed trail begins at the right. For this hike continue ahead for now. (You will be retracing your steps back to this intersection). The orange trail now enters the Cotton Preserve owned by the Little Compton Agricultural Conservancy Trust. After crossing a stream you will come to a quarry pond. Take a moment to take in the beauty here before retracing your steps back to the yellow trail (now on your left). The remainder of this hike will follow the yellow trail with the exception of a short detour at your first left. Here you will follow a short loop trail to a vernal pool. After viewing the vernal pool return to the yellow trail and continue to follow it to the east. The trail will include a series of boardwalks in wet areas, followed by an interesting stone feature on the left, (presumably leftovers from the former St Vincent de Paul Camp), before winding along the eastern edge of the property to a stone bridge. From here the trail ends at an open field. Continue ahead to reach the kiosk by the parking area. Hunting is allowed here, Be sure to wear orange during hunting season.

 

Map can be found at: Westport Woods.

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Stone Structure at Westport Woods.

Grays Mill Pond – Little Compton/Westport

  • Grays Mill Pond/Guild Preserve
  • Adamsville Road, Westport, MA
  • Trailhead:  41°33’21.52″N, 71° 7’36.93″W
  • Last Time Hiked: January 5, 2020
  • Approximate distance hiked: 0.5 miles
  • Fairly easy, can be muddy.

 

The trail and property is entirely in Little Compton, Rhode Island, however, you must park in Westport and venture your way to the property. The parking area is next to the pond on the north side of Adamsville Road. There is a sign here at the parking area the reads “Additional Parking Grays Daily Grind”. At the back side of the parking area is a post and rail fence with a gate. After passing through the gate you are in Little Compton. Stay to the right here and follow the brushline up a small hill after passing the small structures on the right. At the top of the hill is a sign at the entrance of the preserve. Just beyond the sign a trail appears downhill and to the left that leads to a footbridge that crosses the West Branch of the Westport River. Just after the bridge there is a loop trail that is currently blazed red. The trail itself is a little root bound and can be muddy in spots. At the north end of the loop there is a small clearly for another glimpse of the river. Another highlight of the property is stunningly tall holly tree along the trail. The property is small and the trail is short, but the river and nearby pond make for peaceful stops.

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Footbridge at The Entrance of The Property

MapGMP

Map Provided by Sakonnet Preservation

Dunham’s Brook – Westport

  • Dunham’s Brook Conservation Area
  • Main Road, Westport, MA
  • Trailhead:  41°32’37.64″N, 71° 5’14.17″W
  • Last Time Hiked: September 8, 2018
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.8 miles
  • Fairly easy.

 

Wedged between Main Road and Route 88, Dunham’s Brook offers nearly 3 miles of trails in three very different and distinctive loops. Starting from the parking area, the trail first follows an open area of grass before entering the woods. At the first wooden bridge look to the right to notice a pond. The next bridge crosses Dunham’s Brook itself. Shortly after that is an area of boardwalk that winds through the thick brush. After taking a sharp right and climbing uphill, you will come to a set of stairs of the left. Go left here first climbing the stairs up to the trail (blue loop) This trail will lead you along the ridge of the hill passing the remains of a stone silo on the left before coming out to a large farm field. The trail bends to the right here. The path to the right (blue loop) will turn back to the south pass a stone wall and end at the orange loop. The path to the left (green loop) will lead you through a large seasonal corn field before entering the woods once again. This section is not shown on the map provided, but is shown at the kiosk at the trailhead. A logging operation was also actively occurring at the time of this hike. Continuing straight the trail will soon turn to the right to complete the loop. Turn left and retrace your steps back through the corn field, pass the silo, and to the stairs. For the last part of this hike, turn left at the bottom of the stairs, follow the trail slightly uphill to the next intersection. Turn left onto the blue trail and follow it to the stone wall at the corn field. Turn right here and follow the orange loop trail as it re-enters the woods. The trail winds through a dense area of woods and wetlands along the southern end of the property. The trail eventually makes a loop and returns to the stairs. From here continue ahead and retrace your steps back to the parking area.

 

Map can be found at: Dunham’s Brook

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The Stairs at Dunham’s Serves as a Good Reference Point

 

Westport Town Farm – Westport

 

This beautiful property owned and maintained by the Trustees and the Westport Land Conservation Trust offers a nice 1 mile walk along mowed trails following the perimeter of a large meadow. The property stretches downhill from the farmhouse and barn to the Westport River. There are several stone walls and wildflowers here at Westport Farm as well.

 

Map can be found at: Westport Town Farm

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Stone Walls and Mowed Paths

Noquochoke – Westport

 

Another short, beautiful hike in Westport. The Noquochoke Conservation Area, part of a former Boy Scout camp, offers about three quarters of a mile worth of trails through some truly impressive and tall pine groves. The property includes several stone walls and an operating well from days past. The trails, though not blazed, are well marked with signs at intersections.

 

Map can be found at: Noquochoke.

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Sunlight Through The Tall White Pines

Mill Pond – Westport

 

A short hike indeed, with one small hill to climb over before reaching the end of the trail at the Noquochoke River. The trail has three very distinctive sections. The front section is a crushed stone walkway that weaves through a small orchard. The trail then becomes pine needle covered as it winds up and over the small hill. And the last section runs along the river where the stone dam is breached and the water of the river cascades over it.

 

Map can be found at: Mill Pond.

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Breached Dam at the Noquochoke River

Gooseberry Island – Westport

  • Gooseberry Island
  • East Beach Road, Westport, MA
  • Trailhead: 41°29’29.54″N, 71° 2’21.24″W
  • Last Time Hiked: March 24, 2015
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.7 miles
  • Easy, some beach walking.

 

Part of the Horseneck Beach State Reservation, Gooseberry Island juts out into the entrance of Buzzards Bay. The island has been connected to the mainland by a causeway for over a hundred years. The island was once home to some summer cottages. They were destroyed by the hurricanes in the 20th century and never rebuilt. The main feature are the two towers at the center of the island. They are World War II era coastal defense towers and have been long abandoned. Starting from the parking area, we passed the gate and followed the dirt road for a while. The road runs through the center of the island and is flanked by thick shrubbery. We soon reached a fork in the road. We stayed to the left and soon found a side trail on the left that led to the beach. (The right fork leads to the towers). From here we could see the Elizabeth Islands, including Cuttyhunk. Beyond the islands we could also see a glimpse of Martha’s Vineyard. We then followed the beach in a southerly direction and around the tip of the island before making our way back to a trail that leads to the towers. From the west side of the island we could see the Sakonnet Light in the distance. Along the beach we came across some geese and what I believe were some sort of plovers. We then made our way to the towers taking some photos for a bit. From here we followed the main dirt road back to the parking lot.

 

I did not find a trail map on-line.

Towers From The Beach

Towers From The Beach