Posts Tagged ‘ Farms ’

Slocum’s River – Dartmouth

  • Slocum’s River Reserve
  • Horseneck Road, Dartmouth, MA
  • Trailhead:  41°33’6.97″N, 71° 0’34.00″W
  • Last Time Hiked: October 3, 2021
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.2 miles
  • Fairly easy with some elevation.

This property has a maze of unmarked trails that offer some spectacular views of the Slocum River and its wetlands. Covering most of the property will give you a hike of over 2 miles. For this hike we did the south end of the property first checking out the Amphitheater, Angelicas Overlook, and the Canoe Landing before doing the loop around a large open field which offered sweeping views. From here we toured the north via the Sam Francis Trail to Sarah’s Field to the short spur to the Grosswendt Reserve which also offers great views of the waterway and wetlands. Making our way back to the parking area we passed through the Bluebird Field. For a longer walk you could cross the road to Dartmoor Farm.

Trail Map: Slocum’s River

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Down By The River

Dike Creek Reserve – Dartmouth

  • Dike Creek Reserve
  • Bakerville Road, Dartmouth, MA
  • Trailhead:  41°34’30.85″N, 70°58’38.22″W
  • Last Time Hiked: April 10, 2021
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.5 miles
  • Fairly easy, some roots here and there.

Looking for a beautiful easy hike, fairly flat, no hills, fields, woods, streams, and water views? Dike Creek Reserve is the place to check out. Starting from the parking area, make your way into the property by following a red blaze access trail that runs along a working farm. The trail then moves into a section of woodlands for a bit. A newly built boardwalk carries you over the wet areas. The trail then comes back to another field, continue ahead going slightly downhill for the length of the field. The trail now enters the woods once again. In a bit you will come to a trail intersection. For this hike, turn left onto the blue blazed trail and follow it to its end. Along the way there is another set of boardwalks and a bridge that crosses a small stream. Turn right onto the white blazed trail and will soon be at a long boardwalk. Near the end of the boardwalk the red trail intersects. Here will eventually want to go left. But first, continue ahead a bit, passing a trail on the right, to a dead end that has a sweeping view of Dike Creek. Retracing your steps take a peek down the red trail now on your left. There is another bridge here that crosses a well worn stream. Retracing your steps once again back to the end of the white blazed trail, turn right onto the red blazed trail. It soon passes through a stone wall winding ever so slightly uphill to another stone wall and a vineyard. From here turn right and follow the yellow blazes back into the woods. The trail makes a loop through the northern part of the property with another spot to view Dikes Creek. After doing the loop retrace your steps back to the red blazed trail. Here continue straight ahead following the perimeter of the vineyard and the end of the red trail. Turn left onto the white blazed trail as it zig zags back to the intersection with the blue trail. Turn right onto the blue trail, then right onto the red and follow it back to the parking area.

Map can be found at: Dike Creek

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Barlow East – Westerly

  • Barlow Nature Preserve – East
  • Westerly Bradford Road, Westerly, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°22’44.91″N, 71°45’52.13″W
  • Last Time Hiked: January 17, 2021
  • Approximate distance hiked: 0.8 miles
  • Easy.

                                                                            

The Barlow Nature Preserve in Westerly is split into two sections separated by a swamp. The easstern portion offers a hike through an active farm and a wooded area behind the Westerly Land Trust headquarters. The blue blaze trail starts by the large pine tree just to the east of the greenhouse. The lollipop trail loops through the wooded area offering a dendrology lesson as many trees are labeled to what they are. A new boardwalk (circa 2021) has just been built. An option to return through the farm is available shortly after the boardwalk by turning left.

 

Map can be found at: Barlow Nature Preserve

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Along the Blue Loop at Barlow East

Watson Farm – Jamestown

  • Watson Farm
  • North Road, Jamestown, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°31’11.33″N, 71°22’47.07″W
  • Last Time Hiked: September 5, 2020
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.0 miles
  • Fairly easy with some elevation.

 

A Historic New England property, Watson Farm is a active working farm on the western slope of Conanicut Island with sweeping views of the West Passage of Narragansett Bay. Because it is a working farm it is only open to the public on certain days. There is also an entrance fee payable at the barn where the self guided walking tour begins. A trail map in a booklet will be provided to you. Also, it is advisable to check the tides before embarking to the shore. The barn itself offers quite a bit of New England history, different tools, saddles, and other equipment is visible. The animals were not in the barn at the time of this visit (other than a lumbering gray cat). Farm animals are likely to be in different areas of the farm at different times. To begin the walk, from the barn follow the dirt road between the barn and historic 1796 farmhouse uphill and then stay to the right. You will pass another farm structure to the right before cresting the hill at a farm gate. Take a peek behind you at the top of the hill. You will catch a glimpse of the towers of the Newport Bridge. Continuing ahead the road turns slightly to the left and the windmill becomes visible. The windmill here at Watson Farm is used to supply water throughout the farm by pumping it from below. Carrying on, the road turns slightly downhill giving you the first glimpses of the West Passage. There are sporadic single standing trees throughout the fields. These trees serve as shade for the farm animals. Soon the road splits. There is a sign here indicating to turn left for the short loop. For this hike continue ahead and downhill to the next split where there is another sign indicating the “Path to the Bay”. Turn left here, you will see a large outcrop of pudding-stone to your right before coming to a four way intersection by a stone wall. Turn right here, keeping the wall to your left for a bit. The pathway continues downhill. You will now have views of the Jamestown Bridge and Plum Island Lighthouse to your right across the fields. At the end of the path there is a gate. If it is closed, be sure to close it behind you after passing through it. The path now narrows as it turns to the left for a few feet, then right and downhill through some trees before reaching the shore. It is best to check the tides before reaching this point. High tide will leave only a narrow strand of beach. It is best to follow the shoreline at low tide as the beach is wider and offers a variety of stones and shells to view. When you reach the shore turn to the left and follow the shore away from the bridge behind you. The land ahead of you is Dutch Island. You will notice a portion of wall that was once of a long abandoned building. Dutch Island served the military for several years before being abandoned entirely. The island is now a State Management Area only accessible by boat. To the left of Dutch Island is Fort Getty, now a summer campground. Following the shore it soon bends to the left. Start looking for the “Buoy Post” where you want to turn left to get back onto the farm trails. Be sure to close the gate once again and continue ahead. From here you will continue straight gently uphill passing first a trail to the left before winding through an old orchard. Next you will pass through a gate, then a stone wall while traversing through large open fields. After the stone wall, the trail turns to the left and climbs gently uphill again before coming to the a trail intersection. Here continue straight ahead passing another stone wall. You will pass a pollinator garden on the right before coming to an old wagon parked behind the old farmhouse. The road then turns slightly to the right back to the barn. For more information click here.

A Lone Tree In A Field

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!

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Stone Bridge

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Rest Area

Allens Pond East – Dartmouth

 

Allens Pond is a Masachusetts Audubon property along Buzzards Bay. The property offers 6 to 7 miles of trails. It is a diverse and beautiful property offering several types of features from beaches to fields to woodlands. With that being said, I have decided to break the property into three separate hikes to maximize visiting all of the trails without having an overwhelming hike distance. For the first hike, I started at the easterly trailhead along Allen Neck Road and followed the mowed path to a stone wall and gate. This is the beginning of the Woodland Loop. Continuing straight ahead I followed the path over some boardwalks that went over several small streams. The loop passes a few ledges and glacial outcrops as well. The trail soon comes to a dirt road. You may catch a glimpse of the cows in the field in front of you. Turn right here onto the road and immediately turn left after the stone wall and again immediately right onto the Boulder Trail. This will put you on a small loop path that will bring you by two massive boulders. At the next intersection turn right. You will soon come to another intersection. Here continue straight. The trail winds through thick shrubs and you will come to another significant boulder before coming to the end of the trail. Turn right now onto the Grassland Trail. It will descend slightly downhill before coming to a farm road. Turn left here and follow the road to the large open field. Stay to the left and follow the perimeter of the field. You will see a sign for the Quansett Trail. On your left here is a path that leads to a loop trail that follows the perimeter of a field. It will add a half mile to your hike if you so choose to do it. For this hike continue straight along the Quansett Trail. Look for a post on the left by a narrow trail. When you find it follow the narrow path to a scenic viewing area. From here you can view the salt marsh and Buzzards Bay beyond. From here retrace your steps back along the narrow path, turn right onto the Quansett Trail, continue around the field, following the Grassland Trail back to the Boulder Loop. Instead of turning left where you came in, continue straight briefly before taking the next left. Follow this trail back to farm road by the cows. Be sure to check out the stone wall on your right along the way as you are very likely to find frolicking chipmunks. Also look for a vernal pool on your left along this stretch. After turning right onto the farm road, pass the trail on the left (the one you came in on) and then veer to the left onto the next trail. This will lead you back into the woods and over another boardwalk before ending at the stonewall and gate by the entrance trail. Turn right here to get to the parking area.

 

Map can be found at: Allens Pond East.

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Woodland Loop Return by the Farm Road

Sunset Farm Trail – Narragansett

  • Sunset Farm Trail
  • Point Judith Road, Narragansett, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°24’24.97″N, 71°28’48.22″W
  • Last Time Hiked: September 15, 2019
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.5 miles
  • Fairly easy with some elevation.

 

Tucked away behind Sunset Farm is one of the newest trail systems in Rhode Island. A working farm, you must first make your way past the gate and follow the signs along the dirt road through the farm area. Be sure to close the gate behind you!! The trail is to the left just as you approach a stone wall at the northern edge of the property. The trail is flanked by the wall to the right and a wire fence to the left. Along this stretch are sweeping views of the farm fields. At the next intersection, and for this hike, turn left and follow the trail into a wooded area. A stone wall will now be on your left. Look for a very distinctive and obviously out of place stone in the wall. At the end of this trail turn right. The path to the left is blocked with a gate. From here you will gently descend downhill through an area with old apple trees and grape vines. The scent of grapes was rather strong at the time of this hike, and with the fruit, the birds. There were many of them singing in the nearby shrubs. At the next trail intersection there is signage. Turn left here, cross over a boardwalk, and then slightly uphill to a small knoll with a bench. There is a small view corridor (likely larger when the leaves are off the trees) of Point Judith Pond. From here retrace your steps back to the intersection. Continue straight ahead and slightly uphill. At the next intersection continue straight and then retrace your steps back to and through the farm. Be sure to check out the farm stand for fresh fruits, vegetables, honey, sauces, and meats. Around the other side of the barn are pens. You may catch a glimpse of a cow or goat.

 

Map can be found at: Sunset Farm Trail.

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The Trail Flanked by Fence and Wall

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.

Dunham’s Brook – Westport

  • Dunham’s Brook Conservation Area
  • Main Road, Westport, MA
  • Trailhead:  41°32’37.64″N, 71° 5’14.17″W
  • Last Time Hiked: September 8, 2018
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.8 miles
  • Fairly easy.

 

Wedged between Main Road and Route 88, Dunham’s Brook offers nearly 3 miles of trails in three very different and distinctive loops. Starting from the parking area, the trail first follows an open area of grass before entering the woods. At the first wooden bridge look to the right to notice a pond. The next bridge crosses Dunham’s Brook itself. Shortly after that is an area of boardwalk that winds through the thick brush. After taking a sharp right and climbing uphill, you will come to a set of stairs of the left. Go left here first climbing the stairs up to the trail (blue loop) This trail will lead you along the ridge of the hill passing the remains of a stone silo on the left before coming out to a large farm field. The trail bends to the right here. The path to the right (blue loop) will turn back to the south pass a stone wall and end at the orange loop. The path to the left (green loop) will lead you through a large seasonal corn field before entering the woods once again. This section is not shown on the map provided, but is shown at the kiosk at the trailhead. A logging operation was also actively occurring at the time of this hike. Continuing straight the trail will soon turn to the right to complete the loop. Turn left and retrace your steps back through the corn field, pass the silo, and to the stairs. For the last part of this hike, turn left at the bottom of the stairs, follow the trail slightly uphill to the next intersection. Turn left onto the blue trail and follow it to the stone wall at the corn field. Turn right here and follow the orange loop trail as it re-enters the woods. The trail winds through a dense area of woods and wetlands along the southern end of the property. The trail eventually makes a loop and returns to the stairs. From here continue ahead and retrace your steps back to the parking area.

 

Map can be found at: Dunham’s Brook

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The Stairs at Dunham’s Serves as a Good Reference Point

 

Westport Town Farm – Westport

 

This beautiful property owned and maintained by the Trustees and the Westport Land Conservation Trust offers a nice 1 mile walk along mowed trails following the perimeter of a large meadow. The property stretches downhill from the farmhouse and barn to the Westport River. There are several stone walls and wildflowers here at Westport Farm as well.

 

Map can be found at: Westport Town Farm

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Stone Walls and Mowed Paths