Posts Tagged ‘ Hiking ’

Hawkins Pond – Glocester

  • Hawkins Pond
  • Putnam Pike, Glocester, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°55’1.12″N, 71°47’36.68″W
  • Last Time Hiked: November 25, 2018
  • Approximate distance hiked: 0.5 miles
  • Easy with some hills.

 

Just before the Connecticut line along Route 44 is a small Glocester Land Trust property that offers a few trails to Hawkins Pond. The pond itself is created by an earthen dam along Mary Brown Brook. The dam also has a spillway making for a nice waterfall. There are some ruins of previous structures on the property as well.

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Hawkins Pond

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Manville Memorial Park – Lincoln

 

This small park predominantly used for its recreational fields, basketball courts, and playground offers a stone dust walking path that follows portions of the perimeter of the fields. The pleasant surprise here are the trails that are in the nearby woods that lead to and partially around Laportes Pond. The trails here are short offering several large outcrops and views of the pond. Do keep in mind that some of the trails lead of the parks property into a nearby gun club. Take heed of the “No Trespassing” signs along the trails.

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Laportes Pond

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

 

Prudence East – Portsmouth

  • Prudence East
  • Narragansett Avenue, Portsmouth, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°37’11.11″N, 71°18’18.54″W
  • Last Time Hiked: August 25, 2018
  • Approximate distance hiked: 6.1 miles
  • Fairly easy with some elevation.

 

This hike on Prudence Island starts at the ferry dock in the small village of Homestead. It covers most of the trails around Baker Farm, a Prudence Conservancy property that is meticulously maintained by a group of volunteers known as the “Trail Gang”. Staying on the well blazed and mowed trails reduces your chances of encountering ticks which are in abundance on the island. Starting from the ferry dock, walk out to Narragansett Avenue and turn left. In a couple hundred feet turn right onto Pier Road. This paved road climbs uphill passing the historic Union Church and several homes before coming to Sunset Hill Avenue on the left. The street is marked by a white post with the respective street names engrave into it. Following Sunset Hill Avenue will lead you pass a couple more homes before a vast open area with fields on each side. Ahead you will pass through the intersection of East Lane and this will lead you to the trails. There are several signs here indicating which way to the trails. Continue ahead on the trail for a few hundred feet and you will soon come to a trail intersection marked with a diamond. Turn right here to follow the Diamond Trail to the Division Wall. The trail to the left is the Diamond Trail as well and you will return from this trail. Make note of this intersection. The trail is wide here flanked by trees, shrubs, and thickets. The rustling you may here are the birds in the thick brush. When you reach the end of the trail you will come to a dirt road. Stay to the left here and pass through the stone wall. Take a look at the historic wall. This wall, running from Division Rock along the west coast of the island to Governor Payne Road to the east, was built to divide the island into two halves, delineating the properties once owned by Roger Williams to the north and John Winthrop to the south. You will also notice that you are at a major trail intersection. For this hike you will want to follow the dirt road to the south called the Heritage Trail. It is blazed with a feather and is just under a half mile to Baker Farm. When you reach the old barn site continue straight ahead. You will have an opportunity to explore it later as you will return to the farm site two more times on this hike. You will soon reach another major trail intersection. Turn to the right here and follow the School House Trail. The trail starts to descend gently for a little over a half mile and comes out to a dirt road named Broadway. This is the main east-west route across the island so do expect to see some traffic. You will want to turn left onto Broadway, but first take a peak at the Prudence Island School House to the right. The structure was built in 1896 and is the fourth (only surviving) school house built on Prudence Island. Continuing the hike, start walking along Broadway to the east. Across the way is a local landmark know as the Farm-a-cy. This honor system farm stand offers seasonal vegetables, jams, honey and home made baked goods. The zucchini muffins are outstanding. Further up the road just before the first street on the right is the southern trail head of the Heritage Trail. It is on the left and well marked with a Heritage Reserve sign. Turn left here and follow the Heritage Trail (also known as Army Camp Trail) north back towards Baker Farm. When you reach the intersection of the School House Trail you will notice an unmarked, but well groomed trail straight ahead and slightly to the right. Follow this trail and it will lead you to Baker Farm and come out between the ruins of the barn to the left and the farmhouse to the right. Both of these sites have impressive stone foundations. There was also a milk shed and an inn on the site. The inns location is marked with three rows of stones to the east of the farmhouse foundation. The farm site also offers a disc golf course. The history of the farm and the disc golf course are available on an informational kiosk board. To the south of the inn site is a large mowed lawn. At the south end of the lawn is the beginning of the Bob Clachrie Trail. This trail, marked with a hikers hat and also originally called the Christmas Trail, is named after Mr. Clachrie whom was one of the original members of the so-called Trail Gang. The trail, the first cut by the Trail Gang, winds down hill offering a nice view of the East Passage and the Melville Pier before descending to Narragansett Avenue. From here turn left and follow the paved road pass the Prudence Island Fire Station and then turn left onto Governor Payne Road. This road passes several homes and a vast wooded area on the left. About three tenths of a mile along the road and on the left look for the Old Inn Trail marked with a rocking chair. Turning left here, follow the trail over a couple boardwalks, uphill, and along a beautiful stone wall before returning to Baker Farm. Once back at the old inn site, turn to the right and look for the Diamond Trail. Follow this trail as it descends downhill passing through an area of trees that look twined and braided. You will soon pass over a few more short boardwalks before coming to the Division Wall Trail and the wall itself. Continue straight, passing through the wall. The trail first goes through an area of ferns and then becomes substantially root bound. Watch you footing here as some of the roots can be a tripping hazard. The trail soon comes to an intersection. The Diamond Trail turns to the left, but you want to stay to the right and return to East Lane. This is the trail intersection you made note of earlier. When you reach East Lane turn to the right and follow the road keeping the large field to your left. After passing the field you will see a sign for the Buzzy Rice Trail to your left. Follow this mowed trail passing the water tank. The trail then slightly descends. Ahead the trail splits. Stay to the left here, but first take a peek through the trees along the right. There is an opening that offers a great view of the Mount Hope Bridge. Staying to the left the trail continues to descend slightly and ends at Pier Road. Turn right here, passing the Union Church once again and follow Pier Road down to Narragansett Avenue. Directly ahead of you is the “Prudence Island Mall” consisting of a small general store and the post office, To the left is the ferry terminal. Note that hunting is allowed in and around some parts of this hike. Be sure to wear orange during hunting season.

 

NOTE: If you plan on hiking on Prudence Island, be known that the island is not commercialized. There are no restaurants, lodging, or transportation services. There are no public restrooms on the island except a composting toilet by the T-Wharf at the southern end of the island, which is several miles from most hikes. Once you are off the ferry you are on your own. Bring everything you will need for a day hike with no services. Furthermore, ticks are in abundance on the island. It is necessary to take precautions including proper clothing, sprays, and frequent checks.

 

Map can be found at: Prudence East

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Along The Bob Clachrie Trail

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Along The Old Inn Trail

Tri Town Ridgeline Preserve East – North Stonington/Griswold/Preston

  • Tri Town Ridgeline Preserve East
  • Miller Road, North Stonington, CT
  • Trailhead:  41°30’46.39″N, 71°54’16.06″W
  • Last Time Hiked: August 21, 2018
  • Approximate distance hiked: 4.1 miles
  • Moderate, hills can be difficult.

 

This new Avalonia Conservancy property is large and sprawling offer several miles of trails. The longer blue blazed trail follows the perimeter of the property whereas the yellow blazed loop is shorter and explores the inner parts of the preserve. The red blazed trails serve as access and exits to and from the preserve. Do note that a portion of the blue trail has not been blazed yet pending finalization of land acquisitions and is expected to be completed in the autumn. For this hike, guided by a member of the Conservancy, we explored the eastern portion of the preserve utilizing a little of each trail. Starting from a small parking area at the bend in Miller Road we first followed the red blazed trail. We soon came to a marker for the blue blazed trail and continued ahead. The yellow trail comes in from the left  and shortly thereafter we turned to the right to continue to follow the blue blazes. The red and yellow blazed trail continues ahead and we would return from there. The blue trail, named the Wapayu Trail, then starts a steady climb up the first of several significant hills on the preserve. We passed several walls along the stretch that are believe to be of Native American origin. These are known as serpentine walls that twist and turn like a snake with a boulder at the end of the wall as its head. As the trail climbs over the hill and descends we came to the next trail intersection. Here the yellow trail (Fenway Trail) joins the blue blazed trail once again. This is also about where we entered Griswold. From here we followed the double blazed trail passing beautiful outcrops. Ahead the trails split again. The yellow blazed trail veers to the left and the blue blazed trail turns to the right sharply and climbs up another significant hill known as Rixtown Mountain, also known as Wapayu. Along the trail on the long steady climb we passed several cairns, several outcrops, and a vernal pool. (Note: that at the time of this hike the trail was blazed only with survey flagging and will be blazed by the autumn). Near the peak of Wapayu is a small rock formation along the trail. From here the trail descends and winds passing several impressive stone walls and an old quarry before traversing the northern reaches of the preserve. The blue trail once again joins the yellow trail for a bit as it crosses an area known as Oak Alley. The trees are very large and old along this stretch with an outcrop and stone wall on the left. The yellow and blue trails split once again to rejoin at the bottom of the hill. Follow the blue blazes down the hill and then back up another small hill, once again rejoined by yellow blazes before passing through a cairn field. The trail then turns sharply to the south following a babbling brook that we crossed just before an old stone dam at the edge of Lost Pond. The trail then climbs back uphill catching glimpses of Lost Pond on the left. We ignore a red blazed bypass trail on the left and continued straight. A little further the blue and yellow split one last time. We stayed on the blue trail climbing over a hill passing more cairns and entered Preston. At the next trail intersection we turned left onto the red blazed trail. It is an access road that runs south to the parking lot. For the remainder of the hike we followed the red blazes back into North Stonington passing an occasional outcrop. The red blazes are once again joined briefly by yellow and blue blazes before exiting the property. A map of the property is currently posted at the parking area. Also be sure to bring plenty of water. This hike can challenge your stamina.

 

Thank you to Carl Tjerandsen for leading this hike!

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Stone Wall Along Blue Trail

Grass Pond East – Richmond

  • Grass Pond East
  • Ellen Brady Drive, Richmond, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°29’18.02″N, 71°38’9.94″W
  • Last Time Hiked: August 19, 2018
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.1 miles
  • Moderate due to hill.

 

In 2014, I had ventured into the Nature Conservancy’s Grass Pond property and followed the yellow blazed trail. Since then, the D.E.M. portion of the property has been blazed with a blue loop trail. This blue loop trail is accessible from the cul-de-sac at the end of Ellen Brady Drive. After passing the trail-head sign stay to the right and follow the blue blaze trail as it bends slightly to the left passing a couple stone walls. Ahead is an intersection with blue blazes both to the left and ahead. Continue ahead here, the trail turns to the left once again (passing a “Beware of Dog” sign) and then turns to the right starting a long steady uphill climb to the top of Wilbur Hill. The trail is flanked by stone walls most of the way. After passing over the crest of the hill is another intersection. The trail ahead continues onto the Nature Conservancy portion of Grass Pond. Turn left here and continue to follow the blue blazes. The trail winds through a forest covered in ferns, pass tall shrubs, over a boardwalk before coming to a long section of downward trail to finish the loop of over just a mile.

 

Map can be found at: Grass Pond East

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Along the Blue Blazed Trail Climbing Wilbur Hill

Lane Homestead – Foxboro

  • Lane Homestead
  • Laprelot Road, Foxboro, MA
  • Trailhead:  42° 5’8.04″N, 71°15’21.22″W
  • Last Time Hiked: August 18, 2018
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.2 miles
  • Easy.          

 

On the west side of the Neponset Reservoir lies system of trails. From the second parking area past the Learning Center and adjacent park is the beginning of the “Storybook Trail”. This trail, short in itself, is a good trail for young children venturing out into the woods. Following this trail there are several posts with a page from a children’s book. There are over 20 pages to read following the trail counter-clockwise. After passing two pillars and following the trail downhill, the Storybook Trail turns to the left. Take a break from the story for a moment and continue straight passing a shed like structure along the reservoir. Turn to the left after the structure. There are two dead end trails to follow here that each lead to points with sweeping views of the reservoir. From here retrace your steps back past the structure and turn right back onto the Storybook Trail. This stretch is also part of the 33 mile Warner Trail. Continue to follow the posts. Soon you will turn left, stay to the left when you reach a grassy area with an abandoned garage. The trail continues back into the woods. At the next intersection turn right and retrace your steps back to the parking area. Keep in mind that the parking lots are closed here when there are events at nearby Gillette Stadium.

 

Map can be found at: Lane Homestead

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Along The Neponset Reservoir

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