Posts Tagged ‘ Brooks ’

Annawumscutt Brook Trail – East Providence

  • Annawumscutt Brook Trail
  • Rounds Avenue, East Providence, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°46’6.08″N, 71°20’27.82″W
  • Last Time Hiked: April 3, 2021
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.0 miles
  • Moderate due to no blazing, seasonal mud, and water crossings, otherwise easy.

 

This trail in the Riverside section of East Providence runs mostly along the Annawumscutt Brook from Rounds Avenue to the Riverside Middle School. Starting from a stone covered parking area opposite the Evangelical Covenant Church on Rounds Avenue, you will follow the trail into the woods. When you approach the first intersection turn left. Soon there will be a small hill to your left. Follow the trail ahead here keeping right of the hill. After the hill follow the trail to the left. You will get you first glimpse of the brook here and will likely see ducks and other water fowl. The trail will seen reach the first crossing of the brook. This crossing is almost always fairly easy. After the crossing bear to your right. The trail comes out to a grassy area. Continue ahead to the row of rocks and the trail heads back into the woods. In about a hundred feet the trail splits. Turn right here, the trail almost immediately turns left and is now following the brook once again. Ahead there will be an intersection of brooks. You will want to cross the brook here. After any substantial rain or in the spring, this crossing will be impossible without stepping into the water. You will get wet! The trail continues, now with the brook on the left. Soon the trail veers to the right and heads deeper into the woods. It soon comes to a former fire lane. Turn left here and you will soon be back to the brook and you will likely get wet again crossing it.  Continuing ahead the trail will pass a trail on the left that comes in from the Oldham School, continue straight. The trail soon takes a sharp right and continues north with the Forbes Street Solar Farm on the right. There will be a trail that comes in from the left that leads through private property, continue ahead here. (Smile you’re on camera!) The trail then comes to an intersection. Ahead is the DPW stockpile area. You are not allowed in there, so turn to the left and follow the trail to the next brook crossing. This crossing is usually much easier than the last two. After the brook crossing turn right. Almost immediately there is a trail intersection that veers to the left. Continue straight here and follow the trail along the brook. The trail then bends to the left, zig zags slightly before ending at the big red rock at the parking lot of the Riverside Middle School. You are at the mile mark! From here retrace your steps back to Rounds Avenue. There are other trails in the area, none marked, be sure to use GPS if you wander around and keep in mind the solar farm and DPW facility are off limits.

TWRI-Anna04

Along the Annawumscutt Brook Trail.

AnnawumscuttMap

Annawumscutt Brook Trail in Red, Other Trails in White.

Almy Reservoir – Johnston

  • Almy Reservoir
  • Reservoir Avenue, Johnston, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°48’56.50″N, 71°31’43.92″W
  • Last Time Hiked: December 12, 2020
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.6 miles
  • Fairly easy with some elevation, crossing at brooks can be difficult.

Wood Lake Park is host to several ball fields, a playground, and a dog park. Behind it are a network of trails that are on land owned by both the Town of Johnston and the Johnston Land Trust. Park by field 4 and walk up the access road to the dog park. Cut through the dog park to access the trail head. The trail turns slightly to the north and comes to a four way intersection. The trail to the left leads back to the backside of the ball field. The trail to the right will lead you to both the reservoir and another trail that reaches into the southern end of the property both which dead end. The trail straight ahead will lead you to Dry Brook, which coincidentally is not so dry after some rain. After crossing the brook there is a small maze of trails that lead to a peninsula and a small loop that brings you to a chimney from an old homestead. The trail continues north here but crosses onto private property just beyond the chimney. Trails are not blazed here. Exploring all the trails out and back on public property gave us a hike of two and half miles. The stone walls here are spectacular!

TWRI-Almy05

Almy Reservoir

Alewife Brook Preserve – South Kingstown

  • Alewife Brook Preserve
  • Tuckertown Road, South Kingstown, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°25’42.77″N, 71°33’47.93″W
  • Last Time Hiked: November 6, 2020
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.2 miles
  • Fairly easy.

One of the newest trail systems in Rhode Island offers quite a bit for those interested in dendrology. Starting from the parking area follow the blue blazed trail from the kiosk, for this hike clockwise. The trail starts winding through a forest of pines, oaks, and maples with scattered mountain laurels and holly shrubs. As you approach the yellow blazed trail the terrain noticeably changes as you enter an area with thick low shrubs with towering trees. Turn left onto the yellow blazed trail and follow it as it winds close to Alewife Brook. You can catch a brief glimpse of it here and there to the left. There is also a tall holly and a grove of rhododendron along the yellow trail. At the end of the trail turn left onto the blue loop once again. The trail gently climbs back up hill to the parking area.

Map can be found at: Alewife Brook.

TWRI-Ale07

Trail through Alewife Brook Preserve

Hop Brook Preserve – Blackstone

  • Hop Brook Preserve
  • Mendon Road, Blackstone, MA
  • Trailhead:  42° 3’19.15″N, 71°33’8.92″W
  • Last Time Hiked: July 4, 2020
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.2 miles
  • Fairly easy with some elevation and muddy areas.

 

This property hugs the side of a hill between Mendon Road and Hop Brook. From the parking area follow the trail from the kiosk. At the time of this hike the trail was marked with survey flagging. The entrance trail winds pass a stone wall and down hill before coming to an end. Here, make note of the area as you will look for this trail on the way back, then turn right and continue to follow the flagging. The trail turns to the east and comes to another split. Stay to the left here and follow the trail downhill to the brook. At the brook you will find a series of small cascading waterfalls. Take a moment to take in nature here before continuing. You now have two options. You could retrace your steps or continue along the loop. If you follow the loop you will continue to follow the flagging. The trail narrows significantly for a few feet as you have to step from stone to stone through a muddy area. The trail then turns slightly to the right and uphill. A trail comes in from the left. Continue straight ahead. Soon you will pass a trail to the right. This is the trail you followed down to the brook. Continuing ahead start looking for your left turn onto the trail that leads to the parking area. If you follow the flagging you will do just fine. Though short in distance this hike is all hill, slight at that, but you will notice.

TWRI-Hop5

Hop Brook

Quandoc Conservation Area – Killingly

  • Quandoc Conservation Area
  • Brickhouse Road, Killingly, CT
  • Trailhead:  41°48’6.86″N,71°48’8.62″W
  • Last Time Hiked: June 7, 2020
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.4 miles
  • Moderate.

 

Right over the Rhode Island border is a great kept secret. Though the hike here is just about a mile and a half, the property offers near solitude as it winds through woods, fields, by bogs, and over a stream. Starting from the trail head just left of the kiosk you will find yourself climbing slightly uphill following the yellow blazes. The trail, narrow at points, traverses under a canopy of tall pines as it weaves pass stone walls. The trail then crosses a babbling brook at a stepping stone array. Just after the brook turn right at the trail intersection. This will begin the loop portion of the hike. The trail here descends downhill a bit and will come to a cart path. Turn left here at the cart path and follow it downhill. A trail comes in from the right, ignore it and continue ahead following the yellow blazes. Note another small babbling brook on the left. Soon you will pass some large boulders then the trail comes to an open field. Continue straight ahead through the grassy area keeping the stone wall to your right. You are likely to see many insects and butterflies here as there is milkweed in the field. Beyond the wall you will catch glimpse of a bog. The trail continues slightly uphill, turns slightly to the right, then passes through a pine grove. After the pines the trail splits, stay to the left here. In a few feet the trail splits again. Stay to the left here and note the yellow blazes on the rocks in the ground. From here the trail climbs steeply for a bit. Your stamina and lung capacity will be tested on this hill. This is the northern most part of the trail system. From here the trail gently winds up and down small hills passing under a canopy of pine and beech trees while passing more stone walls. You will notice some white quartz stones along the trail just before your turn to the right. After turning right and crossing the brook once again you will retrace your steps back to the parking area following the yellow blazes.

 

Map can be found at: Quandoc.

TWRI-Quan07

Late Spring Ferns at Quandoc

 

Mud Bottom Brook – West Greenwich

  • Mud Bottom Brook – Big River Management Area
  • New London Turnpike, West Greenwich, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°37’4.38″N, 71°35’46.70″W
  • Last Time Hiked: May 16, 2020
  • Approximate distance hiked: 4.5 miles
  • Moderate, navigation can be difficult.

 

 

First and foremost, I would advise not to attempt this hike without a map, GPS tracking, good sense of direction, or all of the above. I personally have ventured into Big River enough times to feel comfortable enough to wander its many, many, many trails. To say Big River has a vast network of trails is a gross understatement. For this hike I took a wrong turn along the way and found myself on a trail that was not on the Great Swamp Press map and found myself relying on GPS tracking and my internal compass to make my way back to a main trail. (My guest did a great job at remaining calm!!) With that being said, I am going to attempt to recall my route, but please don’t rely on this post alone if you attempt this hike. From the parking area at the end of New London Turnpike by the Wincheck Gun Club we passed the gate and followed the pine tree flanked dirt road for about four tenths of a mile. Turning left the trail then winds downhill to its end. Here we turned right onto a trail called Sweet Sawmill Road. This trail climbs slightly uphill passing some stone walls on the right. At the next intersection we turned left and followed that trail just under a half mile to its end. The trail widens at its end, stay to the right here. The trail then declines slightly into the valley that Mud Bottom Brook runs through. Along the way, after a heavy rain, you may encounter some large puddles along this trail. At the next intersection stay to the right and again right a little further down the trail. This trail will lead you to the crossing at Mud Bottom Brook. There is a wobbly plank and stones here to make the crossing easy. From here we continue ahead until we came to a “T” intersection. The trail in both directions at the time of this hike was blazed blue. The blazes are amateur and not by any means the type of blazes seen at Arcadia. We turned left here and still feeling confident we were on the right track and started to follow the blue blazes. At the next intersection is where I suspect the plan went out the window. We came to the intersection realizing it was not on the map. Thinking we might have been a little further north, I suspected the trail to the left might be the second crossing of Mud Bottom Brook. We turned right here thinking it would continue along the edges of the peninsula are eventually turn south paralleling  the Carr River. It did not! (I do not actually know where the trail to left leads, that will be a hike for another day). After turning right we soon came to another intersection, again blue blazed. We turned right and followed it nearly a mile up and down hills, zigzagging back and forth to its end. This stretch was actually quite pretty. We passed stone walls, a rather large natural looking swale, and hunting stand along the way. At the intersection at the end of the trail blue blazes go to the right. Using the internal compass at this point we turned left and then almost immediately left again and then right just up ahead. The trail we were on would lead us back to the New London Turnpike trail. Turning right onto the sandy road it veers slightly to the right before curving to the left and straightening out. Ahead the sandy road splits again. Stay to the left here. This is the trail back to the parking area just under a mile away. The remainder of the walk climbs slightly uphill along the wide New London Turnpike. Be sure to wear orange here during hunting season.

 

Map can be found at: Mud Bottom Brook.

TWRI-MBB08

The Crossing At Mud Bottom Brook

Gold Farm & Forest – North Smithfield

  • Gold Farm & Forest
  • North Smithfield, RI
  • Trailhead:  Private Property, Undisclosed
  • Last Time Hiked: April 4, 2020
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.5 miles
  • Fairly easy, some elevation.

 

This property in North Smithfield is currently private, however, it is likely going to be donated to the Town of North Smithfield in the future. The current owner, Mr. Gold, has allowed access to the property for a brief time. Taking the opportunity to do so, I went out to explore the stunningly spectacular property. The trails here are not blazed, however they are mostly named and there is a sign at just about every intersection (Some very comical). Using GPS wouldn’t hurt, but following the main trails will pretty much assure that you will not get lost. For this hike I did about two and a half of the six miles here making a point to find my way to the far end of the property to the shores of Tarklin Pond. Along the way I stumbled upon many, many highlights. A stone bridge crossing a brook by some interesting stonework, possibly the remains of an old structure. The stone walls here are fascinating showcasing craftsmanship from yesteryear. There is a large field on the property as well. Researching the property and old aerial photography, it appears there may have been an orchard here at one time. Exploring deeper into the property, the trails wind up and down hills through a canopy of oaks, pines, and a sporadic beech tree. The trail that I had decided to use followed a ridge line quite substantially high above a valley below. I had reached the shores of the pond and found a picnic table to sit at. I spent quite a bit of time here taking in the beauty of nature. For the remainder of the hike I zigzagged my way to an railroad bed that would lead me back to the entrance. This railroad bed was part of the line that the Woonasquatucket Bike Path, Stillwater Trail, and the Burriville Bike Path uses. Keep an eye on this property in the future. When it does open to the public, it will be well worth checking out!

TWRI-GFF02

Stone Bridge

TWRI-GFF05

Rest Area

Grills Sanctuary – Hopkinton

  • Grills Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Chase Hill Road, Hopkinton, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°24’38.75″N, 71°45’48.49″W
  • Last Time Hiked: March 22, 2020
  • Approximate distance hiked: 3.8 miles
  • Fairly easy, some elevation.

 

There are actually three separate “Grills” properties here on the Hopkinton-Westerly border. There is the Grills Preserve in Westerly, Grills Preserve in Hopkinton (also known as the Route 91 trailhead or Grills/How-Davey), and the Grills Sanctuary also in Hopkinton. This hike, starting from the Chase Hill Road trail head, is on the Grills Sanctuary. From the parking area, follow the white diamond blazed Tomaquag Trail as it first winds pass corn fields before entering the woods. The trail soon crosses over Wine Bottle Brook. Just after the brook the yellow square blazed East Loop will be on your left. Continue straight just a little further and turn right onto the orange rectangle blazed Cedar Swamp Trail. The pine needle covered trail passes under a canopy of tall trees before coming to the next intersection. Here turn right onto the yellow diamond blazed Peninsula Trail (note: this section of trail is not shown on the map) and follow it to a picnic area. Here turn right and cross the Tomaquag Brook via the bridge and boardwalk. You are now back on the white blazed Tomaquag Trail. At the end of the boardwalk the trail starts to climb and descend and again climb following ridgelines and a valley. Near the top of the second climb you can see much of the landscape around and below you. Though technically a viewing area, it might be tough to see very far when leaves are on the trees. If you were to continue ahead you would soon find yourself in the Westerly Grills. For this hike retrace your steps back to the bridge and boardwalk. After crossing the bridge stay to your right, pass the picnic area and bear to your right staying on the yellow diamond blazed Peninsula Trail. Ahead the trail makes a hard left as it reaches the river. Check out the spur trail to the right to view the Pawcatuck River before continuing along the trail. From here continue to follow the yellow blazes as the trail follows the river. It will soon come to the white blazed trail once again. Turn right here and follow the white blazes until you reach the yellow square blazed East Loop on the right. Following the yellow blazes will have you exploring the eastern reaches of the property. The loop traverses through low lying shrubs and a small grove of massive pines before returning to the white blazed trail for the last time. Turn right here and retrace your steps back to the parking area.

 

Map can be found at: Grills Sanctuary.

TWRI-GWS05

Tomaquag Bridge

Herb Hadfield – Westport

  • Herb Hadfield Conservation Area
  • Cornell Road, Westport, MA
  • Trailhead:  41°33’10.87″N, 71° 6’30.31″W
  • Last Time Hiked: March 21, 2020
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.7 miles
  • Fairly easy, can be muddy in areas.

 

This Westport Land Conservation Trust property offers a nearly 3 mile hike through forested wetlands, meadows, and to a swiftly moving brook. Starting at the Cornell Road trail head at the southern end of the property, stay right of the kiosk and follow the grass flanked trail to the second stone wall. Just after the wall you will come to a three way intersection. The trail to the left leads to private property and the red blazed trail ahead you will return on. Turn right here onto the yellow blazed trail. This trail will cross a small stream and some small boulders before coming to a split. You will want to turn left here and continue along the yellow blazed trail, but first continue ahead and follow the red trail to its end to see the swiftly moving and fairly wide brook. Conveniently there is a large tree down here to serve as a bench. Take a moment to relax and enjoy the sound of the trickling water cascading over some rocks. From here retrace your steps and turn right back onto the yellow trail. This trail heads north passing hollies, pines, and a stone wall. At the next intersection turn right onto the blue trail. This trail follows the eastern border of the property. There is a stone wall for a good part of this stretch on your right. There is also a couple of boardwalks with the second crossing Angeline Brook. At the end of the boardwalk turn right onto the green trail as it hugs the northeastern corner of the property. The green trail ends where the northern trail head entrance from Adamsville Road comes into the property. Continue straight here onto the red trail. It soon turns south. Passing the blue trail on the left continue ahead and you will find yourself entering a large field. Stay to the right here and follow the trail that follows the stone wall. It soon veers left across the field to the opposite tree line where it bears to the right. You will once again see the blue trail to the left by some large boulders. Continue ahead passing the rather impressive stone walls to your right and back into the woods. From here, continue straight the remainder of the hike. You will come back to the grass flanked trail you started on by the parking area.

 

Map can be found at: Herb Hadfield.

TWRI-PHHD10

Blue Trail Crossing Angeline Brook

Beaudoin Conservation Area – Coventry

  • Beaudoin Conservation Area
  • Ledge Road, Coventry, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°41’56.06″N, 71°39’21.08″W
  • Last Time Hiked: December 22, 2019
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.8 miles
  • Moderate, some stream crossings and rocky footing in areas.

 

A lesser known, but truly spectacular, trail system lies in western Coventry just between Route 117 and the Washington Secondary Bike Path. Starting at a parking area with a kiosk along Ledge Road follow the blue blazed trail as it gently descends into the heavily wooded property. This trail is only about a quarter mile long before it comes to the yellow blazed trail. For this hike stay to the left and follow the yellow trail southerly. The trail here is wide and winds downhill even further passing oak, pine, and beech trees. Off in the woods you can see the glacial remains of several boulders. As the yellow trail approaches the Washington Secondary Bike Path keep an eye out for a pair of stone walls on the right. They run parallel as if there was an old lane here. After the second wall and on the right is the beginning of the white blazed trail. You will want to turn here, but first follow the yellow blazed trail to its terminus at the bike path, cross the bike path to another short trail that leads to some ruins. Here along the Quidnick Brook is a large cellar hole of a mill and the remnants of a dam. After exploring the ruins make your way back to the white trail (now on your left). For next three quarters of a mile you will follow the white blazed trail as it winds up and down small hills, over and through streams, and through small boulder fields. This trail is much narrower and has many twists and turns but is very well blazed. Keep an eye out for the blazes especially by stream crossings. The narrow trail soon comes to a cart path at the western most end of the property. If you were to turn left you would come to the bike path once again. However, turn right and continue to follow the white blazes to the yellow trail. At the yellow trail you will want to turn right onto the much narrower trail. (Ahead, the yellow trail follows the cart path to a parking area at Williams Crossing Road). After turning right the trail winds again up and down several small hills and through another boulder field as you head east across the property. The trail comes to another cart path and the yellow blazes take you to the left here. Soon you will reach the blue blazed trail once again where you retrace your steps back to the parking area at Ledge Road.

TWRI-BeaudoinPhoto

One of Several Stone Walls

TWRI-BeaudoinMap

Map of Beaudoin Conservation Area