Posts Tagged ‘ Stone Walls ’

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.

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Stone Structure at Westport Woods.

Beaudoin Conservation Area – Coventry

  • Beaudoin Conservation Area
  • Ledge Road, Coventry, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°41’56.06″N, 71°39’21.08″W
  • Last Time Hiked: December 22, 2019
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.8 miles
  • Moderate, some stream crossings and rocky footing in areas.

 

A lesser known, but truly spectacular, trail system lies in western Coventry just between Route 117 and the Washington Secondary Bike Path. Starting at a parking area with a kiosk along Ledge Road follow the blue blazed trail as it gently descends into the heavily wooded property. This trail is only about a quarter mile long before it comes to the yellow blazed trail. For this hike stay to the left and follow the yellow trail southerly. The trail here is wide and winds downhill even further passing oak, pine, and beech trees. Off in the woods you can see the glacial remains of several boulders. As the yellow trail approaches the Washington Secondary Bike Path keep an eye out for a pair of stone walls on the right. They run parallel as if there was an old lane here. After the second wall and on the right is the beginning of the white blazed trail. You will want to turn here, but first follow the yellow blazed trail to its terminus at the bike path, cross the bike path to another short trail that leads to some ruins. Here along the Quidnick Brook is a large cellar hole of a mill and the remnants of a dam. After exploring the ruins make your way back to the white trail (now on your left). For next three quarters of a mile you will follow the white blazed trail as it winds up and down small hills, over and through streams, and through small boulder fields. This trail is much narrower and has many twists and turns but is very well blazed. Keep an eye out for the blazes especially by stream crossings. The narrow trail soon comes to a cart path at the western most end of the property. If you were to turn left you would come to the bike path once again. However, turn right and continue to follow the white blazes to the yellow trail. At the yellow trail you will want to turn right onto the much narrower trail. (Ahead, the yellow trail follows the cart path to a parking area at Williams Crossing Road). After turning right the trail winds again up and down several small hills and through another boulder field as you head east across the property. The trail comes to another cart path and the yellow blazes take you to the left here. Soon you will reach the blue blazed trail once again where you retrace your steps back to the parking area at Ledge Road.

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One of Several Stone Walls

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Map of Beaudoin Conservation Area

King Phillips Spring – Fall River

  • King Phillips Spring – Watuppa Reservation
  • Blossom Road, Fall River, MA
  • Trailhead:  41°42’56.24″N, 71° 5’19.86″W
  • Last Time Hiked: December 15, 2019
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.6 miles
  • Fairly easy with some slight elevation.

 

This 2.6 mile loop starts and follows the route of the Homestead Loop Trail before breaking off and heading east into the depths of the Watuppa Reservation. Starting from a parking area surrounded by a split rail fence follow grass covered cart path away from the road. On the right before the stone wall and power lines is the trail. The trail is first flanked on the left by the stone wall. A few hundred feet ahead the trail passes through the wall and then to a split. Staying to the left you will see the first trail marker (marked by a rabbit). You are on the Homestead Loop Trail at this point. The trail markers for this trail are at every tenth of a mile. There are no other blazes on this loop. The trail passes under the power lines before winding back into the woods. After passing some holly and small boulders you will come upon a trail on the right (marked by a bee). Ignore this trail for this hike and continue straight. You will soon enough come to another “rabbit” marker to confirm you are on the right trail. At the end of the trail you will come to a fire lane where you will turn left. First find a sign on a tree with “KP3” on it to confirm your location. For the remainder of this hike you will want to look for these signs. The trails are not blazed otherwise. Following the fire lane known as Brightman Path you will pass through a swamp before coming to a small pond and what appears to be a small levee on the left. Continuing ahead the path starts to climb uphill. At the next intersection (KP7) continue straight onto the Indian Turn Trail which continues to climb uphill. At the top of the hill is a four way intersection (KP8). Turn left here and within a few hundred feet you will bear to the left (KP16) and start a slow descent. Keep an eye to the left for a wide path. It is a dead end but it takes you to the highlight of this hike, King Phillips Spring. The spring with a large rock surrounding by a cluster of smaller ones is the headwater of Blossom Brook. Take some time here to linger before heading back up to the main trail where you will turn left to continue to make your way to intersection KP17. Bear to the left here and again bear left at the next intersection (KP18). The trail now starts to wind downhill a bit coming to what appears to be a cellar hole on the right. From here the trail bends to the west and narrows quite considerably as it passes through a swamp once again. This stretch, called Corduroy Path, offers very thick shrubs, hemlocks, and junipers. Stop and listen for the birds as it is a haven for them. The trail then passes under the power lines again, back into the woods, pass a gate and ends at Blossom Road. Turn left here and follow the road pass the Reservation Headquarters and over a much wider Blossom Brook. The parking area is a few hundred feet ahead on the left.

 

Map can be found at: King Phillip Spring.

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King Phillips Spring

 

 

Cross Town Trail – Groton

  • Groton Cross Town Trail
  • Depot Road, Groton, CT
  • Trailhead:  41°20’8.29″N, 72° 1’58.54″W
  • Last Time Hiked: November 2, 2019
  • Approximate distance hiked: 6.0 miles
  • Moderate with some hills and rugged areas. Navigation can be difficult in areas.

 

The town of Groton offers a trail that connects several properties while it traverses quite literally cross town. The trail, six miles in total one way, starts at Bluff Point State Park, winds through Haley Farm State Park, meanders through the Mortimer Wright Preserve and Merritt Family Forest before coming to a half mile of road walking, climbs through Beebe Pond Park and Moore Woodlands, and finally to Town’s End Preserve. Starting at the parking area for Bluff Point, the trail starts to the left by the composting toilets. Follow the main path ahead through areas of ledge, pass a gate and you will soon be parallel to the Amtrak tracks. To the right are some spectacular views of the upper reaches of Mumford Cove. The trail then veers slightly to the right and uphill. At the top of the hill turn left at the wooden steps and left again to cross the bridge. After crossing the bridge you have entered Haley Farm State Park. Just ahead is a gate to the right. Take the turn here, pass the gate and follow this trail. Following this trail will lead you to the main parking area for Haley Farm. Along the way you pass several small boulders and old farm stone walls before the trail turns into a stone dust path. A massive, and quite impressive stone wall will be to your left before coming to the open field just before the parking area. The trail continues to the left (north side of the parking area), however, though not technically part of the Cross Town Trail, it is well worth checking out while here. At the composting toilet is an opening at the wall. Follow the trail here and straight at the next intersection. The trail then turns to the left and back southerly. This small additional stretch is grass mowed through a field with an abundance of birds and thickets of berries and sumac. At the next intersection, continue pass the grass mowed trail to the left, pass the wood post with remains of a gate, and turn right following the trail slightly uphill flanked by a stone wall on the right. At the end of the stone wall there is a narrow trail on the right. Take this trail and follow it first through a cedar grove before passing a few stone walls. There is a trail split ahead just as a catch a glimpse of a pond. Stay to the right here and continue to follow the trail over a few boardwalks and pass Gibson Pond before exiting the State Park at Groton Long Point Road. It does not seem that blazes for the Cross Town Trail were allowed on State Property. At the time of this hike orange dots were observed at several points along the way. They were helpful, however it is very advisable to use GPS (particularly through State lands) in the event you may need to backtrack. Good news! The remainder of the trail is blazed blue through all of the remaining properties and there are trail maps at all the major intersections. Just be sure to keep an eye from blaze to blaze to assure you are on the right trail. Continuing ahead across Groton Long Point Road and slightly to the right you will come to the first blue blaze at Mortimer Wright Preserve. The trail winds up and down hill for the next couple miles passing beech groves, several stone walls, “frog crossings”, an esker and moraine, and streams as it passes the Wright Preserve and Merritt Family Forest. This stretch is absolutely beautiful and is well populated by deer, songbirds, and squirrels. The next half mile is road walking, crossing Fishtown Road, turning onto and following to the end of Rhonda Drive, right onto Farmstead Avenue, then right onto Judson Avenue. After Somersett Drive (on the left) start looking for the trailhead at Beebe Pond Park on the right. Follow the blue blazed trail once again through Beebe Pond Park and Moore Woodlands. This stretch can be a little rugged with rocky and root bound trails, so it is advisable to watch your step while walking and stop to take in the scenery. On the way out of the Beebe Pond Park is a massive stone wall to the right. It looks as it might have been part of a mill or dam. The trail then comes out to 850 Noank Road. This is a good spot for a second vehicle if you are going to car spot this hike. The Cross Town Trail then continues by turning left and following Noank Road for a couple hundred feet and the turning right at the gated Town Ends Preserve. The trail then ends about a tenth of mile into the preserve at Beebe Cove.

 

Map can be found at: Cross Town Trail.

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Mumford Cove at Bluff Point.

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Autumn at Merritt Family Forest

Homestead Loop Trail – Fall River

  • Homestead Loop Trail – Watuppa Reservation
  • Blossom Road, Fall River, MA
  • Trailhead:  41°42’56.24″N, 71° 5’19.86″W
  • Last Time Hiked: October 20, 2019
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.2 miles
  • Fairly easy.

 

Starting from a parking area surrounded by a split rail fence follow grass covered cart path away from the road. On the right before the power lines is the trail. The trail is first flanked on the left by a stone wall. A few hundred feet ahead the trail passes through the wall and then to a split. Staying to the left you will see the first trail marker (marked by a rabbit). The trail markers for this hike are at every tenth of a mile. There are no other blazes on this loop. The trail passes under the power lines before winding back into the woods. After passing some holly and small boulders you will come upon a trail on the right (marked by a bee). Ignore this trail for this hike and continue straight. You will soon enough come to another “rabbit” marker to confirm you are on the right trail. At the end of the trail, turn right onto the wide grass road and look for a trail on the left. Turn onto this trail and continue with the loop. At 0.3 mile marker there is a rather impressive holly tree. The trail winds a little further south and back west coming to a trail intersection just before the power lines. The trail to the right is the “bee” marked trail. Stay to the left here making your way to the power lines. The trail can be a little overgrown here. Continue ahead here passing under the lines and the trail becomes much clearer at the tree line. The next feature of the trail is a boardwalk (still under construction) before coming to the wide grass road once again. From here continue straight as the trail winds back to the first marker. From the first marker retrace your steps back to the parking area.

 

Map can be found at: Homestead Loop Trail.

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Marker Along The Homestead Loop

Little Creek Preserve – Portsmouth

 

The newest of the Aquidneck Land Trust properties, Little Creek offers a half mile loop trail as well as several short spurs. The property also will feature a boardwalk over a marsh for birding and wildlife viewing. This boardwalk is slated to open in the fall of 2020. The trails wind through thickets, wildflower fields, and brush making the property a haven for birds. the eastern edge of the preserve has two connector trails to the Sakonnet Greenway if you wanted to add some extra mileage. Be sure to bring your camera if you are a birder or wildflower enthusiast.

Map can be found at: Little Creek Preserve.

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Little Creek Preserve

Sunset Farm Trail – Narragansett

  • Sunset Farm Trail
  • Point Judith Road, Narragansett, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°24’24.97″N, 71°28’48.22″W
  • Last Time Hiked: September 15, 2019
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.5 miles
  • Fairly easy with some elevation.

 

Tucked away behind Sunset Farm is one of the newest trail systems in Rhode Island. A working farm, you must first make your way past the gate and follow the signs along the dirt road through the farm area. Be sure to close the gate behind you!! The trail is to the left just as you approach a stone wall at the northern edge of the property. The trail is flanked by the wall to the right and a wire fence to the left. Along this stretch are sweeping views of the farm fields. At the next intersection, and for this hike, turn left and follow the trail into a wooded area. A stone wall will now be on your left. Look for a very distinctive and obviously out of place stone in the wall. At the end of this trail turn right. The path to the left is blocked with a gate. From here you will gently descend downhill through an area with old apple trees and grape vines. The scent of grapes was rather strong at the time of this hike, and with the fruit, the birds. There were many of them singing in the nearby shrubs. At the next trail intersection there is signage. Turn left here, cross over a boardwalk, and then slightly uphill to a small knoll with a bench. There is a small view corridor (likely larger when the leaves are off the trees) of Point Judith Pond. From here retrace your steps back to the intersection. Continue straight ahead and slightly uphill. At the next intersection continue straight and then retrace your steps back to and through the farm. Be sure to check out the farm stand for fresh fruits, vegetables, honey, sauces, and meats. Around the other side of the barn are pens. You may catch a glimpse of a cow or goat.

 

Map can be found at: Sunset Farm Trail.

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The Trail Flanked by Fence and Wall