Posts Tagged ‘ Land Conservation ’

Martin – North Attleborough

  • Martin Conservation Area
  • Wild Acres Road, North Attleborough, MA
  • Trailhead: 41°57’35.39″N, 71°19’32.02″W
  • Last Time Hiked: April 27, 2017
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.3 miles
  • Fairly easy.

 

At the end of a long gravel road along the west side of Lower Falls Pond is a quiet parcel owned by the North Attleborough Conservation Commission. Parking is restricted to a small area just before two boulders that block the remainder of the road. To the right is a few radio towers and to the left is the pond. Passing the boulders will lead you to the old parking area. There are two spots to enter the woods and the trail system here. The first option is to turn to the right through the old parking area and to a trail head at the southwest corner of the lot. The other is to continue ahead through a set of gates to the end of the road and slightly to the left. Both trails will lead you into some impressive pine groves and a brook that cuts through the property. The trails on the property are not blazed and can be narrow in places. It is advised to use a GPS device here if you start to explore deeper into the woods. There are several short spur trails that lead to the pond as well. Also, after heavy rains the swamp areas of the property turn into small ponds making some of the trails impassable.

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Stream Crossing At Martin

Casey Farm – North Kingstown

  • Casey Farm
  • Boston Neck Road, North Kingstown, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°30’43.45″N, 71°25’23.07″W
  • Last Time Hiked: September 24, 2016
  • Approximate distance hiked: 4.1 miles
  • Fairly easy with some elevation.

Most locals know Casey Farm for its farmer markets (one of the best in the state). Others know the farm for being a historical site. What a lot of people are not aware of is that Casey Farm offers miles of trails. For this hike, I joined a small group attending a Rhode Island Land Trust Days event. The hike was led by the very knowledgeable Dr. Bob Kenney of the University of Rhode Island. Mr. Kenney, (a walking encyclopedia of birds, mushrooms, and plants) volunteers quite often for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Audubon Society. In fact this is not the first of his hikes I have been on. In 1659, several colonists bought the land on Boston Neck for a mere 18 cents per acre from the Narragansetts. One of these families were the Richardsons. By 1702 half of that property belonged to the family that founded Casey Farm. The farm stretched from Narragansett Bay to the Narrow River as it still does today. The property, a working farm, is protected and owned by Historic New England. Atop the hill along Boston Neck Road is where the farm is located. It consists of several fields and structures including a large barn as well as old New England style stone walls. The first part of the hike took us into the eastern part of the property down to Casey Point. The old cart path passes through areas of wildflowers including wild snapdragon, black swallowwort milkweed, and heart leaved aster. There is also an abundance of ferns, mushrooms, and an invasive shrub known as devils walking stick. This area is also a haven for birds as we saw and heard catbirds, woodpeckers, and red tailed hawks. When we reached the point we had sweeping views of the west passage of Narragansett Bay. Across the bay is Jamestown and the large open field is part of Watson Farm (another Historic New England property). Beyond Jamestown you will see the Newport Bridge. To the north is the Jamestown Bridge and Plum Point Lighthouse. To the south you can see Beavertail Light and Dutch Island Light. After spending a little time on the point we retraced our steps back to the farm. From here we then followed another stone walled flanked cart path toward the heavily wooded western end of the property. We briefly entered the neighboring King Preserve, the newest Nature Conservancy property in Rhode Island. This preserve is a work in progress still. Most of the major trails are complete and open, however, there are a section of trails yet to be built. The trails are soft and there are boardwalks that cross wet areas and streams. There is plenty of ferns in this area among the birch trees and sassafras. We nearly reached the Narrow River at the bottom of the hill before making our way back uphill along old cart paths and dirt roads winding through the Casey Farm property. This stretch of the hike also offer sounds and sights of nuthatches, tufted titmouses, and eastern towhees. We then returned to the farm to conclude the hike. Casey Farm is open from June 1st to October 15th on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. There are also tours of the farm available. For more information please call 401-295-1030.

A note from the folks at Casey Farm:  Casey Farm is open to the public during daylight hours for hiking trails at Casey Point or those adjacent to King Preserve. Please note dogs must be on leashes, clean up of course, and respect the young people and farm animals by keeping dogs away from the farmyard and fields. Access Casey’s woodland trails via the King Preserve. Camp Grosvenor is not open to the public for hiking. Access Casey Point on Narragansett Bay via the gate on Boston Neck Road. We are working on getting better signage. Feel free to contact me with any questions: Jane Hennedy, site manager, 401-295-1030 ext. 5, jhennedy@historicnewengland.org.

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Casey Point with The Newport Bridge in the distance.

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Flanked by Wildflowers

Parker Farm – Jamestown

 

Parker Farm is a Conanicut Land Trust property at the northern end of Jamestown. It is a quaint spot that has a mowed trail through some woods and fields. The parking area is just north of a stone drive that enters the property. The stone drive serves also as the driveway for the abutting property. I was joined by a friend for this hike and we started by making our way to the gate just after the driveway opening on the left. After passing the gate we followed the Mower Trail as it wound through an area of trees. I didn’t notice much of side trails even though they were shown on the map. When we came to the intersection we went left and completed the loop the followed the perimeter of the field. Returning to the intersection we turned left again following the trail to its dead end. From here we retraced our steps back to the car. We came across several birds and squirrels here as well as a few deer.

Trail map can be found at: Parker Farm.

Trail Along A Field

Trail Along A Field

Lawton Farm – Scituate

 

Lawton Farm is a Scituate Conservation Commission property on the Scituate/Cranston border. It comprises of a couple large fields with mowed paths. I started the hike from a small parking area at the end of the dirt entrance road. I followed the path a few hundred feet, listening to the sounds of crickets, before turning left. From here I followed the path straight slightly downhill to a stream crossing leaving the front field. After crossing the stream and walking through a short wooded area I choose to follow the path to the left following the tree line. To my right was a field of gold full of blooming wildflowers. At the next intersection I merged right as the path climbed uphill slightly. I saw several grasshoppers along this stretch. At the end of the path I turned right after exploring a tree swing. I continued the walk again following the tree line. I then turned right, quickly followed by a left, and another left again. I followed this path which came to a second stream crossing and back into the front field. At the next intersection I choose to go to the left following the path that led to the front of the field. It then bears right following the stone wall by the road back to the entrance road. I saw a rabbit along this stretch. From here I turned right and made my way to the car. Besides the described route, I also did some slight exploration of side paths. I saw several birds including a red tail hawk here. It is highly advisable to stay away the edges of the paths as there is a lot of poison ivy here. Dogs are not allowed here from April 1 to August 31 during nesting season. The rest of the year they are welcomed on a leash.

I did not find a trail map on-line.

Field Of Gold

Field Of Gold

St. Andrews Farm – Barrington

  • St. Andrews Farm
  • Middle Highway, Barrington, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°44’57.89″N,  71°19’55.47″W
  • First Time Hiked: February 1, 2014
  • Last Time Hiked: March 23, 2015
  • Approximate distance hiked: 0.6 miles
  • Easy with some slight elevation.
 
 

This morning I decided to check out some locations listed on the Barrington Land Conservation Trust web page. My first stop was St. Andrews Farm. It’s a small field with some walking paths around the perimeter and through it. It is nicely tucked away behind the soccer fields along Middle Highway. I followed the path from the parking lot into the property which runs through an area of bushes and trees. There were several hundred birds rustling in this area. I then went right and followed the perimeter path. It is a wide lane path the follows the terrain up and down small hills. I found myself fascinated with the shapes of some of the old trees here. I came across an interesting little feature while here. One of the abutting property owners has a “M*A*S*H” pole at the back of their property near the perimeter path. It features directions and distances to places such as Camelot, Narnia, Treasure Island, and Whoville to name a few. Besides birds I came across a rabbit here. It startled me more than I startled it. After doing the perimeter I made my way back to the car.

I did not find a map on-line.

St. Andrews Farm

St. Andrews Farm