Posts Tagged ‘ Rivers ’

Slocum’s River – Dartmouth

  • Slocum’s River Reserve
  • Horseneck Road, Dartmouth, MA
  • Trailhead:  41°33’6.97″N, 71° 0’34.00″W
  • Last Time Hiked: October 3, 2021
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.2 miles
  • Fairly easy with some elevation.

This property has a maze of unmarked trails that offer some spectacular views of the Slocum River and its wetlands. Covering most of the property will give you a hike of over 2 miles. For this hike we did the south end of the property first checking out the Amphitheater, Angelicas Overlook, and the Canoe Landing before doing the loop around a large open field which offered sweeping views. From here we toured the north via the Sam Francis Trail to Sarah’s Field to the short spur to the Grosswendt Reserve which also offers great views of the waterway and wetlands. Making our way back to the parking area we passed through the Bluebird Field. For a longer walk you could cross the road to Dartmoor Farm.

Trail Map: Slocum’s River

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Down By The River

Depot Square Park – Hopkinton

What a nice surprise of a walk this was. Though short in length, this trail starting by the fire station winds into the woods passing towering old trees and stone retaining walls left behind from the days of the railroad. Near the end of the trail to the left is a sweeping, beautiful vista of the Wood River from a newly built boardwalk. There is a secondary trail that leads to Mechanic Street. In all you can get a stroll of about three quarters of a mile here.

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The Wood River

Swan Point River Trail – Providence

Swan Point Cemetery is a well known walking site. Many do not realize that there is actually a three quarter of a mile trail here that runs along the Seekonk River. The trail starts at Swan Point (proper) at the end of River Road. This road is a locally named road part of the cemetery layout and not the River Road that is by Blackstone Park. From Swan Point, you can follow the trail north with the river to the right and a high hill to the left. The trail comes to another road at about two tenths of a mile. Continuing ahead the trail will pass a small grove of mountain laurel before it eventually ends at a cul-de-sac at Stony Point. The second section can be a bit muddy at times. From here retrace your steps back to Swan Point.

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Along The Swan Point River Trail

Midway – Exeter

  • Midway – Arcadia Management Area
  • Ten Rod Road, Exeter, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°34’48.63″N, 71°43’14.97″W
  • Last Time Hiked: September 7, 2020
  • Approximate distance hiked: 3.3 miles
  • Fairly easy.

 

This three mile loop trail weaves through, well, the mid-section of the sprawling Arcadia Management Area. The parking for this hike is a half mile off of Ten Rod Road at the Midway entrance. Follow the road first over the bridge at Flat River and then the parking area will be on the right opposite the road on the left immediately after a observation deck. From the parking area, continuing following the road (the Midway Trail) to an intersection. Continue straight ahead until you reach the closed red gate by the Midway kiosk. The hike continues beyond the gate, first passing through an area of woods before coming to a large open field. There are a couple narrow trails on each side, however continue straight ahead along the prominent Midway Trail passing an area of cleared trees on the left. The trail then turns to the left and back to the right again. Shortly after the “S” curve look for a trail on the right. There is a faded “Flat River Trail” sign here. Turn right and follow the trail into a valley. The trail soon bends to the left and you will catch a glimpse of the river through the woods. At the next intersection stay to the left. The trail is joined by another a little further up. Continue straight ahead until you reach Plain Road opposite the Shelter Trail. Here you will want to turn left and climb uphill on the road for two tenths of a mile. But first take a peek at the Flat River at the bridge to your right. After checking out the river and climbing up Plain Road look for a parking area on the left with a kiosk and pavilion. First note the grass road directly ahead that climbs up a quick hill, that is the Thornley Trail. This is the trail you want to follow after exploring and/or resting a bit. Where the pavilion is and the surrounding area is a dog training area. Continuing the hike, climb up the grass road trail. It quickly levels out offering an area of cleared trees to the left and a large field to the right. The trail soon bends to the right. At the next intersection continue straight ahead bearing ever so slightly to the right and into the woods. There will be several trail crossings along this stretch. Continue straight until you come to a dirt road. This is the Brookie Trail. Turn left here and follow it just under a mile back to the Midway Trail. There will be a few spots on the right that lead to the Falls River if you want to view that. At the Midway Trail turn right. You will arrive at the parking area in just a few hundred feet. Orange is required here during hunting season.

Along The Midway Trail

Carr River – West Greenwich

  • Carr River – Big River Management Area
  • Hopkins Hill Road, West Greenwich, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°37’51.90″N, 71°34’16.59″W
  • Last Time Hiked: August 8, 2020
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.7 miles
  • Fairly easy with some elevation.

As with most hikes at Big River, be sure to have a map and/or GPS. This hike partly on each side of Hopkins Hill Road follows trails less used. Starting from the large parking area for Tarbox Pond and Carr Pond hikes follow the trail to the left into the property. The trail starts a long descent downhill. There is a spur trail to the left. Ignore it and continue straight ahead to the (next) four way intersection. Here you will turn left and continue straight to Hopkins Hill Road. There will be a couple spur trails and intersections along the way. Ignore them all. When you reach the road, follow it downhill to the pond. Tarbox Pond is flanked by pine trees as it stretches to the east. In the summer months the small coves along the pond will be filled with lily pads. Across the street is a wooden guard rail. Directly to the left of it is a narrow trail-head. This is where you will go to continue this hike. Be careful crossing the street here as there is bit of a blind spot. Once on the trail you will notice a narrow river to the right and down the bank. The trail splits, stay to the right as the trail descends downhill once again. The trail widens a bit then bends to the left. The trail traverses through a forest floor of ferns as it continues ahead. To the right you will catch glimpses of tall dead trees in a swamp. This is the Carr River. Soon you will pass two trails to the left. Make note of the second one, this will be used on your exit. The trail then turns slightly to the left. Just ahead you will see a pile of debris that was used to block a former trail. At this point and on the right is a very narrow (almost non-existent) trail that climbs up a small knoll. It dead ends at the end of the peninsula surrounded by the swamps of the Carr River. This is a great and secluded spot to sit on a fallen tree and take in nature for a few moments. From here retrace your steps the “second left” now on your right. Follow this trail as it climbs uphill and bears to the right joining the main trail that climbs uphill. You will pass two four way intersections (not very far apart). Continue ahead and at the next major intersection turn left. This trail (sometimes referred to as the Big River Expressway) will lead you back to Hopkins Hill Road directly across from the parking area. Make note that hunting is allowed here.

Trail Map: Carr River

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Carr River From The Knoll

DeCoppett North – Richmond

  • DeCoppett North – DeCoppett State Management Area
  • Old Mountain Road, Richmond, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°32’16.02″N, 71°38’29.72″W
  • Last Time Hiked: April 25, 2020
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.3 miles
  • Fairly easy.

 

This hike in the northern end of DeCoppett is an out and back hike along an old cart path. Starting from the gated entry at Old Mountain Road, you are immediately greeted by two large boulders on the left. This is just a glimpse of the hike ahead. The cart path is flanked by boulders and stone walls almost all the way to Hillsdale Road. Not very far into the property and on the left is the George Beverly cemetery. The graves here date back to 1870. At the half mile and on the left there is an opening in the stone wall and a faded trail that leads to another cemetery. At the three quarter mile mark along the cart path and on the left again are the remains of a rather large foundation. At the end of the cart path turn left on the paved Hillsdale Road and follow it a few feet for a glimpse of the Beaver River. From here retrace you steps back to Old Mountain Road.

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Large Boulder Along The Trail

DeCoppett South – Richmond

  • DeCoppett South – DeCoppett State Management Area
  • Hillsdale Road, Richmond, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°30’44.97″N, 71°38’40.28″W
  • Last Time Hiked: April 19, 2020
  • Approximate distance hiked: 3.5 miles
  • Moderate due to navigation, difficult river crossing.

 

This hike in a lesser known State Management Area offers quite a bit. Beautiful trails, boulders, a pond, cemetery, and a nearly impossible river crossing. With that last part being said, be prepared to backtrack if the river is in fact impossible to cross as conditions change over time and can drastically be affected by recent weather. For this hike, in the southern section of the property, start from a small parking area on the west side of Hillsdale Road where Punchbowl Trail intersects. Cross the road towards the “Road Closed/Dead End” sign and follow the trail as it quickly descends downhill. Along this stretch you will observe several boundary signs before coming to the swiftly flowing Beaver River. This crossing offers a large planed log with a unique split at the far end. If you find this river crossing questionable, this hike may not be for you. Continuing ahead the trail slowly climbs uphill flanked by a stone wall on the left. Ahead, just off the trail and on the right is a cemetery. There are no visible inscriptions on the stones. This is the Phillips-Barber Cemetery with graves dating back to 1772. One of the graves is of that of Benjamin Barber who served in the American Revolution. Back on the trail, you will soon come to an intersection. Turn left here. In a few hundred feet the trail splits. Stay to the right here, the trail on your left is your “emergency exit”. The trail starts to climb uphill gently but for quite a while. After recent rains this section of trail can be quite muddy as it winds pass boulders small and large. At the top of the hill (1.1 miles from the start of the hike) take a sharp left turn. There is a small cairn here to mark the intersection. This trail starts the long,  and at times steep, descent back towards the Beaver River. Along the way you will pass through an impressive area of boulders and a trail on the left. Make note of this trail. If you can’t cross the river this trail is your “emergency exit” and will be the best way to exit as it avoids climbing the hill you just came down. When you reach the river you will notice there is no bridge. There is a row of stones here that can be used to cross when the river is low and calm. (At the time of this hike the river was swollen and rather deep after heavy rains. Crossing here was not an option. Wandering upstream a bit you will find a downed tree that crosses the river. Someone has tied a rope across the river where this tree is. Do not rely on the rope for balance. This is a difficult and dangerous crossing. You are on your own if you attempt this. After crossing follow the river downstream back to the trail.) On the other side of the river the trail becomes an area of grass. Stay to the left here, the trail turns slightly right and climbs gently uphill again passing sections of old fence and a cellar hole. There will be another trail to the right that follows an old split rail fence for a bit and up a small hill. Here is the Fielding-Vallet cemetery with noticeably modern graves as recent as 2010, that being of Hope Edwards, the last “tenant” of this property. After her death, per the wishes of Theakston de Coppett, this property was endowed to the State of Rhode Island to become a nature preserve. After checking out this cemetery, return to the last intersection and turn right. The trail soon comes out to Hillsdale Road. Turn left here and then right almost immediately and back into the woods. Along this stretch there is a short spur trail that leads to a field that is worth checking out. Continuing back on the trail you will come to a wide stream. After the last river crossing this one is a breeze. Still not easy though, as you have to jump from stone to stone. The trail then winds through pines and deciduous trees that have been ravaged by the recent gypsy moth infestations. At the next trail intersection, turn left. The trail is now covered in pine needles as you traverse your way through a pine grove. Ahead you will come to a four way intersection with a large boulder at the corner of a stone wall. You will eventually follow the trail to the left back to the parking area, but first you will want to follow the trail straight ahead of you. The trail leads to a large open field where you may catch a glimpse of hawks or turkey vultures. At the field turn right and follow the tree line for a bit to get a glimpse of Bailey Pond. From here retrace your steps back to the four way intersection where you will turn right to return to the parking area. The trails here are not blazed and there is no official map available for the property. It is highly recommended to use a GPS device here.

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The First River Crossing

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Trail Map – DeCoppett South

Grills Sanctuary – Hopkinton

  • Grills Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Chase Hill Road, Hopkinton, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°24’38.75″N, 71°45’48.49″W
  • Last Time Hiked: March 22, 2020
  • Approximate distance hiked: 3.8 miles
  • Fairly easy, some elevation.

 

There are actually three separate “Grills” properties here on the Hopkinton-Westerly border. There is the Grills Preserve in Westerly, Grills Preserve in Hopkinton (also known as the Route 91 trailhead or Grills/How-Davey), and the Grills Sanctuary also in Hopkinton. This hike, starting from the Chase Hill Road trail head, is on the Grills Sanctuary. From the parking area, follow the white diamond blazed Tomaquag Trail as it first winds pass corn fields before entering the woods. The trail soon crosses over Wine Bottle Brook. Just after the brook the yellow square blazed East Loop will be on your left. Continue straight just a little further and turn right onto the orange rectangle blazed Cedar Swamp Trail. The pine needle covered trail passes under a canopy of tall trees before coming to the next intersection. Here turn right onto the yellow diamond blazed Peninsula Trail (note: this section of trail is not shown on the map) and follow it to a picnic area. Here turn right and cross the Tomaquag Brook via the bridge and boardwalk. You are now back on the white blazed Tomaquag Trail. At the end of the boardwalk the trail starts to climb and descend and again climb following ridgelines and a valley. Near the top of the second climb you can see much of the landscape around and below you. Though technically a viewing area, it might be tough to see very far when leaves are on the trees. If you were to continue ahead you would soon find yourself in the Westerly Grills. For this hike retrace your steps back to the bridge and boardwalk. After crossing the bridge stay to your right, pass the picnic area and bear to your right staying on the yellow diamond blazed Peninsula Trail. Ahead the trail makes a hard left as it reaches the river. Check out the spur trail to the right to view the Pawcatuck River before continuing along the trail. From here continue to follow the yellow blazes as the trail follows the river. It will soon come to the white blazed trail once again. Turn right here and follow the white blazes until you reach the yellow square blazed East Loop on the right. Following the yellow blazes will have you exploring the eastern reaches of the property. The loop traverses through low lying shrubs and a small grove of massive pines before returning to the white blazed trail for the last time. Turn right here and retrace your steps back to the parking area.

 

Map can be found at: Grills Sanctuary.

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Tomaquag Bridge

Grays Mill Pond – Little Compton/Westport

  • Grays Mill Pond/Guild Preserve
  • Adamsville Road, Westport, MA
  • Trailhead:  41°33’21.52″N, 71° 7’36.93″W
  • Last Time Hiked: January 5, 2020
  • Approximate distance hiked: 0.5 miles
  • Fairly easy, can be muddy.

 

The trail and property is entirely in Little Compton, Rhode Island, however, you must park in Westport and venture your way to the property. The parking area is next to the pond on the north side of Adamsville Road. There is a sign here at the parking area the reads “Additional Parking Grays Daily Grind”. At the back side of the parking area is a post and rail fence with a gate. After passing through the gate you are in Little Compton. Stay to the right here and follow the brushline up a small hill after passing the small structures on the right. At the top of the hill is a sign at the entrance of the preserve. Just beyond the sign a trail appears downhill and to the left that leads to a footbridge that crosses the West Branch of the Westport River. Just after the bridge there is a loop trail that is currently blazed red. The trail itself is a little root bound and can be muddy in spots. At the north end of the loop there is a small clearly for another glimpse of the river. Another highlight of the property is stunningly tall holly tree along the trail. The property is small and the trail is short, but the river and nearby pond make for peaceful stops.

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Footbridge at The Entrance of The Property

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Map Provided by Sakonnet Preservation

La Farge Point Park – North Kingstown

  • La Farge Point Park
  • Walmsley Lane, North Kingstown, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°30’20.98″N, 71°27’21.06″W
  • Last Time Hiked: September 14, 2019
  • Approximate distance hiked: 0.5 miles
  • Fairly easy with some elevation.

 

This small town park offers two very short trails that lead to the shores of the Narrow River. There is a road that leads to a small parking area, but the road is rather primitive and parking there would all but eliminate a walk of any distance. For this walk park at the bend in the road at Walmsley Lane and follow the road eastward to the park. The road itself is a public right of way, but do respect the private properties along the road.

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The Narrow River