Posts Tagged ‘ Hiking ’

Sammy C North – Charlestown

  • Sammy C North
  • Shumankanuc Hill Road, Charlestown, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°24’33.33″N, 71°41’23.60″W
  • Last Time Hiked: November 20, 2020
  • Approximate distance hiked: 3.7 miles
  • Moderate, can be difficult in areas.

                                                                            

 

Six days prior I had done the Sammy C South loop. I had realized then that there was more to the Sammy C to be done. Today, with a map in hand that shows all of the trails, I headed out to explore the rest as well as the Secret Trail. Starting from the small parking area (big enough for two cars) along Shumankanuc Hill Road, follow the unmarked trail into the Management Area. Hunting is allowed here, be sure to wear orange! This trail is quite level and is flanked by small ledges giving you a preview of what lies ahead. You will reach a trail intersection. Make note of the area, you will need to leave the property here as well. Turn right here and follow the white blazes. You are now on the Sammy C Trail. It winds up and down and up and down several times over small hills and along ledges. There are some great stone walls along the way, one with an old gate opening marked by granite posts. Possibly an old farm? After climbing over several more small hills and weaving through their valleys the trail levels out a bit passing closely to Buckeye Brook Road before veering off to the left and slightly downhill. The Sammy C soon ends at the double white blazes. Here turn left onto the yellow blazed Vin Gormley Trail and follow it a bit crossing a stream first before coming to a trail intersection. At this intersection the yellow blazes turn to the right. Continue straight ahead onto an unmarked trail. This trail is fairly level. Start looking for a white/red double blaze on the left. This is the Secret Trail and it will give you a workout. Also be sure to follow the blazes as this trail turns often and suddenly in many locations as it traverses up and over several rock formations. Following the Secret Trail you will first encounter an upward climb followed by an area of trail that straddles a 20 foot plus ledge. There is no “guardrail” here so do use caution. Another highlight along this stretch is a towering sycamore tree in the valley below. The trail then comes out to a wider cart path. Turn right here, still following the blazes, and start looking for your next turn on the left. The next highlight is a large outcrop, the trail is to the right here slightly downhill. The trail now weaves through groves of mountain laurel and rock formations as it zigzags to the east. There is an area that can be a bit confusing ahead so be sure to follow the blazes. The trail descends in to a valley and quickly climbs up a rock outcrop. At the top the trail turns to the left and does an almost complete circle to the right before climbing up another rock. The blaze is beyond that rock. From here the trail descends into another valley, crosses a stream, and then climbs back up yet another significant hill before ending at the School House Pond Trail. Turning left here, follow the blue blazed trail as it descends down hill to the next trail intersection. Turn left, back onto the Sammy C Trail, blazed white, and follow it back to the trail you entered the Management Area on. Along the way you will come across a boardwalk, more mountain laurel, and another large outcrop. Note the indentation in the outcrop. It looks as if a hiker left their footprint here along their journey. When you reach the next intersection. Turn right. This will lead you back to the parking area.

 

 

Map can be found at: Sammy C North.

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The Sammy C Following an Outcrop Along A Stone Wall

Sammy C South – Charlestown

                                                                            

 

I went into this hike blindly assuming that the Sammy C Trail only ran from the Vin Gormley to the School House Pond Trail. I would learn later that was not true. I did have a plan and a route in mind (which I kept true to for this hike). This hikes starts along Kings Factory Road where the Vin Gormley skirts back into the woods just north of Quail Lane. There is street parking here for a handful of cars. There is also a “Mile 5.5” sign here. Following the yellow blazed Vin Gormley Trail, you will descend slightly until you get to Cool Spring Road. Here take a right and then an immediate left following the yellow blazes. Just after the road look for the sign for the Sammy C Trail on the right. The Sammy C Trail is used quite a bit by cyclists as it offers quite a bit of ups and downs. Following the white blazes the trail winds through glacial outcrops, thick ground covering, and a stream crossing before coming to the “NEMBA” bridge, a mountain bike obstacle. You will not miss it!! (NEMBA = New England Mountain Bike Association). The trail then zigzags up and over small ledges for a bit passing stone walls, a couple more boardwalks, and large areas of outcrops, before finally coming to the School House Pond Trail. This is where I thought the trail ended… but! The sign here indicated that the Sammy C continues north. With no information in hand I kept to the plan and decided the rest of the Sammy C would be done later after some research. So here I turned left and followed the blue blazed School House Pond Trail (toward the Vin Gormley) as it steadily, but gently climbed up hill for quite a distance. There is a nice grove of mountain laurel along this stretch. Soon I came to an intersection. To the right was the Secret Trail. Well that wasn’t on my map either. The next hike could prove to be interesting! Looking around I noticed the blue blazes uphill to the left. The trail now followed the edge of a ledge above a valley below to the right. The trail soon turns downhill, through the valley and back up the other side. The trail then continues passing a stone wall and crossing a stream before ending at the Vin Gormley Trail. Taking a left here, follow the yellow blazes. This trail will lead you back to the parking area, first passing through some interesting rock formations, and the by Cool Spring Road once again before ending at Kings Factory Road. Hunting is allowed here, be sure to wear orange!

 

 

Map can be found at: Sammy C South.

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NEMBA Bridge

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Along The Sammy C Trail

Dawley Farm – Warwick

  • Dawley Farm
  • Cowesett Road, Warwick, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°41’8.09″N, 71°29’6.65″W
  • Last Time Hiked: November 9, 2020
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.7 miles
  • Fairly easy, steady uphill climb.

Dawley Farm is one of those places people drive by all the time and not even realize it is there. It is a City of Warwick owned, hidden gem of a property with a ton of potential. There is no parking lot for this hike. Parking is extremely limited along the side of the road. There is just enough room (off road) to park a car at pole 87 just at the entrance. Please do not block the entrance in case of an emergency. After parking you will see two wooden posts that once served as part of a gate. From here follow the cart path into the property. This path winds down into a valley of boulders and then crosses a stream (the Maskerchugg River). At the first trail split stay to the right. The other side of the wall is private property. This is where you will start you long steady up hill climb. At the next trail split continue straight ahead ignoring the trail to the right. Soon you will cross another small stream. Continuing ahead another trail comes in from the left. For this hike continue ahead. The grade starts to increase as the trail starts turning to the southwest into the heart of the property. You will notice towering oaks mixed with an occasional birch along the way. As the trail flattens near the top of the hill you will go through a grove of hemlock mixed in with other varieties of pine. From here the trail slightly descends, (loops left around a downed tree), and then continues ahead to a pond. When you reach the pond you may notice the dam and small spillway. The trail does continue ahead wrapping around the south end of the pond, however, that is onto private property. For this hike, take a moment to enjoy the view of the pond and then retrace your steps back to Cowesett Road.

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Pond at Dawley Farm

Alewife Brook Preserve – South Kingstown

  • Alewife Brook Preserve
  • Tuckertown Road, South Kingstown, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°25’42.77″N, 71°33’47.93″W
  • Last Time Hiked: November 6, 2020
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.2 miles
  • Fairly easy.

One of the newest trail systems in Rhode Island offers quite a bit for those interested in dendrology. Starting from the parking area follow the blue blazed trail from the kiosk, for this hike clockwise. The trail starts winding through a forest of pines, oaks, and maples with scattered mountain laurels and holly shrubs. As you approach the yellow blazed trail the terrain noticeably changes as you enter an area with thick low shrubs with towering trees. Turn left onto the yellow blazed trail and follow it as it winds close to Alewife Brook. You can catch a brief glimpse of it here and there to the left. There is also a tall holly and a grove of rhododendron along the yellow trail. At the end of the trail turn left onto the blue loop once again. The trail gently climbs back up hill to the parking area.

Map can be found at: Alewife Brook.

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Trail through Alewife Brook Preserve

Westerly Town Forest – Westerly

There are approximately three miles of trails here at Westerly Town Forest. The property sits on a long descending hill from Laurel Avenue to the banks of the Pawcatuck River. For this 2 mile hike you will follow the entrance trail from the parking area under the power lines to the beginning of the yellow blazed trail. The trail marked occasionally with large granite posts and trail blazes starts its slow descent downhill. After a stone wall, the trail turns to the right and then to the left and continues ahead. You will come across the first of some trail improvements along this stretch with a small new section of boardwalk. At the next intersection turn right to follow the yellow blazed trail. The trail ahead loops back. The trail soon flanks a small stream. Just ahead is another trail intersection. To the right is another new bridge. Continue straight ahead here. The trail narrows a bit, then veers to the right and crosses a stream. Just ahead is another granite post. Here turn left and follow the trail over a section of raised boardwalk, pass a stone wall, and to the banks of the Pawcatuck River. Take a moment here before retracing your steps back to the yellow trail. When you arrive back at the yellow trail turn left. You will begin your long steady climb back up hill. The trail comes to an intersection. If you wanted to add mileage continue straight onto the blue (and eventually red) blazed trails. For this hike turn right continuing to follow the yellow blazes. You will soon turn left again following the yellow blazes along a trail with a stone wall running along it. The yellow blazed trail ends at the power lines. Here turn right onto the trail the weaves through the shrubs under the power lines. This trail soon leads you back to the parking area.

Map can be found at: Westerly Town Forest.

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Boardwalk at Westerly Town Forest

Midway – Exeter

  • Midway – Arcadia Management Area
  • Ten Rod Road, Exeter, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°34’48.63″N, 71°43’14.97″W
  • Last Time Hiked: September 7, 2020
  • Approximate distance hiked: 3.3 miles
  • Fairly easy.

 

This three mile loop trail weaves through, well, the mid-section of the sprawling Arcadia Management Area. The parking for this hike is a half mile off of Ten Rod Road at the Midway entrance. Follow the road first over the bridge at Flat River and then the parking area will be on the right opposite the road on the left immediately after a observation deck. From the parking area, continuing following the road (the Midway Trail) to an intersection. Continue straight ahead until you reach the closed red gate by the Midway kiosk. The hike continues beyond the gate, first passing through an area of woods before coming to a large open field. There are a couple narrow trails on each side, however continue straight ahead along the prominent Midway Trail passing an area of cleared trees on the left. The trail then turns to the left and back to the right again. Shortly after the “S” curve look for a trail on the right. There is a faded “Flat River Trail” sign here. Turn right and follow the trail into a valley. The trail soon bends to the left and you will catch a glimpse of the river through the woods. At the next intersection stay to the left. The trail is joined by another a little further up. Continue straight ahead until you reach Plain Road opposite the Shelter Trail. Here you will want to turn left and climb uphill on the road for two tenths of a mile. But first take a peek at the Flat River at the bridge to your right. After checking out the river and climbing up Plain Road look for a parking area on the left with a kiosk and pavilion. First note the grass road directly ahead that climbs up a quick hill, that is the Thornley Trail. This is the trail you want to follow after exploring and/or resting a bit. Where the pavilion is and the surrounding area is a dog training area. Continuing the hike, climb up the grass road trail. It quickly levels out offering an area of cleared trees to the left and a large field to the right. The trail soon bends to the right. At the next intersection continue straight ahead bearing ever so slightly to the right and into the woods. There will be several trail crossings along this stretch. Continue straight until you come to a dirt road. This is the Brookie Trail. Turn left here and follow it just under a mile back to the Midway Trail. There will be a few spots on the right that lead to the Falls River if you want to view that. At the Midway Trail turn right. You will arrive at the parking area in just a few hundred feet. Orange is required here during hunting season.

Along The Midway Trail

Latham Brook Preserve – Smithfield

  • Latham Brook Preserve
  • Burlingame Road, Smithfield, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°55’29.44″N, 71°33’33.28″W
  • Last Time Hiked: August 30, 2020
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.2 miles
  • Fairly easy with some elevation.

 

Bold prediction! When the Smithfield Land Trust is done developing this property it will stand out as one of their best properties. With that said, the natural beauty of this property is spectacular. The trail system is still primitive however, but easy enough to follow. Starting from the cul-de-sac at the end of Burlingame Road (the section off of Latham Farm Road) you will follow a narrow unmarked trail into the property, first through a tunnel of knotweed and grapevines, then you will pass trees with berries before coming to a trail split. Stay to the right here and follow the more inviting trail as it starts its long steady climb uphill. (The trail to the left dead ends at a small pond). Soon you will have a stone wall to your right. Just ahead is another trail intersection. The trail to your left is where you will complete your loop. Continue straight ahead still slightly climbing uphill. The trail splits once again. Stay to your left here following the wider and more defined trail. The climb uphill becomes more significant as the trail climbs to the crest of the hill. You will be under a canopy of beech, maple, and a sporadic pine tree at the top of the hill. Continuing ahead a trail comes in from the right before the trail splits yet again. Continue straight ahead here ignoring the trail to the right. Start looking for a narrow trail to the left marked with a three stone cairn. This will be just before the main trail dead ends at a residential neighborhood. Turning left onto the much narrower and primitive trail, you will decline slightly before coming to a stone wall. Crossing this wall is a little tricky. The trail continues to descend then turns left in a southerly direction before crossing another stonewall. From here the trail winds gently up and down along the slope of a hill. To the right the hill turns to steep ledges where you have a sweeping view of the valley below. At the next trail intersection is a cluster of boulders and a fire pit. Continue straight ahead as the trail starts to descend once again. Ahead is a ledge to the left as the trail turns sharply to the right and downhill. It then veers left and wanders through a floor of ferns before arcing to the left. The trail soon ends at an intersection. Turn right here onto the trail you came in on and retrace your steps back to the cul-de-sac.

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Ledge Along The Trail

Carr River – West Greenwich

  • Carr River – Big River Management Area
  • Hopkins Hill Road, West Greenwich, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°37’51.90″N, 71°34’16.59″W
  • Last Time Hiked: August 8, 2020
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.7 miles
  • Fairly easy with some elevation.

 

 

As with most hikes at Big River, be sure to have a map and/or GPS. This hike partly on each side of Hopkins Hill Road follows trails less used. Starting from the large parking area for Tarbox Pond and Carr Pond hikes follow the trail to the left into the property. The trail starts a long descent downhill. There is a spur trail to the left. Ignore it and continue straight ahead to the (next) four way intersection. Here you will turn left and continue straight to Hopkins Hill Road. There will be a couple spur trails and intersections along the way. Ignore them all. When you reach the road, follow it downhill to the pond. Tarbox Pond is flanked by pine trees as it stretches to the east. In the summer months the small coves along the pond will be filled with lily pads. Across the street is a wooden guard rail. Directly to the left of it is a narrow trail-head. This is where you will go to continue this hike. Be careful crossing the street here as there is bit of a blind spot. Once on the trail you will notice a narrow river to the right and down the bank. The trail splits, stay to the right as the trail descends downhill once again. The trail widens a bit then bends to the left. The trail traverses through a forest floor of ferns as it continues ahead. To the right you will catch glimpses of tall dead trees in a swamp. This is the Carr River. Soon you will pass two trails to the left. Make note of the second one, this will be used on your exit. The trail then turns slightly to the left. Just ahead you will see a pile of debris that was used to block a former trail. At this point and on the right is a very narrow (almost non-existent) trail that climbs up a small knoll. It dead ends at the end of the peninsula surrounded by the swamps of the Carr River. This is a great and secluded spot to sit on a fallen tree and take in nature for a few moments. From here retrace your steps the “second left” now on your right. Follow this trail as it climbs uphill and bears to the right joining the main trail that climbs uphill. You will pass two four way intersections (not very far apart). Continue ahead and at the next major intersection turn left. This trail (sometimes referred to as the Big River Expressway) will lead you back to Hopkins Hill Road directly across from the parking area. Make note that hunting is allowed here.

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Carr River From The Knoll

Hop Brook Preserve – Blackstone

  • Hop Brook Preserve
  • Mendon Road, Blackstone, MA
  • Trailhead:  42° 3’19.15″N, 71°33’8.92″W
  • Last Time Hiked: July 4, 2020
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.2 miles
  • Fairly easy with some elevation and muddy areas.

 

This property hugs the side of a hill between Mendon Road and Hop Brook. From the parking area follow the trail from the kiosk. At the time of this hike the trail was marked with survey flagging. The entrance trail winds pass a stone wall and down hill before coming to an end. Here, make note of the area as you will look for this trail on the way back, then turn right and continue to follow the flagging. The trail turns to the east and comes to another split. Stay to the left here and follow the trail downhill to the brook. At the brook you will find a series of small cascading waterfalls. Take a moment to take in nature here before continuing. You now have two options. You could retrace your steps or continue along the loop. If you follow the loop you will continue to follow the flagging. The trail narrows significantly for a few feet as you have to step from stone to stone through a muddy area. The trail then turns slightly to the right and uphill. A trail comes in from the left. Continue straight ahead. Soon you will pass a trail to the right. This is the trail you followed down to the brook. Continuing ahead start looking for your left turn onto the trail that leads to the parking area. If you follow the flagging you will do just fine. Though short in distance this hike is all hill, slight at that, but you will notice.

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Hop Brook

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.