Posts Tagged ‘ Sowams Heritage District ’

Pierce Beach Park – Somerset

  • Pierce Beach Park
  • Simbrom Drive, Somerset, MA
  • Trailhead: 41°45’57.43″N, 71° 8’3.22″W
  • Last Time Hiked: July 10, 2017
  • Approximate distance hiked: 0.8 miles
  • Easy with some slight elevation.

 

This little park along the shores of the Taunton River offers a little of everything. Here are a baseball field, a basketball court, and  a playground. The park offers just under a mile of walking paths that wind through a patch of woods and open fields. There are a couple sets of stairs that descend down to the beach. This strand can be narrow at high tide so it is best to visit at low tide for the beach walk. At the western edge of the beach is the mouth of The Creek. At low tide look for fiddler crabs scrambling across the beach. Because of its location, you will get a good view of the Taunton River to the south.

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Path to the Beach

Jones Pond – East Providence

 

Tucked away in a suburban neighborhood is a new walking path in a revitalized park. Jones Pond has a long history for a small park. The pond, originally a freshwater kidney shaped pond, is said to be the location of a Native American village according to an old book by The Narragansett Archaeological Society of Rhode Island. A quarry was also nearby in the early 20th century. During the 1930’s the adjacent Pierce Field Stadium was built and Jones Pond was “squared off” to the shape it is today. During World War II, Quonset huts were built and used on the property. For years after that the pond served as a neighborhood spot to ice skate before falling into disarray. Just recently the pond and surrounding park has been given new life as a half mile of walking paths have been built with perennial gardens along them. There are also some rather interesting, artistic bike racks here. The small shrubs and trees serve as a haven for several species of birds.

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Bike Rack at Jones Pond

King Phillips Chair – Bristol

  • King Phillips Chair/Miery Swamp
  • Bristol, RI
  • Trailhead: Undisclosed
  • Last Time Hiked: April 29, 2017
  • Approximate distance hiked: Less than 1 mile on two separate walks.
  • Fairly easy.

 

A notable site more so for its history than its hiking, King Phillips Chair is well worth the visit if you are in the area. There are some restrictions though as the “chair” and nearby spring in Miery Swamp are not publicly open unless you receive permission. Both the “chair” and the spring are on property owned by Brown University on Mount Hope. This area in the 1600’s was part of the Wampanoag/Pokanoket tribes lands known as Sowams. The “chair”, at the base of the largest outcrop of white granite in Rhode Island served as the seat of Metacom (known by the English colonists as King Phillip). It is said that Metacom held meetings here and the top of the rock served as a lookout. From 1675 to 1678 a war between the Native Americans and English colonists was fought in this area. The King Phillips War was by far the bloodiest war in American History (per population) as nearly 10 percent of the population were killed on both sides. Some of the fiercest fighting occurred in the nearby towns. King Phillip met his end in Miery Swamp a mere half mile southwest of King Phillips Chair on August 12, 1676. A monument, placed by the Rhode Island Historical Society in 1877, now stands by the spring on the site of his death. Nearby Mount Hope Farm abuts the woods and to gain access to King Phillips Chair and Miery Swamp you must contact the office at 401-254-1745 for permits and parking passes. Groups of more than 10 will require insurance (per Brown University) to visit the site.

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The Base of the Large Outcrop Served as King Phillips Chair

Shad Factory Pond – Rehoboth

  • Shad Factory Pond/Daniel L. Savoie Conservation Area
  • Water Street, Rehoboth, MA
  • Trailhead: 41°48’31.54″N, 71°16’29.51″W
  • Last Time Hiked: February 5, 2017
  • Approximate distance hiked: 0.7 miles
  • Easy.

 

This walk, just about three quarters of a mile, features a trail that follows the Palmer River and a short stroll to the Shad Factory Pond and its dam. Starting from the parking area along Water street, follow the narrow unmarked trail easterly along the river. The river here is covered in a canopy of trees that birds were flying through. Cardinals, blue jays, robins, woodpeckers, and ducks were all seen along the trail here. Along the way there is an old wooden structure that looks as if it might have been a dock or bridge. The trail ends at Reed Street opposite the entrance to a service road. This road is closed to the public as it is property of the Bristol County Water Authority. From here follow Reed Street south a few hundred feet crossing the Palmer River. To the right you will catch glimpses of some ruins that were once part of the Orleans Mill. You will see a couple of the remaining walls and a double archway over the river. This mill produce cotton cloth but met its untimely fate twice by fire. Some people have claimed that the old mill site is haunted and have seen unexplained figures in the woods. Just over the bridge and on the right as well is Shad Factory Pond with its 1911 dam and newly constructed fish ladder. There are a handful of benches here to sit and relax. From here retrace your steps along Reed Street and along the trail back to the parking area. If you are into bird photography, bring your camera.

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Palmer River just downstream from Shad Factory Pond

Waypoyset Preserve – Bristol

 

At the Bristol Narrows is a little known preserve named Waypoyset. The long narrow property is heavily wooded and currently offers only a few trails. There is potential for a longer trail network. On this visit, birds were in abundance in the tall shrubs and thickets. Cardinals, blue jays, and nuthatches were seen. The shrubs were filled with berries and the remnants of milkweed pods. A visit to the trickling stream was also made. A local informed me that the other side of the stream is private property. There is parking down by the water at the end of Narrows Road. Be sure to park above the high tide line.

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Trickling Stream

Little Neck – East Providence

  • Little Neck Cemetery
  • Cozzens Avenue, East Providence, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°46’3.58″N, 71°21’15.80″W
  • Last Time Hiked: December 1, 2016
  • Approximate distance hiked: 0.5 miles
  • Easy.

 

Sitting on a peninsula where the Ox Brook and the Mosskettuash Brook converge to form Bullocks Cove lies one of the oldest cemeteries in the United States. The narrow roads that wind through this historic cemetery offer about a half mile of walking. The cemetery, being established in 1655, is on the National Register of Historic Places. The oldest grave here is from 1662, that being the grave of John Brown, Jr. who was a Commissioner to the United Colonies. At the highest point of the peninsula is the oldest part of the cemetery. Some other notable graves here are that of Thomas Willett who was the first mayor of New York City and Elizabeth Tilley Howland who in 1620 came to the New World on the Mayflower. There are also 106 veterans buried here including the Civil War Medal of Honor recipient George Reed.

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The Graves of Elizabeth Howland and Thomas Willett

Ocean Grove – Swansea

  • Ocean Grove/Swansea Town Beach
  • Ocean Grove Avenue, Swansea, MA
  • Trailhead: 41°43’32.77″N, 71°13’9.24″W
  • Last Time Hiked: December 1, 2016
  • Approximate distance hiked: 0.7 miles
  • Easy beach walk.

 

On the western edge of Gardners Neck sits the village of Ocean Grove on a point. At the end of the point where Coles River meets the bay is Swansea Town Beach. This small stretch of beach, which faces south towards Mount Hope Bay, makes for a good and short beach walk. It overlooks most of the bay with views of Tiverton and Portsmouth in the distance. In fact on a clear day you can see the Sakonnet River Bridge six miles away. The beach is open to the public and is accessible for no fee in the off-season. Dogs are not allowed and parking is limited and enforced.

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Beach at Ocean Grove