Posts Tagged ‘ Narragansett Bay ’

Sakonnet River Bridge Bike Path – Portsmouth/Tiverton

  • Sakonnet River Bridge Bike Path
  • Anthony Road, Portsmouth, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°38’18.20″N, 71°13’17.70″W
  • Last Time Hiked: September 12, 2022
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.4 miles
  • Easy paved path, some incline.

At the four mile mark of Route 24 the highway crosses the Sakonnet River connecting Portsmouth with Tiverton. On the north side of the bridge is a bike path. The path is about seven tenths of a mile and offers two spots to step aside to view the river below. To the north you get a sweeping view of the upper reaches of the Sakonnet River where it meets Mount Hope Bay. Across the four lanes of highway you get a view of a causeway where the Stone Bridge once stood. The bike path was built with intentions of having a future bike path from Fall River to Newport. At night the bridge is lit up and offers different colors for holidays and seasons.

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Bike Path on the Sakonnet River Bridge

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.

Barrington Beach – Barrington

  • Barrington Beach
  • Bay Road, Barrington, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°43’21.25″N, 71°18’32.90″W
  • Last Time Hiked: October 5, 2020
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.5 miles
  • Fairly easy beach walk.

Barrington Beach overlooks Narragansett Bay with views of Warwick and Prudence Island. The beach is open to non residents in the off season. From the parking lot at the end of Bay Road you will be able to walk in either direction for quite some distance. You will be able to get just about a mile and half in total.

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Barrington Beach at Sunset

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

Head’s Beach – Jamestown

  • Head’s Beach
  • Seaside Drive, Jamestown, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°32’16.05″N, 71°23’8.09″W
  • Last Time Hiked: September 7, 2019
  • Approximate distance hiked: 0.3 miles
  • Easy beach walk.

 

Head’s Beach is a small town owned beach on the west side of Jamestown with sweeping views that include the Jamestown Bridge, Plum Island Light, and Quonset Point. This walk is very short, just over a quarter mile, but the beach itself is serene. Parking is limited to residents from May 15th to October 15th.

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The Jamestown Bridge From Head’s Beach

Allins Cove – Barrington

 

Allin’s Cove in Barrington offers a short trail and short beach walk (only at low tide). The property is protected by the Barrington Land Trust and open to the public. The trail is flanked by shrubs and wetlands, being a haven for birds. The cove is separated from Narragansett Bay by a beach peninsula. The cove itself is fed by the Annawomscutt Brook which starts in East Providence and runs southerly through western Barrington. Before visiting check the tide charts or your walk will be shorter than expected.

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Looking North at Allin’s Cove.

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.

Pheasant Hill Beach – Portsmouth

 

At the end of Pheasant Road just after the railroad tracks and to the right is a parking area for Pheasant Hill Beach. From here you can follow the road a few hundred feet to the walking path the follows the shoreline toward the Mount Hope Bridge. At the end of the path there is a narrow trail that continues ahead. Along this trail are sweeping and stunning views of a marsh to your right, the bridge ahead, and Hog Island Lighthouse to your left. At the end of the trail are a row of boulders. From here turn left and make your way to the beach. From here you can follow the beach back a bit to one of the access points back to the walking path that leads back to the parking area.

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Walking Path With Mount Hope Bridge In The Distance.

Rail Explorers Northern Ramble – Portsmouth

  • Rail Explorers – Northern Ramble
  • Alexander Road, Portsmouth, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°35’5.76″N, 71°16’58.32″W
  • Last Time Hiked: August 14, 2019
  • Approximate distance hiked: 5.3 miles
  • Easy.

 

Not a hike, Not a walk… a different type of Rails to Trails! While most of the former railroads in Rhode Island have been converted from rails to trails by the means of bike paths, this former section of the Old Colony Railroad has been creatively reinvented. No walking and bicycle riding on this “trail”. A pedal powered rail vehicle, simple to operate, is the means of exercise and exploration. The tracks here date back to 1864 and were used until 1980. They remained unused until the spring of 2017 when “Rail Explorers” opened for business. There are two main options to choose from, the Southern Circuit which is a 3 mile out and back ride, or the Northern Ramble, which is a 5.4 mile one way ride. Today, we took the later, starting at the Portsmouth Grove Station on Alexander Road in Melville. The route passes Melville Ponds Recreation Area, the Green Animals Topiary Gardens, and the Portsmouth Abbey School all to the right. Along this stretch and to the left you will have sweeping views of Narragansett Bay, Prudence Island, and (on a clear day) spot Downtown Providence in the distance. Continuing the route passes over the historical “Bloody Brook” (Barker Brook), through a golf course, by the tower at Carnegie Abbey, before catching a glimpse of the Hog Island Light to the left. From here you will pass under the Mount Hope Bridge, by Bristol Ferry Landing (just after the bridge to the left), and then pass over a significant channel called Founders Brook. The land on each side is part of the Town Pond/Bertha Russell Preserve. Across the bay is a significant hill. This is Mount Hope where King Phillips Chair is located. The last part of the route pushes eastward through the Montaup Country Club before coming to its terminus at the Hummocks Station. From here it is a bus ride back to Portsmouth Grove. This route is also offered in reverse at different times of the day. The rail vehicles are available in two or four seats.

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Northern Ramble by the Mount Hope Bridge

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From the Rail Explorers Website (https://www.railexplorers.net/)

Taylor Point – Jamestown

  • Taylor Point
  • Freebody Drive, Jamestown, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°30’34.63″N, 71°21’35.30″W
  • Last Time Hiked: June 23, 2019
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.2 miles
  • Easy, be careful near the edges.

 

Taylor Point is a work in progress and offers some great views of Narragansett Bay. The Taylor Point Restoration Association has been improving shoreline access and trails on the property. Some of the trails are narrow and others are wide and well mowed. Others have not been developed yet. There is two parking areas and public restroom. The rocks and edges can be clustered with fishermen. Do exercise caution along the edges. A hike just over a mile was done by doing several “anticipated” (see trail map) “in and out” trails and the roads that connect them.

 

Map can be found at: Taylor Point.

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The Iconic Newport Bridge From Taylor Point.