Posts Tagged ‘ Nature Walk ’

Black Ledge Trail – Portsmouth

  • Black Ledge Trail
  • Bay Avenue, Portsmouth, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°36’15.40″N, 71°20’0.87″W (3 miles from ferry)
  • Last Time Hiked: July 31, 2018
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.5 miles
  • Fairly easy, use extreme caution at ledge.

 

This hike on the western side of Prudence Island seems to have had two names. On the map linked below it is referred to as Bay Avenue. In an older Prudence Conservancy newsletter it is called the aptly named Black Ledge Trail. To access the trail, park on Bay Avenue just south of the Stone Wharf at the “diving rock”. From here walk up the driveway (still a public road) then stay in front of the stone wall in front of the houses. Ahead you will see a gate and the entrance of the trail. The trail is an out and back leading to a beautiful (but dangerous) ledge that overlooks the West Passage. Along the way are several spots where you can catch a glimpse of the bay. The east side of the trail for several hundred feet is a wall of sweet pepperbush. It is in bloom late July into early August and is very fragrant. The ledge is just after the second gate on the right. The trail ahead ends briefly at a home, there is no need to continue ahead. The trail to the right is steep and narrow as it descends to the ledge. It is worth the climb down for the amazing view. Take some time to linger here before retracing your steps back to the car.

 

NOTE: If you plan on hiking on Prudence Island, be known that the island is not commercialized. There are no restaurants, lodging, or transportation services. Once you are off the ferry you are on your own. Bring everything you will need for a day hike with no services.

 

Trail map can be found at: Black Ledge Trail.

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Black Ledges of Southwest Prudence Island

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Prudence South – Portsmouth

  • Prudence South – Narragansett Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve
  • T-Wharf Avenue, Portsmouth, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°35’25.29″N, 71°19’28.96″W (3 miles from ferry)
  • Last Time Hiked: July 29, 2018
  • Approximate distance hiked: 3.0 miles
  • Fairly easy, all road walking.

 

Once part of a Naval Base and ammunition storage facility during World War II, the southern end of Prudence Island is now a National Estuarine Research Reserve. The old roads of the former base offer several miles of walking “trails” on the property. For this hike, you will start at the Learning Center. Inside the building are several displays of the type of birds, butterflies, and flowers you may see along the hike. There is also a butterfly garden outside the building. From the Learning Center follow T-Wharf Avenue, just under a mile, south to the wharf itself. The wharf was built by the United States Navy and was quite active during the second world war. Today the wharf is used for recreational purposes. There is an Education Shed at the beginning of the wharf well worth checking out. Follow the wharf to its end for uninterrupted views of Jamestown and the Newport Bridge, but be sure to secure your cell phone. The spaces between the wharfs boards are just wide enough to lose a falling cell phone. Fishing is quite a common site here as well. Several types of birds can be commonly spotted here including seagulls, terns, and cormorants. Returning back to land turn left at the composting toilet (good time for a break if needed), and follow the gravel road (Levesque Memorial Road). It will lead you along an Interpretive Trail that offers an occasional informational board about the surrounding area. This road also offers areas along the left that reach out to the bay for some spectacular views including a memorial park with a picnic area. When you reach Brown Road, stay to the left. The road then starts to bend to the right to another intersection at Albro Farm Road. Stay to the right here and head east following the concrete road. You will start to see several former ammunition bunkers from yesteryear along this stretch. At the end of the road you will come to a Quonset Hut. Here turn left and retrace you steps back to the Learning Center.

 

NOTE: If you plan on hiking on Prudence Island, be known that the island is not commercialized. There are no restaurants, lodging, or transportation services. Once you are off the ferry you are on your own. Bring everything you will need for a day hike with no services.

 

Trail map can be found at: Prudence South.

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Newport Bridge From The Southern Point of Prudence Island

Farnham Farm – Portsmouth

  • Farnham Farm/Hope Brown Center
  • Mount Pleasant Avenue, Portsmouth, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°35’53.90″N, 71°19’28.87″W (2.5 miles from ferry)
  • Last Time Hiked: July 29, 2018
  • Approximate distance hiked: 0.5 miles
  • Easy.

 

This Prudence Conservancy property offers enclosed gardens and orchards at an old diary farm. There is also a community center on the property. There are two short grass mowed paths here. The first, and shorter, is to the left and behind the community center. It winds through an area of wildflowers and tall grass and dead ends at a shady apple tree. The second, known as Sarah’s Path, is to the right of the old farm house, first passing through a field of wildflowers with an occasional piece of abandoned farm equipment before wrapping around the backside and around the enclosed gardens and orchards. At the gazebo there is a brick walkway with names of members of the Prudence Conservancy past and present.

 

NOTE: If you plan on hiking on Prudence Island, be known that the island is not commercialized. There are no restaurants, lodging, or transportation services. Once you are off the ferry you are on your own. Bring everything you will need for a day hike with no services.

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Grass Mowed Path at Farnham Farm

Crows Nest – Portsmouth

  • Crows Nest
  • Narragansett Avenue, Portsmouth, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°36’10.47″N, 71°18’28.22″W (1.2 miles from ferry)
  • Last Time Hiked: July 29, 2018
  • Approximate distance hiked: 0.3 miles
  • Easy with slight elevation.

 

This very short hike starting from across the Prudence Island Fire Station leads you to the top of a hill with a scenic view of the East Passage and nearby Dyer Island. At the top of the hill is also a picnic bench which makes this spot a good location for a break from a busy day of hiking.

 

NOTE: If you plan on hiking on Prudence Island, be known that the island is not commercialized. There are no restaurants, lodging, or transportation services. Once you are off the ferry you are on your own. Bring everything you will need for a day hike with no services.

 

Trail map can be found at: Crows Nest.

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View From Crows Nest

Cormier Woods – Uxbridge

  • Cormier Woods
  • Chapin Street, Uxbridge, MA
  • Trailhead:  42° 4’10.60″N, 71°35’41.86″W
  • Last Time Hiked: July 15, 2018
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.6 miles
  • Fairly easy, some moderate hills.

 

There are several miles of trails here at Cormier Woods and the abutting properties. This hike focused on the main trails of Cormier Woods, which in themselves offer an abundance of solitude. Starting from the parking lot by the barn we first crossed the street and made our way to the red trail. At the intersection for the loop we turned left and followed the red trail clockwise first making our way through a narrow fern flanked path before passing a private residence and open field. The trail then winds back into the woods as it heads away from roads and residences. The further into the woods the quieter it would get. The red trail turns to the right as it approaches a swamp on the left and then winds through the western edges of the property coming to a boulder field. At the next intersection stay to the left and follow the blue trail downhill. It turns to the right a couple times and then climbs up a graded trail that looks as if it was once used as a cartpath or railway. At the top of the hill, just after a massive boulder, are a couple cellar holes of the Jonathon White Homestead. Continuing along the blue trail we soon came back to the red trail where we turned left and followed it clockwise steadily uphill for a bit. The trail winds passing ledges and several stone walls before coming to the first intersection. Turning left here returns you to the parking lot. From the parking lot we followed the yellow blazed trail clockwise as well. First through a meadow, then back into the woods. The white blazed trail on the left leads to several more miles of trails at Meadow Brook Woods and furthermore connects to the Mendon Town Forest. For this hike we kept it simple and continued along the yellow trail leading to a blueberry patch that was in bloom (and they were delicious). The trail turns to the right and leads towards the barn and back to the parking area. Hunting is allowed here, so blaze orange is required during hunting season. Deer, coyote, and fisher cat have been observed here as well.

 

Map can be found at: Cormier Woods

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Passing The Boulder Field

Gilbert Stuart – North Kingstown

  • Gilbert Stuart Birthplace and Museum/Nature Trail
  • Gilbert Stuart Road, North Kingstown, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°31’12.35″N, 71°26’39.08″W
  • Last Time Hiked: July 6, 2018
  • Approximate distance hiked: 0.7 miles
  • Fairly easy, cost for admission.

 

The very well known local gem, being that of the Gilbert Stuart Birthplace and Museum in North Kingstown, offers history, art, and nature. The museum consists of several structures including the house that Gilbert Stuart was born in. Mr. Stuart is known for painting nearly a thousand portraits of famous early Americans including George Washington. His depiction of the first President of the United States was used on the American one dollar bill. The house he was born in, built in 1750, showcases several replicas of his paintings. Furthermore, the house has a waterwheel and in the basement is a snuff mill. The adjacent grist mill, built a few years after the house, also has an operating waterwheel that powers the large grindstones that make corn meal. The gift shop/admission office features a back room that showcases art exhibits. In this room are a couple of Gilbert Stuarts paintings as well as a painting of Mr. Stuart produced by his daughter Jane. There is also a network of nature trails here. The trail head is just over the wooden bridge by an entry gate. The outer loop is blazed with a yellow dot and passes the colonial era Burlingame Cemetery. For this hike ignore the left turn ahead at the red dot connector trail and continue straight to the Carr Pond Overlook. Take a moment to take in nature here. You might catch a glimpse of a great blue heron above the pond that was formed from the dam at Gilbert Stuart. Continuing along the yellow blazed trail you will pass under a canopy of tall oaks and beech trees before coming to the green dot connector trail. Turn left here and soon you will come to the Hammond Cemetery with several gravestones dating back to the 1800’s. Continuing ahead you will pass an impressive New England style stone wall before coming to a three way trail intersection. Turn right here onto the blue dot connector trail. It will lead you back to the yellow blazed outer loop trail. At this intersection on the left is a rather deep cellar hole built upon a hill. To conclude this hike turn left onto the yellow blazed trail and follow it back to the museum. The trails here are only open when the museum is open and there is an admission fee for a guided tour of the buildings, gardens, and entry to the grounds. Be sure to check their website for hours of operation.

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Gilbert Stuart Birthplace

Ponaganset Covered Bridge Trail – Glocester

  • Ponaganset Covered Bridge Trail
  • Anan Wade Road, Glocester, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°51’59.71″N,71°42’43.31″W
  • Last Time Hiked: April 15, 2018
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.0 miles
  • Fairly easy with some elevation.

 

The cross country course behind Ponaganset High School in Glocester may be one of the best kept secret trails in the state. Open to the public when not in use for track meets and other school events, this trail offers a nice 2 mile stroll through some beautiful wooded property that is zigzagged with small seasonal streams. The bridges across these streams are the highlights of this walk, one being a covered bridge. For this walk, you start from the north parking lot of the High School by the superintendents office. Stay to the right and make your way to the football field and track. On the right is the trailhead marked with a sign. Follow the stone dust trail and you soon come to the covered bridge. Continuing, the trail follows the perimeter of a ball field before turning slightly to the right and uphill. At the top of the hill the trail turns to the left and slightly downhill to a four way intersection dubbed “Grand Central Station”. For this walk take the second left. You will follow a loop trail the traverses through the southern end of the property eventually returning to the four way intersection. From the intersection continue straight up and over the hill, back down to the covered bridge, returning to the parking lot.

 

Map can be found at: Ponaganset Covered Bridge Trail.

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Covered Bridge at Ponaganset

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