Posts Tagged ‘ Nature Conservancy ’

Cuttyhunk Brook – Exeter

  • Cuttyhunk Brook Preserve
  • Sunderland Road, Exeter, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°35’0.66″N, 71°33’18.27″W
  • Last Time Hiked: April 13, 2013
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.5 miles
  • Easy with areas of slight elevation.

 

A nice and quiet two and half mile stroll on a cool Saturday morning. Starting at a parking area on Sunderland Road just north of Route 102, I started my way into the preserve. The first section was a stone and dirt path that had a decent decline until it reached Cuttyhunk Brook. Just after the brook the path split. I opted to take the left trail which somewhat followed the brook before heading into an area of tall pines and boulders. This path eventually came out to Stony Lane which is an unimproved town road. I followed this road until I found the trail marker directing me back into the woods. Along this section, again with tall pines and boulders, I ran into a deer and also the remains of a stone foundation.  This path eventually came back out to where the split at the brook was. From this point I retraced my steps back to the parking area. This trail was very well marked with yellow blazes. Hunting is allowed here, so check the schedules and be prepared to wear orange during those seasons.

Trail map can be found at: Cuttyhunk Brook

Cuttyhunk Pines

Cuttyhunk Pines

Dundery Brook – Little Compton

  • John C. Whitehead Preserve at Dundery Brook 
  • West Main Road, Little Compton, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°30’35.63″N, 71°11’23.88″W
  • First Time Hiked: April 9, 2013
  • Last Time Hiked: December 15, 2017
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.8 miles
  • Fairly Easy.

                         

The Nature Conservancy has a knack for showcasing some of the most beautiful properties in the State. Dundery Brook is no exception. The trail system was built in two main parts, the older being the iconic raised boardwalk from Meeting House Lane to Bumble Bee Pond. The newer trail connects that raised boardwalk to West Main Road. In 2017, I came back to revisit Dundery Brook from West Main Road. There is now a large sign by the parking area. The property has since been dedicated and is now known as the John C. Whitehead Preserve at Dundery Brook. The trail is not blazed but easy enough to follow as it winds eastward passing several small ponds before entering an area of woods with an abundance of stone walls. The trail also has several boardwalks along the way and a stone slab bridge that crosses Dundery Brook. The trail soon comes to the raised boardwalk. Turning left here will take you to the shores of Bumblebee Pond. There were many types of birds at the pond. During a previous spring hike I saw several red-winged blackbirds and one bird in particular that caught my attention. The bird was flying “still” and then diving toward the pond. The third dive was into the water to capture whatever it was the bird was after. Following the grass path along the pond leads to a small bridge crossing a stream. If you continue ahead the path ends at an open meadow. Retrace your steps back to the raised boardwalk to visit the rest of the preserve. The boardwalk is about a half mile long and meanders through a densely wooded marsh with bogs and a stream crossing. There is an abundance of holly trees and shrubs at Dundery Brook as well. The raised boardwalk ends at the southern entrance of the property. From here retrace your steps back to the parking area along West Main Road.

Trail map can be found at: Dundery Brook 

Bumble Bee Pond

Bumble Bee Pond

Beaver River – Richmond

  • Beaver River Preserve
  • Fox Ridge Drive, Richmond, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°32’30.50″N, 71°39’13.00″W
  • Last Time Hiked: January 27, 2013
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.5 miles
  • Easy with some slight elevation and climbing.
 

I found Beaver River to be a beautiful place for a hike. It is heavily wooded with many boulders. It was suggested to do this hike before the leaves were on the trees. A lot of the trails are along ridge lines of the hills which have great views of the valleys. I started this hike at the dead end section of Fox Ridge Drive and proceeded to follow the loop by first going to the left at the first intersection.  This path went through many areas of boulders and then through a pine grove. At the next intersection a spur goes to the left which I took to get to the river. Beaver River itself had two beaver dams built in it and was quite iced over. Retracing my steps back to the beginning of the spur, I then took a left back onto the loop.  At this point some climbing is necessary but not difficult.  The trail eventually brings you back to the trail-head.  There are several plank bridges along the paths and the entire trail is well marked with yellow blazes. I did not see any wildlife to speak on this hike. Maybe it was just too cold.

Trail map can be found at: Beaver River Preserve

Beaver Dam On The Frozen Beaver River

Beaver Dam On The Frozen Beaver River

Some Climbing Required

Some Climbing Required

Lime Rock – Lincoln

  • Aust Family Preserve at Lime Rock 
  • Wilbur Road, Lincoln, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°55’18.64″N, 71°28’3.89″W
  • First Time Hiked: January 13, 2013
  • Last Time Hiked: January 1, 2016
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.3 miles
  • Moderate due to some elevation.

 

Featuring one of the newest loop trails in Rhode Island, the Nature Conservancy’s Lime Rock Preserve in Lincoln offers a variety of flora and an abundance of outcrops. The new blue loop trail was established in the spring of 2015 and adds a pleasant addition to the existing yellow loop trail. For this hike I combined the two to highlight almost all of the features of the property. Starting from a small parking pull off along Wilbur Road (41°55’18.6″N 71°28’03.9″W), I followed the yellow blazed trail a few hundred feet to the first trail intersection. Here I turned right onto the blue blazed trail, up a set of stairs, and immediately uphill passing several boulders, outcrops, and beech trees before the trail levels slightly. After passing a set of boardwalks, the trails climbs uphill again to the first of several stone walls. The trail stays to the right of the stone wall at first, then passes through it to another trail intersection. This is actually the blue loop trail. Here I decided to continue straight soon passing through an area of ferns. Soon the trail comes to an old cart path. I turned left here continuing to follow the blue blazed trail. Below to the right is the Moshassuck River and a hill is to the left. This stretch of the trail is quite pretty with plenty of young beech trees. At the next trail intersection I turned right onto a spur trail, still blazed blue, that leads to the yellow loop trail. There is a spot where you need to climb over a stone wall. Use caution here, especially during wet conditions. When I reached the yellow trail I turned right and soon found myself at the dam. To the left is the reservoir and on the right down below are the headwaters of the Moshassuck River that flows to Downtown Providence. After crossing the dam the trail turns left uphill following a stone covered service road for about a tenth of a mile. The yellow blazed trail then turns left back into the woods as the service road bears to the right. Soon I approached an area with a few large boulders and a stone bridge that crosses of a trickling stream. The trails then meanders north of the reservoir before turning left at the next intersection. You may notice that the trail ahead is very straight and level. This stretch is an old railway bed that once was used by electric railcars for service between Providence and Woonsocket. Because of the need to be level for railroad use it makes for an interesting trail as it first passes through areas where ledge was removed and then passes high above the valley below. As the terrain around the trail levels out a bit another trail intersection appears. If you care to avoid the hills of the blue loop again, you can continue straight at this intersection following the old railroad bed (also blazed yellow) back to the parking area. I turned left to complete the yellow blazed loop, crossed the boardwalk, and followed the trail to the blue trail on the right. Turning here, I soon was crossing the stone wall once again before coming to the blue loop trail once again. I turned right and started a slow steady climb up the hill along a very quiet and secluded stretch of trail. The trail takes a sharp right at a massive boulder and continues climbing uphill until it reaches a ridge at the top of the hill. Continuing to follow the blue blazes I soon found myself at a trail intersection. Here I turned right, retracing my steps downhill, across the boardwalks, and down the steps, to the yellow trail. Turning left I was soon back at the Wilbur Road.

Trail map can be found at: Lime Rock Trail Map

The Blue Trail At Lime Rock.

The Blue Trail At Lime Rock.