Posts Tagged ‘ Ponds ’

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

Sawmill Park Pond – Ledyard

This beautiful roadside attraction offers a short walk under a half mile long around a picturesque pond. The property has a historical sawmill, a dam and waterfall, and a bridge at each end of the pond to complete the loop. Though a short walk, you could spend a bit of time here taking photographs of yesteryear.

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Sawmill and Bridge

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

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.

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

Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center – Stonington

  • Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center
  • Pequotsepos Road, Stonington, CT
  • Trailhead:  41°21’46.34″N, 71°56’47.63″W
  • Last Time Hiked: October 8, 2021
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.8 miles
  • Fairly easy with some elevation.

The Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center offers several miles of trails. For this hike, start at the backside of the Nature Center. First make a loop around the duck pond. From there follow the boardwalk to the red blazed trail. The boardwalk turns to the right and becomes part of the red blazed trail. It crosses over a small stream before bending to the right and coming out to a field. Stay to the left here and continue ahead. The trail will soon turn left back into the forest. From here follow the red blazes as the trail loops around the southern end of the property passing several impressive boulders along the way and crossing the stream once again. Ahead on the right is the white blazed Ledge Trail. This trail winds through the dense forest first up and along a ridge before meandering down to Hidden Pond. The trail turns to the left before the power lines and descends downhill eventually coming out to the back of the Pre-School. From here make your way around the school to the parking area.

Trail Map: Denison Pequotsepos

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Boardwalk Along Red Trail

Booth Pond – North Smithfield/Woonsocket

  • Booth Pond Conservation Area
  • Dowling Village Boulevard, North Smithfield, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°58’44.15″N, 71°30’21.44″W
  • Last Time Hiked: July 10, 2021
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.8 miles
  • Fairly easy, some significant elevation.

A hidden gem behind a bustling shopping area preserved from further development. Starting by a kiosk at the Dowling Village Apartments follow the access trail through a power line easement and into the woods. For this hike we turned left at the first intersection onto the Booth Pond Trail and followed it to the southern shore of the pond. Here you will find evidence of beaver activity and their handy work of tree trimming. Continuing along the trail we then turned left at the next major intersection onto the Border Trail. This trail straddles the town line with Woonsocket. The trail bears to the right when it reaches the pond again. From here we continued pass the “Seasonal Passage”. This area is quite unique as the trail dips substantially below the water level of the pond. A wall of logs and branches of a beaver dam holds the pond back. There is a rocky outcrop just after the dip that looks over the northern end of the pond. This is a good spot to take in the views. From here we continued ahead to a multiple trail intersection. Here we turned to the right onto the Pitch Pine Trail. This trail looks as if was an old cart path as it climbs steadily uphill most of its length. We ignored the trails to the left and then on the right on the way up the hill until we found the trail that turns to the right and goes through the Pitch Pine Grove. At the end of that trail we then turned right onto the Border Trail for a bit and then left onto the Vista Trail back into North Smithfield. We soon passed a trail to the right that we would later exit on. soon we turned left onto a trail to the left that continued to climb uphill a bit until it reached the power lines. We turned right here and followed the trail to the overlook. From the overlook we followed the Vista Trail north and then turned left (trail we passed earlier) and scaled downhill passing some impressive ledges. We then turned left onto the Booth Pond Trail and retraced our steps back to the entrance. There are no blazed trails here (yet) however maps are available at the kiosk. There are many more trails here to explore if you are looking to look around a little further.

Map can be found at: Booth Pond

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Visitor to Booth Pond

Childrens Grove – Bristol

A small wooded parcel along the side of the road offers a short quarter mile crescent shaped trail with a short spur onto an island at the back side of the small pond. The front of the property offers benches to sit by the pond. Though very small, the property is quite plentiful of small critters like chipmunks and squirrels.

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Small Pond at Childrens Grove

Fenway Trail – North Stonington/Griswold/Preston

  • Fenway Trail – Tri Town Ridgeline Preserve
  • Miller Road, North Stonington, CT
  • Trailhead:  41°30’46.07″N, 71°54’15.37″W
  • Last Time Hiked: May 22, 2021
  • Approximate distance hiked: 3.2 miles
  • Moderate.

This would be the second of three planned hikes here at the Tri Town Ridgeline Preserve. This hike would follow the yellow interior loop known as the Fenway Trail. Starting from the parking area at the bend of Miller Road, follow the red blazed trail into the preserve. The red trail, known as the Axis Road, cuts the property in two offering an easier connection to the two loops or an easier exit if need be. Soon the blue blazed Wapayu Trail comes in from the left. Continue straight ahead following the now red and blue blazes. At the next intersection the blue trails turns to the right. To the left is the yellow loop where you will exit from. Continue ahead here following now the red and yellow blazes. You will be under a canopy of beech trees along this stretch. You will pass a stone wall before coming to the split where the red stays to the left. Veer right here onto the yellow trail. The trail now follows an old cart path. You will get your first glimpses of ridges here and will notice the forest floor is covered with ferns.  The blue blazes rejoin the yellow trail for the first of three times. For this hike you will follow the yellow blazes. You are now leaving North Stonington and entering Griswold. The trail narrows a bit passing some stonework before dipping down into a small valley, crosses a brook, climbs up the first of the hills, before coming to a series of boardwalks. The trail here is rocky and root bound. Watch your step! The yellow trail splits from the blue again briefly as it weaves through an area of beautiful stone walls. Rejoining the blue trail, you will scramble up and over a hill through an area called Oak Alley. There are some rather large trees along the trail and some information about the Pequots. The yellow trail then turns to the left and zigzags down hill and rejoins the blue trail for the last time at the next right. The trail now follows an earthen dam for a bit before winding uphill passing an area of cairns, possibly of Native American origin, before coming to a sitting area. This is a good spot for a break as you are quite a distance from civilization. It tends to be quiet here. Continuing the trail winds downhill crossing over a brook. There is a spur trail to the left for a view of Lost Pond. The trail splits. Follow the yellow to the left. From here it follows a ridge and weaves through a fern covered forest. In this area you will cross into Preston, the third town of the Tri-Town Preserve. Next you cross a “log bridge” before coming to the intersection of the red trail. From here continue ahead and slightly to the right to continue to follow the yellow blazes. This will be the hardest part of this hike. That hill in front of you… you about to climb! You will spend sometime climbing to the top as the trail bends to the south and follows the ridgeline. I saw quite a few deer along this stretch. Near the top of the hill along the trail there is a boulder with a “spike” in it with the inscription “P & G”. Just after this point you will climb over the crest of the hill and start the long steady descent back into North Stonington. Near the end of the yellow trail it climbs slightly uphill one last time. At the next intersection turn right and follow the red blazes back to the parking area.

Map can be found at: Fenway Trail

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Fenway Trail Following A Ridgeline