Posts Tagged ‘ Stone Walls ’

Klutz Woodland – Glocester

  • Klutz Woodland – Sprague Farm Town Forest
  • Joe Sweet Road, Glocester, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°54’1.79″N,  71°42’15.12″W
  • Last Time Hiked: September 4, 2021
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.0 miles
  • Fairly easy with some slight elevation. Can be muddy at times.

The Klutz Woodland is a spectacular addition the sprawling Sprague Farm Town Forest. The trails here have just recently been blazed offering more miles to the already popular hiking destination. Starting from the parking area at the end of Joe Sweet Road follow the red blazed trail into the woods. You will climb up and over a small hill while flanked by mountain laurels, boulders, and a forest floor covered with thickets. Three tenths of a mile into the hike you will come to a green blazed trail. Turn right here to follow the trail through an area of lush ferns. The green trail intersects with the red trail once again. Bear right and stay on the green blazed trail. It winds downhill with a stone wall to the left. The green trail soon ends at the white blazed Sprague Trail. Turn left here and follow the stone wall. The trail then passes through it. Just after that turn left onto the pink blazed trail. This trail offers more mountain laurel and amazing stone walls before ending at the red trail once again. Turn right here and follow the red blazes as the trail zigzags a bit before coming to an outcrop. Here the (future, and still under construction) red blaze trail turns to the right. For this hike, continue straight onto the blue/yellow blazed trail. It will eventually lead out to the unblazed and undeveloped portion on Joe Sweet Road. Turn left here and follow the road back to the parking area. Keep in mind that this section can be a bit wet after heavy rains.

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Stone Wall Along The Pink Trail

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Headwaters – Westport

  • Headwaters Conservation Area
  • Blossom Road, Westport, MA
  • Trailhead:  41°41’20.19″N, 71° 5’37.57″W
  • Last Time Hiked: August 1, 2021
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.8 miles
  • Fairly easy.

This property at the extreme northern end of Westport is made up of two very distinctive parts. The first western half is open to the public and is accessible by trail. The eastern half including the Bread and Cheese Brook is left for nature. For this hike, nearly 2 miles in length, follow the red blazes from the small parking area along Blossom Road. The trail climbs steadily uphill for a bit. Follow the red trail, ignoring the blue blazes to the left and the yellow blazes to the right. You will pas through an impressive pine grove before coming to the properties “major intersection”. Here continue ahead following the red blazes. The trail becomes more of a cart path for a bit surrounded by a forest floor covered in ferns. The trail soon comes to a road. After crossing the road the trail crosses over some boardwalks before coming to a loop. For this hike stay to the left and follow the red blazed trail. At the next split stay to the left and continue following the red blazes. When you reach the orange blazes turn left and follow them. This short trail will get you as close as possible to the brook. Turn left onto the red trail next. It will come into an area of shrubs. Here the trail narrows significantly, especially during the summer months. The trail then heads back into the woods and completes the loop. Stay left here, back over the boardwalks, cross the road, and look for the yellow blazes to the left. Turn onto the yellow blazed trail. It will swoop to the south before turning back to the north. Stay to the right and the trail comes to the “major intersection”. Continue ahead here onto the blue trail and follow it to the red. Staying to the right will bring you back to the parking area.

Map can be found at: Headwaters

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Yellow Trail at Headwaters

Fenway Trail – North Stonington/Griswold/Preston

  • Fenway Trail – Tri Town Ridgeline Preserve
  • Miller Road, North Stonington, CT
  • Trailhead:  41°30’46.07″N, 71°54’15.37″W
  • Last Time Hiked: May 22, 2021
  • Approximate distance hiked: 3.2 miles
  • Moderate.

This would be the second of three planned hikes here at the Tri Town Ridgeline Preserve. This hike would follow the yellow interior loop known as the Fenway Trail. Starting from the parking area at the bend of Miller Road, follow the red blazed trail into the preserve. The red trail, known as the Axis Road, cuts the property in two offering an easier connection to the two loops or an easier exit if need be. Soon the blue blazed Wapayu Trail comes in from the left. Continue straight ahead following the now red and blue blazes. At the next intersection the blue trails turns to the right. To the left is the yellow loop where you will exit from. Continue ahead here following now the red and yellow blazes. You will be under a canopy of beech trees along this stretch. You will pass a stone wall before coming to the split where the red stays to the left. Veer right here onto the yellow trail. The trail now follows an old cart path. You will get your first glimpses of ridges here and will notice the forest floor is covered with ferns.  The blue blazes rejoin the yellow trail for the first of three times. For this hike you will follow the yellow blazes. You are now leaving North Stonington and entering Griswold. The trail narrows a bit passing some stonework before dipping down into a small valley, crosses a brook, climbs up the first of the hills, before coming to a series of boardwalks. The trail here is rocky and root bound. Watch your step! The yellow trail splits from the blue again briefly as it weaves through an area of beautiful stone walls. Rejoining the blue trail, you will scramble up and over a hill through an area called Oak Alley. There are some rather large trees along the trail and some information about the Pequots. The yellow trail then turns to the left and zigzags down hill and rejoins the blue trail for the last time at the next right. The trail now follows an earthen dam for a bit before winding uphill passing an area of cairns, possibly of Native American origin, before coming to a sitting area. This is a good spot for a break as you are quite a distance from civilization. It tends to be quiet here. Continuing the trail winds downhill crossing over a brook. There is a spur trail to the left for a view of Lost Pond. The trail splits. Follow the yellow to the left. From here it follows a ridge and weaves through a fern covered forest. In this area you will cross into Preston, the third town of the Tri-Town Preserve. Next you cross a “log bridge” before coming to the intersection of the red trail. From here continue ahead and slightly to the right to continue to follow the yellow blazes. This will be the hardest part of this hike. That hill in front of you… you about to climb! You will spend sometime climbing to the top as the trail bends to the south and follows the ridgeline. I saw quite a few deer along this stretch. Near the top of the hill along the trail there is a boulder with a “spike” in it with the inscription “P & G”. Just after this point you will climb over the crest of the hill and start the long steady descent back into North Stonington. Near the end of the yellow trail it climbs slightly uphill one last time. At the next intersection turn right and follow the red blazes back to the parking area.

Map can be found at: Fenway Trail

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Fenway Trail Following A Ridgeline

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.

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Stone Walls and Trees

Allens Pond West – Dartmouth

  • Allens Pond West
  • Horseneck Road, Dartmouth, MA
  • Trailhead:  41°30’24.53″N, 71° 1’25.18″W
  • Last Time Hiked: May 1, 2021
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.6 miles
  • Fairly easy trails with rocky beach walk.

                                                                            

Allens Pond is a Masachusetts Audubon property along Buzzards Bay. The property offers 6 to 7 miles of trails. It is a diverse and beautiful property offering several types of features from beaches to fields to woodlands. With that being said, I have decided to break the property into three separate hikes to maximize visiting all of the trails without having an overwhelming hike distance. This hike, the third, covers the western portion of the property. Starting from the Field Station parking area stay to the left and follow the grass mowed trail towards an opening in a stone wall. The trail crosses through another grass field before coming to a dirt road. Turn left here and almost immediately you will be turning right passing an open gate. You are now on the Quansett Trail. You start getting your first glimpses of Allens Pond on the right. Ahead you will cross a stone wall. Here a rather extensive boardwalk begins. The first highlight is a viewing area to the right. The second, just after the bend is a bridge that crosses over a marshy area. The trail, back on land now, traverses through thickets, pass boulders and more stone walls before coming to a stretch of “stepping stones”. At the next intersection there is a distinctive boulder. Stay to the left here and continue following the Quansett Trail. You will cross a small brook before coming to the Tree Top Trail. Again bear to the left and continue on he Quansett Trail. You will come upon more boulders and a “stretch of green” featuring skunk cabbage and fiddleheads in early spring. For this hike, turn right at the next intersection onto the Fresh Pond Trail. (The Quansett Trail continues ahead here into the central part of the property.) Along the trail to the left is a spur to Poison Ivy Rock. There is a nice view of the cove here and a good spot to take a break. I did not see any poison ivy! Continuing along the Fresh Pond Trail you will soon come to the trails namesake on the right. Look for nesting swans and geese here along with several other birds. The trail then turns to the right passing a sitting area before coming to the “stone bridge”. Here you will get another glimpse of Fresh Pond to the right. After crossing the bridge the trail ends in a bit completing a loop. Turn left back onto the Quansett Trail, passing the stepping stones, boardwalks, and to the dirt road. Turn left onto the dirt road and follow it about a tenth of a mile to an area with sweeping views of Allens Pond. Look for osprey atop the pole, herons, and egrets. There will be a information kiosk on the right with a sandy path. Follow this path to the rocky beach. At the beach you will see the Elizabeth Islands in the distance. On a clear day you may be able to make out the Gosnald Tower near the end of Cuttyhunk, the island to the right. Turn right onto the beach and follow it to the large outcrop. The trail then climbs over the outcrop coming back down the other side to another rocky beach. After the zigzagged stone walls to the right the trail turns to the right coming into a grass field. From here follow the grass mowed path to the parking area. Check out the Bayside Restaurant across the street for their blueberry pie!!

 

 

Map can be found at: Allens Pond West

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Stone Walls and Boardwalks

Dike Creek Reserve – Dartmouth

  • Dike Creek Reserve
  • Bakerville Road, Dartmouth, MA
  • Trailhead:  41°34’30.85″N, 70°58’38.22″W
  • Last Time Hiked: April 10, 2021
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.5 miles
  • Fairly easy, some roots here and there.

Looking for a beautiful easy hike, fairly flat, no hills, fields, woods, streams, and water views? Dike Creek Reserve is the place to check out. Starting from the parking area, make your way into the property by following a red blaze access trail that runs along a working farm. The trail then moves into a section of woodlands for a bit. A newly built boardwalk carries you over the wet areas. The trail then comes back to another field, continue ahead going slightly downhill for the length of the field. The trail now enters the woods once again. In a bit you will come to a trail intersection. For this hike, turn left onto the blue blazed trail and follow it to its end. Along the way there is another set of boardwalks and a bridge that crosses a small stream. Turn right onto the white blazed trail and will soon be at a long boardwalk. Near the end of the boardwalk the red trail intersects. Here will eventually want to go left. But first, continue ahead a bit, passing a trail on the right, to a dead end that has a sweeping view of Dike Creek. Retracing your steps take a peek down the red trail now on your left. There is another bridge here that crosses a well worn stream. Retracing your steps once again back to the end of the white blazed trail, turn right onto the red blazed trail. It soon passes through a stone wall winding ever so slightly uphill to another stone wall and a vineyard. From here turn right and follow the yellow blazes back into the woods. The trail makes a loop through the northern part of the property with another spot to view Dikes Creek. After doing the loop retrace your steps back to the red blazed trail. Here continue straight ahead following the perimeter of the vineyard and the end of the red trail. Turn left onto the white blazed trail as it zig zags back to the intersection with the blue trail. Turn right onto the blue trail, then right onto the red and follow it back to the parking area.

Map can be found at: Dike Creek

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Barlow East – Westerly

  • Barlow Nature Preserve – East
  • Westerly Bradford Road, Westerly, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°22’44.91″N, 71°45’52.13″W
  • Last Time Hiked: January 17, 2021
  • Approximate distance hiked: 0.8 miles
  • Easy.

                                                                            

The Barlow Nature Preserve in Westerly is split into two sections separated by a swamp. The easstern portion offers a hike through an active farm and a wooded area behind the Westerly Land Trust headquarters. The blue blaze trail starts by the large pine tree just to the east of the greenhouse. The lollipop trail loops through the wooded area offering a dendrology lesson as many trees are labeled to what they are. A new boardwalk (circa 2021) has just been built. An option to return through the farm is available shortly after the boardwalk by turning left.

 

Map can be found at: Barlow Nature Preserve

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Along the Blue Loop at Barlow East

Barlow West – Westerly

  • Barlow Nature Preserve – West
  • Westerly Bradford Road, Westerly, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°22’50.18″N, 71°46’24.58″W
  • Last Time Hiked: January 17, 2021
  • Approximate distance hiked: 0.8 miles
  • Easy.

                                                                            

The Barlow Nature Preserve in Westerly is split into two sections separated by a swamp. The western portion offers a hike through a wooded peninsula surrounded by that swamp. There are two trails here blazed yellow and red. Following one out and the other back will give you a hike just under a mile.

 

Map can be found at: Barlow Nature Preserve

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Newton Swamp from Barlow West

Allens Pond Central – Dartmouth

                                                                            

This sprawling Massachusetts Audubon property offers all sorts of scenes. Farm fields, woodlands, marshes, and ocean views. To maximize visiting all of the trails here I broke the hike into three sections (East, West, and Central). This hike explores the central part of the property. Starting from the “Stone Barn” trailhead off of Horseneck Road, follow the trail to the west through an open field. The trail turns to the south and intersects shortly with another trail to the left. That trail will lead you to the eastern part of the property. For this hike continue ahead into the next field. Soon you will pass a shelter and a wooden fence. The trail turns to the left and then right into a stretch of woodlands. Just into the woods there is an inviting rock to sit. Take the moment. You will here will hear the chipmunks and squirrels rustling, maybe the sound of a woodpecker. I had got a glimpse of a deer here and some wild turkey. The trail continues ahead for a bit offering glimpses of Allens Pond to the left. When you get to the long stone wall stay to the left. This is the Ruebens Point Trail. Scramble up the outcrop to the left of the wall and ahead is a scenic view of the pond complete with a sitting bench. From here follow the trail down the stone steps and turn left at the next intersection. This trail leads to the point. Returning, take a left at the intersection onto the Zylfee Brook Trail and follow it to the next overlook. From here retrace your steps a few feet, turn left then right back onto the Quansett Trail. You will turn left and then follow the long stone wall (now on your right) back to the next trail intersection. From here continue straight and follow the trail back to the parking area.

 

Map can be found at: Allens Pond Central

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Allens Cove From the Rueben Point Viewpoint

Almy Reservoir – Johnston

  • Almy Reservoir
  • Reservoir Avenue, Johnston, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°48’56.50″N, 71°31’43.92″W
  • Last Time Hiked: December 12, 2020
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.6 miles
  • Fairly easy with some elevation, crossing at brooks can be difficult.

Wood Lake Park is host to several ball fields, a playground, and a dog park. Behind it are a network of trails that are on land owned by both the Town of Johnston and the Johnston Land Trust. Park by field 4 and walk up the access road to the dog park. Cut through the dog park to access the trail head. The trail turns slightly to the north and comes to a four way intersection. The trail to the left leads back to the backside of the ball field. The trail to the right will lead you to both the reservoir and another trail that reaches into the southern end of the property both which dead end. The trail straight ahead will lead you to Dry Brook, which coincidentally is not so dry after some rain. After crossing the brook there is a small maze of trails that lead to a peninsula and a small loop that brings you to a chimney from an old homestead. The trail continues north here but crosses onto private property just beyond the chimney. Trails are not blazed here. Exploring all the trails out and back on public property gave us a hike of two and half miles. The stone walls here are spectacular!

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Almy Reservoir