Posts Tagged ‘ Farmers Market ’

Casey Farm – North Kingstown

  • Casey Farm
  • Boston Neck Road, North Kingstown, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°30’43.45″N, 71°25’23.07″W
  • Last Time Hiked: September 24, 2016
  • Approximate distance hiked: 4.1 miles
  • Fairly easy with some elevation.

Most locals know Casey Farm for its farmer markets (one of the best in the state). Others know the farm for being a historical site. What a lot of people are not aware of is that Casey Farm offers miles of trails. For this hike, I joined a small group attending a Rhode Island Land Trust Days event. The hike was led by the very knowledgeable Dr. Bob Kenney of the University of Rhode Island. Mr. Kenney, (a walking encyclopedia of birds, mushrooms, and plants) volunteers quite often for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Audubon Society. In fact this is not the first of his hikes I have been on. In 1659, several colonists bought the land on Boston Neck for a mere 18 cents per acre from the Narragansetts. One of these families were the Richardsons. By 1702 half of that property belonged to the family that founded Casey Farm. The farm stretched from Narragansett Bay to the Narrow River as it still does today. The property, a working farm, is protected and owned by Historic New England. Atop the hill along Boston Neck Road is where the farm is located. It consists of several fields and structures including a large barn as well as old New England style stone walls. The first part of the hike took us into the eastern part of the property down to Casey Point. The old cart path passes through areas of wildflowers including wild snapdragon, black swallowwort milkweed, and heart leaved aster. There is also an abundance of ferns, mushrooms, and an invasive shrub known as devils walking stick. This area is also a haven for birds as we saw and heard catbirds, woodpeckers, and red tailed hawks. When we reached the point we had sweeping views of the west passage of Narragansett Bay. Across the bay is Jamestown and the large open field is part of Watson Farm (another Historic New England property). Beyond Jamestown you will see the Newport Bridge. To the north is the Jamestown Bridge and Plum Point Lighthouse. To the south you can see Beavertail Light and Dutch Island Light. After spending a little time on the point we retraced our steps back to the farm. From here we then followed another stone walled flanked cart path toward the heavily wooded western end of the property. We briefly entered the neighboring King Preserve, the newest Nature Conservancy property in Rhode Island. This preserve is a work in progress still. Most of the major trails are complete and open, however, there are a section of trails yet to be built. The trails are soft and there are boardwalks that cross wet areas and streams. There is plenty of ferns in this area among the birch trees and sassafras. We nearly reached the Narrow River at the bottom of the hill before making our way back uphill along old cart paths and dirt roads winding through the Casey Farm property. This stretch of the hike also offer sounds and sights of nuthatches, tufted titmouses, and eastern towhees. We then returned to the farm to conclude the hike. Casey Farm is open from June 1st to October 15th on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. There are also tours of the farm available. For more information please call 401-295-1030.

A note from the folks at Casey Farm:  Casey Farm is open to the public during daylight hours for hiking trails at Casey Point or those adjacent to King Preserve. Please note dogs must be on leashes, clean up of course, and respect the young people and farm animals by keeping dogs away from the farmyard and fields. Access Casey’s woodland trails via the King Preserve. Camp Grosvenor is not open to the public for hiking. Access Casey Point on Narragansett Bay via the gate on Boston Neck Road. We are working on getting better signage. Feel free to contact me with any questions: Jane Hennedy, site manager, 401-295-1030 ext. 5, jhennedy@historicnewengland.org.

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Casey Point with The Newport Bridge in the distance.

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Flanked by Wildflowers

Briggs-Boesch Farm – East Greenwich/North Kingstown

  • Briggs-Boesch Farm
  • South Road, East Greenwich, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°36’29.72″N, 71°30’23.38″W
  • Last Time Hiked: August 8, 2014
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.0 miles
  • Easy with some slight elevation.

 

An active farm that just happens to have hiking trails. This made for a great combination of sights, sounds, and some rather great photography opportunities. The property itself is owned by the East Greenwich Land Trust and the grounds are used by a community supported agriculture (CSA) program. I started this hike from the dirt parking lot just off of South Road. Here there is a large sign with information about the property and a trail map. Just to the left of the sign is a path that leads through an area of tall grass to a stone wall. The sounds of crickets were quite abundant here. After crossing the stone wall I was greeted by several chickens before the path turned right and toward the farm buildings. To the right over a field was the old farmhouse, in the barn on the left is Pat’s Pastured Farm Store. After being greeted (somewhat) by the farm dog I then made my way to the actual trail head just behind the barn. There is a small stone wall enclosed family cemetery here at the trail head. Some of the graves are those of the Briggs family dating back to the mid nineteenth century. Continuing along the trail I then came across some ruins of what might of been some sort of storage facility. I then continued to follow the trail as it came out to a dirt road. I followed the dirt road to the next intersection. Although the trails are not blazed, at each intersection there is signage showing the direction of the trail to follow. On this stretch, called the Woodland Trail, I came across some deer and some several toads crossing the path. At the intersection the sign instructs you to go left, as I did, after first exploring the road ahead to a bridge that crosses the Scrabbletown Brook. I then continued along the trail that was marked with the sign. This trail winds through the woods eventually coming to a field. The field is fenced in and trails follow the edge of the fence. The Woodland Trail continues to the right and this is the one I opted to take, keeping the fence to my left and the woods to my right. The trail turns left following the fence before heading back into the woods. You are actually in North Kingstown at this point. This part of the trail follows the southern border of the property with a stone wall to the right. The trail then turns left and comes to another field. Just after leaving the woods I turned left following the edge of the field, then back onto a dirt road into a wooded area to a four way intersection. Here I turned right and started hearing the sounds of pigs. Along this stretch is a large area where the pigs are feeding and roaming around. They seemed very interested in my presence. After taking a few photos I then continued following the road to the left into another field before turning right onto the next road. This road led me back to the farm buildings. From here I retraced my steps back to the parking area. Aside from the farm animals and wildlife I also saw several types of birds here. This walk is dog-friendly, however, dogs must be leashed as not to disturb the farm animals.

I did not find a trail map on-line, however I took a picture of the one at the entrance (see below).

Old Farm House

Old Farm House

Such A Ham!

Such A Ham!

Trail Map

Trail Map

Blackstone Park & Boulevard – Providence

  • Blackstone Park & Boulevard
  • Blackstone Boulevard, Providence, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°50’1.49″N, 71°23’1.72″W
  • Last Time Hiked: March 1, 2016
  • Approximate distance hiked: 5 miles
  • Easy with some slight elevation.

 

The running path down the middle of the Blackstone Boulevard is the premier East Side of Providence walking, jogging, and running spot. I’ve walked here hundreds, if not thousands of times. It is exactly 1.6 miles long meandering through many species of trees and shrubs, making the path up and back 3.2 miles, a perfect 5K. There is also a dedicated bicycle lane in each direction of the boulevard. Today, however, I decided to add to the boulevard walk and include the adjacent and lesser known Blackstone Park. Most people start the boulevard walk at the north end. I find it easier to park at the south end near the intersection of Blackstone Boulevard and Irving Avenue. After I easily found a parking spot I started walking southerly on the boulevard toward Butler Avenue. Blackstone Boulevard becomes Butler just as it bends around the corner. I then took my first left onto East Orchard Avenue passing the campus of the Lincoln School and through a residential neighborhood. After following this street to the end I turned right onto the aptly named Parkside Road. Blackstone Park abuts this street. I then followed Parkside to its end crossing Angell Street into the first of two sections of the park that I explored. This is where the trails begin. I came to the first split and took the path to the right following it straight across other paths until I reached a split near its end. At this split I followed the path to the left which took me along the fence of the nearby highway. I continued following the path that ran along the top of the hill. The path then starts going downhill towards a pond and somewhat traces the edge of the pond. At the next split I turned left and followed the path back uphill to where I entered this section of the park at Angell Street. I then crossed Angell Street again and made my way to the path that started at the corner of Angell and Parkside into the second section of the park. I continued along this path for a while crossing several other paths until I came upon an interesting fence. Along the paths in this section I came across several people walking their friendly dogs. After mingling for a bit I found myself turning right and finding the set of stairs to go down toward a second pond. At the bottom of the stairs I turned right and came out to River Road. I followed it north onto a closed (to traffic) section of road that followed the shore of the Seekonk River. From here you can see the Omega Dam and train trestle in the Phillipsdale section of East Providence. There were also several geese, swans, and ducks here. This section of road then started to loop to the left and uphill. At the end I turned right onto Loring Avenue, again into a residential neighborhood. I then turned right on Grotto Avenue, and then left onto Laurel Avenue to Blackstone Boulevard. There were several yards with spring gardens in bloom throughout this neighborhood. I then turned right onto the running path that runs down the middle of the boulevard. I followed this to its end at Hope Street passing along the way a statue, a former trolley shelter, and the impressive stone walls of Swan Point Cemetery. At the end of the path to the left and across the street is another park. In the summer months on Saturday mornings there is a farmers market here. Also, at the end of the path and across Hope Street is an ice cream parlor. At this point I resisted my sudden urge for ice cream turned around and followed the running path to its south end to where my car was parked. In all, this walk was just under 5 miles. Again the boulevard itself is 3.2 miles.

A map of the the parks can be found here: Blackstone Park & Boulevard

Information about the park can be found here: Blackstone Parks Conservancy

Information about the farmers market can be found here: The Hope Street Farmers Market

Old Trolley Shelter On Blackstone Boulevard

Old Trolley Shelter On Blackstone Boulevard