Posts Tagged ‘ Ponds ’

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

Curtis Corner – South Kingstown

  • Curtis Corner – South Kingstown Athletic Fields
  • Curtis Corner Road, South Kingstown, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°27’45.50″N, 71°31’21.57″W
  • Last Time Hiked: May 8, 2021
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.1 miles
  • Easy with some slight elevation.

Curtis Corner offers a short walk and short hike behind the Middle School. But beware of the flying saucers!! There is a disc golf course here that is quite active. For the first part of the walk, make your way to the walking path that goes by the building by the parking lot. Follow this a bit and turn right keeping the soccer fields and stone wall to your right. The walking path wraps around the field passing another path to the left. Keep right here. The path soon enters the woods and ends at the roadway. Turn right and cross the road. You will soon see a trail head on the left. Follow the well defined trail around the small pond. The trail winds through the disc golf course. At the east end of the pond is a sitting bench with a great view. You are likely to see turtles here. Retrace your steps back to the road, turn left and the parking area is just across the street.

Map can be found at: Curtis Corner

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Stream Crossing

Allens Pond West – Dartmouth

  • Allens Pond West
  • Horseneck Road, Dartmouth, MA
  • Trailhead:  41°30’24.53″N, 71° 1’25.18″W
  • Last Time Hiked: May 1, 2021
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.6 miles
  • Fairly easy trails with rocky beach walk.

                                                                            

Allens Pond is a Masachusetts Audubon property along Buzzards Bay. The property offers 6 to 7 miles of trails. It is a diverse and beautiful property offering several types of features from beaches to fields to woodlands. With that being said, I have decided to break the property into three separate hikes to maximize visiting all of the trails without having an overwhelming hike distance. This hike, the third, covers the western portion of the property. Starting from the Field Station parking area stay to the left and follow the grass mowed trail towards an opening in a stone wall. The trail crosses through another grass field before coming to a dirt road. Turn left here and almost immediately you will be turning right passing an open gate. You are now on the Quansett Trail. You start getting your first glimpses of Allens Pond on the right. Ahead you will cross a stone wall. Here a rather extensive boardwalk begins. The first highlight is a viewing area to the right. The second, just after the bend is a bridge that crosses over a marshy area. The trail, back on land now, traverses through thickets, pass boulders and more stone walls before coming to a stretch of “stepping stones”. At the next intersection there is a distinctive boulder. Stay to the left here and continue following the Quansett Trail. You will cross a small brook before coming to the Tree Top Trail. Again bear to the left and continue on he Quansett Trail. You will come upon more boulders and a “stretch of green” featuring skunk cabbage and fiddleheads in early spring. For this hike, turn right at the next intersection onto the Fresh Pond Trail. (The Quansett Trail continues ahead here into the central part of the property.) Along the trail to the left is a spur to Poison Ivy Rock. There is a nice view of the cove here and a good spot to take a break. I did not see any poison ivy! Continuing along the Fresh Pond Trail you will soon come to the trails namesake on the right. Look for nesting swans and geese here along with several other birds. The trail then turns to the right passing a sitting area before coming to the “stone bridge”. Here you will get another glimpse of Fresh Pond to the right. After crossing the bridge the trail ends in a bit completing a loop. Turn left back onto the Quansett Trail, passing the stepping stones, boardwalks, and to the dirt road. Turn left onto the dirt road and follow it about a tenth of a mile to an area with sweeping views of Allens Pond. Look for osprey atop the pole, herons, and egrets. There will be a information kiosk on the right with a sandy path. Follow this path to the rocky beach. At the beach you will see the Elizabeth Islands in the distance. On a clear day you may be able to make out the Gosnald Tower near the end of Cuttyhunk, the island to the right. Turn right onto the beach and follow it to the large outcrop. The trail then climbs over the outcrop coming back down the other side to another rocky beach. After the zigzagged stone walls to the right the trail turns to the right coming into a grass field. From here follow the grass mowed path to the parking area. Check out the Bayside Restaurant across the street for their blueberry pie!!

 

 

Map can be found at: Allens Pond West

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Stone Walls and Boardwalks

Annawumscutt Brook Trail – East Providence

  • Annawumscutt Brook Trail
  • Rounds Avenue, East Providence, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°46’6.08″N, 71°20’27.82″W
  • Last Time Hiked: April 3, 2021
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.0 miles
  • Moderate due to no blazing, seasonal mud, and water crossings, otherwise easy.

 

This trail in the Riverside section of East Providence runs mostly along the Annawumscutt Brook from Rounds Avenue to the Riverside Middle School. Starting from a stone covered parking area opposite the Evangelical Covenant Church on Rounds Avenue, you will follow the trail into the woods. When you approach the first intersection turn left. Soon there will be a small hill to your left. Follow the trail ahead here keeping right of the hill. After the hill follow the trail to the left. You will get you first glimpse of the brook here and will likely see ducks and other water fowl. The trail will seen reach the first crossing of the brook. This crossing is almost always fairly easy. After the crossing bear to your right. The trail comes out to a grassy area. Continue ahead to the row of rocks and the trail heads back into the woods. In about a hundred feet the trail splits. Turn right here, the trail almost immediately turns left and is now following the brook once again. Ahead there will be an intersection of brooks. You will want to cross the brook here. After any substantial rain or in the spring, this crossing will be impossible without stepping into the water. You will get wet! The trail continues, now with the brook on the left. Soon the trail veers to the right and heads deeper into the woods. It soon comes to a former fire lane. Turn left here and you will soon be back to the brook and you will likely get wet again crossing it.  Continuing ahead the trail will pass a trail on the left that comes in from the Oldham School, continue straight. The trail soon takes a sharp right and continues north with the Forbes Street Solar Farm on the right. There will be a trail that comes in from the left that leads through private property, continue ahead here. (Smile you’re on camera!) The trail then comes to an intersection. Ahead is the DPW stockpile area. You are not allowed in there, so turn to the left and follow the trail to the next brook crossing. This crossing is usually much easier than the last two. After the brook crossing turn right. Almost immediately there is a trail intersection that veers to the left. Continue straight here and follow the trail along the brook. The trail then bends to the left, zig zags slightly before ending at the big red rock at the parking lot of the Riverside Middle School. You are at the mile mark! From here retrace your steps back to Rounds Avenue. There are other trails in the area, none marked, be sure to use GPS if you wander around and keep in mind the solar farm and DPW facility are off limits.

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Along the Annawumscutt Brook Trail.

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Annawumscutt Brook Trail in Red, Other Trails in White.

Central Pond – East Providence

This walk is a combo of trails and bike path on city property along the western shore of Central Pond. The property has an unique history of its own being once used as a Navy rifle range where soldiers and sailors trained to uses guns and artillery during World War I and then later when the Water Department used the land. Starting from the end of the parking area at Kimberly Rock Field, follow the Ten Mile River Bike Path north keeping the ball fields to your left. You will pass the first evidence of the former rifle range on your left. All that remains is a seemingly old chunk of concrete wall. You will notice trails leading into the woods on the left. The cross onto private property. For this walk, continue ahead, passing a small vernal pool before the bike path comes to a clearing with a bench. Opposite the bench a trail leads into the woods. Turn left here and follow the trail. It is wide as it was once used as an access road. You will continue straight ignoring all the side trails until you reach where the access roads come together. Continue ahead here as the trail veers to the right. A chain link fence will now be on your left. Follow this trail for a few hundred feet. It splits again. Stay to the wide trail veering to the right. It descends slightly downhill toward the water. Along the way on your right are ruins from when the Water Department used this property. The water to the left is an inlet from Central Pond. Follow the trail along the water until you reach the bike path once again where you will turn right. Back on the bike path, you are now heading south. The path winds a bit before straightening out. When it does, start looking for a narrow trail to the left (it will be approximately at 0.8 mile mark of this walk). Follow this trail for the remainder of this walk as it winds through the woods offering occasional views of Central Pond. When you reach nearly the end of the trail turn right to the beginning of the bike path and parking area.

Map can be found at: Central Pond

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Central Pond in Winter

Allens Pond Central – Dartmouth

                                                                            

This sprawling Massachusetts Audubon property offers all sorts of scenes. Farm fields, woodlands, marshes, and ocean views. To maximize visiting all of the trails here I broke the hike into three sections (East, West, and Central). This hike explores the central part of the property. Starting from the “Stone Barn” trailhead off of Horseneck Road, follow the trail to the west through an open field. The trail turns to the south and intersects shortly with another trail to the left. That trail will lead you to the eastern part of the property. For this hike continue ahead into the next field. Soon you will pass a shelter and a wooden fence. The trail turns to the left and then right into a stretch of woodlands. Just into the woods there is an inviting rock to sit. Take the moment. You will here will hear the chipmunks and squirrels rustling, maybe the sound of a woodpecker. I had got a glimpse of a deer here and some wild turkey. The trail continues ahead for a bit offering glimpses of Allens Pond to the left. When you get to the long stone wall stay to the left. This is the Ruebens Point Trail. Scramble up the outcrop to the left of the wall and ahead is a scenic view of the pond complete with a sitting bench. From here follow the trail down the stone steps and turn left at the next intersection. This trail leads to the point. Returning, take a left at the intersection onto the Zylfee Brook Trail and follow it to the next overlook. From here retrace your steps a few feet, turn left then right back onto the Quansett Trail. You will turn left and then follow the long stone wall (now on your right) back to the next trail intersection. From here continue straight and follow the trail back to the parking area.

 

Map can be found at: Allens Pond Central

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Allens Cove From the Rueben Point Viewpoint

Dawley Farm – Warwick

  • Dawley Farm
  • Cowesett Road, Warwick, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°41’8.09″N, 71°29’6.65″W
  • Last Time Hiked: November 9, 2020
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.7 miles
  • Fairly easy, steady uphill climb.

Dawley Farm is one of those places people drive by all the time and not even realize it is there. It is a City of Warwick owned, hidden gem of a property with a ton of potential. There is no parking lot for this hike. Parking is extremely limited along the side of the road. There is just enough room (off road) to park a car at pole 87 just at the entrance. Please do not block the entrance in case of an emergency. After parking you will see two wooden posts that once served as part of a gate. From here follow the cart path into the property. This path winds down into a valley of boulders and then crosses a stream (the Maskerchugg River). At the first trail split stay to the right. The other side of the wall is private property. This is where you will start you long steady up hill climb. At the next trail split continue straight ahead ignoring the trail to the right. Soon you will cross another small stream. Continuing ahead another trail comes in from the left. For this hike continue ahead. The grade starts to increase as the trail starts turning to the southwest into the heart of the property. You will notice towering oaks mixed with an occasional birch along the way. As the trail flattens near the top of the hill you will go through a grove of hemlock mixed in with other varieties of pine. From here the trail slightly descends, (loops left around a downed tree), and then continues ahead to a pond. When you reach the pond you may notice the dam and small spillway. The trail does continue ahead wrapping around the south end of the pond, however, that is onto private property. For this hike, take a moment to enjoy the view of the pond and then retrace your steps back to Cowesett Road.

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Pond at Dawley Farm

Latham Brook Preserve – Smithfield

  • Latham Brook Preserve
  • Burlingame Road, Smithfield, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°55’29.44″N, 71°33’33.28″W
  • Last Time Hiked: August 30, 2020
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.2 miles
  • Fairly easy with some elevation.

 

Bold prediction! When the Smithfield Land Trust is done developing this property it will stand out as one of their best properties. With that said, the natural beauty of this property is spectacular. The trail system is still primitive however, but easy enough to follow. Starting from the cul-de-sac at the end of Burlingame Road (the section off of Latham Farm Road) you will follow a narrow unmarked trail into the property, first through a tunnel of knotweed and grapevines, then you will pass trees with berries before coming to a trail split. Stay to the right here and follow the more inviting trail as it starts its long steady climb uphill. (The trail to the left dead ends at a small pond). Soon you will have a stone wall to your right. Just ahead is another trail intersection. The trail to your left is where you will complete your loop. Continue straight ahead still slightly climbing uphill. The trail splits once again. Stay to your left here following the wider and more defined trail. The climb uphill becomes more significant as the trail climbs to the crest of the hill. You will be under a canopy of beech, maple, and a sporadic pine tree at the top of the hill. Continuing ahead a trail comes in from the right before the trail splits yet again. Continue straight ahead here ignoring the trail to the right. Start looking for a narrow trail to the left marked with a three stone cairn. This will be just before the main trail dead ends at a residential neighborhood. Turning left onto the much narrower and primitive trail, you will decline slightly before coming to a stone wall. Crossing this wall is a little tricky. The trail continues to descend then turns left in a southerly direction before crossing another stonewall. From here the trail winds gently up and down along the slope of a hill. To the right the hill turns to steep ledges where you have a sweeping view of the valley below. At the next trail intersection is a cluster of boulders and a fire pit. Continue straight ahead as the trail starts to descend once again. Ahead is a ledge to the left as the trail turns sharply to the right and downhill. It then veers left and wanders through a floor of ferns before arcing to the left. The trail soon ends at an intersection. Turn right here onto the trail you came in on and retrace your steps back to the cul-de-sac.

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Ledge Along The Trail