Posts Tagged ‘ Nature Walk ’

Crandall Preserve – Westerly

  • Crandall Family Preserve
  • Westerly, RI
  • Trailhead: Undisclosed
  • Last Time Hiked: October 5, 2017
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.5 miles
  • Fairly easy.

 

The Crandall Family Preserve is a Westerly Land Trust property that is only open to the public during guided hikes/tours, mostly because of the sensitivity of the land in the area.  Seeing an announcement for an event, I joined them for a full moon hike. The property offers a network of blazed trails, blazed yellow and red, that wind through a forest of pines and beech trees. There is an abundance of rhododendron and mountain laurel on the property. Crandall also offers the ruins of an old sawmill and an area known as Wolf Island. Hunting is allowed on this property. Blazed orange is required during hunting season. For more info about hiking here contact the Westerly Land Trust.

TWRI-Crandall04

Red Blaze and Signage.

 

Advertisements

Richmond Heritage Trail – Richmond

  • Richmond Heritage Trail
  • Country Acres Road, Richmond, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°30’10.50″N, 71°39’56.31″W
  • Last Time Hiked: September 22, 2017
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.9 miles
  • Fairly easy.

 

The Richmond Heritage Trail is one of the newest trail systems in the State opening in September of 2017. It comprises of three very distinctive types of walks. The first part is an ADA accessible stone dust path with a beautiful boardwalk. This section is about a half mile long and offers six informational boards about the history and heritage of Richmond. There is a blue blazed trail that meanders to the far reaches of the property. This trail was developed largely in part by Richmond Boy Scout Troop 1. The trail weaves through a forest of pines, beech, and maple trees. A gravel road is also on the property, that for the most part, parallels the blue trail. The back reaches of the gravel road passes fields of tall grasses and wildflowers that is a haven for butterflies and dragonflies. Adding a little of each of these three different walks, one can hike up to 2 miles. The trail-head is at the base of the towns bright blue water tower at the end of Country Acres Road.

TWRI-RHT02

A Stretch of the Boardwalk.

Dark Swamp – Glocester

  • Dark Swamp
  • Willie Woodhead Road, Glocester, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°54’3.72″N, 71°45’48.62″W
  • Last Time Hiked: September 16, 2017
  • Approximate distance hiked: 3.6 miles
  • Moderate due to navigation, otherwise fairly easy with some elevation.

 

In November of 1923, two young explorers set out from Providence to find the swamp that for years was reputed to be cursed. The stories date back to when the colonists were settling the area. It is believed that they were warned by the Natives of this area and its curse to keep the colonists from this land. It is also said that several of the colonists who did not heed the warning were never seen again. These two young explorers never did reach their destination that day. They were Clifford Eddy and H.P. Lovecraft, (at the time unknown) horror story authors. In September of 2017, a group of hikers led by members of the Northwest Rhode Island Supporters of Open Space set out to Dark Swamp ignoring the heeded warnings. They were successful! Dark Swamp was found and they all made it out to tell the story. It is suggested however, that if you do head out for this hike, be sure to use a GPS device as most of the trails are not marked and there are plenty of side trails and spurs. Starting at a cul-de-sac at the end of Willie Woodhead Road we made our way along the trail in a southerly direction as it climbed slightly uphill. Ahead this trail meets the North South Trail. Bear to the right and follow the blue blazed trail. There are trails to both the right and left that are mostly grass covered. Ignore them and continue straight. At the half mile mark there is a trail on the right with a cellar hole. You will return on this trail. Continue straight passing over a large outcrop of a rock believe to be a threshing rock. Shortly after this rock on the left there is another narrow and grassy trail. Take it, the trail splits, stay to the left and follow the narrow trail. It leads to old ice pond. From here retrace your steps back to the blue blazed North South Trail and continue south. Starting looking for a trail on the right (about 9/10 of a mile into the hike). Take the right, then almost immediately left. Continue straight, passing yet another spur trail on the right, the trail vanishes into a field of ferns. Ahead and below is the first glimpse of the Dark Swamp with its near black water covered with a twisted and interlaced brush over it.  This area offers many other sights of swamps. Turn around passing the spur trail (now on your left) and instead of turning right onto the trail you came in on, turn left. This trail, unmarked, winds to the west and then north passing some stone walls before ending. Take note of your surroundings here. At the intersection you will exit to the right when you return. For now turn left. This trail will lead you into the depths of Dark Swamp. Shortly you will see another swamp on the right. Just beyond this swamp you will start to see piles of rocks. These are cairns, similar to the ones in Parker Woodland. Locals believe they may be from the Native Americans. Continuing ahead you will come to another trail intersection. Stay to left here and soon you will catch a glimpse of the swamp once again on the left. At the time of this hike we saw frogs and a heron here. The trail then climbs up and over a rather impressive hill before winding through a hemlock grove. The trail all but ends as you approach the large body of water created by beavers. Here is one of the largest swamps in the area complete with beaver dam and beaver hut. This is great spot for a break and to take in nature. From here retrace your steps pass the swamps and cairns. Continue straight at the “noted” intersection. It soon passes an old building and cellar hole on the left. At the end of this trail turn left. You are now back on the blue blazed North South Trail. The trail back to the car will be on your left. Hunting is allowed here, blaze orange is required during hunting season. And again, use GPS here.

TWRI-DS09

The Swamp at the End of The Trail. (Note the Beaver Hut)

Flat Top Park – West Warwick

 

This small park on the western edge of West Warwick is known mostly for it playground and ball field. There is a small nature trail here as well that is blazed blue. The short quarter mile trail weaves through a thick pine grove and crosses over floodplains via boardwalks. A spur trail takes you to the shores of the Hawkinson Brook, a tributary of the Pawtuxet River.

TWRI-FTP

Boardwalk at Flat Top Park

North Camp – Charlestown

  • Burlingame North Camp
  • Buckeye Brook Road, Charlestown, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°24’3.43″N, 71°41’59.88″W
  • Last Time Hiked: August 10, 2017
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.6 miles
  • Fairly easy.

 

Burlingame is most likely known for its campground off of Route 1. What most people do not know is that there is an abandoned camp on the north end of Watchaug Pond. Starting from a small parking area by a gate (two tenths of a mile east of the main parking area) on Buckeye Brook Road, you first follow an old dirt road southerly into the management area. You will soon come to an intersection. The trail that crosses is the 8 mile Vin Gormley Trail. For this hike continue straight ahead passing a couple small ledges and stone walls. The trail the splits at a fork, stay to the right for the first views of the former camps ruins. On the left you will see an old structure that is decaying rapidly. Continuing ahead you will soon come to another trail intersection. You will want to turn left here, but first follow the trail straight ahead for your first glimpse of Watchaug Pond. Returning to the last intersection, (trail now on your right), turn and follow the trail to the next intersection. The trail to the left would lead you back to the trail you came in on, the trail to the right will lead you to some more ruins if you care to check them out, the trail ahead is what you want to continue on. The trail slowly veers to the right and out to a small beach that overlooks the pond. At the opposite end of the beach the trail continues. Stay to the right, the trail winds to the left through an area that looks as if it were once campsites. The trail now bends to the north passing another building on the right before narrowing quite substantially and following a stone wall to the right. At the next trail intersection turn left onto the yellow blazed Vin Gormley Trail. In a few hundred feet you will come to the old dirt road you came in on. Turn right here and retrace you steps back to the parking area. Other than the Vin Gormley Trail, none of the trails on this hike are blazed.

 

Trail map can be found at: North Camp.

TWRI-NorthCamp

The Beach at North Camp

Feurer Park – North Kingstown

  • Feurer Park
  • LaFayette Road, North Kingstown, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°34’26.86″N, 71°29’26.91″W
  • Last Time Hiked: June 1, 2017
  • Approximate distance hiked: 0.4 miles
  • Easy with a small hill.

 

While in the neighborhood (after visiting Ryan Park) and visiting every trail I can find in Rhode Island, I decided to stop by Feurer Park. Behind the ball field is a small network of nature trails that wind along and across the Annaquatucket River. The trails under the power lines and the property will end by the railroad tracks. Do not go onto or cross the tracks.

 

Trail map can be found at: Feurer Park

TWRI-FUERER

Annaquatucket River

McBratney – Dartmouth

 

This short out and back orange blazed trail starting near utility pole number 394-71 along Smith Neck Road offers peeks at small ponds, streams, and wetlands. The narrow trail follows a small ridge before crossing a stream. The trail ends in a blueberry patch that would be in bloom in the summer months. At the time of this hike, being early morning, I came across several white tail deer and there was an abundance of birds chirping.

 

Trail maps can be found at: McBratney

TWRI-McBratney

Stream Crossing at McBratney