Posts Tagged ‘ Narragansett Bay ’

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

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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

East Bay Bike Path South – Barrington/Warren/Bristol

  • East Bay Bike Path South
  • Metropolitan Park Drive, Barrington, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°45’12.02″N, 71°20’54.74″W
  • Last Time Hiked: August 23, 2016
  • Approximate distance hiked: 8.4 miles
  • Easy to moderate due to distance.

After walking the northern end of the East Bay Bike Path, I decided to finish what I started. The southern end of the oldest bike path in the state winds along the former Providence, Warren, and Bristol Railroad through Barrington, Warren, and Bristol. Along the way there are several points of interest as the paved path passes through the East Bay neighborhoods. Starting at Haines Park, one of the oldest State Parks, I started making my way south. Almost immediately I could hear the sounds of the dog park just beyond the trails and woods to the left. Soon the bike path crosses the lower end of the Annawomscutt Brook just before it dumps into Allins Cove. Immediately after that the bike path makes its first of several road crossings in Barrington at Bay Spring Avenue. To the right is a large brick building that was once a mill. It is now a condominium building. This section of Barrington was its industrial center will mills producing leather and lace products. This building is the only surviving building of that era. Also at this road crossing is a memorial to residents of West Barrington that have lost their lives in wars. Next the bike path crosses Alfred Drowne Road in the neighborhood that was once known as Drownville where one of several railroad depots were located in Barrington. The neighborhood was known for its oyster operations and the land was mostly owned by the Drowne family and later the Blount family known locally for their current clam shacks and seafood products. After crossing Washington Road the bike path enters a half mile stretch of trees and residential neighborhoods before coming to Little Echo Pond. Here, and the surrounding ponds, there was once an icing operation, but the icehouse that sat on the opposite side of the pond is long gone. On each side of the bike path there are small Barrington Land Conservation Trust properties with short trail systems. Both Lombardi Park and Andreozzi Nature Preserve are marked with signs at their trailheads. Just before South Lake Drive on the right was the location of the Nayatt Depot, the next railroad stop in Barrington. After crossing South Lake Drive you will notice the greens of the Rhode Island Country Club to the right. This golf course is one of the most prominent ones in the state hosting the CVS Charity Classic each year. The next road crossing is Middle Highway, after crossing it the bike path passes several trails on the right. These trails are part of Veterans Park which surrounds Brickyard Pond. Today the pond is used for mostly fishing. In years past, there were mills in the area that made bricks. Clay pits in the area supplied the material to make the bricks. Workers would dig these massive pits and in time the pits would fill with water. After the operations ceased in the area and the pumps shut down, the pits filled with water. Hence, the creation of Brickyard Pond. Many buildings on the East Side of Providence were built with the bricks made in Barrington. The bike path also passes the Bayside YMCA before approaching County Road. Just before the main road there is a plaza on the right that offers several shops for a break. There was also a train depot here. On the left is the Daily Scoop, a local ice cream shop. After crossing Route 114, the bike path then passes through a tunnel of trees, then passes Police Cove Park, before emerging out to the Barrington River. Here is the first of two bridges in Eastern Barrington that connect the southern end of New Meadow Neck to Barrington and Warren respectively. The first bridge, crossing the Barrington River offers view of the river northerly toward Hundred Acre Cove. The view to the south is that of is similar of that of the second bridge that crosses the Palmer River. They both look toward the bridges that carry Route 114 over the water crossings and the marinas beyond them. The two rivers come together just about a half mile south to form the Warren River. After crossing the second bridge you are in Warren. You will notice the large brick building to the south that once was the home to American Tourister, a maker of travel luggage. To the north is Grinnel Point with its windswept grass. The bike path then starts to turn to the south and into the heart of Warren. Houses and side streets become very frequent in this stretch. To the left you first pass Belcher Cove and its wooded shoreline. At the Brown Street crossing and to the left you will notice the remains of an old brick wall by the fenced in area owned by National Grid. This wall was once part of the old power station that was used by the railroad. Soon you will start to see the steeples of the nearby churches through the cluster of homes. The bike path then crosses Market Street and Child Street, passing a Dels Lemonade, before coming to a large parking area behind Town Hall, Fire Station, and Police Station. It is in this area that a spur line to Fall River split from the main track and headed east. The East Bay Bike Path follows the former line to Bristol from here. (The Warren Bike Path to the east follows a section of the spur trail). After passing a well-placed bicycle shop and Franklin Street the bike path comes out to Main Street. There is a traffic light with a crosswalk here. It is a very busy intersection, do not attempt to cross without using the crosswalk and light. After crossing the street the bike path continues south and soon passes Burrs Hill Park. The park offers basketball courts, tennis courts, and a ball field. There are also free concerts here. Through the park you can see the water and Warren Town Beach. The bike path continues through residential neighborhoods after passing under Bridge Street through a tunnel that replaced a former railroad bridge. The bike path is also flanked by post and rail fence for quite a while. Soon the bike path passes an area known as Jacobs Point to the right. The large salt marsh, abundant with cattails and wildflowers, offers a single trail to the beach. Just after Jacob’s Point the bike path enters Bristol and soon comes to the McIntosh Wildlife Refuge. This Audubon property spans from Route 114 to the Warren River on both sides of the bike path. To the left is access to the trails through the fields by the Educational Center. To the right is the long boardwalk that reaches out to the river. The bike path then continues through more residential areas with several road crossings before coming to Colt State Park. Along this stretch you can catch glimpses of Narragansett Bay including the Conimicut Lighthouse. After crossing the entrance road to Colt State Park the bike path passes Mill Pond to the right where you are likely to catch glimpses of cormorants and egrets. After passing Poppasquash Road the bike path follows the upper reaches of Bristol Harbor before ending at Independence Park and the edge of Downtown Bristol. Here along the Bristol waterfront you will see several boats docked and the old brick buildings in the distance. If you still have a little walk left in you, the waterfront and downtown offers a great walk on its own

Trail maps can be found at: East Bay Bike Path South

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The Bike Path By Bristol Harbor

Conimicut Point – Warwick

Conimicut Point is where Narragansett Bay officially ends and the Providence River begins. On the point is a city park with a few walking paths, a small beach on each side, and the point juts out into the water offering sweeping views in all directions. The south facing beach offers views of Patience and Prudence Island and the north facing views offers views of the Providence skyline. To the east is the Conimicut Lighthouse. At the moment there are plans to renovate the lighthouse. If this happens it will likely become much like the Borden Flats Light in Fall River where you can stay overnight as a guest. There is a rather long sandbar here. Do not attempt going on to it. Several people have lost their lives here after being taken by the strong undertow.

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Conimicut Point