Posts Tagged ‘ Boulders ’

Glacier Park Moraine – Ledyard

  • Glacier Park – Recessional Moraine Site
  • Whalehead Road, Ledyard, CT
  • Trailhead:  41°26’27.14″N, 72° 2’56.95″W
  • Last Time Hiked: April 17, 2019
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.0 miles
  • Moderate to difficult, strenuous at points. MUST USE CAUTION.

 

Glacier Park in Ledyard is made up of two non-contiguous parcels. They both offer a distinctively different glacier feature. This property has the recessional moraine, a field of large boulders. The hike, blue blazed, is a mile long, but is by far one of the most challenging hikes in Southern New England. The back portion of the blue blazed trail literally climbs into and out of a ravine of boulders and then to the top of a hill of boulders. This section of trail is challenging and can be strenuous and can test your stamina. Watch your footing here. (I would suggest avoiding this part of the trail during wet or icy conditions). The sight alone from either of the benches at each end of the boulder field is truly spectacular. There is a yellow blazed bypass trail which is much easier but still moderate in areas. Be sure to check out the Rock Shelter at the end of the short spur white blazed trail along the way.

 

Map can be found at: Glacier Park – Moraine

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Blue Blazed Trail Into The Ravine (Note the Blue Blaze at the Lower Right)

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Spencer West – Foster

  • Spencer West Property
  • Paine Road, Foster, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°49’5.28″N, 71°45’7.84″W
  • Last Time Hiked: February 2, 2019
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.0 miles
  • Fairly easy with some slight elevation.

 

This white blazed loop trail, just under a mile long, starts at a steel gate near pole 36 along Paine Road. Parking is available along the road between poles 38 and 39. Following the dirt access road into the property you will soon come to a trail on the right. Follow this trail, it will you to Deer Pond. The white blazed trail crosses a small stream then will turn to the left back onto the access road. Look for the white blazes on the right. Turning right, follow the trail as it winds up and down small hills first through a grove of mountain laurel, then through an area of small boulders before reaching the back corner of the property. The trail sharply turns to the left traversing through the woods and scattered boulders back to the access road. Turning right you will follow the access road back to the entrance.

 

Map can be found at: Spencer West

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Mountain Laurel and Stone Walls

Cormier Woods – Uxbridge

  • Cormier Woods
  • Chapin Street, Uxbridge, MA
  • Trailhead:  42° 4’10.60″N, 71°35’41.86″W
  • Last Time Hiked: July 15, 2018
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.6 miles
  • Fairly easy, some moderate hills.

 

There are several miles of trails here at Cormier Woods and the abutting properties. This hike focused on the main trails of Cormier Woods, which in themselves offer an abundance of solitude. Starting from the parking lot by the barn we first crossed the street and made our way to the red trail. At the intersection for the loop we turned left and followed the red trail clockwise first making our way through a narrow fern flanked path before passing a private residence and open field. The trail then winds back into the woods as it heads away from roads and residences. The further into the woods the quieter it would get. The red trail turns to the right as it approaches a swamp on the left and then winds through the western edges of the property coming to a boulder field. At the next intersection stay to the left and follow the blue trail downhill. It turns to the right a couple times and then climbs up a graded trail that looks as if it was once used as a cartpath or railway. At the top of the hill, just after a massive boulder, are a couple cellar holes of the Jonathon White Homestead. Continuing along the blue trail we soon came back to the red trail where we turned left and followed it clockwise steadily uphill for a bit. The trail winds passing ledges and several stone walls before coming to the first intersection. Turning left here returns you to the parking lot. From the parking lot we followed the yellow blazed trail clockwise as well. First through a meadow, then back into the woods. The white blazed trail on the left leads to several more miles of trails at Meadow Brook Woods and furthermore connects to the Mendon Town Forest. For this hike we kept it simple and continued along the yellow trail leading to a blueberry patch that was in bloom (and they were delicious). The trail turns to the right and leads towards the barn and back to the parking area. Hunting is allowed here, so blaze orange is required during hunting season. Deer, coyote, and fisher cat have been observed here as well.

 

Map can be found at: Cormier Woods

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Passing The Boulder Field

Francis Carter West – Charlestown

  • Francis Carter Preserve – West
  • Kings Factory Road, Charlestown, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°25’56.37″N, 71°41’37.11″W
  • Last Time Hiked: March 10, 2018
  • Approximate distance hiked: 3.8 miles
  • Fairly easy.

 

The newest addition of the Francis Carter Preserve, being the western end, acquired in 2014 offers the red blazed Narragansett Loop and River Trail. This part of the preserve is a great example of how nature can reclaim land that was once industrial. This hike starts from the parking area along Kings Factory Road just south of the Pawcatuck River. The red blaze trail meanders east along the rivers edge first passing a fenced in cemetery. The trail soon comes to an area that is sandy and rutted by dirt bikes and ATV’s. Stay to the left here and you will find the next blaze. The aptly named river trail soon runs along the Pawcatuck River once again. The trail here climbs up and down small hills before ascending gently to a large open field. From here it is important to follow the signs. Turning left, follow the red blazed Narragansett Loop. Bear in mind that this a new trail and not as defined as other established trails in the preserve. In time the trail will be well used and well defined. For now keep an eye out for the next sign. The trail continues northward for a bit before turning to the right and joining with the Grassland Trail. Here you will want to stay to the right following what is now both the Narragansett Loop and Grassland Trail to the south. The path soon turns to the left following the southern perimeter of the large meadow. Just before the woods, on the left, there is an informational board about the grasslands. Take a moment to look at it. From here, continue straight into the woods following the yellow blazed trail. Just before the hill, the red blazed Narragansett Loop turns to the right into one of the nicest stretches of trail in Rhode Island. On the left you will find the ruins of on old chimney. The trail winds below a canopy of pines and hemlocks before passing under power lines. Continuing ahead the trail follows and old stone wall before turning to the left, slightly uphill, to some large boulders left behind from the last glacier. The trail soon comes to an old cart path where you turn right continuing to follow the red blazes. The pine trees here are very dense and thick making for a well shaded pine grove. The trail soon comes to a pair a gates. After passing the gate, you will be on a an old asphalt road. The signage here indicates that this section of the Loop Trail is temporary. The road soon comes to an intersection. The roads ahead and to the left are active. Turn right onto another abandoned asphalt road. This was the entrance road of the former industrial complex from yesteryear. The road soon bears to the left and becomes a dirt road. A few hundred feet ahead is the intersection where the River Trail comes to the Narragansett Loop. Turn left here and retrace your steps back to the parking area. Hunting is allowed on this property at times. Be sure to wear blaze orange during hunting season.

 

Map can be found at: Francis Carter West.

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Along The Narragansett Loop Trail

Pocasset Ridge – Tiverton

  • Pocasset Ridge Conservation Area
  • Main Road, Tiverton, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°36’3.32″N, 71°11’40.09″W
  • Last Time Hiked: November 5, 2017
  • Approximate distance hiked: 3.2 miles
  • Moderate, some hills.

 

Being offered as a “wildland” that is open to the public, the Nature Conservancy and the Tiverton Land Trust has recently opened one of the newest trail systems in the State. The entrance is just beyond a garage off of Main Road. The trail follows a stone wall to a large kiosk. At the kiosk the trail turns to the left through the wall and immediately right continuing to follow the tall stone wall before bearing to the north. The trail then follows the back property lines of the neighbors for several hundred feet, passing some puddingstone boulders, before turning abruptly to the right. From here the trail follows an old cart path into the heart of the property first passing a small swampy area and over some small boardwalks. The trail soon starts its long gradual climb uphill before coming to the first trail split. The trail intersection is well signed. Stay to the left here to do the loop trail. The route retraces old trails and a link connects them to provide a loop trail in the back parts of the preserve. This loop climbs some of the higher elevations of the property. There is also an abundance of boulders along the loop. Being new, the trail is still rather primitive. It is blazed with white diamonds featuring an owl on it. Be sure to follow the blazes to stay on the trail. After completing the loop trail retrace your steps back to the first trail intersection. From here follow the Cliff Trail. It is blazed the same as the Loop Trail (white diamonds with owls). This trail winds southerly passing a small stream, dipping into a valley, and then up to a large rock outcrop that overlooks to the west. Be weary of the edge as the opposite side is a nearly straight drop down of 50 feet or more. From here retrace your steps back to the trail intersection and then down the trail you came in on. Be sure to remember to turn to the left near the neighboring properties and follow the trail to the parking area. Hunting is allowed on this property. Be sure to wear blaze orange during hunting season.

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Along The Loop Trail

Shelter Harbor – Westerly

  • Shelter Harbor Conservation Forest
  • Westerly, RI
  • Trailhead: Undisclosed
  • Last Time Hiked: May 4, 2017
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.4 miles
  • Fairly easy, slight elevation. Roots and rocky in places.

 

This wonderful, lesser known forest tucked away in Westerly offers quite a bit. There are four blazed trails (blue, yellow, red, and white) that wind though the woods crossing gently flowing streams. In fact there are several stream crossings along the route of the hike. There is also an old dam that once formed a reservoir for the nearby neighborhoods drinking water supply. Today, it serves as a piece of local history and yesteryear’s craftsmanship. This property also offers several large rocks and boulders. The property is not open to the public unless a guided walk is given. The Westerly Land Trust offers walks every Thursday morning from the autumn to the spring. On occasion they will lead a hike on this property.

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The Old Dam at Shelter Harbor

Stetson Preserve – Richmond

  • Stetson Preserve
  • New London Turnpike, Richmond, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°32’56.50″N, 71°39’28.17″W
  • Last Time Hiked: March 4, 2017
  • Approximate distance hiked: 0.8 miles
  • Easy with some elevation.

 

Along a quieter stretch of the New London Turnpike is a quaint little preserve that offers a short trail system. Although short, this preserve is well worth a visit if you are in the area. The terrain is slightly hilly and the property is scattered with large rocks and boulders under a canopy of deciduous trees. There are two blazed trails that cover essentially all of the small property. The blue blazed trail loops around the perimeter and offers a glimpse at Beaver River. The yellow blazed out and back trail leads to a hill top with a sitting area. The rocky terrain and stone walls made the property a haven for chipmunks. Birds were also in abundance here, spotting and hearing several woodpeckers and blue jays. The property is quite comparable to the nearby Beaver River Preserve. In fact only a few hundred feet of private property separate the two properties. This hidden gem of a property is good for kids and beginners, as well as a nice supplemental walk to Beaver River. A must do!!!

 

Trail maps can be found at: Stetson Preserve

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Along the Blue Trail

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