Posts Tagged ‘ Nature Walk ’

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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Westville Conservation Area – Taunton

  • Westville Conservation Area
  • North Walker Street, Taunton, MA
  • Trailhead:  41°53’16.95″N, 71° 8’7.67″W
  • Last Time Hiked: April 2, 2018
  • Approximate distance hiked: 0.8 miles
  • Fairly easy.

 

This small and quaint Taunton Conservation Commission property offers a short stroll to the Three Mile River. The property is just west of the bustling city center and offers a variety of features including open grass fields, woodlands, and wetlands. The trails are not blazed but there is a very informative kiosk at the parking area. The property is a haven for small birds. It is advisable to wear long pants as some of the trails pass through bull-briar.

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Field in Westville

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Along The Orange Blazed Trail

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