Posts Tagged ‘ Bird Watching ’

Mercy Woods – Cumberland

 

The Town of Cumberland recently purchased 229 of the 243 acres of the Sisters of Mercy property for conservation and passive recreation. With the help of the Cumberland Land Trust, the Rhode Island Land Trust Council, and volunteers, Mercy Woods has become not only one of the newest trail systems, but handily one of the most beautiful in Rhode Island. The nearly six miles of trails are well blazed and mapped. For this hike, I led a group, following the Perimeter Walk, from the Sumner Brown Road parking area just off of Route 121. We crossed the road to follow the yellow blazed Mercy Loop. After crossing a field and passing a gate we were onto the trail. The trail winds pass the red blaze trail and turns to the east where it intersects with the blue blazed Ridge Trail. Look towards the right here just before the blue trail. Up on the hill is a pile of rocks, possibly a cairn or an impressive “balance artwork”. Following the blue blazes of the aptly named Ridge Trail for the next two miles leads you up and down some impressive hills, crossing a few streams, passing several stone walls, winding by large boulders and outcrops, along a ridge, and through a forest floor of ferns. The trail intersects with four red blazed trails (Stone Wall, Fisher, Fern, and Fiske) and crosses Sumner Brown Road. For this hike, we followed the blue blazes to their terminus at the Mercy Loop. The Warner Trail also joins the Ridge Trail for a bit. You will see a few white circle blazes along the way marking the long distance trail. When we reached the yellow blazes once again we turned left. Keep an eye out for the blazes as there are two trails to the left (one being not blazed). The remainder of the hike winds through the woods at the southern end of the property, passing through an open field, by power lines, then crosses Highland View Road before the final stretch that leads you back to the parking area.

 

Map can be found at: Mercy Woods.

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Along The Mercy Loop

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Big Lakes Trail – Providence

  • Big Lakes Trail – Roger Williams Park
  • Cladrashs Avenue, Providence, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°47’3.52″N, 71°24’44.76″W
  • Last Time Hiked: June 24, 2019
  • Approximate distance hiked: 3.6 miles
  • Easy.

 

The longest of the five marked trails at Roger Williams Park winds around the parks large lakes offering several nice views and plenty of opportunities to see birds. Being a loop you can start almost anywhere, but for this walk we started at the boathouse. The trail is well marked with white diamonds painted on sidewalks where posts are not available. From the boathouse, head east (away from the carousel), and cross the street at a crosswalk. The trail enters a wooded section along Cunliff Lake winding up and over a small hill before coming to the Temple to Music. This structure was built in 1924 and hosts concerts as well as other events. Continuing to follow the white blazes leads to a 600 foot section of road walking before the trail turns left into the woods and joins the yellow blazed Temple View Trail. The white blazed trail soon bears to the right and up hill coming to the back side of a baseball field, then left into the woods again before re-emerging to a grassy area at the southern end of the park. From here the trail swings around Elm Lake and begins to head north. This long stretch now follows the shores of Elm Lake, Cunliff Lake once again, and Edgewood Lake before coming to another road crossing.  After crossing the road the trail then hugs the shore of Pleasure Lake before coming to a pedestrian bridge that leads you back to the boathouse. The lakes are home to swans, geese, herons, egrets, and ducks. Several songbirds also dwell in the shrubs and bushes nearby. Turtles can be seen here as well, likely sunbathing on small fallen trees and branches stretching into the lakes. The shores are also usually occupied by people fishing for bass and sunfish. The park is also home to the Carousel Village and the Roger Williams Park Zoo. One could plan an entire day at the park!

 

Map can be found at: Big Lakes Trail.

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Temple To Music From The Opposite Shore.

Ocean View Farm – Dartmouth

 

A long grass mowed path along the fence line of Round The Bend Farm leads you to a stunningly beautiful and sweeping view. Starting from a parking area at Allens Neck Road, the grass mowed pathway is flanked on the right by the active farm with chickens and cows and to the left by shrubs and trees the serve as a natural barrier to the abutting property. Following the path to the end of the fence, to the right, and then left once again will take you by a wildflower habitat as well. This property is a haven to birds. Warblers and red winged blackbirds were abundant along the path. Also a interesting observation, several groundhogs crossing the path as they scurried from shrubs to rock piles and back. At the end of the pathway is a raised observation deck that offers views of the fields, wetlands, pond, beaches, bluffs, Buzzards Bay, and Cuttyhunk on a clear day. Bring your binoculars!! The out and back walk is just over a mile and a half.

 

Map can be found at: Ocean View Farm.

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View From the Observation Deck.

Bluff To Bluff Trail – Providence

  • Bluff To Bluff Trail – Roger Williams Park
  • F.C. Greene Memorial Boulevard, Providence, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°47’12.91″N, 71°24’49.34″W
  • Last Time Hiked: June 2, 2019
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.0 miles
  • Fairly easy with some slight elevation.

 

The aptly named Bluff To Bluff Trail spans from the Natural History Museum to the Casino and includes the valley below. The red blazed walking path, almost entirely of paved or concrete walkways, winds downhill from across the Natural History Museum toward Willow Lake. After crossing the street at the Seal House, the trail follows Roosevelt Lake for a bit before climbing uphill and then it continues to the left crossing the Lovers Retreat Bridge before coming to the Casino. The trail then loops back to the Lovers Retreat Bridge and veers to the left to the Betsey Williams Cottage. After the cottage the trail winds to the right and downhill crossing the street and then follows the shore of Polo Lake. After crossing the street once again the trail meanders uphill and loops opposite the Roger Williams Park Zoo entrance. This section includes a short section of grass that follows the edge of the road. The remainder of the trail will bring you back to the opposite of the road from the Natural History Museum. Be sure to take your time enjoying the views of the lakes. They are havens for birds.

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Mountain Laurel Blooming Along The Bluff To Bluff Trail

Highland Park – Attleboro

 

A former country club, purchased by the City of Attleboro last year, is now open to the public as a city park. The entrance on Mechanic Street has a sign with rules stating dogs must be leashed and ironically (and somewhat comical) “No Golf”. There are several sections of former golf cart paths that are paved. The property offers several species of trees that are scattered among the rolling hills. There are two small ponds and a short stream offering a haven for birds. Without any doubt this park is going to become a favorite among locals looking for a walk.

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Path By A Pond

Temple View Trail – Providence

  • Temple View Trail – Roger Williams Park
  • F.C. Greene Memorial Boulevard, Providence, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°46’37.83″N, 71°24’51.31″W
  • Last Time Hiked: March 16, 2019
  • Approximate distance hiked: 0.5 miles
  • Easy.

 

The aptly named Temple View Trail is one of several shorter blazed trails at Roger Williams Park. The yellow blazed trail is a quarter of a mile (half mile out and back) to the end of an esker that juts out into Cunliff Lake in the heart of the park. The trail is flanked on both sides by lakes and is lined with several birch trees. At the end of the trail is a great view of the Temple of Music across the lake.

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End Of The Trail

Common Fence Point – Portsmouth

 

At the very end of Mount View Road at the northern point of Portsmouth is a public right way, marked with a sign, that leads to Common Fence Point. The narrow dirt path starts by a white fence at the last house on the right. The path winds through tall grass and shrubs before coming to the high tide line. Just to the left is a rock outcrop at the point that is accessible at low tide. From here you can see almost all of Mount Hope Bay including the three bridges (Mount Hope, Sakonnet River, and Braga). The rocky beach below the high water mark makes for a nice additional beach walk. Distance will vary on how far of a beach walk you do take. Common Fence Point is a small knit residential community. Please do respect private property.

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Rocky Beach and the Mount Hope Bridge from the Point.

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