Posts Tagged ‘ Nature Walk ’

Mystic Woods – East Greenwich


Mystic Woods is a nice little hidden gem. So hidden in fact, that the only indication that the property is open to the public is a small round East Greenwich Land Trust sign on utility pole # 78 at the bend in the road. The trail, out and back and flanked by stone walls, descends into a small valley. The trail crosses the babbling Scrabbletown Brook before coming to a grassy area. The trail then turns to the left and crosses another small brook. The property ends near here and for this hike you should return and retrace your steps. The trail does continue onto property that is not part of Mystic Woods.


Stone Walls and Tall Trees of Mystic Woods


Town Pond – Portsmouth


This out and back trail is well maintained and follows the west shore of Town Pond on one side and Founders Brook beyond the shrubs and thickets on the other side. The trail is accessible from an unmarked parking area on Anthony Road and the trail starts from the left side of the lot. The shrubbery along the trail serves as a haven for birds of all sorts. There are also utility poles here with nests for ospreys here. Hawks, owls, a great blue heron, ducks, and swans were all observed here at the time of this walk. The trail ends at the railroad tracks and across the way is the Bertha Russel Preserve which is essentially a tidal marsh protected for wildlife. This area is also significantly historical as this is approximately where Anne Hutchinson founded the colony which became Rhode Island in 1638. Founders Brook Park is nearby and has monuments commemorating the event.


From the end of the trail looking over the Russel Preserve

Caroline E. Judson – Smithfield

  • Caroline E. Judson Trust Property
  • Williams Road, Smithfield, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°54’34.26″N, 71°33’24.73″W
  • Last Time Hiked: January 15, 2018
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.5 miles
  • Fairly easy with some significant elevation.


At the end of Williams Road is a small parking area for a couple of cars. The trail head is just to the right of the Land Trust sign. The trail winds downhill flanked by stone walls and old barbed wire fencing. Along this strip of wooded land on each side are large fields. At the end of the trail you can catch a glimpse of Stillwater Reservoir through the woods. The trail to the right leads into one of the large fields before dead ending near the property line with Hebert Health Center. The field is a good spot to watch birds circling above. The trail to the left leads further into the woods slowly winding down to a wooden bridge that crosses a beautiful cascading stream. The stream at the time of this hike was particularly high in velocity due to a recent snow melt. The trail then continues, following above the stream, into the Connors Farm Conservation Area at the blue blazed trail. A loop through Connors Farm, itself a beautiful hike, would add distance to the hike. From here retrace your steps back to the parking area at the end of Williams Road. A deer was spotted here at the property as well as chipmunks and a pair of red tailed hawks.


Cascading Stream From the Footbridge.

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.


Third Beach on a Winter Day.

Weetamoo Woods East – Tiverton

  • Weetamoo Woods East
  • Lake Road, Tiverton, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°35’14.25″N, 71° 9’45.37″W
  • Last Time Hiked: December 9, 2017
  • Approximate distance hiked: 3.1 miles
  • Fairly easy with some rocky footing.


Weetamoo Woods in its entirety is easily one of the best places in Rhode Island to hike. The last time I hiked Weetamoo I did about five and a half miles of trails that are described in a Ken Weber book. For this hike I opted to explore the remaining trails in the eastern end of the preserve. Starting from a small parking area on Lake Road, myself and a couple friends first followed the red blazed trail into the property. The trail is quite rocky in areas and footing can be a little challenging. Take your time here if the rocks are wet. Soon we came to a four way intersection (Waypoint 5). The red blazed trail intersects with a blue blazed and orange blazed trail, both on the left. Here we turned onto the orange trail and soon stumbled upon a cellar hole on the right. The trail passes a few stone walls and traverse through an area of beech and hollies. We then turned right onto the Meadow Trail (marked with a sign/Waypoint 6). This trail first crosses a gas easement and winds through the woods before coming to a large meadow. The trail continues with the meadow to the left and a long stone wall to the right. At the far end of the meadow you will catch your first glimpse of Borden Brook below on the right. The Meadow Trail ends at the yellow blazed trail where we turned right. This trail first crosses over Borden Brook and then follows an old cart path for a bit before turning right in the woods. Be sure to keep an eye for the yellow blazes for the turn as the cart path continues straight ahead. There are a few trail intersections here. Continue pass the blue blazes and then follow the red blazes. Soon you will come to Borden Brook again. Here you will find some rather impressive stone work. First, are the remains of an old sawmill complete with large stone walls. Second, step off the trail and follow the brook a few steps down stream to few the craftsmanship of the stone arch bridge. From the sawmill site you could either follow the red or blue blazed trail to the east as they both lead to the same trail intersection ahead. We opted to stay to the left and follow the red blazed trail as it climbed steadily uphill before crossing the gas easement once again. Shortly after way came back to Waypoint 5. From here we retraced our steps back along the red blazed trail to the parking area.


Map can be found at: Weetamoo Woods East.


Along The Orange Blazed Trail

Richardson Preserve – Attleboro

  • Deborah and Roger Richardson Nature Preserve
  • Wilmarth Street, Attleboro, MA
  • Trailhead: 41°55’21.41″N, 71°14’7.69″W
  • Last Time Hiked: October 27, 2017
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.2 miles
  • Fairly easy.


What a property this is and furthermore, what a property this is going to be. Easily one of the best of the Attleboro Land Trust properties, the Richardson Preserve offers fields, woods, a brook, and an old farm house. Originally slated to have its official opening for the fall of 2017, the preserve is still technically “under construction” and will likely have its grand opening in the spring of 2018. The Attleboro Land Trust webpage states that you are welcome to visit the preserve “when construction is not in progress”. The preserve is opposite mailbox 518 on Wilmarth Street. There is an old eighteenth century home upon a small hill with a large outcrop of ledge to the front left of the house. Currently it looks as if it is private property. A new and welcoming sign for the preserve is just behind the house. Trails are not marked here yet but the mowed grass of the fields are enough to guide one to the trails in the woods. The fields are fairly large and surrounded by a canvass of tall trees. Doing some exploring, I found two wooded areas that have trails (and construction flagging that indicated that these were future marked trails). The first area just east of the house has a maze of short trails that climb up a small hill. The other trail, (part of) the future loop trail, is at the southern and western part of the property. Two new boardwalks have been built here crossing part of Chartley Brook. This trail comes back out to a grassy area where there was once, looks to be, a greenhouse. A revisit in the spring will definitely be on the agenda to see how the final plans come to fruition.


Fall Field at Richardson Preserve

Bungay River – Attleboro


From a small parking area along Holden Street on the west bank of the Bungay River, a tributary of the Ten Mile River, you can find a trail that leads into the conservation area. The trail-head, slightly overgrown, is to the left side of the parking area. The trail leads to the north first passing an old hydrant by a brick building before coming to a set of power lines. Staying to the right, the trail leads into a heavily wooded area. The trail at this point is well defined and wide before coming to narrower trails ahead. The narrower trails look almost as if they are deer paths at times continue further into the property to the east and north. Doing a little exploring, one can get up to a mile or more here. The property offers a variety of trees including pines, oaks, and beech. To view the river itself, follow the short path from the parking area to the canoe launch.


Trail at the Bungay River Conservation Area