Posts Tagged ‘ Nature Walks ’

Grass Pond East – Richmond

  • Grass Pond East
  • Ellen Brady Drive, Richmond, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°29’18.02″N, 71°38’9.94″W
  • Last Time Hiked: August 19, 2018
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.1 miles
  • Moderate due to hill.

 

In 2014, I had ventured into the Nature Conservancy’s Grass Pond property and followed the yellow blazed trail. Since then, the D.E.M. portion of the property has been blazed with a blue loop trail. This blue loop trail is accessible from the cul-de-sac at the end of Ellen Brady Drive. After passing the trail-head sign stay to the right and follow the blue blaze trail as it bends slightly to the left passing a couple stone walls. Ahead is an intersection with blue blazes both to the left and ahead. Continue ahead here, the trail turns to the left once again (passing a “Beware of Dog” sign) and then turns to the right starting a long steady uphill climb to the top of Wilbur Hill. The trail is flanked by stone walls most of the way. After passing over the crest of the hill is another intersection. The trail ahead continues onto the Nature Conservancy portion of Grass Pond. Turn left here and continue to follow the blue blazes. The trail winds through a forest covered in ferns, pass tall shrubs, over a boardwalk before coming to a long section of downward trail to finish the loop of over just a mile.

 

Map can be found at: Grass Pond East

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Along the Blue Blazed Trail Climbing Wilbur Hill

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World War II Memorial Trail – Mansfield

  • World War II Memorial Trail – Nature Trail
  • Fruit Street, Mansfield, MA
  • Trailhead:  42° 0’22.08″N, 71°11’49.04″W
  • Last Time Hiked: August 13, 2018
  • Approximate distance hiked: 3.9 miles
  • Easy.

 

Two walks in one, literally. The World War II Memorial Trail follows a 1.6 mile stretch of the former Old Colony Railroad. The trail is a paved bike path that follows a straight section of former railroad from the Mansfield Airport along Fruit Street to the outer edges of downtown Mansfield at East Street. The trail is tree lined running through residential neighborhoods. At the midway point and west side of the bike path is the World War II Memorial Nature Trail. There is just about a mile of trails that meander through the woods here. The red blazed trail follows the perimeter of the property. The entire bike path out and back and the perimeter trail is just under 4 miles. Public parking is easier at Fruit Street.

 

Map can be found at: World War II Memorial Nature Trail

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The Bike Path in Mansfield

Pine Hill Point – Portsmouth

  • Pine Hill Point
  • Neck Farm Road, Portsmouth, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°38’11.54″N, 71°20’18.77″W (2.5 miles from ferry)
  • Last Time Hiked: July 30, 2018
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.4 miles
  • Fairly easy.

 

This is a beautiful network of grass mowed fields that lead you to the bay. Starting from a small parking area along Neck Farm Road you will follow the Pine Hill Trail south for about a tenth of a mile. Turn right at the first intersection and follow the trail slightly uphill. The trail here is flanked by trees and overgrown fields full of wildflowers and buzzing insects. The trail soon turns to the left passing through a fairly large meadow. At the next intersection continue straight and you will soon be turning to the left again onto a trail aptly named Seaside Way. You will catch glimpses of the bay through the trees here. When you reach the Pine Hill Trail continue straight and the trail will lead you downhill to Jenny’s Pond on the left and the beach on the right. From the beach you have views of the Jamestown Bridge and the Newport Bridge as well as Quonset. In Jenny’s Pond you are likely to see seabirds including egrets. From here retrace your steps to the Pine Hill Trail, turn right and follow it back to the parking area.

 

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. There are no public restrooms on the island except a composting toilet by the T-Wharf at the southern end of the island, which is several miles from most hikes. Once you are off the ferry you are on your own. Bring everything you will need for a day hike with no services. Furthermore, ticks are in abundance on the island. It is necessary to take precautions including proper clothing, sprays, and frequent checks.

 

 

Trail map can be found at: Pine Hill Point.

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Trail at Pine Hill Point

Desert Trail – Portsmouth

  • Desert Trail
  • Narragansett Avenue, Portsmouth, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°37’29.07″N, 71°19’6.76″W (1 mile from ferry)
  • Last Time Hiked: July 28, 2018
  • Approximate distance hiked: 0.9 miles
  • Fairly easy with some elevation.

 

One of the newest trails cut by the Prudence Conservancy climbs uphill from Narragansett Avenue into an area once known as the Desert. This one mile area, previously used for farming, lost its topsoil over the years from erosion. Now the Desert offers pitch pine and scrub oak trees among the stone walls of the old farm. The trail is just under a half mile in length and ends at the Deer Chase Run. The trail is blazed with cactus signs.

 

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. There are no public restrooms on the island except a composting toilet by the T-Wharf at the southern end of the island, which is several miles from most hikes. Once you are off the ferry you are on your own. Bring everything you will need for a day hike with no services. Furthermore, ticks are in abundance on the island. It is necessary to take precautions including proper clothing, sprays, and frequent checks.

 

 

Trail map not on-line yet. Can be purchased at the NBNERR Lab and Learning Center at South Prudence.

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Stone Wall Along The Desert Trail

Prudence North – Portsmouth

  • Prudence North
  • Neck Farm Road, Portsmouth, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°38’30.76″N, 71°20’44.46″W (3 miles from ferry)
  • Last Time Hiked: July 28, 2018
  • Approximate distance hiked: 4.2 miles
  • Fairly easy.

 

Just north from the famed abandoned Garland Mansion is the trail head to the Providence Point Trail. There is a small area on the right just before the gate to park a vehicle. The trail and subsequent beach walk to Providence Point, the northern most point on the island is just a little over two miles long. If you were to also add the side trails to this hike the mileage in total would increase to about six miles. The land here at the northern end of the island is part of the Narragansett Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. Starting from the gate and heading north you will immediately find yourself on an old road that is covered with grass in most areas. The road is mowed often enough, but stay out of the areas of taller grass. Birds and berries are abundant here, especially the familiar call of the catbird. Black raspberry, wine berry, and bayberry are all along this 2 mile stretch. At the first intersection there are signs for Long Point Trail and Schoolhouse Trail. Long Point trail to the left would lead you at to the peninsula between Coogeshall Cove and Sheep Pen Cove. The Schoolhouse Trail to the right would lead you to Potters Cove. For this hike continue straight. On the right in the dense shrubs are the remains of an old schoolhouse. Soon you will see Coogeshall Cove on the left and its large marsh. Keep an eye out for egrets here. Beyond the cove you will catch a glimpse of Patience Island. Beyond the cove there are some unmarked trails that intersect the main trail, continue ahead and the trail starts to climb uphill before coming to the next intersection with signs. On the left is the Postal Ferry Trail that would lead you to the narrow channel between Prudence and Patience Islands. On the right is the Bear Point Trail that leads you to the East Passage just north of Bear Point. The intersection is the site of the North End Farm, long abandoned. All that remains are several cellar holes with an occasional interpretive sign. There was a barn, a house, and several other smaller buildings here, and the area with a lack of trees was the farm. Again be aware of the tall grass here. Continuing ahead along the Providence Point Trail you will pass some more shrubs and trees such as honeysuckle and crabapples. You will also pass a large stone wall on the right. At the end of the trail a narrow path leads you to the seashell beach strewed with sea lavender. Staying to your left will lead you to the point. From this perspective you can see the Warwick Neck Light, the Aldrich Mansion, Rocky Point, Conimicut Light, Colt State Park, and the Providence skyline eleven miles away. From here turn around and retrace your steps back to the parking area. To add extra mileage to the hike explore to side trails. This area tends to be very buggy particularly in the summer. It is advised to wear mosquito netting for this hike. Also ticks are very prevalent in this area. Be sure to check for them quite thoroughly, stay on the trails and out of the tall grass.

 

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. There are no public restrooms on the island except a composting toilet by the T-Wharf at the southern end of the island, which is several miles from most hikes. Once you are off the ferry you are on your own. Bring everything you will need for a day hike with no services. Furthermore, ticks are in abundance on the island. It is necessary to take precautions including proper clothing, sprays, and frequent checks.

 

 

Map can be found at: Prudence North

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The Beach to Providence Point

Brown House Glen Farm Trail – Portsmouth

  • Brown House Glen Farm Trail
  • Linden Lane, Portsmouth, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°33’17.53″N, 71°15’3.56″W
  • Last Time Hiked: July 12, 2018
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.7 miles
  • Fairly easy, some small hills.

 

At the extreme northerly end of the Sakonnet Greenway on Linden Lane there are two kiosks. One is for the Greenway itself and the other is for the lesser known Brown House Glen Farm Trail. The route follows mostly roads and tree lines and is not overly defined. There are some trail markers, but they are far between. The walk itself covers some quite beautiful and historical property. Starting from the parking area directly across from the northerly terminus of the Greenway, walk east down the paved and aptly named Linden Lane. The narrow paved road is flanked by stone walls under a canopy of linden trees. To the right are the fields of the Newport Polo Grounds. At the intersection, continue straight passing an old house, known as the Red Cross House, on the left. The house was occupied by the farm superintendent and during World War II volunteers rolled bandages here. Continuing straight the road is now dirt, crosses a small brook, and bends to the right before coming to Glen Farm Road. Turn left here and follow the paved road to its end, passing a few residences along the way. Turn right onto Glen Road and almost immediately on the right is the path to the wooden footbridge. After crossing the bridge stay to your right and follow the tree line keeping the recreation areas to your left. Soon you will came to some old farm structures. Stay to the right here then continue to follow the tree line southerly, then easterly, before turning northerly making your way around a hilly field with a sheep shed in the middle. Soon you will come the kiosk at the far end of the trail. From here, turn left and follow the tree line (and power lines) up the hill back to the farm structures. From here continue straight retracing your steps back to the footbridge and Glen Farm Road. On the way back turn right at utility pole 11 and follow the dirt road into the barn area of the farm. This area is still active so use caution while exploring the area. Some of the buildings (not in use) are literally crumbling here and others are used for horses. The stone barns date back to the early 1900’s. The road then turns to the left passing an indoor rink to the left before coming to the Red Cross House once again. Turn right here and follow Linden Lane back to the parking area.

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Glen Farm

Freetown North – Freetown

  • Freetown North – Freetown/Fall River State Forest
  • Slab Bridge Road, Freetown, MA
  • Trailhead:  41°46’40.01″N, 71° 2’29.59″W
  • Last Time Hiked: June 30, 2018
  • Approximate distance hiked: 4.5 miles
  • Fairly easy.

 

Three and a half years ago I ventured into the southern part of the Freetown State Forest to do a hike. It was a cold and icy day in mid December of 2014. I finally made my way back to explore some of the trails in the northern part of the forest. This hike, early in the morning to beat the heat, made for a very sweaty adventure on a very warm and humid morning. Starting from the main parking area off of Slab Bridge Road we made our way up the entrance road back to the fire barn and then turned left onto the dirt trail named Payne Road. We followed this road passing a CCC watering hole on the right. Shortly after the watering hole and again on the right we came upon a blue blaze on a trail marker. We turned right here and followed the narrow and winding Massasoit Trail. This trail is rocky and rooted in areas and crosses a small stream. We followed the trail to its end then turned left on to Hathaway Road. There are several side trails off the main roads here but the remainder of the hike is on old forest roads. At the next major intersection of forest roads we continued straight staying on Hathaway Road passing two more watering holes. We also observed along this stretch mosquito traps that are used to test the pests for West Nile Virus and EEE. At the next major intersection we turned right onto Makepeace Road and followed it past the intersecting orange trail before going over a slight hill. Just over that hill we turned left onto the Bent Rim Trail which is marked with a sign. For the remainder of this hike we continued straight ahead followed the Bent Rim Trail as it winded through the forest ignoring all side paths and roads until we reached a trail on the left just before the gate at Slab Bridge Road. This trail leads you back to the parking area.

 

Map can be found at: Freetown North

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Old Forest Roads

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