Posts Tagged ‘ Sowams Heritage District ’

Anawan Rock – Rehoboth


Anawan Rock is more of a historic site than a hike. There is a trail here nonetheless. Without any doubt, this is the shortest hike on my list of both completed and planned hikes. The trail runs from the parking area a couple hundred feet then lollipops around the rock itself. The rest of the property is wooded. The historical significance of the site is the role it served during King Phillips War. In August 1676, the Wampanoag chief was captured at this site by the colonists effectively ending the bloody war between the two. The rock itself, a puddingstone, is quite large. Out of curiosity I did climb it. Unfortunately, the trees are taller than the rock so there is not much of a scenic view other than the immediate property.


I did not find a trail map on-line.

Anawan Rock

Anawan Rock

Village Park – Swansea

  • Village Park/Abrams Rock
  • Main Street, Swansea, MA
  • Trailhead: 41°44’55.86″N, 71°11’25.02″W
  • Last Time Hiked: March 19, 2014
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.3 miles
  • Easy with some elevation. Moderate to difficult climbing is optional.

Village Park was my after work choice for a hike today. This was strictly a last minute decision and I hadn’t done much research on it. I had originally thought of checking out Anawan Rock in Rehoboth but I was more in a hiking mood than a short exploratory excursion. I have known about Abrams Rock (which is in Village Park) for a while but had never got around to checking it out until today. This property is widely known for off road bicyclists. The trails are rather narrow and there are wider fire roads. I did not have a set route in mind when I arrived but I figured I would at least venture out and look for the landmarks that intrigued me. I started this hike from the parking lot behind the Swansea Town Library. I first walked by a cemetery before the fire road veered to the left. I shortly came upon a gate. Just after the gate I turned left and followed the Lakeside Trail as it passed a soccer field before following the shore of a small lake. I took some pictures here in black and white of the clouds and lake. Near the end of this trail there is a dam and waterfall. I then found my way onto the Rusty Car Trail and ironically enough came across an old rusty car. I then followed some fire roads to Wildcat Rock. The rock is one of three rather large and impressive puddingstone boulders in the park. I decided to climb to the top of the rock and see how things (injuries) felt. The sense of accomplishment made the climb well worth it. However, going up was the easy part as I’m still having great difficulty with downhill climbs. After I scaled down the rock I found myself meandering through the Boulderdash Trail and the Two Guys Trail before reaching Abrams Rock. This rock is the largest in the park towering 40 feet above the trail. So I climbed it. After spending some time at the top and taking in the beauty and lonely solitude of Mother Nature I scaled back down and made my way back to the entrance and back to the car. I did discover a few things today. One, I am in much better shape than I was when I climbed the Hemlock Ledges Overlook last spring, and two, I’m still not completely healed from last summers injuries. As with most painful things in life, this will go away someday.

For more information about Abrams Rock and its history, a new book has been published by Michael J. Vieira and J. North Conway called New England Rocks: Historic Geological Wonders (2017). The book also features the photo below.

Trail map can be found at: Village Park.

Abrams Rock

Abrams Rock

Sowams Woods – Barrington

The Barrington Land Conservation Trust owns this nice little and well maintained 12 acre parcel wedged between Washington Road and Echo Lake. Though the walk is rather short, it makes for a pleasant half hour getaway. The trails are also very well marked. The main entrance seems to want to be on Washington Road itself, however around the corner on South Lake Drive (the narrow road along the country club property) there is a very small parking area at a trailhead. Starting there I followed the very narrow red trail to the first intersection. i then turned left and up a set of stairs onto the blue trail through areas of low ground cover until I got to the green trail. I then followed the green trail straight through an area of a pine needle covered path with towering trees. The green trail then turned to the right (orange trail was to the left) and I followed it to its end. I then turned left onto the red trail and right onto the purple trail. I followed the purple trail as it very slightly climbed up and down to its end with Echo Lake to the left along the way. The car was parked less than a hundred feet west of the end of the purple trail. I did not see much of any wildlife except for many birds.

Trail map can be found at: Sowams Woods

Echo Lake in Barrington

Echo Lake in Barrington

Boyden Heights – East Providence

  • Boyden Heights Conservation Area
  • Boyden Boulevard, East Providence, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°47’22.29″N, 71°22’10.90″W
  • First Time Hiked: June 9, 2013
  • Last Time Hiked: August 12, 2017
  • Approximate distance hiked: 0.6 mile
  • Easy with slight elevation.

Boyden Heights is an East Providence Conservation Commission property that overlooks a cove and the Providence River. The trailhead starts at a small parking area on Boyden Boulevard. There is a red blazed loop trail, a blue blazed “lollipop” loop trail, as well as a few spurs that lead to the bike path on the property. It is small enough that you will not get lost if you choose to explore the entire property. One of the highlights of Boyden Heights is the dock that reaches out into the cove. Swans, ducks, and several other species of birds, including orioles, yellow finches, and woodpeckers are commonly seen here. Across the cove, the clubhouse of the Squantum Association is the most predominant structure. It was built in 1900 replacing the 1873 structure. This building is used for weddings and receptions. President Arthur and President Taft have attended events here. The property also abuts the East Bay Bike Path, if you wanted a walk of more distance you could follow the bike path south to the Ponham Rocks Lighthouse or to the north toward Watchemoket Cove.

Trail map at: Boyden Heights.

Salt Cove At Boyden Heights

Salt Cove At Boyden Heights

Nockum Hill – Barrington

  • Doug Rayner Wildlife Refuge – Nockum Hill
  • George Street, Barrington, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°46’18.96″N, 71°18’41.66″W
  • Last Time Hiked: May 16, 2013
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.5 miles
  • Easy


A nice little hidden gem in Barrington owned by the Barrington Land Trust. In fact if you are in Barrington you need to leave town and drive through Swansea or Seekonk to get to it. This wildlife preserve includes a little bit of everything. It has a farm, woods, meadows, marsh, and a beach. Starting at a small parking area across the street from Dane Horse Farm I followed Rayner Road past the gate then turned left onto the Woodland Trail. I followed this trail to its end after a short detour down the marsh trail. I made my way down to the beach at the point where I found a park bench that overlooks Hundred Acre Cove. I spent several minutes here taking in the view. I then made my way back to the Point Trail, following that back to Rayner Road and then I turned right onto Terrapin Trail. Apparently this is the only location in Rhode Island where the diamondback terrapin nests. I did not come across any. I then turned left back onto the Woodland Trail and then left again onto the Bittersweet Trail. At the end of the trail I turned right onto Rayner Road once again and followed it back to the car. There were several species of birds in the trees and meadows here. There is also a monument at the entrance that marks the former location of a historic church.

Trail Map can be found at: Nockum Hill

A Farm At Nockum Hill

The Farm At Nockum Hill

Colt State Park – Bristol

Friday was another perfect spring day in Rhode Island along Narragansett Bay. I parked my car in a small lot by the Poppasquash Road entrance where the paved walking path begins. I then followed it around a large grass field with a picnic shelter and through a grove of trees where it finally meets with the main road that runs through the park. After crossing the stone bridge I crossed the street to get to the path that runs along the bay. From this path you can see Conimicut Light, Rocky Point, Rumstick Point, the northern end of Prudence Island, as well as the massive wind turbines at the Port of Providence and the skyscrapers of downtown Providence. It was a quiet day on the bay. I only saw one motorboat and one sailboat. After following the shore for a bit the path turns to the left and follows what was once part of Coggeshall Farm Road. I then turned left at the “two lions” where the park headquarters are then right down a small road, crossing the park road where the paved walkway begins again. I followed this walkway along the Mill Gut where I saw an egret. Just before crossing the stone bridge again, a pair of spawning horseshoe crabs caught my attention. I then crossed the bridge and retraced my steps back to the car.

Trail map can be found at: Colt State Park

Spring Field

Spring Field

Brickyard Pond/Veterans Memorial Park – Barrington

  • Brickyard Pond/Veterans Memorial Park
  • West Street, Barrington, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°44’13.75″N, 71°18’43.11″W
  • Last Time Hiked: March 17, 2018
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.7 miles
  • Easy.


Brickyard Pond is known mostly for its fishing, but there are several short trails here to be hiked. From the YMCA parking lot make your way down the entrance road until the first split. There is a kiosk here, turn left onto the Green Trail. This trail leads you through a long stretch of wooded area with some small stream crossings. Be sure to follow the green blazes as there are several unmarked spur trails. Soon you will reach a four way intersection. Follow the Red Trail which leads you to the shore of Brickyard Pond. The trail hugs the pond for a bit before coming to a grassy area by the pond. The Red Trail continues ahead and ends at the bike path. Turn right onto the bike path and follow it back to the parking lot.

Trail map can be found at: Brickyard Pond/Veterans Memorial Park


Along The Red Trail