Posts Tagged ‘ George Washington Management Area ’

Bowdish Reservoir – Glocester

  • Bowdish Reservoir – Angell Loop Trail
  • Putnum Pike, Glocester, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°55’23.14″N, 71°45’29.73″W
  • Last Time Hiked: September 26, 2015
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.5 miles
  • Fairly easy with some elevation.

To say that this hike is easily one of the best in Rhode Island is a tremendous understatement. Just long enough to spend enough time in the woods and just short enough for beginners and folks with younger children. The one and a half mile loop trail has two diverse parts to it. The first meanders up and down over small hills in the remote part of the George Washington Campground and the second winds along the picturesque southern shore of the Bowdish Reservoir. To access the trailhead use the main entrance of the campground on Putnam Pike. There is currently a $2.00 visitor entrance fee that you must pay at the entrance. After paying and passing the gate, take your third left and use the parking area here behind the brown Civilian Conservation Corps cabin. From here walk along the dirt road, passing the Walkabout Trail trailhead on the right, toward the beach at the reservoir and follow the road as it turns to the left. There will be a kiosk for the Angell Loop Trail on the right. The trail, blazed white, first passes some boulders before passing a couple campsites on the left. Just ahead is a trail split with two boardwalks that cross a seasonal stream. Take the one to the left, this will lead toward the remote campsites first and leave the best part of the hike for the end. The trail then climbs uphill for a short distance. Ahead is a trail junction, be sure to follow the white blazes and ignore the side trails. Soon you will be near the top of the hill and notice a lot of ground cover shrubs. The trail then starts slightly downhill and comes to a service road. Turn right here and follow the dirt road. The road leads by the five remote campsites. These sites each have a picnic table, fire pit, and tent platform, but are for campers only and must be reserved to be used. Along this stretch is also a restroom if you feel so inclined. Just after the fifth campsite the service road becomes visibly less used and starts to look like a wide trail traversing through the tall oaks and pines. The trail continues to slightly climb uphill as it passes an area with some boulders in the woods. Near the top of the hill to the right is an unusual formation of stones. There is no indication to what they represent. The trail then leads over the last hill and the down toward the shore of the reservoir. The trail along the shore is narrower and has plenty of spots to view the reservoir. This is quite possibly one of the prettiest stretches of trail in Rhode Island. The next half of a mile is a haven for small woodland critters such as chipmunks and squirrels, waterfowl such as geese and ducks, and has an abundance of birds as the trail winds along the reservoir. If the breeze is blowing just right you will smell the campfires off in the distance. The trail then passes through a grove of hemlocks and mountain laurel just before coming to the boardwalk. After crossing the boardwalk, turn left and retrace your steps back to the trailhead. For the more experienced hiker that would like a longer walk, head over to the Walkabout Trail. There is the option of adding an additional 2, 6, or 8 miles to your hike.

Trail map can be found at: Bowdish Reservoir.

Along The Angell Loop Trail

Along The Angell Loop Trail

Bowdish Reservoir

Bowdish Reservoir

Walkabout Trail – Glocester/Burrillville

  • Walkabout Trail – George Washington State Management Area
  • Putnam Pike, Glocester, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°55’25.00″N, 71°45’29.70″W
  • Last Time Hiked: June 20, 2015
  • Approximate distance hiked: 8.2 miles
  • Moderate due to distance, areas of rocky footing.

The Australian Aborigines have a tradition, a rite of passage, where they live in the wilderness. This tradition is known as a Walkabout. In the early summer of 1965, a group of Australian sailors were in Rhode Island while they waited for their ship, the H.M.A.S. Perth, to be commissioned. During this time, about a month, they spent in the woods of the George Washington Management Area cutting the trails of what we know now as the Walkabout Trail. They gave this network of trails its name in honor of the Aborigine tradition. There are three loop trails here, all very well blazed. The hikes of choice here are the 2 mile blue blazed loop, the 6 mile red blazed loop, and the 8 mile orange blazed loop. All three of the loops begin at the Bowdish Reservoir beach in the George Washington Campground. Maps are available at the trailhead. There are also trail markers for the North South Trail that uses sections of the Walkabout. (An entry fee, currently $2.00, is being charged to get onto the property. The beach is at the third left after the entry gate). For this hike I opted to do the orange blazed loop. A good portion of this hike is through areas where there is rocky footing and in some spots it could be a little muddy. Be sure to wear proper footwear for this hike. Trekking poles or a hiking stick wouldn’t hurt either. The first section of the hike is blazed in all three colors and follows the Bowdish Reservoir as it winds through areas with mountain laurel and boulders. After crossing into Burrillville, soon you will approach the second body of water along this hike. This is Wilbur Pond, and it is in this area that the blue blazed loop turns to the right. Continuing to follow the orange blazes the trail then turns into the thickness of the forest. On most days if you stop for a moment to listen, you will here almost absolutely nothing. Along the way the 6 mile red blazed trail will veer off to the right and the orange trail will become slightly narrower and cross several dirt roads. You will pass through an impressive hemlock grove in this part as well. Soon the trail will join up with a red triangle blazed trail. This trail (and others ahead) are part of the Pulaski Park trail system. Be sure to follow the orange blazes and double check at each trail intersection or you may end up heading the wrong direction. As the trail starts to head east you will soon find yourself at Richardson Marsh. The western end of the marsh is a pond and the sweeping views from the earthen dam are quite impressive. This is the 5 mile mark and a good spot for a break and to look around for wildlife. Evidence of beaver activity is noticeable here. The trail then crosses a series of plank bridges (aptly named Richardson Bridge), slightly uphill to a trail intersection and then to the left. The remainder of the hike traverses through the property winding up and down small hills and areas of rocky footing. The red and blue trails eventually rejoin the orange trail. Toward the end there is a couple sections of trail built like old Roman roads where the logs are laid down over muddy areas. Approaching the campground, most times you will then start to smell campfires as the hike concludes.

Trail map can be found at: Walkabout Trail.

The Three Blazes Of The Walkabout And Mountain Laurel.

The Three Blazes Of The Walkabout And Mountain Laurel.

This trail was featured in RI Local Magazine – August 2015

Pulaski Park/Peck Pond – Burrillville/Putnam/Thompson

  • Casimir Pulaski Memorial State Park
  • Center Trail, Burrillville, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°55’57.19″N,  71°47’49.01″W
  • Last Time Hiked: May 25, 2014
  • Approximate distance hiked: 4.8 miles
  • Easy with some slight elevation.

I think I have always been a bit of a naturalist. I would rather spend time in the woods rather than in front of a computer. I have always been tremendously intrigued by Thoreau and not so much Jobs or Gates. I would choose Walden Pond over the city any day. But this is the age of technology. Social media has come to rule my life for better or worse. With that being said, a year and a day ago I was contacted by a blogger simply known as Auntie Beak. She came across my hiking blog and suggested that we should talk. She was working on a similar project and we over time eventually became Facebook friends and became members of the same hiking groups. A series of misfortunes occurred last summer. Auntie Beak broke her ankle hiking Escoheag Trail in Arcadia in July and I followed in a less honorable Downtown Providence drinking incident of breaking my ankle in August. Obviously, we both needed to heal and then a long, cold, almost unbearable winter set in. In late April a rain delay of sorts would play into the cards. But at last… Auntie Beak and I have hiked together. Auntie Beaks blog is a wealth of information of the Southeastern Connecticut and Southern Rhode Island trails. I often refer to her site for hikes. She is also very knowledgeable in fungus and flowers. I have never been much into botany, but as of late, my interests have been peaked. I am grateful to have met Auntie Beak and the many others I have met through social media that have the same love and passion for the outdoors that I have. With that being said, today’s hike… Pulaski Park is a beautiful state park with Peck Pond as its centerpiece. The entrance road to Pulaski Park is off of Route 44 in Glocester, however, the parking area and all of the trails we hiked on the Rhode Island side are in Burrillville. We started from the main parking area near the restrooms. We followed the path to the beach area then turning right following a trail that was blazed white with a blue dot. This trail meandered through dense woods with some rocky footing. We had initially started off trying to follow the yellow blazed trail but took a wrong turn somewhere along the way. Whoops! We ended up doing a loop that brought us back to the beach area. We decided then to head over to the bridge that crosses the dam. The bridge aptly named the RI-CONN bridge crosses over into the extreme northeastern corner of Putnam, Connecticut before entering Thompson. We then followed a gravel road for a bit back into Burrillville. At the split we followed the road to the right. This road would eventually come to a covered bridge passing first some streams and old man-made stone works of interest. Most of this road had an occasional yellow blaze. Shortly after the covered bridge we came to a short trail on the right that would lead uphill to another gravel road. We then turned right following the road to a trail on the right that would cut through an open field. At the next intersection we went straight completing a loop that came out to our left. We should have turned right. From here we turned left at the next intersection and back to the parking area. We came across many flowers, again seeing Lady Slippers, as well as mushrooms and fungus on this hike and many insects. I did not see any wildlife other than birds and the occasional squirrel.

Trail map can be found at: Pulaski Park-Peck Pond.

Peck Pond

Peck Pond

Covered Bridge

Covered Bridge