Posts Tagged ‘ Overlooks ’

Moraine Preserve – Charlestown

  • Moraine Preserve
  • Kings Factory Road, Charlestown, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°23’8.76″N, 71°39’58.90″W
  • Last Time Hiked: December 3, 2016
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.9 miles
  • Moderate with some elevation.

 

A fellow hiker stumbled upon this aptly named preserve and today we decided to check it out. A moraine is defined as “a mass of rocks and sediment carried down and deposited by a glacier, typically as ridges at its edges or extremity”. During the last ice age, much of this area was defined by the glaciers. This preserves features resembles that of the Champlin Glacier Park and Duval Farm. And what a property it is!! There is a short loop trail (approximately 3/4 of a mile) in the front half of the property that is blazed blue. It winds, twists, and turns over small but steep ridges and the trails are flanked by groves of mountain laurel. At the time of this hike we stumbled upon the construction of the back loop. Technically open, the trail is in fact under construction and the features are the same of the loop trail up front. The trail is mark only by flagging at this time but will be blazed blue as well. Footing is a little rough so watch your step. There are some quite impressive views of Block Island through the trees atop the ridge that overlooks Route 1. A return visit in the spring will be necessary to see the new trail in its completed state.

 

Trail maps can be found at: Moraine Preserve

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Uphill Through Mountain Laurel

DuVal Farm – South Kingstown

  • DuVal Farm/Susannah’s Woods
  • Post Road, South Kingstown, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°24’1.81″N, 71°35’5.67″W
  • Last Time Hiked: August 28, 2016
  • Approximate distance hiked: 3.9 miles
  • Moderate with some elevation.

 

Duval Farm, also known as Susannah’s Woods, is a South Kingstown Land Trust property that offers quite a bit. There are four separate trails here that wander through the woods, over hills, and by a pond. This property has an abundance of both mountain laurel and wild blueberries. Hiking in June for the mountain laurel or July for the blueberries are highly recommended. There is also a scenic overlook on the property and on clear days you can see Block Island. The view, somewhat boxed in by trees in the summer would be more impressive when the leaves are off the trees. There is a parking area in front of the cemetery along Post Road for a few automobiles. From here head west a few feet west along Post Road (following the blue blazes) to the trail head. The trail then heads into the woods passing a kiosk with the trail map. For this hike follow the blue blazed trail briefly to the first intersection. Turn left onto the red blazed trail (Polly’s Rock Loop). You will soon be along a ridge of a hill that is covered with low lying wild blueberry shrubs. The amount of them looks like waves along the slopes of the hills. You will also catch your first glimpse of the mountain laurel among the forest of oaks and pines. At the next intersection turn left onto the green blazed trail (Jones Camp Trail). The trail passes stone walls and areas of ferns. There are also some low lying wires to watch for. The trail will lead you west and eventually to Bull Head Pond. Near the end of the trail there is a small loop and you can see the pond through the trees. After the loop retrace your steps back to the red trail. Here turn left and follow the red blazes to the intersection of the yellow trail. Along the way there is a grove of mountain laurel that would look spectacular in bloom. The trail then climbs a rather significant hill before coming to a trail on the left. It is a short crossover trail that will shave a bit off your distance. For this hike continue straight following the red blazes passing the other end of the crossover trail. Soon you will reach the yellow trail (Lyn’s Loop) where you will turn left. The yellow trail heads north almost to Gravelly Hill Road before looping back south to a four way intersection with the blue blazed trail (DuVal Trail). Turn left here onto the Duval Trail and follow it to Gravelly Hill Road. Turn right onto the road and look for the blue blazed trail on the left just after a driveway. The trail then quickly climbs a hill, turns right (at the intersecton), and follows a ridge above the road. The blazes become far an few between along this stretch. Soon the trail widens at a rocky and sandy area. This is the overlook where on clear days you can see the ocean and Block Island off in the distance. The Duval Trail continues for nearly 2 more miles (4 miles out and back) to Red House Road up and over several hills. If you would like a hike of up to eight miles feel free to hike to the end of the trail. For this hike retrace your steps along the blue blazed trail back to the four way intersection. Here you will turn left onto an unmarked trail (non-system trail) that quickly descends downhill. The trail splits, stay to the right and follow it to the back side of the cemetery. The other trail loops around and eventually rejoins the unmarked trail. The trail then passes through the cemetery. There are graves from the early 1800’s here and at the front end of the parcel is the site of a meeting house that was built in 1750. After passing through the cemetery the trail winds downhill to the parking area.

 

Trail maps can be found at: Duval Farm

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Pine Needle Covered Trail

Mount Misery – Voluntown

  • Mount Misery – Pachaug State Forest
  • Cutoff Road, Voluntown, CT
  • Trailhead: 41°35’36.73″N, 71°52’3.15″W
  • Last Time Hiked: July 9, 2016
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.8 miles
  • Moderate.

This out and back hike, short in mileage, traverses over two hills in the Pachaug State Forest. At the top of the second hill, the 441 foot Mount Misery, is a rather impressive overlook. Starting from a parking area near the entrance of the Rhododendron Sanctuary, first follow the light blue blazes of the Nehantic Trail along Cutoff Road west towards the open gate. After passing the gate you will see a “Smokey the Bear” sign on the left. The blue blazed trail enters the forest here. The trail first meanders through an area of young pines covering the forest floor. Above are the older, towering pines. The trail then begins it climb up the first hill. After cresting the first hill the trail descends into a small valley where a boardwalk crosses a seasonal stream. Shortly after the boardwalks the trail climbs Mount Misery. At the top of the hill to the left is the overlook. This overlook looks east over the forest towards Rhode Island. Along the trail at the top of the hill you will also find a benchmark disk. The Nehantic Trail continues ahead a short distance to another parking area. After enjoying the view retrace your steps back to the parking area. Visiting the Rhododendron Sanctuary also adds an additional half mile to this hike.

 

Trail maps can be found at: Mount Misery

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View From Mount Misery.

Mohegan Bluffs – New Shoreham

 

A short, but grueling one mile walk to one of the most picturesque locations on the eastern seaboard. The bluffs here are where the glaciers ended craving out these 180 foot drops to the beach below. A top the bluffs is the historic Southeast Light built in 1873. The bluffs got there name from a 16th century Native American battle in which a tribe of Manisseans (locals) drove an invading force of 40 Mohegans over the bluffs to their deaths. This is not an easy trek. Starting from the parking area at Payne Overlook, I followed the short path that leads to the stairs. I then followed the approximately 150 stairs down to a viewing platform about 3/4 of the way down the bluffs. From here I scaled down the steep incline to the beach. From this vantage point the bluffs are amazingly massive. I walked the beach in each direction for a bit before returning back up the base of the bluff and stairs. From here I walked back to the parking area and out to the road. Turning right I followed the road several hundred feet to the entrance of the lighthouse grounds. I wandered around the grounds briefly, taking several photos of the historic light, before returning back to the car parked back at Payne Overlook. Though a short walk/hike, it is without a doubt a must see.

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Mohegan Bluffs, showing the Payne Overlook Stairs and the Southeast Light. (Note the people on the beach for perspective)

Knuckup Hill – Wrentham

  • Knuckup Hill/Trout Pond
  • Taunton Street, Wrentham, MA
  • Trailhead: 42° 3’12.86″N, 71°19’45.24″W
  • Last Time Hiked: December 30, 2015
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.2 miles
  • Moderate due to hill.

These two hikes together as one will give you a nice little stroll just over a mile. First is Knuckup Hill, an old ski hill abandoned in the 1980’s. Starting from the Building Inspectors office building off of Taunton Street you first follow the fire road to the right of the building up the hill. The road winds up the hill and can be steep at times (especially during icy conditions). Soon you will see the remains of a ski lift tower on the right. Take the narrow path here and follow it to the overlook. On a clear day you will get a nice view of the Boston skyline. There are a few other trails that traverse over the top of the hill. Explore them! You will find the remains of a fireplace that once was part of the ski lodge. There is also a rather large boulder of note and two water towers. After exploring the hill, retrace your steps back to the Building Inspectors Office. Next is Trout Pond. To the left of the building is another fire road that leads down to the pond. There is a short loop trail that wraps around the pond. You may notice the white blazes of the Warner Trail here. For more information please see the book Easy Walks in Massachusetts.

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Trout Pond in Winter

Champlin Glacier Park – Westerly

  • Dr. John Champlin Glacier Park
  • Newbury Drive, Westerly, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°20’35.79″N, 71°48’22.56″W
  • Last Time Hiked: December 21, 2015
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.5 miles
  • Moderate.

 

 

Champlin Glacier Park offers several trails that climb up and over hills that flank a valley. Starting the hike from the northern parking lot on Newbury Drive we followed the white blazed trail to the informational kiosk. Here is a trail intersection. We turned left following the green trail uphill. We passed several stone walls before coming to the blue trail intersection. Here we continued straight (slightly left) and followed the blue trail to Charlies Overlook. From here you can see the Atlantic Ocean over both Winnapaug Pond and Misquamicut. After a brief break we continued along the blue blazed trail passing a pond. Shortly thereafter we turned left onto the white blazed trail passing another pond. At the next intersection we turned onto the orange trail (the one to the right) and it led us along a narrow ridge overlooking a valley below. The trail ended at the kiosk. We then retraced our steps to the parking lot.

 

 

Trail map can be found at: Champlin Glacier Park.

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Sunrise at Charlies Overlook.