Posts Tagged ‘ Ruins ’

Sunnyacres Preserve – Westerly

Sunnyacres Preserve is one of Westerly’s lesser known properties. The walk follows the perimeter of the property along the tree line. The large open field is a haven for bees, butterflies, and other insects. The birds can be heard rustling in the shrubs and trees along the grass mowed path. Near the parking area at the top of the hill is an impressive cellar hole.

TWRI-SCT2105

Stone Walls and Trees

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

TWRI-CentPond07

Central Pond in Winter

Grills Preserve – Westerly

  • Grills Preserve (Westerly)
  • Bowling Lane, Westerly, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°23’58.98″N, 71°45’32.65″W
  • Last Time Hiked: November 29, 2020
  • Approximate distance hiked: 5.5 miles
  • Fairly easy with some significant elevation in areas.

                                                                            

 

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, the Grills Preserve in Westerly is the most known of the three. There is a vast network of trails here and for this hike you will see all of the highlights. Starting from the parking area at Bowling Lane, make your way to the informational kiosk. From here follow the orange and blue blazed trail to the right of the kiosk for about two tenths of a mile. this section is quite level. At the trail intersection turn right and you will follow the blue blazes for quite a while. The trail winds down to the shore of the Pawcatuck River after crossing a small bridge. You will then be flanked by water on both sides with the river to the right and an oxbow to the left which was formed from the river relocating over time. You will soon cross over Kedincker Island and another bridge. Ahead on the right you will find a towering cairn. The top of this eight foot tall structure marks the height of the rivers crest during the Spring 2010 flood. The trail to the right just beyond the cairn is the connector to the Grills Sanctuary in Hopkinton via the Polly Coon Bridge. The metal arch was built in 2013. Take a wander across the bridge to view the original bridge abutments and you will also find another flood marker. Make your way back across the bridge and take a right back onto the blue blazed trail. At the next trail intersection turn right continuing to follow the blue blazes. The trail starts to climb steadily uphill. Look for the yellow blazed River Loop Trail on the right. Following the yellow blazes you will slowly descend back down hill passing a stone wall before reaching the intersection with the white blazed trail. Continue ahead following the yellow blazes. You will soon pass another stone wall and a large cairn. The yellow trail continues ahead offering peaks of the river as it winds through areas of scattered mountain laurel. Soon the trail comes to the Pawcatuck River once again before it turns to the left into the western reaches of the Preserve. It then turns to the east and winds to a clearing at the next trail intersection. Turn right here and follow the white blazes. To your left is a hill covered in thickets and dense shrub with an occasional towering tree, to your right is densely wooded. Soon the trail takes an abrupt right into the Larkin Farm Homestead. You will find the remains of a structure here that was built in 1655. From this point continue along the white blazed trail. It starts a long climb uphill, steady at first. When you reach the next trail intersection turn left onto the red blazed trail. There is a sign here for “Big Hill”. The climb becomes steeper now. Near the top of the hill turn right following the red blazed trail and another “Big Hill” sign. As the wood line clears you will soon see outcrops of bedrock. Make note of the narrow trail to the right of the bedrock. But for now take a moment here to relax and take in the sights. From here you getting sweeping views to the south and east. You have two options here. You can retrace your steps down the red blazed trail you came up or you can go down the narrower unmarked trail to the right of the bedrock. If you choose the narrower trail note that it is substantially steeper. Whatever one you choose you will turn left at the bottom of the hill and follow the white blazes once again. Along this stretch you will have Big Hill towering above you to the left and will catch your first glimpses of the railroad tracks to the right. Soon the white blazes turn to the right onto a narrower trail. Continue ahead following an old cart path. You may notice a young pine grove on the right along the way. Look closely and you will also notice that the older trees have been charred. It is obvious there was a fire here once and nature has already begun to reclaim the land. At the end of the cart path turn left onto another cart path. Soon you will come to a trail intersection. Turn right here onto the blue blazed trail and cross over a boardwalk. Just ahead on the left is a cemetery. The most prominent grave here is that of Clarke Hiscox, a soldier of the Revolutionary War. The oldest grave here dates to 1777, that of Stephen Saunders. Returning to blue blazed trail you will find that the trail is covered in pine needles. At the next intersection turn right onto the white blazed trail, then left onto a cart path. You will notice that a stream has cut across the cart path. There is a pedestrian bridge here to make the crossing easier. Soon you will turn right onto the orange blazed trail. The trail winds passing a large vernal pool and then climbs steadily up to Big Rock. Its actually quite impressive as it sits upon the top of the hill dwarfing several other large boulders scattered around. The orange trail approaches the railroad tracks again and sharply turns to the left. Here to the right is the red blazed trail that dead ends at a hunters blind. Continuing along the orange blazed trail start looking for a narrow trail to the left marked only by a single rock. The trail is not marked and is quite narrow. The significance of this short trail is its history. It crosses over what was once Douglas Park. This park, built in 1920, was a field that hosted soccer and baseball games, complete with grandstands for 300 people. The local Bradford baseball team won the league championship in 1940. By the 1960’s the field was no longer in use. Nature took it back over the years as the entire field is now a very distinctive pine grove. At the end of the unmarked trail turn right following first the light blue blazed trail and then veering left onto the orange blazed trail that leads you back to the parking area. Hunting is allowed here, be sure to wear orange when hiking here.

 

 

Map can be found at: Grills Preserve (Westerly).

 

TWRI-GP10

Polly Coon Bridge Crossing The Pawcatuck River

TWRI-GP20

The View From Big Hill

Table Rock Trail – Hopkinton

  • Table Rock Trail
  • Stubtown Road, Hopkinton, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°30’1.04″N, 71°46’20.93″W
  • Last Time Hiked: May 25, 2020
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.8 miles
  • Moderate, some elevation, rocky footing in areas.

 

The aptly named Table Rock Trail is the newest trail in the Canonchet Preserves of Hopkinton. This hike is done to complete a loop rather than an out and back hike. For this hike I’ve opted to eliminate the road walking first. With that being said, from the parking area at the dead end of Stubtown Road start walking down the road (easterly) from where you drove in. You will pass a few homes and the parking area for Ashville Pond. At nine tenths of a mile, just after utility pole 6 turn right onto the orange blazed trail. This is the Table Rock Trail. For the next 1.2 miles this trail winds up and down several hills, follows ridge lines, crosses brooks, weaves through an archaeological site, passes stone walls, and by an abundance of mountain laurel speckled with rhododendrons. You will come upon the table rock formation the trail is named for as well as an old foundation and boulders put here by the glaciers. At the end of the orange blazed trail turn right onto the yellow blazed Canonchet Trail. The remainder of the hike, uphill at that, follows the yellow blazes pass cairns, a massive boulder, and stone walls flanking the lane that was once the western end of Stubtown Road. The trail eventually comes to Stubtown Road where you have started the hike. When archery hunting is allowed here from October 1st through January 31st, be sure to wear orange.

TWRI-TRT07

The Table Rock

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.

TWRI-DeCopN03

Large Boulder Along The Trail

Worden Pond – South Kingstown

  • Worden Pond – Great Swamp Management Area
  • Great Neck Road, South Kingstown, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°28’8.48″N, 71°34’46.65″W
  • Last Time Hiked: April 17, 2020
  • Approximate distance hiked: 4.5 miles
  • Fairly easy with slight elevation.

 

The Great Swamp Management Area offers a little of everything. This hike will take you to the shores of Worden Pond and over the “heights” of Great Neck. Starting at the parking area, follow the road pass the kiosk. It will pass areas of swamp and small ponds before coming to the first split. Here there is a stone memorial marker for Dr. John Mulleedy. Stay to the left at this split and continue ahead. This road will soon pass under the power lines and gradually climb up hill for a bit pass stone walls and holly trees mixed among the other pines and deciduous. At the next split there is another stone memorial marker, this one for George McCahey. Again stay to the left at the split and continue ahead. You will notice that this road is a little less traveled. Not too far ahead is yet another split. There is no marker at this one and again stay to the left and continue ahead. When the hill finally crests (approximately 1.6 miles from the start of the hike) look for a side spur trail to the left. This is well worth checking out. In just a few foot steps you will come to a ledge that overlooks the land and swamp below. Take a moment here and then retrace your steps to the main trail and turn left. The road now winds downhill passing boulders, ledge, and mountain laurel before bending to the left and to a cove at the pond wedged between Stony Point and Case Point. Geese an ducks are a common site here and may startle you as you approach. The large concrete slab here is all that remains of a seaplane hanger. After checking out the pond for a bit make your way back a few feet and turn left. This spot is particularly muddy after stormy weather. This is a swamp after all!! The trail soon turns to the north and climbs quickly uphill. After two small fields on the right and one on the left you will come to the next split. Turn left here and follow the left side of the field, pass a stone wall at the treeline, and then follow the right side of the next field. You will then turn right onto a well defined road. This road will take you over some of the highest points of the property, known as Great Neck. You will start to come across several fields, particularly on the left. These fields offer clearings that give you sweeping views of the western portions of the property including the wildlife marsh that is featured on the Great Swamp hike. These fields are known to be a haven for American Woodcocks and Northern Flickers among several other birds (thank you URI student for that info!!). At the next intersection turn left and the road starts to descend. There are still great views over the fields on the left. As the road reaches the bottom of the hill you will pass under the power lines once again. Shortly after that is a small pond on the left. At the next intersection stay to the right and continue to follow the power lines until the road veer to the left away from them. Pass another field on the left and you will soon come to the Mulleedy Marker once again. Stay to the left here and follow the road back to the parking area.

 

Map can be found at: Worden Pond.

TWRI-Word10

Worden Pond

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gold Farm & Forest – North Smithfield

  • Gold Farm & Forest
  • North Smithfield, RI
  • Trailhead:  Private Property, Undisclosed
  • Last Time Hiked: April 4, 2020
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.5 miles
  • Fairly easy, some elevation.

 

This property in North Smithfield is currently private, however, it is likely going to be donated to the Town of North Smithfield in the future. The current owner, Mr. Gold, has allowed access to the property for a brief time. Taking the opportunity to do so, I went out to explore the stunningly spectacular property. The trails here are not blazed, however they are mostly named and there is a sign at just about every intersection (Some very comical). Using GPS wouldn’t hurt, but following the main trails will pretty much assure that you will not get lost. For this hike I did about two and a half of the six miles here making a point to find my way to the far end of the property to the shores of Tarklin Pond. Along the way I stumbled upon many, many highlights. A stone bridge crossing a brook by some interesting stonework, possibly the remains of an old structure. The stone walls here are fascinating showcasing craftsmanship from yesteryear. There is a large field on the property as well. Researching the property and old aerial photography, it appears there may have been an orchard here at one time. Exploring deeper into the property, the trails wind up and down hills through a canopy of oaks, pines, and a sporadic beech tree. The trail that I had decided to use followed a ridge line quite substantially high above a valley below. I had reached the shores of the pond and found a picnic table to sit at. I spent quite a bit of time here taking in the beauty of nature. For the remainder of the hike I zigzagged my way to an railroad bed that would lead me back to the entrance. This railroad bed was part of the line that the Woonasquatucket Bike Path, Stillwater Trail, and the Burriville Bike Path uses. Keep an eye on this property in the future. When it does open to the public, it will be well worth checking out!

TWRI-GFF02

Stone Bridge

TWRI-GFF05

Rest Area

Central Coventry Park – Coventry

 

This town park has two very distinct offerings. The first is recreation, with tennis courts, ball fields, picnic sites, and a perimeter walk. The second is Cold War history. This park was once the launch location (PR-69 L) for Nike missiles that defended the city of Providence from Soviet bombers. The walk here is short, but for any history enthusiast it is worth the stop. From the parking area follow the chain link fence of the ball field to the southern tree line and turn left following the grass strip between the fence and trees. Follow the fence line to its end and ahead and to the right is a pine needle covered path. A little further up on the left are the old military buildings. From here follow the road back a few feet and turn right onto the access road. Follow the road pass the cell tower. Soon there is grass on the right. Stay to the right here and a short trail follows the fence along the southwest end of the property returning you to where you began.

TWRI-CCP01

Cold War Ruins (?) Just Off The Trail

Sakonnet Point Path – Little Compton

  • Sakonnet Point Path
  • Sakonnet Point Road, Little Compton, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°27’50.06″N, 71°11’43.81″W
  • Last Time Hiked: January 5, 2020
  • Approximate distance hiked: 0.5 miles
  • Easy.

 

This is a very short walk just being under a half mile in total. The walkway, open to the public, is provided by the Sakonnet Point Club. The short paved path wraps around a parking lot separated by a post and rail fence. The remainder of the walk is out to the end of the breakwater. The views here are spectacular. To the south is the lower reaches of the Sakonnet River meeting the Atlantic Ocean as well as the lighthouse just off shore. If you look closely you will spot the ruins of the West Island Fishing Club (just to the left of the lighthouse). To the northwest you can spot the Newport Bridge peaking over Aquidneck Island. If you do venture onto the breakwater use caution.

TWRI-20200105-13

Sakonnet Point Light and The Atlantic Ocean

Westport Woods – Westport/Little Compton

  • Westport Woods/Cotton Preserve
  • Adamsville Road, Westport, MA
  • Trailhead:  41°33’30.54″N, 71° 7’29.09″W
  • Last Time Hiked: January 5, 2020
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.5 miles
  • Fairly easy.

 

Westport Woods is one of the newer trail systems in the area opening to the public in the summer of 2019. For this hike, about one and half of the almost 3 miles of trails was hiked. Starting from the kiosk at the parking area, first follow the paved road north a couple hundred feet then turn left onto a stone dust path. This path winds west then south through a field with tall trees. Soon you will come to the “Main Trail” sign on your right. This section of trail, blazed orange, enters the woods and follows the western edge of the property passing several types of trees, holly shrubs, and stone walls. At the second trail intersection the orange trail continues ahead and the yellow blazed trail begins at the right. For this hike continue ahead for now. (You will be retracing your steps back to this intersection). The orange trail now enters the Cotton Preserve owned by the Little Compton Agricultural Conservancy Trust. After crossing a stream you will come to a quarry pond. Take a moment to take in the beauty here before retracing your steps back to the yellow trail (now on your left). The remainder of this hike will follow the yellow trail with the exception of a short detour at your first left. Here you will follow a short loop trail to a vernal pool. After viewing the vernal pool return to the yellow trail and continue to follow it to the east. The trail will include a series of boardwalks in wet areas, followed by an interesting stone feature on the left, (presumably leftovers from the former St Vincent de Paul Camp), before winding along the eastern edge of the property to a stone bridge. From here the trail ends at an open field. Continue ahead to reach the kiosk by the parking area. Hunting is allowed here, Be sure to wear orange during hunting season.

 

Map can be found at: Westport Woods.

TWRI-20200105-11

Stone Structure at Westport Woods.