Posts Tagged ‘ Nature Walks ’

Knight Farm Trail – Cranston

 

One of the newest trails in Rhode Island, opened in June 2017, the Knight Farm Trail offers three different and distinctive types of walks in one. This hike offers a walk along old roads, narrow trails, and a walk around a farm. And what a hike it is! A tall canopy of trees and thickly wooded, but yet so close to the city. The trail starts on Laten Knight Road opposite Beechwood Drive. There is a small sign at the trail head. The white blazed trail first follows a old narrow dirt road for several hundred feet before the power lines. Here the road turns to the right. Continue straight onto the narrow white blazed trail. Being a new trail and not overly used yet, the trail is yet to be well defined. It is, however, very well blazed. Be sure to keep an eye on the blazes. Soon you will reach a sign for the one mile loop. Stay to the right here and continue to follow the white blazes. A short spur trail to the right will lead you to a seasonal tributary of the Lippett Brook. Continuing along the loop trail, you will soon notice some small boulders and stone walls. The trail then turns to the left into a field. Stay to the right here and follow the perimeter of the field about half way around it. The field is actively cultivated so be sure not to wander into the crops. About halfway around the field look for the post with a single white blaze. The trail renters the woods once again and soon widens to another old dirt road. There are a couple boardwalks in the wet areas along this stretch. Keep an eye on the upcoming turn. The white blazes lead you to the left back onto a very narrow trail that will complete the loop back at the “Loop Trail” sign. Here, turn right and retrace your steps back to the trail head. Some notes on the blazing. All the trails are blazed white and use a single blaze for long straight sections. Turns are marked by a double blaze or a sign. Be sure to note to next blaze at a turn to make sure you are heading the right direction.

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Sign In The Woods

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North Attleboro Fish Hatchery – North Attleborough

  • North Attleboro National Fish Hatchery
  • Bungay Road, North Attleborough, MA
  • Trailhead: 41°59’34.72″N, 71°17’2.27″W
  • Last Time Hiked: July 8, 2017
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.0 miles
  • Easy with some slight elevation.

 

The North Attleboro Fish Hatchery, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service facility, helps restore the native fish populations in New England. Opened in 1950, this facility has produced warm, cool, and cold water fish for re-population. Today, the facility is focusing on American Shad for local rivers such as the Charles and Pawtuxet. The facility has several buildings, a viewing pool, and perennial pollinator gardens. The back end of the property offers a nature trail that is just shy of one mile long and follows the shores of the Bungay River. The loop trail is marked with orange blazed trail markers that guides you along a path that weaves under a canopy of tall pines, beech and maple trees. The trail steadily climbs a hill for a bit before coming to a set of approximately 40 steps downhill. Soon the trail turns right crossing over a bridge over the Bungay River. This trail soon bends to the right and crosses over a dirt access road. Continuing straight the trail comes to a second set of stairs, this time approximately 30 uphill. The trail then continues slightly downhill to another bridge that crosses the river to the main entrance of the nature trail. At both bridges there are noteworthy features. The northern bridge crosses over a small area of rapids and the southern bridge crosses at a small dam and overflow. Along the trail there are a couple spots to view the Bungay River where it widens to a small pond. There are a few spur trails but for this hike follow the main loop trail that is marked. Wildlife is abundant here as frogs, salamanders, and turtles, as well as various birds such as blackbirds, woodpeckers, great blue heron, and mallards have been observed here. There are a handful of informative kiosks along trail. The facility is open Monday through Saturday from 8 AM to 4 PM except for holidays. The gate to the nature trail is locked at 3:45 PM.

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Bungay River

Pic-Wil Nature Preserve- Barrington

  • Pic-Wil (Picerelli-Wilson) Nature Preserve
  • Barrington, RI
  • Trailhead: Undisclosed
  • Last Time Hiked: June 25, 2017
  • Approximate distance hiked: 0.8 miles
  • Easy.

 

Mr. Ray Marr of the Barrington Land Conservation Trust and an avid lover of purple martins gave a public tour today of this property in Barrington. The Pic-Wil Nature Preserve, named after the former land owners Picerelli and Wilson, became a Barrington Land Conservation Trust property in 1987. The property was once the home to a bottling factory known as Deep Rock Water Company. Today, the property has three large meadows,  a small forest and a salt marsh on the upper reaches of Narragansett Bay. This property is a haven for birds. In fact it is known for its purple martins as they nest and resort here in the late spring and into the summer. The purple martin is a type of swallow, and here at Pic-Wil they reside in one of several gourd rack nests. At the time of this hike there were 53 nesting purple martins and over 100 in total. There are several bird boxes here as well as there is an attempt to attract the Eastern Bluebird. House wrens, hawks, and ospreys were also spotted here. The property has been home to deer, coyote, fox, weasels, squirrels, chipmunks, and rabbits as well. The small network of trails here lead you through the fields, the forest, and into the salt marsh. There is an active bee hive here on the property as part of a local pollination project. From the property you can see the Conimicut Lighthouse and across the bay to Warwick, North Kingstown, and Prudence Island. The property is not open to the public except when guided tours are offered. The tours are usually posted on their website or Facebook page. For more information contact the Barrington Land Conservation Trust.

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Summer Meadow (Note the gourd rack nest)

Eagle Scout Nature Trail – Plainville

  • Eagle Scout Nature Trail
  • Everett Skinner Road, Plainville, MA
  • Trailhead: 42° 1’30.60″N,71°19’43.37″W
  • Last Time Hiked: May 10, 2017
  • Approximate distance hiked: 0.7 miles
  • Fairly easy with slight elevation.

 

This short trail winds through a canopy of birch, maple, and pine trees. Starting from a parking area along Everett Skinner Road the loop trail begins to the left of the sign. The trail then follows the shore of Old Mill Brook a bit before turning inland and uphill. The trails are mostly covered in pine needles along most of the loop. Be sure to look for and follow the white arrows to complete the loop. There are other trails that spur off of the loop. There is also a “bridge to nowhere” here. It is an observation deck that hovers over a small pond to view wildlife and plants. The loop is short, but several miles can be added to this walk on adjacent properties.

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Bridge Crossing Old Mill Brook

Lantern Hill – North Stonington

  • Lantern Hill
  • Wintechog Hill Road, North Stonington, CT
  • Trailhead: 41°28’0.82″N, 71°56’44.18″W
  • Last Time Hiked: April 17, 2017
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.9 miles
  • Difficult to Strenuous With Some Climbing.

 

Lantern Hill is a must visit if you are in the southeastern corner of Connecticut. The hike described here climbs over Lantern Hill just southeast of the Foxwoods Casino complex and follows the Narragansett Trail. Starting from a makeshift parking area (with no signage) along Wintechog Hill Road the light blue blazed trail immediately begins to climb the hill following an old cartpath. After a couple hundred feet the trail levels off for a bit before coming to a red blazed Lantern Hill Loop Trail. Be sure to be aware of the blue blazes of the Narragansett Trail when you approach trail intersections. You will want to follow them and not the red blazes for this hike. The Narragansett Trail then starts to steadily climb the hill once again. The inclines are quite impressive at times. The trail first overlooks the Pequot Reservation to the north and west offering views of the casino and Lantern Hill Pond below. The trail then climbs over the summit to a stunning overlook with miles and miles of sights to the east and south. Clear days will offer a view of the Atlantic Ocean to the south. It is also interesting to see the hawks and vultures soaring through the sky sometimes below you. Use extreme caution along the edges here as a fall would surely be fatal. Also here on the first day of Spring the Westerly Morris Men climb the hill for their annual sunrise dance at the summit. The hill got its name from the War of 1812 as the hill was used as a lookout. When the British were spotted approaching, barrels of tar were ignited to warn nearby residents. After spending some time at the summit continue following the blue blazed trail as it winds, at times steeply, down the hill. There is one section, that we dubbed the Lemon Squeeze, that will challenge your footing, balance, and upper body strength. The trail then traverses the south side of the hill passing through groves of mountain laurel before coming out to the North Stonington Transfer Station. Again, be sure to pay attention to blazes and turns at intersections. After the Dog Pound the trail turns to the left through the transfer station and out to the road. At this point you have hiked 1.4 miles of the Narragansett Trail. The trail continues ahead, however it is closed (from Wintechog Hill Road to Route 2) at the moment because of logging. For this hike turn left and follow Wintechog Hill Road about a half mile back to the parking area.

 

Trail maps can be found at: Lantern Hill

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The View At The Top Of Lantern Hill.

Howland Reserve – Dartmouth

 

The hardest part of Howland Reserve is finding it. The trail starts slightly set back on the east side of North Hixville Road at the clearing for a gas pipeline easement. But once you find it, you are in for a treat. This property has a small network of trails blazed red, orange, and yellow. For this hike I made a loop using a little of each trail. The trails wind through a canopy of towering pines and there is a spot to take a quick peek at the Copicut River. It is suggested to wear orange at this property as it is close to a rod and gun club. In fact the sound of gunfire is common. I came across several birds and a few ducks on this property.

 

Trail maps can be found at: Howland Reserve

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Tall Pines Along The Trail

Knowles-Padanaram – Dartmouth

  • Knowles-Padanaram Reserve
  • Smith Neck Road, Dartmouth, MA
  • Trailhead: 41°35’3.48″N, 70°57’5.26″W
  • Last Time Hiked: March 20, 2017
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.0 miles
  • Easy.

 

Knowles-Padanaram is a small property that extends on each side of West Smith Neck Road. The nearly 1 mile of trails weaves through a mix of trees and shrubs and skirts a salt marsh. The property also has a trail that leads to Dike Meadow Creek and a small pond. There was an abundance of several small birds here as well as seagulls. The main entrance is closed due to bridge and causeway construction along Smith Neck Road and Gulf Road. The reserve can be accessed via West Smith Neck Road.

 

Trail maps can be found at: Knowles-Padanaram

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Salt Marsh at Knowles-Padanaram