Posts Tagged ‘ Stone Walls ’

Hop Brook Preserve – Blackstone

  • Hop Brook Preserve
  • Mendon Road, Blackstone, MA
  • Trailhead:  42° 3’19.15″N, 71°33’8.92″W
  • Last Time Hiked: July 4, 2020
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.2 miles
  • Fairly easy with some elevation and muddy areas.

 

This property hugs the side of a hill between Mendon Road and Hop Brook. From the parking area follow the trail from the kiosk. At the time of this hike the trail was marked with survey flagging. The entrance trail winds pass a stone wall and down hill before coming to an end. Here, make note of the area as you will look for this trail on the way back, then turn right and continue to follow the flagging. The trail turns to the east and comes to another split. Stay to the left here and follow the trail downhill to the brook. At the brook you will find a series of small cascading waterfalls. Take a moment to take in nature here before continuing. You now have two options. You could retrace your steps or continue along the loop. If you follow the loop you will continue to follow the flagging. The trail narrows significantly for a few feet as you have to step from stone to stone through a muddy area. The trail then turns slightly to the right and uphill. A trail comes in from the left. Continue straight ahead. Soon you will pass a trail to the right. This is the trail you followed down to the brook. Continuing ahead start looking for your left turn onto the trail that leads to the parking area. If you follow the flagging you will do just fine. Though short in distance this hike is all hill, slight at that, but you will notice.

TWRI-Hop5

Hop Brook

Hawkins Woods – Plainville

 

Hawkins Woods was opened in 2018 and is mostly known for its disc golf course. The short mile long loop trail traverses the back part of the property wandering through a canopy of beech, pine, and maple trees. The trail also passes along the edge of a large field and stone walls. The tee-pee is quite the highlight along the way. To do the trail stay to the left of the kiosk and follow the white signs with black arrows.

TWRI-Hawkins07

The Tee-pee at Hawkins Woods.

Wildcat Rock – Tiverton

  • Wildcat Rock
  • Lafayette Road, Tiverton, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°35’43.25″N, 71°11’19.02″W
  • Last Time Hiked: June 21, 2020
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.6 miles
  • Fairly easy with some elevation.

 

In the northern reaches of Weetamoo Woods are trails that are less traveled. The trails here are not blazed but for this hike are easy enough to follow. Starting from Weetamoo Woods Lafayette Road parking area continue to follow Lafayette Road pass the gate. The road is paved to the top of the hill. Nature and time has reclaimed some of the pavement though. At the top of the hill is an open field to the left and to the right is the Yellow Trail to Weetamoo Woods. From here continue straight ahead. The road narrows a bit and becomes gravel and grass from this point forward. To your right you will pass the Indian Trail and soon a split to the left. Ignore both and continue straight ahead. At the six tenths of a mile mark the trail splits again. Stay to the right to start heading south. There will be a trail coming in from the left. Ignore that trail and continue ahead. The trail then bends significantly to the right. Ahead is another split. Stay to the left here and the trail soon comes to an outcrop. There is another trail split here. It is your choice as both form a small loop to the top of Wildcat Rock. At the top of the rock you will find yourself high above the forest floor though there is not much of a view as the trees still tower above the rock. The height of the rock is still quite impressive nonetheless. The view would be better when the leaves are off the trees, but the challenge to find the rock (trails not shown on map) is worth the short hike in itself. From the rock, retrace your steps back to the parking area.

 

Map can be found at: Wildcat Rock.

TWRI-WC05

Highest Point at Wildcat Rock.

 

Quandoc Conservation Area – Killingly

  • Quandoc Conservation Area
  • Brickhouse Road, Killingly, CT
  • Trailhead:  41°48’6.86″N,71°48’8.62″W
  • Last Time Hiked: June 7, 2020
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.4 miles
  • Moderate.

 

Right over the Rhode Island border is a great kept secret. Though the hike here is just about a mile and a half, the property offers near solitude as it winds through woods, fields, by bogs, and over a stream. Starting from the trail head just left of the kiosk you will find yourself climbing slightly uphill following the yellow blazes. The trail, narrow at points, traverses under a canopy of tall pines as it weaves pass stone walls. The trail then crosses a babbling brook at a stepping stone array. Just after the brook turn right at the trail intersection. This will begin the loop portion of the hike. The trail here descends downhill a bit and will come to a cart path. Turn left here at the cart path and follow it downhill. A trail comes in from the right, ignore it and continue ahead following the yellow blazes. Note another small babbling brook on the left. Soon you will pass some large boulders then the trail comes to an open field. Continue straight ahead through the grassy area keeping the stone wall to your right. You are likely to see many insects and butterflies here as there is milkweed in the field. Beyond the wall you will catch glimpse of a bog. The trail continues slightly uphill, turns slightly to the right, then passes through a pine grove. After the pines the trail splits, stay to the left here. In a few feet the trail splits again. Stay to the left here and note the yellow blazes on the rocks in the ground. From here the trail climbs steeply for a bit. Your stamina and lung capacity will be tested on this hill. This is the northern most part of the trail system. From here the trail gently winds up and down small hills passing under a canopy of pine and beech trees while passing more stone walls. You will notice some white quartz stones along the trail just before your turn to the right. After turning right and crossing the brook once again you will retrace your steps back to the parking area following the yellow blazes.

 

Map can be found at: Quandoc.

TWRI-Quan07

Late Spring Ferns at Quandoc

 

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

Mud Bottom Brook – West Greenwich

  • Mud Bottom Brook – Big River Management Area
  • New London Turnpike, West Greenwich, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°37’4.38″N, 71°35’46.70″W
  • Last Time Hiked: May 16, 2020
  • Approximate distance hiked: 4.5 miles
  • Moderate, navigation can be difficult.

 

 

First and foremost, I would advise not to attempt this hike without a map, GPS tracking, good sense of direction, or all of the above. I personally have ventured into Big River enough times to feel comfortable enough to wander its many, many, many trails. To say Big River has a vast network of trails is a gross understatement. For this hike I took a wrong turn along the way and found myself on a trail that was not on the Great Swamp Press map and found myself relying on GPS tracking and my internal compass to make my way back to a main trail. (My guest did a great job at remaining calm!!) With that being said, I am going to attempt to recall my route, but please don’t rely on this post alone if you attempt this hike. From the parking area at the end of New London Turnpike by the Wincheck Gun Club we passed the gate and followed the pine tree flanked dirt road for about four tenths of a mile. Turning left the trail then winds downhill to its end. Here we turned right onto a trail called Sweet Sawmill Road. This trail climbs slightly uphill passing some stone walls on the right. At the next intersection we turned left and followed that trail just under a half mile to its end. The trail widens at its end, stay to the right here. The trail then declines slightly into the valley that Mud Bottom Brook runs through. Along the way, after a heavy rain, you may encounter some large puddles along this trail. At the next intersection stay to the right and again right a little further down the trail. This trail will lead you to the crossing at Mud Bottom Brook. There is a wobbly plank and stones here to make the crossing easy. From here we continue ahead until we came to a “T” intersection. The trail in both directions at the time of this hike was blazed blue. The blazes are amateur and not by any means the type of blazes seen at Arcadia. We turned left here and still feeling confident we were on the right track and started to follow the blue blazes. At the next intersection is where I suspect the plan went out the window. We came to the intersection realizing it was not on the map. Thinking we might have been a little further north, I suspected the trail to the left might be the second crossing of Mud Bottom Brook. We turned right here thinking it would continue along the edges of the peninsula are eventually turn south paralleling  the Carr River. It did not! (I do not actually know where the trail to left leads, that will be a hike for another day). After turning right we soon came to another intersection, again blue blazed. We turned right and followed it nearly a mile up and down hills, zigzagging back and forth to its end. This stretch was actually quite pretty. We passed stone walls, a rather large natural looking swale, and hunting stand along the way. At the intersection at the end of the trail blue blazes go to the right. Using the internal compass at this point we turned left and then almost immediately left again and then right just up ahead. The trail we were on would lead us back to the New London Turnpike trail. Turning right onto the sandy road it veers slightly to the right before curving to the left and straightening out. Ahead the sandy road splits again. Stay to the left here. This is the trail back to the parking area just under a mile away. The remainder of the walk climbs slightly uphill along the wide New London Turnpike. Be sure to wear orange here during hunting season.

 

Map can be found at: Mud Bottom Brook.

TWRI-MBB08

The Crossing At Mud Bottom Brook

Grills Preserve – Hopkinton

  • Grills Preserve (Hopkinton)/How-Davey Preserve
  • Alton Bradford Road, Hopkinton, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°24’31.52″N, 71°44’52.53″W
  • Last Time Hiked: May 2, 2020
  • Approximate distance hiked: 4.2 miles
  • Fairly easy.

 

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, Grills/How-Davey, is the lesser known and the newest of the three. It spans over Hopkinton Land Trust property and the Nature Conservancy’s How Davey Preserve. From a parking area off of Route 91 (Alton Bradford Road), pass the two gates along the dirt road. The trail behind the kiosk you will return on. After passing the second gate you will follow the dirt access road for a bit. This section of the road is the blue trail, however it is not blazed. The road winds gently by some swampy areas and a couple boulders. Ahead on the right is the properties only (currently) blazed trail. Turn right here onto the red blazed trail. Immediately ahead of you is a cemetery. The most notable grave is quite a sad story, “two infants” who died a day apart. Continuing following the red trail to its end. You will want to turn left here, but first take a glimpse of an old cellar hole straight ahead. You may also catch a speeding train here (and at other points along this hike). The tracks are off-limits! After checking out the cellar hole continue with the hike. You will want to follow the un-blazed yellow trail, now to your right. Follow it to its end back to the access road. Make note of the railroad tie as a reference point. You will use this trail upon exiting. Turn right onto the road. It will wind back toward the railroad tracks and then parallel them for a bit before turning to the left, away from them, and slightly uphill. At the next intersection stay to the left. The trail continues to climb slightly uphill. There will be a four way intersection next. Turn right onto the narrower path and follow it to its end. Here turn left, making your way slightly downhill and passing through a stone wall. You are now on the How-Davey Preserve. Continuing ahead you will come to another split. Stay to the left here. In a few feet you will cross a small stream with a series of shallow waterfalls. The trail climbs uphill again. Turn right at the next trail intersection (the trail ahead leaves the property). After turning right the trail loops through the woods high over the Pawcatuck River below. This area is quite beautiful and will be going through a transformation over the next couple years as many of the trees here have fallen victim to the gypsy moth invasion a few years back. The ground shrubs cover nearly the entire hill and several saplings have already reached above them. After crossing two small streams this trail eventually loops back to the intersection by the series of small waterfalls. Here you will turn left making your way off of the Nature Conservancy property. At the next trail intersection continue straight ahead and then left at the next intersection. You are now back on the dirt road. Follow it back to the railroad tie at the beginning on the “yellow” trail. Turn left here, passing by the red trail. Continue straight the remainder of the hike. The trail will wind through some wet areas and over some boardwalks before ending back at the parking area. Hunting is allowed here, be sure to wear orange.

 

No map on-line. Map available to view at kiosk.

TWRI-GPH03

Cemetery at Grills Preserve

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

DeCoppett South – Richmond

  • DeCoppett South – DeCoppett State Management Area
  • Hillsdale Road, Richmond, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°30’44.97″N, 71°38’40.28″W
  • Last Time Hiked: April 19, 2020
  • Approximate distance hiked: 3.5 miles
  • Moderate due to navigation, difficult river crossing.

 

This hike in a lesser known State Management Area offers quite a bit. Beautiful trails, boulders, a pond, cemetery, and a nearly impossible river crossing. With that last part being said, be prepared to backtrack if the river is in fact impossible to cross as conditions change over time and can drastically be affected by recent weather. For this hike, in the southern section of the property, start from a small parking area on the west side of Hillsdale Road where Punchbowl Trail intersects. Cross the road towards the “Road Closed/Dead End” sign and follow the trail as it quickly descends downhill. Along this stretch you will observe several boundary signs before coming to the swiftly flowing Beaver River. This crossing offers a large planed log with a unique split at the far end. If you find this river crossing questionable, this hike may not be for you. Continuing ahead the trail slowly climbs uphill flanked by a stone wall on the left. Ahead, just off the trail and on the right is a cemetery. There are no visible inscriptions on the stones. This is the Phillips-Barber Cemetery with graves dating back to 1772. One of the graves is of that of Benjamin Barber who served in the American Revolution. Back on the trail, you will soon come to an intersection. Turn left here. In a few hundred feet the trail splits. Stay to the right here, the trail on your left is your “emergency exit”. The trail starts to climb uphill gently but for quite a while. After recent rains this section of trail can be quite muddy as it winds pass boulders small and large. At the top of the hill (1.1 miles from the start of the hike) take a sharp left turn. There is a small cairn here to mark the intersection. This trail starts the long,  and at times steep, descent back towards the Beaver River. Along the way you will pass through an impressive area of boulders and a trail on the left. Make note of this trail. If you can’t cross the river this trail is your “emergency exit” and will be the best way to exit as it avoids climbing the hill you just came down. When you reach the river you will notice there is no bridge. There is a row of stones here that can be used to cross when the river is low and calm. (At the time of this hike the river was swollen and rather deep after heavy rains. Crossing here was not an option. Wandering upstream a bit you will find a downed tree that crosses the river. Someone has tied a rope across the river where this tree is. Do not rely on the rope for balance. This is a difficult and dangerous crossing. You are on your own if you attempt this. After crossing follow the river downstream back to the trail.) On the other side of the river the trail becomes an area of grass. Stay to the left here, the trail turns slightly right and climbs gently uphill again passing sections of old fence and a cellar hole. There will be another trail to the right that follows an old split rail fence for a bit and up a small hill. Here is the Fielding-Vallet cemetery with noticeably modern graves as recent as 2010, that being of Hope Edwards, the last “tenant” of this property. After her death, per the wishes of Theakston de Coppett, this property was endowed to the State of Rhode Island to become a nature preserve. After checking out this cemetery, return to the last intersection and turn right. The trail soon comes out to Hillsdale Road. Turn left here and then right almost immediately and back into the woods. Along this stretch there is a short spur trail that leads to a field that is worth checking out. Continuing back on the trail you will come to a wide stream. After the last river crossing this one is a breeze. Still not easy though, as you have to jump from stone to stone. The trail then winds through pines and deciduous trees that have been ravaged by the recent gypsy moth infestations. At the next trail intersection, turn left. The trail is now covered in pine needles as you traverse your way through a pine grove. Ahead you will come to a four way intersection with a large boulder at the corner of a stone wall. You will eventually follow the trail to the left back to the parking area, but first you will want to follow the trail straight ahead of you. The trail leads to a large open field where you may catch a glimpse of hawks or turkey vultures. At the field turn right and follow the tree line for a bit to get a glimpse of Bailey Pond. From here retrace your steps back to the four way intersection where you will turn right to return to the parking area. The trails here are not blazed and there is no official map available for the property. It is highly recommended to use a GPS device here.

TWRI-DES03

The First River Crossing

Map

Trail Map – DeCoppett South

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