Posts Tagged ‘ American Revolutionary War ’

Beavertail – Jamestown

  • Beavertail State Park
  • Beavertail Road, Jamestown, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°27’6.91″N, 71°23’58.26″W
  • First Time Hiked: June 27, 2013
  • Last Time Hiked: May 10, 2017
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.8 miles
  • Easy with some rock scaling.

Beavertail is easily one of the most beautiful locations in Rhode Island if not all of New England. Also, there are centuries of history here at its rocky shores. Beavertail has always been a place I am drawn to, whether it’s to take in the beauty of the ocean or to come and contemplate life, I have always found it peaceful and cleansing. Starting this hike at parking lot 2, I headed north through the grass field to the beginning of the trail. The trail along this part of the hike is a wide grass walking path surrounded by tall shrubs. Just after getting on the trail it immediately splits, I stayed to right, to the left is a viewing area. Along the way there will be several areas that overlook the West Passage of Narragansett Bay. From the viewing areas you will be able to see the Point Judith Lighthouse, the remains of the Whale Rock Lighthouse, and the Narragansett shoreline. I continued in a northerly direction following the main trail, ignoring the trails to the right that lead to parking lot 1. After about 7/8 of a mile the trail bears to the right and away from the shore and uphill.  The trail that follows the shore becomes very narrow and will lead off of the parks property.  After bearing to the right I followed the trail until it came to an intersection with pavement. Here I turned right onto a narrow path and took the next left. (Note: In months other than summer there is a grassy area that looks like it might be a trail to the left, this is not the trail you will be looking for.) Soon this trail merges with another from the left. I continued straight until I found the next trail on the left. Here I turned left and followed the trail into a field. At the end of this trail I turned left once again and followed the trail straight to parking lot 1. Here I turned left and followed the entrance road of the parking lot, then crossed the main entrance road and followed the exit road in the opposite direction for a few hundred feet.  Soon I beared left off of the asphalt road onto a grass covered access road that runs along a set of power lines. The road led me first to an abandoned World War II era Quonset hut before coming to an open grass field overlooking Rhode Island Sound. Here there are two options, the first is to continue ahead and follow the trail to the rocky shore, the second is to turn right and follow the narrow trail that will lead back toward the lighthouse. If you choose the first, exercise extreme caution while on the rocks as they can be slippery and dangerous. For this hike I first chose option one, scaling the rocks nearly a thousand feet as I made my way northeasterly toward a great natural feature.  One of Beavertails lesser known gems is the Lions Head Gorge, a natural chasm that waves crash into. Be extremely careful here. From this vantage point you will be able to see the top of the Newport Bridge, the Naval War College (tan colored building), the Castle Hill Lighthouse, and Brenton Point.  From here, I retraced my steps very carefully back to the grass field, looked for the small wooden bridge at the beginning of the trail, and then followed it making my way toward the lighthouse. The trail soon ends and the remainder of the walk is across grass fields near the edge of the rocky shore. After passing parking lot 4, I came to more remains of World War II, a bunker and two circular structures that once held a pair of 16 inch guns. Beavertail, along with several other sites along the shore, was once a coastal defense fort in the days of war. Most people don’t realize that one of the last battles in World War II happened 16 miles off the coast of Beavertail. A German U-boat was sunk during the Battle of Point Judith after sinking the S.S. Black Point in May of 1945. Continuing along the shore I finally came to the highlight of the property. The lighthouse that stands at the tip of Beavertail was built in 1856 and is 64 feet tall. It was the third lighthouse built on this site, the first being built in 1749 was destroyed by fire and rebuilt in 1753. During the American Revolution the British burned the lighthouse while they were retreating from Newport. It was refurnished in 1783. Finally, the lighthouse that stands today was built. Furthermore, the original Beavertail lighthouse was the third built in the American Colonies after the Boston Harbor Light and the Great Point Light on Nantucket were built. Its foundation, with a compass on its floor, is just south of the current lighthouse. There is a very informative plaque near the foundation of an older lighthouse that explains the history of the Beavertail lights. Also at the point, enclosed in a fenced area, is a foghorn. Beware not to stand to close on a foggy day. From here I made my way back to parking lot 2 and concluded the hike. Beavertail is also home to many deer and eastern cottontails. Spotting either at any time of the day is not uncommon.

Trail map can be found at: Beavertail.

Foggy Day At Beavertail

Foggy Day At Beavertail

The Atlantic From Beavertail

The Atlantic From Beavertail

Sunset At Beavertail

Sunset At Beavertail

This trail was featured in RI Local Magazine – July 2015

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Fisherville Brook – Exeter

  • Fisherville Brook Wildlife Preserve
  • Pardon Joslin Road, Exeter, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°35’23.69″N, 71°34’12.92″W
  • Last Time Hiked: May 25, 2013
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.6 miles
  • Easy with slight elevation.

I woke up this morning on this “first weekend of the summer” to a brisk and rainy day. I decided to hike nonetheless. Just a side note before I describe the hike. Pardon Joslin Road is not very accessible from Sunderland Road unless you have a vehicle with some clearance and/or a four by four. There are signs that are posted that read PASS AT OWN RISK. I would highly recommend getting to Pardon Joslin Road from Widows Sweet Road. After arriving I decided to start with the blue loop following it clockwise. The first stretch is a combination of the blue and orange trails. At the next intersection the orange trail goes to the left and the blue to the right. Continuing the blue trail, I made my way to the mill pond and dam with the waterfall. I spent a few moments here taking some photos. I then continued making my way through an area of boardwalks in some rather wet areas before the path opened up to a meadow. A short path to the left leads to a historic family cemetery. The grave of John Gardner who (after some research found) had served in the American Revolution is located here and has been decorated with a flag for Memorial Day.  He was born in 1753 and passed in 1837. It was nice to see that people still come out to these obscure and out of the way gravesites of veterans to pay respect. After spending some time here I then continued on the blue trail loop over the Fisherville Brook, through a densely wooded area covered with fern, and back to the parking area. At this point I had hiked just over a mile and a half. Not being too wet, mostly due to the canopy of trees, I decided to cross the street and hike the white trail to add a little more distance to the days hike. Again I followed the trail clockwise as it wound through some more densely wooded areas that were very active with birds. After completing the white trail I headed back to the car.

More info & trail map can be found at: Fisherville Brook

Along The Blue Trail

Along The Blue Trail

Fort Barton Woods – Tiverton

  • Fort Barton Woods
  • Highland Road, Tiverton, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°37’30.05″N, 71°12’27.05″W
  • First Time Hiked: March 15, 2013
  • Last Time Hiked: September 4, 2017
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.3 miles
  • Moderate with some significant elevation.

 

A few hills and a few valleys made for a good after work hike. Starting at the parking area across from town hall I followed the paved path to the beginning of the natural path. This was the red trail I was on. I followed it until it split. I took the right path and hiked just about the entire red trail counter clockwise winding through areas of holly trees and several brook crossings. Some spots on the trails were very muddy (almost ankle deep in some areas), but those were mostly in the areas near the brooks. The Sin and Flesh Brook made for some good photo opportunities.  The red trail is the main loop and is very well marked. I would suggest staying on that trail. Near the end of the red trail loop I opted to check out the blue trail which was poorly marked and overgrown at the time of this hike.  I did actually end up off the trail and onto private property for a bit. After getting back onto the red trail and to the exit I stopped off at the observation tower which has great views of the Sakonnet River and the Mount Hope Bridge. Fort Barton also has historical significance as it is a Revolutionary War redoubt and served as a staging area for troops.

Trail map can be found at: Fort Barton Woods

Sin And Flesh Brook

Sin And Flesh Brook

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