Posts Tagged ‘ Nature Walks ’

Harbour Island – Narragansett

  • Harbour Island
  • Brush Hill Road, Narragansett, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°24’38.44″N, 71°29’39.72″W
  • Last Time Hiked: March 5, 2023
  • Approximate distance hiked: 0.7 miles
  • Easy with some elevation.

The out and back blue blazed “Main Trail” runs from Brush Hill Road to Beach Plum Road. Along the way you will pass a vernal pool and climb up and over a rather significant hill. At the top of the hill you will find a swing and also sweeping views of Long Cove. On the way back be sure to check out the two “Scenic Side Trails”, both blazed white. They offer more views of Long Cove. The entire hike in total is just under three quarters of a mile.

Trail map can be found at: Harbour Island

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The “Welcoming” Tree near the Brush Hill Entrance

Wheeler School – Seekonk

  • Wheeler School Farm Campus – Juniper Hill Loop
  • Woodward Avenue, Seekonk, MA
  • Trailhead:  41°51’7.12″N, 71°18’57.31″W
  • Last Time Hiked: February 12, 2023
  • Approximate distance hiked: 0.7 miles
  • Easy with slight elevation.

This lollipop loop hike is on the Wheeler School Farm Campus in Seekonk. The hike described here is short, but on the more secluded section of the property along the Runnins River. Starting from the trailhead on Woodward Avenue by utility pole 3245 (by the hydrant), you will first climb up a set of stone steps. The trail rises above the river to the left. To your right is a young grove of pines on what is called Juniper Hill. The trail soon splits. For this hike turn left and cross the river via a wooden bridge. Continue ahead keeping the pond and river to your right until you reach the next wooden bridge. There will be a few trails to the left that lead to the soccer fields, ignore them. After crossing the second bridge, stay to your right. The trail to the left leads to Prospect Street. Following the trail to the right will complete the loop around the pond. When you reach the next intersection, stay to the left. This will lead you back over Juniper Hill and to Woodward Avenue where you started the hike.

Trail map can be found at: Wheeler School

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Bridge Crossing The Runnins River

Crooked Brook – Narragansett

  • Crooked Brook/Kendal Green
  • South Pier Road, Narragansett, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°25’38.99″N, 71°28’18.18″W
  • Last Time Hiked: October 23, 2022
  • Approximate distance hiked: 3.0 miles
  • Easy.

This three mile out and back trail, recently marked with signs by the Narragansett Land Conservancy Trust, winds through the thick woods that surround Crooked Brook. Parking is available at the Narragansett Pier Middle School and the trail head is across the street. The first half of this hike traverses in a southerly direction between South Pier Road and Kinney Avenue under a canopy of tall trees while passing stone walls. The trail is blazed in a light green. The blue blazed Westmoreland Trail intersects about halfway through the first section. Just before the end of this first section you will come upon a long abandoned automobile. At Kinney Avenue turn left and follow the paved road a few feet to the trail head on the other side of the road. The remainder of the trail is a long straight section that seems to be an old cart path. You will cross Crooked Brook before coming to the granite fence post and the Kendal Green Stone. At the end of the trail turn left to check out the Historical Cemetery. This so called cemetery is one of the more interesting ones I have stumbled upon. There are eight pillars in a circular pattern surrounding a center stone. Records indicate that no one is actually buried here which brings into question its origins. You are now a mile and a half from the parking area. From here retrace your steps back.

Trail map can be found at: Crooked Brook

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Wide Path and Tall Trees

Pemmerl Town Trails – Rehoboth

  • Pemmerl Town Trails
  • Danforth Street, Rehoboth, MA
  • Trailhead:  41°51’28.02″N, 71°15’47.04″W
  • Last Time Hiked: October 21, 2022
  • Approximate distance hiked: 3.7 miles
  • Moderate with some elevation.

A recently developed parking area and a small handmade sign reading “Pemmerl Town Trails” is what I stumbled upon while doing some country road driving. What a great find!! The property is quite large and has a small network of trails at the southern end and a long meandering trail that reaches into the northern end and beyond. At the time of this hike the trails we marked with some occasional flagging indicating to me that there may be more improvements to come. Each intersection was well marked with homemade signs. I did stumble upon a map of the property artistically portrayed on one of the homemade signs. I explored the yellow “Cliff Walk Trail” with its wonderful ledges and outcrops, the high point of Counsel Rock, the orange “Winter View Trail” where in spots you have to get on your hands and knees to crawl and climb to reach the “LedgEdge”, and the green “Main Trail” which winds through the property to Perryville Pond. The blue “West Palmer River Trail” crosses private property, however there is a sign that seems to welcome visitors to use it. This is a beautiful trail that winds through areas of boulders, into low laying marsh, before coming to the banks of the river. At the pond there is a dam and waterfall. Be sure to use your GPS here as the trails are only marked at the intersections. And do respect private properties as there are unmarked trails that lead off the property.

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West Palmer River

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Map of Pemmerl Town Trails

Osamequin Farm – Seekonk

At the headwaters of the Runnins River lies the sprawling Osamequin Farm. Known for its farm stand, the operational farm offers trails that are (currently) only open to the public during special events. A visit during a tree identification hike brought a small group for a mile long stroll along just a portion of the farms woodland trails. Along with stone walls, open fields, small ponds and the river, the property is graced with sugar maples, red maples, red oaks, sweet birches, white pines, junipers, spruce, and blooming witch hazel.

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A Farm Road in Fall

Tucker Woods Preserve – Charlestown

  • Tucker Woods Preserve
  • Alton Carolina Road, Charlestown, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°27’2.07″N, 71°40’16.74″W
  • Last Time Hiked: June 18, 2022
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.2 miles
  • Fairly easy with slight elevation.

One of the newest trails opened to the public, Tucker Woods, once farmland, is now permanently protected by the Charlestown Conservation Commission. Starting from a new parking area along Alton Carolina Road follow the blue blazed trail into the property. The trail first passes by an open field with sporadic pitch pines before moving into the wooded area shaded by a canopy of oak. The trail widens to an old cart path. You will pass the yellow trail on the right. Continue ahead for now. The forest floor is covered in fern in some spots and there is a rather large hill on the left (future to top of hill is planned). You will pass the other end of the yellow trail, still continue ahead to the end of the blue trail. It splits and makes a loop. Continue ahead and uphill. The trail turns sharply to the right and follows a stone wall before turning again completing the loop. From here stay left and retrace your steps back to the yellow trail (now on your left). Turning onto the yellow trail, start looking for a spur on the left. This leads to a sitting area by a babbling brook with a small “waterfall”. The other side of the brook is part of the Carter Preserve. Making your way back to the yellow trail, turn left, and follow it to its end. The trail winds along the side of a hill for a bit before cutting its way back to the blue trail. At the blue trail turn left and retrace your steps back to the parking area. Trail map is at the kiosk and should be online in the future.

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Along The Yellow Trail

Winsor Park – Glocester

  • Byron H. Winsor Recreation Area
  • Winsor Park Road, Glocester, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°52’36.13″N, 71°36’15.29″W
  • Last Time Hiked: February 12, 2022
  • Approximate distance hiked: 0.3 miles
  • Easy.

Working on nearly ten years of this project of trying to hike every public trail in Rhode Island will lead to some of these type of “hikes”. Yes, indeed, there is a trail here on this small recreation complex known for its soccer field, playground, and basketball court. Take a venture into the woods and you will find a peaceful quarter mile trail that loops a small pond. It is quite relaxing!

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Bridge Along The Trail.

Woodward Forest – Norton

This is a nice property tucked away at the end of a cul-de-sac is on a peninsula flanked by the Wading River and the Three Mile River. The trails are blazed with multiple colors. For this hike we had done most of the red loop before moving north along the blue blazed trail making our way to the shores of the Wading River. From here we followed the river back and made our way back to the red trail before exiting the property. The property offers vernal pools and glacial erratic as well as views of the rivers. We did come across deer during our hike.

Trail Map: Woodward Forest.

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Deer Spotted at Woodward

Goat Hill Lock – Uxbridge/Northbridge

  • Goat Hill Lock
  • Hartford Avenue East, Uxbridge, MA
  • Trailhead:  42° 5’50.94″N, 71°37’25.35″W
  • Last Time Hiked: December 21, 2021
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.4 miles
  • Moderate, significant elevation.

Goat Hill itself can get the blood flowing as some of the trail is quite steep. The trail that runs along the bottom of the hill along the river is much easier and fairly level. For this hike, I did a loop that included climbing up and over the hill making for a moderate hike. From a small parking area along the side and across the busy road, make your way across a large open lawn to the kiosk. Beyond the kiosk and a couple hundred feet into the woods look to turn left and start the climb up the hill. The trail is blazed blue and the ascent is steady. In the winter months you will have a view of the Blackstone River to the right. On the left you will start to notice boulders up upon the hill. Soon you will see an unmarked trail to the left. Ignore it and continue ahead following the blue blazed trail. The trail plateaus briefly. There are scattered boulders throughout this area. The trail the continues uphill and becomes increasingly steeper. There are a few more spur trails in this area. Some have signs such as “PK&C”, “Bone Spur”, and “Greenway”. There appears to be a significant trail system upon the hill, but they are not shown on the trail map. Explore at your own risk. For this hike continue to follow the blue blazes. The trail crests over the top of the hill and starts a steady descent flanked by an impressive stone wall on the left. Take your time a watch your footing here as the descent can be a bit difficult. At the bottom of the hill turn right and follow the blue blazes to the next intersection. Along this stretch is a seasonal babbling brook on the left for a bit. At the next intersection turn left and down a short but steep section of trail then continue ahead to a small wooden bridge. This is the Goat Hill Lock. It once was part of the 1828 Blackstone Canal. This is a good spot for a break. From here return to the last intersection and turn left. The trail is blazed blue, fairly level, and follows the foot of the hill back to the kiosk at the entrance. Along the way you will have views of the river on the left as well as Rice City Pond. To the right there will be areas of bull briar, a haven for songbirds, and a rather significant boulder. You should wear orange here as hunting is allowed.

Trail Map: Goat Hill Lock.

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Bridge at The Lock

Shaw Farm – Sutton

Shaw Farm has several fields at its northern end but the trails are in the central and southern wooded parts of the property. From the parking area stay left of the shed. Shortly ahead is another structure. Stay to the left of that building as well and then follow the edge of a large field keeping the tree line to the right. head is an opening in the tree line. Continue through the opening into another field. Again keep the tree line to the right passing the Center Trail to the right. Ahead, turn right onto the Challenge Trail. It enters the woods and descends quickly into a valley. Ahead is a stream crossing by a stone wall. This can be a bit challenging but manageable. The trail veers uphill and to the left a bit before coming to the Fallen Oak Trail. Stay left here and continue the long steady climb to the southern end of the property. You will pass through a ravine and cross a couple streams along the way. Turn left onto the Shaw Trail next. It will take you to the highest points of the property as it skirts Central Turnpike. Next turn left onto the Center Trail for a moment then turn right onto the Hunter Trail. The trail is a little narrower but is fairly level. Next turn right onto the Laurel Trail. The aptly named trail winds through a small grove of mountain laurel before coming out to a field. Turn right then left passing through the center of the field. Ahead the trail re-enters the woods. The trail to the left follows the edge of a pond then veers left to come to the backside of the barn. Passing the barn to the right brings you back to the parking area. This hike follows a perimeter route.

Trail Map: Shaw Farm.

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Stream and Stone Wall