Archive for the ‘ ~WESTPORT MA~ ’ Category

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

Forge Pond – Westport

  • Forge Pond Conservation Area
  • Forge Road, Westport, MA
  • Trailhead: 41°37’53.43″N, 71° 3’14.15″W
  • Last Time Hiked: July 19, 2014
  • Approximate distance hiked: 0.7 miles
  • Easy with some elevation.

 

Upon our arrival at Forge Pond we were immediately drawn to the dam and waterfall near the parking area. After taking a look at it we ventured into the woods following the yellow blazed trail that runs near the edge of the pond. The trail offered a few areas that came to the shore of the pond. There is a large boulder “outlook” where the Noquochoke River meets Forge Pond. After taking a few photos we continued following the yellow trail for a bit passing an area with several dragonflies before coming across some ruins. We then made our way to the blue blazed trail which climbs up a hill and loops back to the yellow trail. From here we retraced our steps back to the car.

Trail map can be found at: Forge Pond.

Noquochoke River By The Ruins

Noquochoke River By The Ruins

Brookside – Westport

  • Brookside Conservation Area
  • American Legion Highway, Westport, MA
  • Trailhead: 41°38’2.24″N, 71° 3’48.68″W
  • Last Time Hiked: July 19, 2014
  • Approximate distance hiked: 0.6 miles
  • Easy, however trail is rocky and narrow.

 

The aptly named Brookside Conservation Area was the first of five short hikes that myself and a fellow hiker would do this morning. We set out from the parking area first passing a small field on the right before heading into the woods. The trail then turns right and follows the bank of the Bread And Cheese Brook. The brook is scattered with boulders and in some areas the water runs quickly over the rocks. The trail, a single in and out, is narrow in many spots with several rocks and roots. Be sure to watch your footing here.

Trail map can be found at: Brookside.

Bread And Cheese Brook

Bread And Cheese Brook

Old Harbor – Westport

  • Old Harbor Wildlife Refuge
  • Old Harbor Road, Westport, MA
  • Trailhead: 41°31’52.48″N, 71° 7’17.97″W
  • Last Time Hiked: April 19, 2014
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.6 miles
  • Easy, however sections are muddy due to seasonal conditions.

 

After our first hike in Dartmouth, we stopped here in Westport for our second hike. Old Harbor is a large tract of wooded property with a few trails. There is also a trail that leaves the refuge onto private property which is open to the public as long as you stay on the trail. We started this hike from the parking area and followed the red trail to the left. The trail is very well marked. We passed a trail on the left that appeared unmarked. (We would end up coming out here toward the end of the hike). We choose to ignore the first left turn onto the green trail and opted to follow the red trail a little further until we reached the green trails second intersection with the red. This is where we turned onto the green trail. We then followed it a bit before turning right onto the blue trail. This trail initially was only marked with blue flagging but then the markings seem to vanish. At an area that would be best described as a clearing with an intersection we turned left on what is an old cart path. This path eventually came back out to the red trail before passing a vernal pool with several hundred, if not thousands, tadpoles. At the red trail we turned right and followed it back to the car. There is also an orange trail here that we did not hike. Along most of this hike we were entertained by several butterflies.

 

Trail map can be found at: Old Harbor.

Stream at Old Harbor

Stream at Old Harbor

Goosewing Beach – Little Compton/Westport

  • Goosewing Beach Preserve/South Shore Beach
  • South Shore Road, Little Compton, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°29’36.40″N, 71° 8’19.39″W
  • Last Time Hiked: April 30, 2013
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.4 miles
  • Easy with some rocky footing.

 

There are few things better than a stroll on the beach after a long day at work, and this walk did the trick.  The beach is in pretty good shape six months after Hurricane Sandy came barreling through the area. I had stopped here about a month ago and there were still signs of the storm. The parking area now is the only area that still has signs of the storm. I parked in the small lot at the end of South Shore Road and started walking easterly through South Shore Beach before coming to the Goosewing Preserve. The preserve is a stretch of beach along with a few ponds that serve as a sanctuary to some native birds, piping plovers to name one. Just after the weather worn preserve building I turned to the left a bit and followed the edge of a roped off area to check out Quicksand Pond. Most of the dunes here are roped off to protect nesting birds. After seeing the pond I then continued walking down the beach to its rocky end which is actually in Westport, Massachusetts. From here on a clear day you can see the towers at Gooseberry Island just south of Horseneck Beach. The taller one appears to be a lighthouse, but it is in fact a military watchtower. At this point I turned around and retraced my steps back to the parking lot. Along the way I saw several piping plovers and some sea life on the beach. The view of the ocean front farm is quite spectacular when heading back.

If you would like to add an additional half mile worth of walking you should check out the nearby Marvell Preserve.

Goosewing Beach

Goosewing Beach

Where The Beach Meets The Farm

Where The Beach Meets The Farm