Posts Tagged ‘ Buck Hill Management Area ’

Buck Hill – Burrillville

  • Buck Hill Management Area
  • Buck Hill Road, Burrillville, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°59’6.53″N,  71°47’21.36″W
  • First Time Hiked: January 18, 2015
  • Last Time Hiked: October 21, 2016
  • Approximate distance hiked: 3.6 miles
  • Easy with slight elevation, rocky footing in areas.

Nestled in the northwest corner of Rhode Island just west of Wallum Lake is the Buck Hill Management Area. This vast piece of property, a haven for hunters and hikers, is pure seclusion. At times you are literally miles from any civilization and it is easy to appreciate what nature has to offer here. I was joined by a group of hikers for this stroll on this gray January morning. The temperatures were bearable, however the trails were very icy, slowing our usual pace. We started from the second parking lot where the gate is. From here we headed north along the access road. Soon we came to the first intersection. We continued straight along the access road. The road to the left would be our return route. We soon crossed a small brook before coming to the next fork. The access road veers to the right. At this point we choose to stay to the left and started following the yellow blazed trail. This trail was rather rocky for most of its length. We then came to an opening on the left. Here is a marsh, part of Lesson Brook. Although we saw none this morning, I would imagine this would be a good spot to view water foul. We continued along the yellow blazed trail passing areas of hemlocks and mountain laurel, passing an old fire road, before coming to an area with some stone walls. Here, atop a rather high hill, looks as if there may have been a structure at one time. We then continued along the yellow trail and came to Old Starr Road. The road is very obvious as it is a small valley between the roads embankments and stone walls. From here we turned left, heading west, down the hill. Soon we came to a fork. We followed the road to the left.  From here we followed this road to its end, winding gently uphill for a bit. The road follows the ridge line of Benson Mountain for about a mile. There are several paths off of the main road that lead to several fields along the way. The road then bears left and downhill to its end. Turning right we retraced our steps along the access road back to the parking area. This area is open to hunting and orange must be worn during hunting season.

Trail map can be found at: Buck Hill.

Frozen Marsh At Buck Hill

Frozen Marsh At Buck Hill

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Tri State Marker – Thompson/Burrillville/Douglas

  • Tri State Marker
  • East Thompson Road, Thompson, CT
  • Trailhead: 42° 0’31.89″N, 71°48’32.66″W
  • Last Time Hiked: May 20, 2017
  • Approximate distance hiked: 4.2 miles
  • Moderate, difficult in areas with rocky footing and hills, rest is fairly easy.

 

Upon a knoll deep in the woods is where the states of Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut meet. At that point is a granite marker. It is not an uncommon occurrence in the United States. But here it is all on public land and there are trails leading to it. Although this hike was not just to the marker and back, it certainly is one of the highlights of it. This hike would lead us through all three states using various trails. We (myself, Auntie Beak, and a another fellow hiker) started at East Thompson Road where the Airline Trail crosses the road. This would be the first highlight of the hike. At this location on December 4, 1891 the Great East Thompson Train Wreck occurred. It was the only four train collision in the countries history. There is signage here explaining the event. From here we headed east along the Airline Trail. The trail itself is the former railroad bed. It is now just a flat wide dirt and gravel path. We soon came to an old wooden bridge that crossed the path. The bridge was apparently used to herd livestock safely over the railroad. Just after the bridge and to the left is a faint path that leads toward the bridge approach. Here is the next highlight of this hike. It is the Hermit Cave. The small hole in the side of the hill is the entrance to the cave. Inside the cave (flashlight required) is some impressive stonework. No one knows for sure who built it, but it appears to be similar to many root cellars found throughout New England. Continuing on the Airline Trail we soon came to a sign for the blue-blazed Tri State Marker Trail. Here we turned right and started the fairly short (three tenths of a mile) but relatively challenging uphill and rocky climb toward the next highlight of this hike. This trail follows the Connecticut/Massachusetts border. At the top of the trail is a small clearing with a large granite marker. This is the Tri-State marker. The monument, dated 1883, has the abbreviations of the three states inscribed in it. The trail to the right would lead you back to the Airline Trail if you decide you have seen enough. The trail straight ahead, called the Border Trail by locals, would lead you along the Connecticut/Rhode Island border into the heart of the Buck Hill Management area. We opted to follow the trail to the left (east) that follows the Rhode Island/Massachusetts border. We were in the extreme northern edge of Buck Hill along this trail. The trail, still rocky and somewhat difficult, continues to climb uphill, passing a few more state boundary markers along the way. The trail soon ends. We turned left onto the next trail and into the Douglas State Forest. The trail, unblazed and unnamed steadily descends down the opposite side of the hill we just climbed over. The hike from here on is relatively easy as most of the inclines were now behind us. Along this trail we came across the first of some quite impressive cellar holes. At the next intersection we turned left onto the yellow blazed Mid-State Trail. We followed the Mid-State for a while passing yet another impressive cellar hole. The Mid-State then turns to the right (sign on tree says “PARK”), we followed the trail to the left and continued downhill, passing a small stream, to a four way intersection at the Southern New England Trunkline Trail. This trail is a continuation of the railroad bed we came in on. It just has a different name on the Massachusetts side. Before turning left and following the trail back to the car, we did a little exploring to the right and straight ahead checking out some of the water features. Rocky Brook offers some small cascading waterfalls and the pond here was still with some nice reflections. Both Buck Hill in Rhode Island and the Douglas State Forest in Massachusetts are open to hunting. We did come across hunters on this hike. Be sure to wear blaze orange during hunting season.

Trail map can be found at: Tri-State Marker. (courtesy of Auntie Beak)

The Tri-State Marker

The Tri-State Marker

Reflections

Reflections