Posts Tagged ‘ Fields ’

Hawkins Woods – Plainville

 

Hawkins Woods was opened in 2018 and is mostly known for its disc golf course. The short mile long loop trail traverses the back part of the property wandering through a canopy of beech, pine, and maple trees. The trail also passes along the edge of a large field and stone walls. The tee-pee is quite the highlight along the way. To do the trail stay to the left of the kiosk and follow the white signs with black arrows.

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The Tee-pee at Hawkins Woods.

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

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.

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Blue Trail Crossing Angeline Brook

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

Patricia Sprague Forest – Charlestown

  • Patricia Sprague Forest Preserve
  • Railroad Avenue, Charlestown, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°27’4.63″N, 71°39’21.18″W
  • Last Time Hiked: February 2, 2020
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.4 miles
  • Fairly easy, some elevation.

 

For a relatively short, but stunningly beautiful hike just off of Route 112 in Charlestown, the Patricia Sprague Forest offers quite a bit. Starting from a small parking area along Railroad Avenue, follow the blue blazed, pine needle covered trail into the property first passing a stone wall and glacial boulders before coming to a split. For this hike stay to the right following the blue blazes northeasterly along the properties southern border. Ahead, just off the trail and on the right, is an old fire pit that overlooks the valley below. Continuing along the blue blazed trail you will catch glimpses of the Pawcatuck River down below on the right. The trail then descends rapidly into a valley, then climbs back uphill, over a ridge-line and finally into an open field. At the field stay to the right following the fields perimeter on a beaten path that traverses the northern reaches of the property. You will pass through a very young pine grove along this stretch as well. The trail leaves the field for the last time as it bears right into the tall pines and along the properties western border. Ahead you will pass through an old orchard before coming to the entrance trail. Stay to the right here and retrace your steps by the stone wall and back to the parking area.

 

Map can be found at: Patricia Sprague Forest.

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Stone Walls and Tall Trees

Westport Woods – Westport/Little Compton

  • Westport Woods/Cotton Preserve
  • Adamsville Road, Westport, MA
  • Trailhead:  41°33’30.54″N, 71° 7’29.09″W
  • Last Time Hiked: January 5, 2020
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.5 miles
  • Fairly easy.

 

Westport Woods is one of the newer trail systems in the area opening to the public in the summer of 2019. For this hike, about one and half of the almost 3 miles of trails was hiked. Starting from the kiosk at the parking area, first follow the paved road north a couple hundred feet then turn left onto a stone dust path. This path winds west then south through a field with tall trees. Soon you will come to the “Main Trail” sign on your right. This section of trail, blazed orange, enters the woods and follows the western edge of the property passing several types of trees, holly shrubs, and stone walls. At the second trail intersection the orange trail continues ahead and the yellow blazed trail begins at the right. For this hike continue ahead for now. (You will be retracing your steps back to this intersection). The orange trail now enters the Cotton Preserve owned by the Little Compton Agricultural Conservancy Trust. After crossing a stream you will come to a quarry pond. Take a moment to take in the beauty here before retracing your steps back to the yellow trail (now on your left). The remainder of this hike will follow the yellow trail with the exception of a short detour at your first left. Here you will follow a short loop trail to a vernal pool. After viewing the vernal pool return to the yellow trail and continue to follow it to the east. The trail will include a series of boardwalks in wet areas, followed by an interesting stone feature on the left, (presumably leftovers from the former St Vincent de Paul Camp), before winding along the eastern edge of the property to a stone bridge. From here the trail ends at an open field. Continue ahead to reach the kiosk by the parking area. Hunting is allowed here, Be sure to wear orange during hunting season.

 

Map can be found at: Westport Woods.

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Stone Structure at Westport Woods.

Tikkanen-Martin – Foster

 

This white blazed loop trail, just under a mile long, starts at a parking area just in from Kennedy Road at utility pole 49. Following the loop counter clockwise you will first slowly climb uphill along an old cart path flanked by stone walls. Among the pines and various deciduous trees were an abundance of black-capped chickadees. Near the back of the property the trail turns to the north for a bit before turning to the west traversing through a large wooded area before coming to a large grass field. For the remainder of the hike stay to the right following the edge of the field back to the parking area. Walking across the field is frowned upon as the Land Trust is trying to preserve the grasses here. Hunting is allowed here so be sure to wear orange.

 

Map can be found at: Tikkanen/Martin

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Field at Tikkanen/Martin Property

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

Redway Plain – Rehoboth

 

Once used for militia training and also used to grow crops, this fairly large field off of Route 44 is today home to the Rehoboth Veterans Memorial and an occasional town event such as a carnival. Its name, Redway Plain, is derived from the early settler James Redway. For most of the year the field is left to grow and a walking path is mowed around its perimeter. Walking and horseback riding is welcome here along the perimeter. The recent addition of the Veterans Memorial pays homage to all the residents of Rehoboth who have served in all the American Wars from 1620 to current day.

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Summer Day at Redway Plain

Westville Conservation Area – Taunton

  • Westville Conservation Area
  • North Walker Street, Taunton, MA
  • Trailhead:  41°53’16.95″N, 71° 8’7.67″W
  • Last Time Hiked: April 2, 2018
  • Approximate distance hiked: 0.8 miles
  • Fairly easy.

 

This small and quaint Taunton Conservation Commission property offers a short stroll to the Three Mile River. The property is just west of the bustling city center and offers a variety of features including open grass fields, woodlands, and wetlands. The trails are not blazed but there is a very informative kiosk at the parking area. The property is a haven for small birds. It is advisable to wear long pants as some of the trails pass through bull-briar.

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Field in Westville