Posts Tagged ‘ Bike Paths ’

Seekonk River – Providence

  • Seekonk River – Blackstone Valley Bike Path
  • Pitman Street, Providence, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°49’36.39″N, 71°23’0.49″W
  • Last Time Hiked: June 13, 2017
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.2 miles
  • Easy.

 

The newest section of the Blackstone River Bike Path is just about ready to be opened. With that being said, I ventured out to take a sneak peak at it. The short section of bike path, six tenths of a mile one way, runs from Pitman Street opposite Witherby Park southerly to Gano Street by the end of the exit ramp from Interstate 195. This section of the bike path takes bicyclists off of the very busy Gano and Pitman Streets and puts them along the shore of the Seekonk River. Starting adjacent to the Salvation Army property the bike path winds very gently up and over a couple small hills passing behind the Wingate Residences and the Eastside Marketplace at Cold Spring Point. Soon you will get your first glimpse of the 1908 Crook Point Bascule Bridge. This structure was in operation and used by trains until the mid 1970’s. The bridge was then put into its famous upright position and abandoned. Some consider it an eyesore, others think of it as historic. Nonetheless, it is one of Providences most recognizable sights. The bike path then passes along Gano Park and its ball fields. There is an informational board along this stretch that explains the history of the park and nearby area. After being forced from his original settlement across the river, this is (actually nearby at Slate Rock) is where Roger Williams, the founder of Providence and Rhode Island, first step foot onto the shore in 1636. You can actually see the monument from this point by looking over the soccer field towards Gano Street. Looking out towards the river you can see the Washington Bridge that carries Interstate 195 over the Seekonk River. Across the river is the East Providence waterfront. You will also see two small islands, aptly named Twin Islands. Locals call them Cupcake Island and Pancake Island which they resemble respectively. The river is usually busy with canoes, kayaks, boats, and the Brown University crew teams. The bike path then passes the Gano Street boat ramp before turning to the right and ending at Gano Street. From here you can return back to Pitman Street for the 1.2 mile walk or you can follow the sharrows to India Point Park. With the grand opening soon, this bike path serves as a vital link to connect the waterfront of Providence from Blackstone Park to India Point and ultimately into downtown at Waterplace Park.

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Crook Point Bascule Bridge from the Bike Path.

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Millville Lock/Triad Bridge – Millville

 

This walk follows the old railroad bed of the Boston and Hartford Railroad easterly to the Blackstone River from the parking area on the corner of Central and Hope Streets. Just recently this stretch has been paved and is now part of the newly opened Blackstone Greenway Bike Path. The old rail bed is flanked by trees and shrubs as it passes a residential neighborhood. At the sitting bench just beyond the mid way point of this walk is a set of wooden stairs that leads to the trail that winds down to the former Blackstone Canal along the river. Just to the left is a small footbridge that crosses Angelique Brook to the lock. The large stones that make the lock were put in place in the late 1820’s when the Blackstone Canal was being built. The lock served as a point where water levels could be controlled for the passage of barges along the canal. The Millville Lock is the most preserved along the stretch of the Blackstone River. Continuing back to the bike path and turning left you will soon come to a bridge that crosses the Blackstone River. After crossing the bridge turn around and take a good look around. To the left and slightly above is a towering concrete support of a bridge that was never built. That support, along with one behind your right shoulder and below in the river to your left were built to carry the Grand Trunk Rail over the Blackstone River. The president of that company died on the RMS Titanic in April of 1912. Though construction continued for several more years, plans for the railroad were scraped and the bridge was never built. Ahead, the bridge you just crossed, was the rail bridge that served as Boston and Hartford Railroads Southern New England Trunkline. Today it is used partly as the Blackstone River Greenway and also as a trail that runs from the state line at Thompson, Connecticut and runs easterly to Franklin. And finally, below and to the right you will see the Providence and Worcester Railroad bridge that crosses the river. That bridge is still in active use by trains. At one time in the early 20th century it was intended that three railroad bridges would cross the Blackstone River at the same spot, hence earning its name, Triad Bridge. At this point you are approximately a mile from the parking lot. For this walk return along the bike path back to your car, or you can add several more miles of walking by continuing east. The bike path continues about another mile and a half to its easterly terminus in Blackstone.

 

Trail map can be found at: Millville Lock

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Panoramic of the Triad Bridge

East Bay Bike Path South – Barrington/Warren/Bristol

  • East Bay Bike Path South
  • Metropolitan Park Drive, Barrington, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°45’12.02″N, 71°20’54.74″W
  • Last Time Hiked: August 23, 2016
  • Approximate distance hiked: 8.4 miles
  • Easy to moderate due to distance.

After walking the northern end of the East Bay Bike Path, I decided to finish what I started. The southern end of the oldest bike path in the state winds along the former Providence, Warren, and Bristol Railroad through Barrington, Warren, and Bristol. Along the way there are several points of interest as the paved path passes through the East Bay neighborhoods. Starting at Haines Park, one of the oldest State Parks, I started making my way south. Almost immediately I could hear the sounds of the dog park just beyond the trails and woods to the left. Soon the bike path crosses the lower end of the Annawomscutt Brook just before it dumps into Allins Cove. Immediately after that the bike path makes its first of several road crossings in Barrington at Bay Spring Avenue. To the right is a large brick building that was once a mill. It is now a condominium building. This section of Barrington was its industrial center will mills producing leather and lace products. This building is the only surviving building of that era. Also at this road crossing is a memorial to residents of West Barrington that have lost their lives in wars. Next the bike path crosses Alfred Drowne Road in the neighborhood that was once known as Drownville where one of several railroad depots were located in Barrington. The neighborhood was known for its oyster operations and the land was mostly owned by the Drowne family and later the Blount family known locally for their current clam shacks and seafood products. After crossing Washington Road the bike path enters a half mile stretch of trees and residential neighborhoods before coming to Little Echo Pond. Here, and the surrounding ponds, there was once an icing operation, but the icehouse that sat on the opposite side of the pond is long gone. On each side of the bike path there are small Barrington Land Conservation Trust properties with short trail systems. Both Lombardi Park and Andreozzi Nature Preserve are marked with signs at their trailheads. Just before South Lake Drive on the right was the location of the Nayatt Depot, the next railroad stop in Barrington. After crossing South Lake Drive you will notice the greens of the Rhode Island Country Club to the right. This golf course is one of the most prominent ones in the state hosting the CVS Charity Classic each year. The next road crossing is Middle Highway, after crossing it the bike path passes several trails on the right. These trails are part of Veterans Park which surrounds Brickyard Pond. Today the pond is used for mostly fishing. In years past, there were mills in the area that made bricks. Clay pits in the area supplied the material to make the bricks. Workers would dig these massive pits and in time the pits would fill with water. After the operations ceased in the area and the pumps shut down, the pits filled with water. Hence, the creation of Brickyard Pond. Many buildings on the East Side of Providence were built with the bricks made in Barrington. The bike path also passes the Bayside YMCA before approaching County Road. Just before the main road there is a plaza on the right that offers several shops for a break. There was also a train depot here. On the left is the Daily Scoop, a local ice cream shop. After crossing Route 114, the bike path then passes through a tunnel of trees, then passes Police Cove Park, before emerging out to the Barrington River. Here is the first of two bridges in Eastern Barrington that connect the southern end of New Meadow Neck to Barrington and Warren respectively. The first bridge, crossing the Barrington River offers view of the river northerly toward Hundred Acre Cove. The view to the south is that of is similar of that of the second bridge that crosses the Palmer River. They both look toward the bridges that carry Route 114 over the water crossings and the marinas beyond them. The two rivers come together just about a half mile south to form the Warren River. After crossing the second bridge you are in Warren. You will notice the large brick building to the south that once was the home to American Tourister, a maker of travel luggage. To the north is Grinnel Point with its windswept grass. The bike path then starts to turn to the south and into the heart of Warren. Houses and side streets become very frequent in this stretch. To the left you first pass Belcher Cove and its wooded shoreline. At the Brown Street crossing and to the left you will notice the remains of an old brick wall by the fenced in area owned by National Grid. This wall was once part of the old power station that was used by the railroad. Soon you will start to see the steeples of the nearby churches through the cluster of homes. The bike path then crosses Market Street and Child Street, passing a Dels Lemonade, before coming to a large parking area behind Town Hall, Fire Station, and Police Station. It is in this area that a spur line to Fall River split from the main track and headed east. The East Bay Bike Path follows the former line to Bristol from here. (The Warren Bike Path to the east follows a section of the spur trail). After passing a well-placed bicycle shop and Franklin Street the bike path comes out to Main Street. There is a traffic light with a crosswalk here. It is a very busy intersection, do not attempt to cross without using the crosswalk and light. After crossing the street the bike path continues south and soon passes Burrs Hill Park. The park offers basketball courts, tennis courts, and a ball field. There are also free concerts here. Through the park you can see the water and Warren Town Beach. The bike path continues through residential neighborhoods after passing under Bridge Street through a tunnel that replaced a former railroad bridge. The bike path is also flanked by post and rail fence for quite a while. Soon the bike path passes an area known as Jacobs Point to the right. The large salt marsh, abundant with cattails and wildflowers, offers a single trail to the beach. Just after Jacob’s Point the bike path enters Bristol and soon comes to the McIntosh Wildlife Refuge. This Audubon property spans from Route 114 to the Warren River on both sides of the bike path. To the left is access to the trails through the fields by the Educational Center. To the right is the long boardwalk that reaches out to the river. The bike path then continues through more residential areas with several road crossings before coming to Colt State Park. Along this stretch you can catch glimpses of Narragansett Bay including the Conimicut Lighthouse. After crossing the entrance road to Colt State Park the bike path passes Mill Pond to the right where you are likely to catch glimpses of cormorants and egrets. After passing Poppasquash Road the bike path follows the upper reaches of Bristol Harbor before ending at Independence Park and the edge of Downtown Bristol. Here along the Bristol waterfront you will see several boats docked and the old brick buildings in the distance. If you still have a little walk left in you, the waterfront and downtown offers a great walk on its own

Trail maps can be found at: East Bay Bike Path South

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The Bike Path By Bristol Harbor

East Bay Bike Path North – Providence/East Providence

  • East Bay Bike Path – North
  • India Street, Providence, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°49’4.58″N, 71°23’29.93″W
  • Last Time Hiked: January 30, 2016
  • Approximate distance hiked: 5.8 miles
  • Fairly easy with some slight elevation.

 

 

Most people who ride their bikes or walk the East Bay Bike Path have no idea that they are passing through hundreds of years of history. This walk is not just 6 miles on a 10 foot wide paved path with great views of the water, but more of a tour of yesteryear. Starting at the picturesque Providence waterfront, the northern portion of the East Bay Bike Path leaves India Point Park and zigzags uphill towards the Washington Bridge. Over the years there have been several bridges built over the Seekonk River. The first built in 1793 was a covered drawbridge. The newly built George Redman Linear Park occupies what remains of the 1931 span. The bike path crosses the river through the linear park. There are several informational boards located here with history of the bridges and surrounding neighborhoods. After crossing the bridge, the bike path snakes down to Watchemoket Square in East Providence. Prior to the highway being built, the square was a bustling center of commerce and local government. It served as a crossroads where Taunton Avenue (Route 44), Warren Avenue (Route 6), and the railroad once met before crossing into Providence. The square was very active in the second half of the 19th century and well into the 20th century. Most of the buildings in the square were wood frame buildings like that at the corner of Warren Avenue and First Street (currently the Watchemoket Tavern). The most predominant building remaining in the square was built in the early 1920’s. The Neo-Federalist designed building served as a bank for several years and is now the home of the Comedy Connection. Most of the remaining buildings in the square were torn down by the 1960’s with the construction of Interstate 195. After crossing Warren Avenue, the bike path follows First Street for two blocks before turning right and along Veterans Memorial Parkway. This short section, about two tenths of a mile, is the only stretch of road walking/biking. Be sure to be aware of traffic. The next mile or so, the bike path first climbs up Fort Hill, past an overlook, and along the parkway before making its way to a former railroad bed. The fort on the hill, with others in the area, protected Providence during the Revolutionary War and The War of 1812. As the bike path climbs the top of the hill just before the lookout, you can see the Fort Hill Monument across the parkway. It is a large boulder near the intersection of Mercer Street. As the bike path winds around the first parking lot along the parkway you now have a good vantage point of the Providence skyline. The buildings of downtown, Rhode Island Hospital, the Manchester Street Power Plant, and the I-way bridge are all clearly visible from here. In fact, as of late, at 8:30 every evening people have been gathering here to shine their lights in the “Good Night Hasbro” event along with several other businesses in the area. The bike path next passes an area that is currently under construction. This will be the future home of The Village on the Waterfront. It is one of two major waterfront developments being built under the revitalization of East Providence’s waterfront. Both of the developments were once used for oil storage tanks and will soon be mixed residential and commercial areas with access to the shoreline. The bike path then bends to the right, passing the second parking lot along the parkway, and downhill as it descends to the waterfront. The remaining distance of the bike path all the way to Bristol now follows the rail bed that was once used by the Providence, Warren, and Bristol Railroad. As the bike path begins to follow the old rail bed, you are now on a causeway and are surrounded by water. To the right is the Providence River and the Port of Providence. You are very likely to see very large cargo ships docked here. To the left is Watchemoket Cove, the first and largest, of three coastal coves along this part of the bike path. All three of these coves are havens for swans and geese. Blue herons and cormorants among several other birds have been seen in these coves as well. After passing the first cove, the bike path passes over Kettle Point. To the left is the second major development along the East Providence waterfront. This development will be predominantly residential as it replaces another former oil tank farm. Just as you approach the next cove, there will be a future trail to the left that leads to Squantum Woods. The bike then crosses another causeway. After passing the aptly named Long Rock Cove to the left, you come to a series of buildings on the right. They belong to the Squantum Association, and the largest and most predominant building is the clubhouse. This building built in 1900 replaces the 1873 structure and is used for weddings and receptions. President Arthur and President Taft have attended events here. The bike path next passes the third coastal cove. This cove, with its long dock, is part of the Boyden Heights Conservation Area. Just after the cove there is a trail that leads into the property. The trails here are short and would add a nice little hike to your walk. Just after the trailhead the area to the left once hosted two amusement parks. Boyden Heights Park, opened in 1904, and Vanity Fair, opened in 1907, along with Crescent Park further south gave this area the nickname “Coney Island of the East”. Both of these amusement parks were closed by 1910. The next portion of the bike path continues to follow the waterfront and soon the Pomham Rocks Lighthouse becomes visible. The lighthouse sits on one of two large rock islands and was built in 1871. Recent restoration has saved the lighthouse and the island can be visited a few times per year. From here you will catch your last glimpse of the buildings of downtown four miles away. Next the bike path passes under Bullocks Point Avenue and comes out to Riverside Square. This was another bustling village back in the day, complete with a railroad station built in the mid to late 1800’s. Today the old depot is a coffee shop that is well worth a visit. Other buildings in the square also date back to yesteryear, but the most visited building here is the Dari-Bee, a local ice cream shop that is open from the spring to the fall. There are also a few “Mom & Pop” shops here as well including convenience stores for water or snacks. Also in the square in the Riverside World War II Memorial. It was originally located further up the road and was relocated to the square in the early 2000’s. The bike path, flanked by bird filled shrubs, then continues south passing through residential neighborhoods before coming to Bullocks Cove. Looking north from the causeway crossing the cove you can catch a glimpse of Little Neck which is home to one of the oldest cemeteries in the nation. The cemetery, established in 1655, serves as the final resting place of several colonists including one who was a passenger on the Mayflower and the first mayor of New York City. The cemetery is not accessible from the bike path however. The bike path then crosses Crescent View Avenue. If you so choose, follow Crescent View Avenue west to its end. There is the 1895 Looff Carousel, the only remaining structure of the once bustling Crescent Park Amusement Park that closed in the 1970’s. After crossing Crescent View Avenue, the bike path passes through another residential neighborhood, a small playground, and another small cove before reaching Haines State Park. This park, on the East Providence/Barrington border was established in 1911 and offers areas for picnics, ball fields, a dog park, trails, and access to the water. This is also where I decided to conclude this walk. The bike path continues another 8 miles to Bristol passing through Barrington and Warren. That will be a walk for another day!

 

Trail map can be found at: East Bay Bike Path North.

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The East Bay Bike Path Along Watchemoket Cove

 

 

 

Quonset Bike Path – North Kingstown

This bike path built in 2009 follows the edge of the industrialized and commercialized Quonset Point. The point is mostly known for its military presence and its airport. Today the point is being revitalized and several businesses have made Quonset home. The bike path itself is 2.3 miles long. Starting at the Marine Road parking lot, I followed the path first through an area that is mostly wooded. When the path makes an abrupt left it starts to follow Newcomb Road. The bike path will parallel this road the remainder of the way. The path concludes behind a shopping plaza at Post Road. There is a side path that leads to the Seabee Museum near the end of the path. After reaching the end of the path I retraced my steps back to the parking lot. Across the parking lot is the trailhead for Calf Pasture Point. A bike path there continues another 1.3 miles to Narragansett Bay.

Trail map can be found at: Quonset Bike Path.

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Quonset Bike Path

Lonsdale Marsh – Lincoln/Cumberland

This walk follows the southern most portion of the Blackstone River Bike Path into Cumberland. Starting at the parking area at the old Lonsdale Drive-In I followed the bike path south to John Street. The bike path crosses over the Blackstone River into Cumberland, then crosses Route 123. The remainder of the bike path follows the edge of the marsh and consists of a paved path and an area of boardwalk. After the boardwalk there is a trail to the right. The trail is narrow and overgrown in areas. The trail will bring you to the rivers edge. By walking to the end of the bike path and back and also following the trail you can achieve a little over a mile and a half.

Trail map can be found at: Lonsdale Marsh.

Approaching The Boardwalk

Approaching The Boardwalk

Blackstone River South – Cumberland/Lincoln

  • Blackstone River Bikeway – South
  • Front Street, Cumberland, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°56’17.85″N, 71°25’55.60″W
  • Last Time Hiked: July 13, 2015
  • Approximate distance hiked: 3.3 miles
  • Easy.

For the third a final leg of the Blackstone River Bikeway walk we completed the southern 3 or so miles. Starting where we left off in May at Front Street in Cumberland we immediately made our way into Lincoln by crossing the Blackstone River. The bike path then turns to the left passing the Kelly House. This stretch of the bike path follows the Blackstone Canal on the right for a couple miles. The river it self is on the left most of the walk. There are several spur trails to the left that lead to the river. Along this stretch we came across many animals and insects such as geese, ducks, chipmunks, squirrels, birds of all sorts, turtles, fish, butterflies, and dragonflies. Soon we were crossing the river again on a bridge that crosses at the Pratt Dam. This would lead us back into Cumberland again briefly before crossing Mendon Road. After crossing the busy road we again crossed a bridge back into Lincoln and into what was once the Lonsdale Drive In. It is now a restored marsh with several wildflowers. We concluded our walk here at the old entrance to the drive-in. The bike path from this point continues south for about a half mile before becoming a bike lane along city streets to Providence.

Trail map can be found at: Blackstone River South.

The Bike Path Following The Canal

The Bike Path Following The Canal