Posts Tagged ‘ Historic Buildings ’

Pawtuxet Village/Stillhouse Cove – Warwick/Cranston

  • Historic Pawtuxet Village/Stillhouse Cove
  • East View Street, Warwick, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°45’44.74″N, 71°23’20.36″W
  • Last Time Hiked: August 6, 2022
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.5 miles
  • Easy, some brick walkways.

The history of Pawtuxet Village dates back to 1638 when Roger Williams purchased land from the Narragansett Indian Tribe. The Pawtuxet River at this time would serve as the southern boundary of Providence. Soon thereafter, Samuel Gorton, the founder of Warwick, purchased the land south of the river. The village over the years has served as a seaport, a mill village, as well as the site of one of the most famous pre-Revolutionary War events. Today, it is a destination for restaurants, small businesses, and historical sites. For this walk, start at the parking lot just south of Pawtuxet Park on East View Street. Follow East View Street to Narragansett Parkway and turn right. Here you are greeted by the “Historic Pawtuxet Village” sign. Turn left onto Post Road, now walking opposite traffic, uphill a bit to a crosswalk. At the crosswalk turn right. This brings up to a small triangle area with several perennial flowers. To your right is the 1814 Pawtuxet Bank Building. It was built by the Rhodes Brothers and housed a private school on the second floor. In the late 1870’s it became a hotel with the Bank Cafe on the first floor. It is said that this is where Rhode Island johnnycakes were first introduced. From here turn right and follow, again against traffic, Post Road downhill. Across the street is a row of historic homes built between 1734 and 1800. Making your way downhill you will come upon a stone marker in front of 28 Post Road. The inscription is quite faded, but it indicates that you are five miles from the bridge in Providence. (That would be the bridge at Weybosset Neck, near current day Crawford Street Bridge, being five miles along Broad Street and Weybosset Street.) Continuing downhill you will then come upon a building on the right at the intersection of Post Road and Narragansett Parkway. This building, originally built in 1760, first served as a custom house where ships were registered when they docked. Later it served the village as a post office. Today it is a commercial property. Continuing north, you will cross the Pawtuxet River into Cranston. The river earned its name from the Narragansett word meaning “Little Falls” and that is exactly what you will observe here just below the bridge. The current bridge, built in 1932 is the eighth span at this location. The first bridge was built in 1711. Continuing ahead, now on Broad Street, you will walk through the heart of the commercial district of the village. Here you will find several small shops and restaurants. On the left you will come upon the Pawtuxet Baptist Church. This structure, built in 1891, is the third church on this site. From the time it was built to 1995, the bell in the steeple was used to summons the villages volunteer fire department when needed. Just ahead on the left is the Dr. Comfort-Carpenter house, built in 1750. Today it serves as a law office. Turn right onto Ocean Avenue. This road leads you through a typical New England suburban neighborhood before coming to Stillhouse Cove. Along the way you will pass an English Gothic structure, built in 1903, that houses the Trinity Church. Stillhouse Cove is a narrow bayside park with sweeping views of Upper Narragansett Bay. The park is utilized by dog-walkers, joggers, sunbathers, and yoga classes, to name just a few. At the end of Ocean Avenue at the southern end of the cove is the Rhode Island Yacht Club. It was founded in 1875 and originally located in Providence. It later moved to its current location where the first two clubhouses were destroyed by hurricanes in 1938 and 1954. The current modern day structure, hurricane proof, opened in 1956 and sits twelve feet above sea level. It has since survived hurricanes in 1985 and 1991. Just before the end of Ocean Avenue you will want to turn right onto Fort Avenue. This road is the main throughway onto Pawtuxet Neck. Other than a small marina, the peninsula is all residential. Just beyond Sheldon Street on the left is a marker indicating that once stood a defensive fort at this location that was built in 1775. It was one of a series of forts up and down the Upper Narragansett Bay that protected Providence from British invasion during the American Revolution. Retrace your steps a bit and turn down Sheldon Street. The road dips down to the upper reach of Pawtuxet Cove. You will find several boats docked in this cove. Across from the cove are a row of cottages dating back to 1887. Before turning left onto Springwood Street,  take a peak around the corner of Commercial Street on he right. The original part of this structure was built in the late 1830’s. In 1891, it became the home of the Pawtuxet Village Volunteer Fire Department. The cinder block addition was added several years later. This structure housed the Fire Department until 1995. Continuing on Springwood Street, you will first pass the Arnold House on the left. Built in 1804, the house has a beautiful porch (now partially enclosed) that overlooks the cove. At the end of Springwood Street turn right onto Aborn Street, then left onto Bridge Street. (If you are looking for a quite refresher, stop by the PTX Lounge on Aborn Street before continuing). On Bridge Street you will pass the 1740 Remington-Arnold House before coming back to Broad Street. Turn left on Broad Street and cross the river once again, now back into Warwick. You will pass a couple of houses on the left, all built in 1775, before coming to O’Rourkes. This building was built in 1898 and now houses a bar/eatery that is one of the villages best known stops. Turn left down Peck Lane, laid out in 1734 served as the original road to Pawtuxet seaport. In June of 1772, the British patrol ship HMS Gaspee ran aground. The ship was set afire by colonist protesting British rule over the colonies. The crew of the ship were brought ashore and held prisoners. At the end of the Peck Lane is a monument indicating the spot where the prisoners of the Gaspee were brought ashore. Peck Lane is a public right of way to the edge of the cove (according to the City of Warwick records), however, the road to the right that follows the water to Emmons Avenue is private property. For this walk, retrace your steps back up Peck Lane to Narragansett Parkway, turn left, then turn left onto Emmons Avenue. About halfway down the road on the right is an entrance to Pawtuxet Park. This small city park offers walking paths, gardens, playground, and a gazebo. At the southern end of the park is the Aspray Boathouse, which now serves as a community center. You are now back to the parking lot where you started.

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Small Shops and the Bridge at Pawtuxet Village

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Stillhouse Cove and the Rhode Island Yacht Club on an Early Summer Morning.

Nathan Lester House – Ledyard

  • Nathan Lester House Hiking Trails/Great Oak Park
  • Vinegar Hill Road, Ledyard, CT
  • Trailhead:  41°25’23.26″N, 72° 3’14.34″W
  • Last Time Hiked: April 30, 2022
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.8 miles
  • Fairly easy with some elevation.

                                                                            

 

Behind the historic Nathan Lester House are a few miles of properties. Each trail intersection is marked with a post that has a letter on it. For this hike you will do the 1.8 mile perimeter that leads to most of the properties highlights. Starting from the parking area, make you way toward the house. You will see the trailhead marked by a kiosk. The trail, occasionally marked with blue blazes winds through the woods skewed with boulders along this stretch. When you reach the “B” marker continue ahead. You will pass some stone walls and mountain laurel before coming to the “C” marker. Continuing ahead, slightly to the left you will come upon more mountain laurel. The trail descends a bit coming to a stream with a bridge crossing. The trail becomes quite root bound briefly after crossing the bridge. At the next intersection “D” there is a bench if you so choose to. Turn left here, the trail turns sharply to the right and follows a stone wall for a while. Along the way you may spot a cairn or two. Soon you will come to the connector trail the leads to the Atkinson Reserve. Continue ahead, the trail winds through a rather wet area for a bit before coming to the Lester Family cemetery on the left. Carrying on you soon come upon the site where once stood the Ledyard Oak. The tree removed in 1969, declared dead, was believed to be over 400 years old and was the site of several Pequot Councils. Staying to the left the trail leads back to the house and barn. Take a look around, there is quite a bit to see here including some farm animals.

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Trail Along Stone Wall

Historic Newport – Newport

  • Historic Newport
  • Americas Cup Avenue, Newport, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°29’21.67″N, 71°19’2.20″W
  • Last Time Hiked: October 1, 2021
  • Approximate distance hiked: 3.0 miles
  • Fairly easy with some hills.

                                                                            

 

This historic walk of Newport is similar to the Newport Wharf walk from the Ken Weber book, however, this walk focuses on sites a little more northerly than the traditional tourist spots in town in a neighborhood known as “The Point”. This walk is also set up to start at the ferry terminal at Americas Cup Avenue (named after the famed yacht racing event that was held in Newport from 1930 to 1983) making this tour of Newport a perfect addition to a ferry ride from Providence. However, as it is a loop, it can be started at any point. From the ferry terminal head north along Americas Cup Avenue towards Long Wharf. This area is busy. For this walk be sure to use crosswalks. After passing the fire station, you are entering “The Point”. First, you will come to Cardines Field. This baseball field dates back to 1893 making it one of the country’s oldest ballparks. Additions were done over the years including the stonework built during the WPA years of the Great Depression. The field was originally referred to as Basins Field. It was later named after Bernado Cardines, the first citizen of Newport to die during World War I. Continuing along Americas Cup Avenue and to the left you will come upon a small railroad depot. During the days of the railroad, this was the end of the line on Aquidnick Island. This is now home to the Newport Dinner Train. Turning right onto Elm Street, you will begin your tour of some of the oldest and lesser known homes of Newport. Many of the houses in this neighborhood have plaques offering info on the house. Most along these streets were built in the 1700’s including the Captain Weaver House and Clark Spooner House, both on Elm Street. At the end of Elm Street turn left onto Cross Street passing the Gideon Wanton House, then right onto Poplar Street, passing the Captain Bramen House. Turn left onto Thames Street and left onto Farewell Street. Almost immediately on your left you will come upon to Almy-Taggart House and the Cozzens House directly across the street. Continuing ahead on Farewell Street you will come to the entrance of the Common Burial Ground. Turn right into the cemetery (onto Clarke Ave). Almost immediately on the right is the grave of Ida Lewis, the light keeper of the Lime Rock Light (later renamed Ida Lewis Light) in Newport Harbor. From here turn left onto Holmes Avenue and then right onto Dyre Avenue. The graves to the left are mostly of enslaved and freed African Americans. This area is known as God’s Little Acre. Ahead as Dyre Avenue bends to the right and to the right is the grave of William Ellery, one of the Rhode Island delegates to sign the Declaration of Independence. From here continue ahead exiting the cemetery onto Warner Street, turn right, and then left onto Tilden Street. You will pass the Northam House and Nicholas White House before turning right onto White Street. On the left is Governors Graveyard and to the right is a row of notable houses. At the end of White Street turn right onto Farewell Street, then left through a small park with wrought iron fence. Note the Liberty Tree with its larger sprawling branches. Exiting the park turn left onto Thames Street. This section of Thames (lesser known to the tourists shopping at the other end of the street) offers close to 20 homes of note dating to some of the oldest in Rhode Island. Along this stretch you will come upon the John Stevens Shop and directly across the street his home. Turning left onto Coddington Street you will pass the Hookey House and Sherman House. At the end of Coddington you will see the Great Friends Meeting House ahead of you. The original section of this building was built in 1699 with several additions built over the years. Turning right onto Farewell Street you come upon the White Horse Tavern, built in 1673. It is widely regarded as Americas oldest tavern. Turning right onto Marlborough Street you will pass St Paul’s Church and the Newport Jail House (now an inn). Turn left onto Charles Street to leave “The Point”. At the end of Charles Street, cross Washington Square to enter Eisenhower Park. But first look up the street to catch a glimpse of The Colony House. It was built in the 1730’s and was once the State House. In July of 1776 the Declaration of Independence was read to the public here. Crossing Eisenhower Park you will come to a statue of Commodore Perry who was best known for “opening” Japan to the West. After crossing the park turn left onto Touro Street, first passing the Jane Pickens Theater on the right and the District Court House on the left. Crossing Spring Street and continuing along Touro Street you will pass the Touro Synagogue, the Newport Historical Society and Fire Station 5, before coming to the Hotel Viking where Touro Street turns into the famed Bellevue Avenue. Continuing ahead a couple blocks you will pass the Redwood Library on the left. Turn right onto Mill Street and into Touro Park. Here is one of Newport’s biggest mysteries. It is the Old Stone Mill. It is sometimes referred to as the Newport Tower. It is widely thought to be an old windmill but there is much debate to it’s construction date and furthermore of who built it. Some theories have it being built before Columbus reached America, possibly by the Norse, Templars, or Portuguese to name a few. Leaving the park make your way back to Mill Street and follow it west (downhill) where you will pass a massive London Planetree (at house 103) and the Jane Stuart Cottage (the daughter of Gilbert Stuart). Next turn right onto Division Street passing several older houses and then left onto Church Street. Cross Spring Street once again and the Trinity Church cemetery will be on your left. Continue downhill a bit and left into the park named Queen Ann Square. Then left onto Frank Street back uphill to wrap around the Trinity Church. The massive structure was built in 1726. Locals claim that George Washington had given a speech at this church in 1781. Other notable visitors of the church have been Queen Elizabeth II and Desmond Tutu. If the doors are open take a peek inside. The colonial architecture is astounding. From here continue back up to Spring Street and turn right. Follow Spring Street to Memorial Boulevard. St. Marys Church towers on the opposite of the road. This church built in the mid 1800’s was the location of the wedding of John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Bouvier in 1953. Cross the boulevard here and turn right heading downhill. You will pass the Red Parrot restaurant on the left before crossing Thames Street. The massive stone building in front of you is the Newport Bay Club. Stay to the right of it and you will pass a sculpture simply called “The Wave”. You are now back on Americas Cup Avenue. Look for Bannisters Wharf on the left. Both Bannisters and Bowens Wharf (connected) offer several restaurants and small shops. From here turn left out of the wharf area back onto Americas Cup Avenue, passing the Newport Harbor Hotel, and back to the ferry terminal to complete the 3 mile historic walk.

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Cozzens House in “The Point”

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Old Stone Mill

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Trinity Church

Perry Mill – South Kingstown

Built in 1703, and recently renovated, the Samuel Perry Grist Mill sits at the edge of Moonstone Beach Road. Johnny cake meal and clam cake mix are made here on occasion. The mill and adjacent waterworks offers a glimpse into yesteryear. The grass strip along the mill race offers a short walk to the shore of Mill Pond.

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Walk To The Pond

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

Dexter Training Ground – Providence

 

In the West End of Providence is the Dexter Training Ground. Situated behind the iconic Cranston Street Armory, this city park offers a playground, dog park, and walkways. The property has some history as it served as a training ground during the Civil War and camp site during World War I for troops waiting to be deployed. The perimeter of the park offers a half mile walk. Note also the architecture of the old houses in the neighborhood.

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Cranston Street Armory.

Tourister Mill Riverfront Walkway- Warren

  • Tourister Mill Riverfront Walkway
  • North Main Street, Warren, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°44’13.01″N, 71°17’14.10″W
  • Last Time Hiked: September 2, 2019
  • Approximate distance hiked: 0.5 miles
  • Easy.

 

The newly renovated Tourister Mill complex in Warren offers a public walkway along the lower Palmer River. Starting from the designated public parking area at the north end of the complex, the walkway winds along the rivers edge in a southerly direction with views of where the Palmer and Barrington Rivers converge into the Warren River on one side and the historic mill buildings on the other. The end section of the walkway at the time of this walk was blocked off and still under construction.

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The Walkway at Tourister Mill.

Washington Secondary Bike Path – Cranston/Warwick/West Warwick/Coventry

  • Washington Secondary Bike Path
  • Cranston, RI to Coventry, RI
  • Last Time Hiked: 2018/2019
  • Approximate Distance: 18.8 miles (open sections)
  • Fairly easy.

Spanning 19 miles from a stones throw of the Providence border in a bustling and busy northern Cranston to the nearly desolate western end of the state, this bike path offers glimpses into central Rhode Island and its vast history and natural beauty. The Washington Secondary Bike Path, part of the East Coast Greenway, follows the former Providence, Hartford, and Fishkill Railroad as it winds through industrial areas, by shopping plazas, through suburban neighborhoods, pass old textile mills, along the Pawtuxet River with dams and waterfalls, and into the heavily wooded and secluded stretches of Western Coventry. The bike path was first opened in Coventry in 1997 and several sections in Cranston, Warwick, and West Warwick were added over the years. The western most 5 miles are under construction and is expected to open in 2020 making the total length 24 miles. There are a few rules to follow; walk on the left, bicycles stay to the right, and dogs must be leashed. This walk, like the Washington Secondary itself, is broken into six sections as to highlight each greenway along the way.

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Along the Washington Secondary Bike Path in Cranston

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  • Cranston Bike Path
  • Approximate distance: 5.6 miles
  • Easy, entire leg is a paved bike path.

The first leg of the Washington Secondary Bike Path is the Cranston Bike Path. Built in three sections between 2000 and 2003, it winds nearly 6 miles along the former railroad. It starts from a parking area (41°48’4.65″N, 71°26’34.74″W) along Garfield Avenue just south of the Cranston Police Station. The bike path, well flanked by trees, follows the old railroad line south passing an office building on the left before coming to Tongue Pond. The pond, not visible from the bike path, is accessible via a paved path on the left. The bike path then passes behind the Lowes building before crossing Garfield Avenue. Use caution here (and at all street crossings) as it tends to be quite busy. Soon you will cross your first of several bridges. This bridge crosses over Burnham Avenue leaving behind the bustling shopping plazas of Garfield Avenue for quieter suburban residential neighborhoods for a bit. The next major crossing is Gansett Avenue. This time you will go under the road. Just after the bridge and on the left are the Cooney and Tate Fields, a city park with recreation fields and a walking path. There is parking here (41°47’14.82″N, 71°27’12.87″W) on Oak Street. Continuing ahead, you soon cross Dyer Avenue where there is a large “Cranston Bike Path” sign with all the info needed to know. The next bridge crosses the Pocassett River which starts in Johnston by Dame Farm and Snake Den and winds to the Pawtuxet River. Using caution, you will cross Park Avenue into the Knightsville neighborhood. The bike path now traverses through a neighborhood of light industrial, apartments, and commercial buildings before paralleling Cranston Street by the Public Library. Here you will cross Uxbridge Street back into mostly residential neighborhoods with some apartment buildings, then pass under the beginning of Oaklawn Avenue into the Meshanticut neighborhood. You will notice now that the bike path is in a valley between neighborhoods now. Keep an eye out to the right side, from this point forward as you will be able to catch a glimpse of an old telegraph pole once and again. These were typical alongside railroads back in the day. After passing the Greek Orthodox Church on the left (famed for its Greek Festival) you will pass under Dean Street continuing to parallel both Cranston Street to the right and Oaklawn Avenue to the left passing by their neighborhoods. Next you will cross Sherman Street, pass under the Route 37 overpass into the Oaklawn neighborhood, and meander along the backside of several strip malls and businesses on the left along Oaklawn Avenue. You are approaching Oaklawn Village just before the  next bridge where parking (41°44’48.93″N, 71°28’46.64″W) is available. The bridge crosses Wilbur Avenue and shortly on the right is a trail head for the Woodland Trail. This trail leads back down to Wilbur Avenue. Continuing ahead you will soon cross over the Meshanticut Brook in a fairly wooded area. Take a peek along the right side of the bridge. There is an old railroad marker/signage here at the bridge. The brook down below is quite pretty and the wooded area offers a haven for many birds. Ahead the bike path crosses under New London Avenue (Route 33) into another wooded area west of the Pontiac neighborhood. Just before the large metal building on the left you leave Cranston. From here to the parking lot under Interstate 295 (and beyond to the Pawtuxet River), the town line between Warwick and West Warwick follows the former railroad right of way, Warwick to the left, West Warwick to the right. At the bridges that carry Interstate 295 over West Natick Road are two large dirt parking lots (41°43’45.14″N, 71°29’4.18″W). This is the end of the Cranston Bike Path.

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The Cranston Bike Path passing under Gansett Avenue.

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  • Warwick Bike Path
  • Approximate distance: 1.6 miles
  • Easy, entire leg is a paved bike path.

Continuing beyond West Natick Road and under Interstate 295, the Cranston Bike Path becomes the Warwick Bike Path. This section, just over a mile and a half, was built in 2003. The bike path for the next couple hundred feet is flanked by post and rail fence before coming to a steel truss bridge that crosses the Pawtuxet River. This is the first of several crossings of the river along the Washington Secondary Bike Path. After crossing the bridge you are now in the East Natick neighborhood of Warwick. Just ahead on the left is Tirocchi Field complete with ball fields, a canoe launch, and a trail that leads to the river. Parking is available here at the park (41°43’22.7″N 71°29’07.4″W). Beyond the park is a row of mill houses on the left and then the East Avenue crossing. After crossing the busy street take note of the sign explaining the history of the Village. The bike path then continues southerly through mixed industrial, commercial, and residential neighborhoods paralleling Bald Hill Road before passing a trailer park. From here the bike path slowly curves to the west, again flanked by post and rail fence as well as some small areas of ledge. At the next street crossing, Providence Street (Route 33) is the city line. This is where the Warwick Bike Path ends.

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Crossing the Pawtuxet River

 

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  • West Warwick Greenway
  • Approximate distance: 2.6 miles
  • Easy, entire leg is a paved bike path.

After crossing Providence Street you are now on the West Warwick Greenway. The first section from Providence Street to Hay Street was built in 2000. The remaining 2 miles through West Warwick was built in 2003. The Greenway first passes the backside of small industrial and commercial businesses along Providence Street on the left and a small residential neighborhood on the right before coming to the Bradford Soap Works complex. The newer factory building is to the right, but the much older and historic mill building is on the left at another bridge that crosses the Pawtuxet River once again. Technically this is the South Branch of the Pawtuxet, as the river joins with the North Branch slightly downstream. The mill building, with a date of 1889 inscribed on it, is a multi story stone structure with an adjacent dam and waterfall clearly visible from the bridge. Being a manufacturer of soap, the air in the general area smells quite pleasantly “soapy”. After crossing the river Hay Street is just ahead. This is the entrance to Riverpoint Park where parking (41°42’56.6″N 71°30’56.9″W) is available once again. Also here at Hay Street, it is worth taking a peak to the left a couple hundred feet to check out the New Haven Caboose. Continuing ahead, the tennis courts of Riverpoint Park will be on your right and the backside of the West Warwick Public Works Facility will be on your left as the bike path starts to turn to the south and then cross over East Main Street. Passing through a neighborhood first, the bike path will come to Providence Street once again at Arctic. Just after crossing the street is a kiosk on the left with information about the East Coast Greenway, complete with distances to the terminus at Calais, Maine and Key West, Florida. From here the bike path flanks the South Branch Pawtuxet River once again briefly before turning toward the west, passing through areas of ledge,  and then under Main Street. Continuing ahead through a narrow area you soon cross Brookside Avenue. After crossing the street the bike path continues straight flanked by post and rail fence for a little over a half mile before reaching a mile marker at the town line between West Warwick and Coventry. Just after the West Warwick Avenue (Route 117) overpass is the Coventry Greenway sign.

 

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Bradford Soap Works Building Along The South Branch Pawtuxet River

 

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  • Coventry Greenway
  • Approximate distance: 4.3 miles
  • Easy, entire leg is a paved bike path.

The next section of the Washington Secondary Bike Bath is the Coventry Greenway which was built in three sections between 1997 and 2010. The Greenway starts at the West Warwick line and continues to a point 4.3 miles west. It is maintained by the Town of Coventry. Continuing from the end of the West Warwick Greenway at the town line you will first pass on the left the Matteson Pond Recreation Area. Here along the bike path is a small park area with a short path and park benches. Beyond the park area through the woods is the actual pond. The bike path then crosses three streets (Whitford, Pulaski, and Quidnick) passing the Rhodes Pharmaceuticals factory on the left. Continuing ahead the bike path crosses the South Branch Pawtuxet River once again, this time at Clarion Falls (to the left). Just after the river crossing, also on the left is the famed Nathanael Greene Homestead. There are trails here to explore if you care to and are accessible from the bike path. A kiosk has been recently installed here. On the right just before crossing Laurel Avenue is the former Anthony Mill along the South Branch Pawtuxet River. It is now a residential complex. On the left is a former platform from yesteryear when this was a railway. There are some tracks at the other-side of the platform. After crossing Laurel Avenue there is a parking area on the left (41°41’40.5″N 71°32’51.4″W) and a kayak launch for the South Branch Pawtuxet River on the right. An old railway station platform is here as well between the bike path and the parking area. Continuing ahead, the bike path crosses the South Branch Pawtuxet River one last time via another steel truss bridge before passing a couple streets. On the left is the entrance to the Merrill Whipple Conservation Area, which offers trails to the river. Also on the left is a cemetery just before the bike path crosses Main Street (Route 117) via another old railroad bridge. Pushing forward, The bike path passes behind the Coventry Police Station and the Cornerstone of Faith United Methodist Church. Here, up on the small bank, is a nice little spot to rest if so inclined. Next, the bike path crosses Holden Street and Station Street where there are parking areas on the right (41°41’32.6″N 71°33’52.4″W). After the parking area is another section of old railroad track. Along the way you will pass several sections, but this one is of interest because it is a switch. The bike path then passes Paine Field where more parking is available (41°41’34.4″N 71°34’05.4″W). Paine Field offers tennis courts, baseball fields, and basketball courts. The bike path then crosses Main Street once again. Be sure to use the crosswalk here as this is a busy crossing. Also, to the left at Main Street is an ice cream shop (Udder Delights). Next, the bike path passes behind the Coventry Senior Center before coming to another parking area (41°41’49.1″N 71°34’46.5″W) where the bridle trail begins. From this point westward the stone dust trail parallels the bike path occasionally crossing it and switching sides. Just before the Flat River Reservoir is a spur path on the right that leads to parking at the Coventry Library (41°42’04.7″N 71°35’36.7″W). You will get your first glimpse of Flat River Reservoir to the left by the Ayoho Campground. The bike path starts to move into a much more rural area of Coventry, well wooded on both sides. At Ayoho Road there is limited parking (41°42’03.5″N 71°36’00.6″W). After Whitehead Road, the bridle trail climbs uphill on the left for a bit before rejoining the bike path. Along this stretch the bike path passes through a some area of ledge. The remaining section of the Coventry Greenway is flanked by post and rail fence as it pushes westward toward the Trestle Trail which starts at a sign indicating that you are leaving the area maintained by Coventry Parks and Recreation Department.

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The Coventry Greenway and The Bridle Path.

 

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  • Trestle Trail East
  • Approximate distance hiked: 4.7 miles
  • Easy, entire leg is a paved bike path.

The Washington Secondary Bike Path continues through the rest of Coventry as the Trestle Trail and is maintained by the State of Rhode Island. Built in 2014, the eastern section of it pushes through Western Coventry to the Village of Summit. Seamlessly continuing from the Coventry Greenway, the Trestle Trail passes through an area of tall pines before coming to an area for equestrian parking (41°42’14.8″N 71°37’08.2″W) at Pinehaven Road. Along the way there is a dirt pathway on the right that leads to Skip’s Creamery. After Pinehaven Road the bike path crosses two more roads before coming to the Flat River Reservoir once again at the Cheese Bridge. The bridge offers a good view of the narrow portion of the reservoir below. Continuing ahead the Trestle Trail crosses Hill Farm Road where there is yet another parking area (41°42’04.5″N 71°38’04.8″W) at Coventry Center. At the crossing, a large white brick building, once used to bleach fabrics, will remind you of the villages past. Pushing forward the trail now enters a much more secluded area as the parallel Route 117 pulls further and further to the north. To the left is the first glimpse of Stump Pond at a bridge crossing. Continuing, the bike path is flanked by post and rail fence and the bridle trail zig zags back and forth. As the bike path bends ever slightly to the right it passes through an area of preserved land. On the left is the Neylon Property and shortly thereafter on the right is the Beaudoin Property. After the 7.0 mile marker, on the left there is an opening in the fence line that leads to a right of way with a trail named Comstock Path. Just off the bike path here you will find the ruins of an old mill complete with a mill race and dam. Directly across from the fence opening and on the right is the terminus of the yellow blazed trail of the Beaudoin Property (a Coventry Land Trust property off of Ledge Road). The bike path pushes ahead crossing the Quidnick Brook, passing Williams Crossing Road, and then crossing Quidnick Brook again, coming to an area of brown stone ledge before climbing up to the intersection of Camp Westwood Road. It may seem odd that there is such a hill here for a former railroad grade, but “back in the day” there was a bridge here and the railroad passed under the road. After crossing the road, take a peek to the left. You may spot a large rooster (lawn ornament). Ironically enough, you are likely to hear them as well. The bike path now descends back to the original railroad grade, levels out, crosses another brook, and becomes narrower as it approaches the Route 102 (Victory Highway) overpass. The bike path is flanked by ledge again just before the busy highway crossing. After going under the bridge, the bike path starts the descend slightly passing a small pond on the left before coming to Log Bridge Road in the village of Summit. On the right is the famed Summit General Store. This is the end of the Trestle Trail East. Just on the other side of the road is a parking area (41°41’27.0″N 71°41’57.1″W) and kiosk with the history of the village. The bike path continues a few more feet beyond the parking lot and dead ends. This is where the Trestle Trail West will continue in the near future.

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Trestle Trail East Approaching Route 102.

 

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  • Trestle Trail West
  • Approximate distance hiked: To be determined
  • Currently under construction and closed. Expected to open in 2020.

TO BE CONTINUED!!!

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The Trestle Trail West Will Continue From Here in 2020!

 

I would like to thank Auntie Beak once again for joining me in another long distance endeavor. 

 

Photos of the walk can be found on the Trails and Walks Facebook page.

 

 

Big Lakes Trail – Providence

  • Big Lakes Trail – Roger Williams Park
  • Cladrashs Avenue, Providence, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°47’3.52″N, 71°24’44.76″W
  • Last Time Hiked: June 24, 2019
  • Approximate distance hiked: 3.6 miles
  • Easy.

 

The longest of the five marked trails at Roger Williams Park winds around the parks large lakes offering several nice views and plenty of opportunities to see birds. Being a loop you can start almost anywhere, but for this walk we started at the boathouse. The trail is well marked with white diamonds painted on sidewalks where posts are not available. From the boathouse, head east (away from the carousel), and cross the street at a crosswalk. The trail enters a wooded section along Cunliff Lake winding up and over a small hill before coming to the Temple to Music. This structure was built in 1924 and hosts concerts as well as other events. Continuing to follow the white blazes leads to a 600 foot section of road walking before the trail turns left into the woods and joins the yellow blazed Temple View Trail. The white blazed trail soon bears to the right and up hill coming to the back side of a baseball field, then left into the woods again before re-emerging to a grassy area at the southern end of the park. From here the trail swings around Elm Lake and begins to head north. This long stretch now follows the shores of Elm Lake, Cunliff Lake once again, and Edgewood Lake before coming to another road crossing.  After crossing the road the trail then hugs the shore of Pleasure Lake before coming to a pedestrian bridge that leads you back to the boathouse. The lakes are home to swans, geese, herons, egrets, and ducks. Several songbirds also dwell in the shrubs and bushes nearby. Turtles can be seen here as well, likely sunbathing on small fallen trees and branches stretching into the lakes. The shores are also usually occupied by people fishing for bass and sunfish. The park is also home to the Carousel Village and the Roger Williams Park Zoo. One could plan an entire day at the park!

 

Map can be found at: Big Lakes Trail.

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Temple To Music From The Opposite Shore.

Squantum Woods – East Providence

  • Squantum Woods
  • Veterans Memorial Parkway, East Providence, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°47’45.49″N, 71°22’16.48″W
  • Last Time Hiked: June 17, 2019
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.2 miles
  • Fairly Easy.

 

Once a State Park, now owned by the City of East Providence, Squantum Woods Park has gone through a renaissance over the last couple years and has become a suburban gem. For this walk starting at a parking area off of Veterans Memorial Parkway make your way to the brick walkway at the entrance. Names are inscribed in the bricks of locals who have served in the military. At the end of the walkway is the “Garden of Flags”, a memorial to local Vietnam Veterans. Next walk on the grass toward the tree line and follow the edge of trees toward the back of the park near the back side of the pond. Here you will find a the beginning of a wood chip trail. The trail wraps around the backside of the Kettle Point neighborhood towards the East Bay Bike Path. There are spectacular views of Long Rock Cove below and the Providence River. The shrubs along this stretch are a haven for smaller birds. Yellow warblers, red-winged blackbirds, and finches were observed here at the time of this walk. The trail ends at the bike path. From here you can add as much distance to a walk as you would like. For this walk turn right and follow the bike path a little over a tenth of a mile. On the left there is an “Urban Coastal Greenway – Public Access” sign at a clearing. The clearing leads to a small beach (at low tide) that offers great views of the Port of Providence and the base of the Fuller Rocks Lighthouse (destroyed by an explosion in 1923). From here retrace you steps back to the pond at Squantum Woods and stay to the left of the pond to get to the parking area. Be sure to look for birds in and around the pond. The park also offers picnic benches. Do carry out what you carry in if you so choose to have a picnic before or after your walk.

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A Summer View of Long Rock Cove