Posts Tagged ‘ Narragansett Bay ’

Blue Beach – North Kingstown

  • Blue Beach
  • Circuit Drive, North Kingstown, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°35’12.85″N, 71°25’51.92″W
  • Last Time Hiked: December 16, 2017
  • Approximate distance hiked: 0.6 miles
  • Fairly easy beach walk.

 

Blue Beach is well hidden among the industrial complex of Quonset Point. The stone dust path leads from a small parking area to the beach that faces south on Narragansett Bay. From the beach you see the Jamestown Bridge in the distance. There is a brook that breaks the beach at times making the walk rather short. From this beach to the southwest you can catch a glimpse of the Poplar Point Light about a mile away.

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Blue Beach on a Winter Afternoon

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Third Beach – Middletown

  • Third Beach
  • Third Beach Road, Middletown, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°29’11.84″N, 71°14’48.07″W
  • Last Time Hiked: December 16, 2017
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.3 miles
  • Fairly easy beach walk.

 

Third Beach in Middletown is a haven for beach goers in the summer months. With that said, the “off-season” is the best time to walk this stretch of beach. The beach faces the Sakonnet River just north of Sachuest Point. The beach is often visited by several species of birds as the beach is adjacent to a National Wildlife Preserve and the nearby Norman Bird Sanctuary. A fee to park will be charged during the beach season.

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Third Beach on a Winter Day.

Sapowet Marsh – Tiverton

  • Sapowet Marsh Managment Area
  • Sapowet Avenue, Tiverton, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°34’56.51″N, 71°12’33.63″W
  • Last Time Hiked: September 4, 2017
  • Approximate distance hiked: 0.8 miles
  • Fairly easy, rocky beach walk.

 

Just by the bridge on the west side of Sapowet Avenue is a parking area for the small beach of the Sapowet Marsh Management Area. This small and rocky beach leads to Sapowet Point that overlooks the Sakonnet River. On the interior of the point are small pools of water and the marsh. At low tide there is more land to explore. Locals and fisherman frequent the area often and the scenery is perfect for a photographer. You will also find a very high concentration of fiddler crabs scurrying along the shore out by the point. Being a management area, hunting is allowed. Be sure to wear orange blaze during hunting season.

 

Map of the management area can be found at: Sapowet Marsh.

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Sapowet Marsh

Oakland Beach – Warwick

 

This beach at the tip of a peninsula overlooks Narragansett Bay. From here you see both the Newport Bridge and Jamestown Bridge. Sailboats and cabin cruisers are also a normal sight from here. The beach, and immediate area, is also usually quite busy. There are a few very popular restaurants just by the park and beach as well. One can get just about a mile of walking by following the beach to the extreme eastern edge of the park by the boat ramp, then back following the walking path pass the gazebo through the park, then following the wooden boardwalk and eventually the bike path to its western terminus at Strand Avenue… and then back.

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Boardwalk and Beach

Island Park Beach – Portsmouth

 

In the Island Park neighborhood of Portsmouth there is a small stretch of strand that overlooks the upper reaches of the Sakonnet River. The beach itself is only about four tenths of a mile long which makes for a nice short walk. The beach is also rather quiet most days visited by locals and neighbors. Looking south you can see Tiverton to the left and Portsmouth to the right. Looking straight out into the distance is Fogland. There are also some restaurants nearby that make this spot a nice and quick get away from the city.

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Sakonnet River From Island Park Beach

 

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

Conanicut Battery – Jamestown

  • Conanicut Battery National Historic Park
  • Battery Lane, Jamestown, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°28’53.46″N, 71°23’33.64″W
  • Last Time Hiked: September 13, 2016
  • Approximate distance hiked: 0.7 miles
  • Fairly easy with some slight elevation.

 

Many people pass this hidden gem of a property on their way to Beavertail State Park without even knowing it is there. It is a historically significant site that takes one through decades of military history. Like nearby Beavertail, Fort Wetherill, and Fort Adams, this property has remains of bunkers as well as it highlight, the battery. There is also a short wooded trail that circles around the property. On the north side of the parking lot (opposite side of the main entrance) is a trail entrance to the North Loop. At the first intersection stay to the right. The trail winds through an area of heavy brush, a haven for birds. At the next intersection stay to the right. This trail will lead you to a large lawn. In this area is the battery that was built during the American Revolution as a defensive fort. Among the mounds cannons would fire to nearby enemy ships. There is also a trail that leads to a significantly large boulder before turning north and uphill to a series of World War era concrete bunkers. These structures are actually spotting stations built upon Prospect Hill to warn the nearby armed forts of incoming enemy vessels. There are six bunkers in total. Evidence of Native American activity has also been found on this property. Though small, this property offers quite a bit and makes a nice supplement to a walk at Beavertail State Park.

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Mounds of the Battery

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