Posts Tagged ‘ Streams ’

Ash Swamp – Cumberland

  • Ash Swamp
  • Nate Whipple Highway, Cumberland, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°58’57.94″N, 71°25’32.16″W
  • Last Time Hiked: September 4, 2022
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.4 miles
  • Moderate due to lack of blazes and mapping, Some Elevation.

In the thickly wooded area behind the North Cumberland Middle School are a series of trails that meander across lesser known town owned land. Some of these trails are used by the schools cross country team and the remainder reach to Tower Hill Road. For this hike, I ventured into the woods with a map from “OpenStreetMaps” with the intention of finding and completing the two loops in the middle of the property. The first challenge was getting to the trail head. Passing through the main parking area for the school, drive behind the school to a smaller parking area at the back of the school. There is enough room for 2 or 3 cars here. From here follow the tree line around the bend and you will encounter a sign for the schools cross country program. This the trailhead! After entering the woods stay to the left. The trail to the right will lead you to Schofield Farm. In a little bit you will come to a four way intersection with some park benches. Turn right here. The trail winds northerly toward the first of the two loops. There will be a trail to the left just before a stream. Ignore it and continue ahead crossing the stream. Soon on the left you will get a glimpse of a boulder strewn landscape. At the next intersection stay to the right and you will cross a stream. A short distance ahead a trail comes in from the right. Ignore and stay on the main trail that veers to the left and starts a climb uphill. At the top of the hill the trail splits. Stay to the left and pass through the stone wall. The trail starts to turn to the left before straightening out. At the next split, stay to the left again. You will pass another stone wall before coming to the next trail intersection. Stay to the right here and continue ahead about sixty feet or so and there will be another intersection. Continue straight here and ahead to the next trail intersection. Ahead the trail is slightly overgrown. The main trail turns abruptly to the left. Follow the main trail as it starts a climb uphill. The trail turns to the right and levels out a bit, then turns left again and again uphill. There will be a trail to the left, ignore it and continue the climb uphill. At the top of the hill will be the next intersection. Turn left here and in about twenty feet or so will be another intersection, turn left once again. There will be a trail on the right, ignore it and continue ahead. You will now start a long descent downhill. Next, a trail comes in from the left, stay to the right and follow the main trail. And yet another trail to the right to ignore. Continue to follow the main trail downhill. At the end of the trail at the bottom of the hill turn right. Follow this trail about sixty feet to the next intersection. Turn right here and follow the main trail slightly uphill. Again a trail comes in from the right, and again ignore it. Near the top of the hill and on the left there is a narrow trail that leads to a footbridge. Take a moment to check this out. There is a babbling brook that cascades over the rocks here. Return to the main trail, it will turn slightly to the left and cross a stream. Shortly after the stream there will be another trail intersection. Stay to the left here. The trail descends downhill passing boulders and outcrops before ending at the next trail intersection. Turn right here and continue ahead to the four way intersection with the park benches. At the intersection turn left and follow the trail back to the trail head. During this hike, we encountered some chipmunks, squirrels, and a lone deer. A few suggestions and notes about this hike. Use GPS! You could easily get lost here and you will likely do some backtracking if you take a wrong turn. The map that I had used only showed the main trails. There are many other trails here that are not shown on the map. Some of the trails were blazed at intersections. These blazes are for the cross country team and are not typical “hiking blazes”. Also, it may be a good idea to tackle this hike on a weekend or holiday when the school is closed.

Trail map can be found at: Ash Swamp

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Trail and Stone Wall at Ash Swamp

Tucker Woods Preserve – Charlestown

  • Tucker Woods Preserve
  • Alton Carolina Road, Charlestown, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°27’2.07″N, 71°40’16.74″W
  • Last Time Hiked: June 18, 2022
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.2 miles
  • Fairly easy with slight elevation.

One of the newest trails opened to the public, Tucker Woods, once farmland, is now permanently protected by the Charlestown Conservation Commission. Starting from a new parking area along Alton Carolina Road follow the blue blazed trail into the property. The trail first passes by an open field with sporadic pitch pines before moving into the wooded area shaded by a canopy of oak. The trail widens to an old cart path. You will pass the yellow trail on the right. Continue ahead for now. The forest floor is covered in fern in some spots and there is a rather large hill on the left (future to top of hill is planned). You will pass the other end of the yellow trail, still continue ahead to the end of the blue trail. It splits and makes a loop. Continue ahead and uphill. The trail turns sharply to the right and follows a stone wall before turning again completing the loop. From here stay left and retrace your steps back to the yellow trail (now on your left). Turning onto the yellow trail, start looking for a spur on the left. This leads to a sitting area by a babbling brook with a small “waterfall”. The other side of the brook is part of the Carter Preserve. Making your way back to the yellow trail, turn left, and follow it to its end. The trail winds along the side of a hill for a bit before cutting its way back to the blue trail. At the blue trail turn left and retrace your steps back to the parking area. Trail map is at the kiosk and should be online in the future.

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Along The Yellow Trail

Nathan Lester House – Ledyard

  • Nathan Lester House Hiking Trails/Great Oak Park
  • Vinegar Hill Road, Ledyard, CT
  • Trailhead:  41°25’23.26″N, 72° 3’14.34″W
  • Last Time Hiked: April 30, 2022
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.8 miles
  • Fairly easy with some elevation.

                                                                            

 

Behind the historic Nathan Lester House are a few miles of properties. Each trail intersection is marked with a post that has a letter on it. For this hike you will do the 1.8 mile perimeter that leads to most of the properties highlights. Starting from the parking area, make you way toward the house. You will see the trailhead marked by a kiosk. The trail, occasionally marked with blue blazes winds through the woods skewed with boulders along this stretch. When you reach the “B” marker continue ahead. You will pass some stone walls and mountain laurel before coming to the “C” marker. Continuing ahead, slightly to the left you will come upon more mountain laurel. The trail descends a bit coming to a stream with a bridge crossing. The trail becomes quite root bound briefly after crossing the bridge. At the next intersection “D” there is a bench if you so choose to. Turn left here, the trail turns sharply to the right and follows a stone wall for a while. Along the way you may spot a cairn or two. Soon you will come to the connector trail the leads to the Atkinson Reserve. Continue ahead, the trail winds through a rather wet area for a bit before coming to the Lester Family cemetery on the left. Carrying on you soon come upon the site where once stood the Ledyard Oak. The tree removed in 1969, declared dead, was believed to be over 400 years old and was the site of several Pequot Councils. Staying to the left the trail leads back to the house and barn. Take a look around, there is quite a bit to see here including some farm animals.

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Trail Along Stone Wall

Atkinson Reserve – Ledyard

  • Atkinson Family Reserve
  • Long Cove Road, Ledyard, CT
  • Trailhead:  41°24’55.63″N, 72° 2’43.81″W
  • Last Time Hiked: April 30, 2022
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.4 miles
  • Fairly easy with some elevation.

Starting from the parking area near 757 Long Cove Road stay to the left and follow the trail under the power lines to the kiosk. Here you will find the trail map. Continuing into the property following the red blazed trail, you will first scramble up and over a small hill and the trail winds a bit passing a tower. You will soon come to the blue loop. for this hike turn left here. You will slowly climb a hill and come upon the first of several stone walls. At the “short cut” stay to the left, descend into a valley, cross a small stream, and then back up hill. The blue trail turns sharply to the right and flanks a stone wall. The pine grove beyond the wall is so thick that you can not see daylight through it. The trail heads north a bit passing a couple of trails to the left that lead to the Nathan Lester trail system. Continue to follow the blue loop. It then turns to the east passing the other end of the “short cut” before descending down a steep hill. The trail veers to the right in a southerly direction now winding through an area of scattered boulders and more stone walls. You will soon pass through a grove of mountain laurel before coming to the red blazed loop. For this hike turn left onto the red loop. You will pass through low lying shrubs, outcrops, and by ledges before coming to a wooden bridge crossing a stream. Continue to follow the red blazed trail as it starts a long and steady climb uphill. Note on the right at the top of the hill a boulder left by the retreating glaciers. The trail soon levels out and comes to the blue loop again. Turn left here and again at the next intersection to follow the red blazes back to the kiosk.

Trail Map: Atkinson Reserve.

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The Brook at the Southern End of the Property

Tri Town Ridgeline West – North Stonington/Preston

  • Tri Town Ridgeline Preserve West
  • Miller Road, North Stonington, CT
  • Trailhead:  41°30’46.07″N, 71°54’15.37″W
  • Last Time Hiked: October 15, 2021
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.6 miles
  • Moderate, significant hills.

This hike would be the third of three planned routes to cover most of the trails at the Tri Town Ridgeline Preserve. This hike covers the western portion of the property. Starting at the parking area at the bend in Miller Road follow the red trail (known as the Axis Trail) into the property. It first is blazed only red but soon the blue blaze loop comes in from the left and joins the red trail. Continue ahead and the yellow blazed Fenway Trail will join from the left just as the blue blazes veer to the right. Continue ahead here now following the red/yellow blazes. Soon the yellow trail veers to the right. Continue ahead and follow the now only red blazed trail as it cuts through the property. You will soon leave North Stonington and enter into Preston. (For this hike you will not cross into Griswold). Ahead the yellow blazed Fenway Traill will cross the Axis Trail. Still continue ahead and you will start to get a glimpse of some of towering ridges and ledges the property is so known for. The red trail ends at the northern reaches of the blue loop trail. Here turn left and start climbing the incline to Lamberts Peak. This stretch can be a bit challenging due to the steady upward incline. Along the way to the peak you will pass beautiful stone walls and climb stone stairs. At the peak there is a bench to take a short break. The view from here is spectacular. Continuing ahead you now will mostly be declining down the hill passing small boulder fields with some rather impressive larger boulders, ledges, more stone walls, and stream crossings. The trail hugs the western edge of the property for a while before turning east and coming back out to the red blazed Axis Trail. Turn right here and follow it back to the parking area.

Trail Map: Tri Town Ridgeline West.

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Ridges and Ledges

Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center – Stonington

  • Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center
  • Pequotsepos Road, Stonington, CT
  • Trailhead:  41°21’46.34″N, 71°56’47.63″W
  • Last Time Hiked: October 8, 2021
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.8 miles
  • Fairly easy with some elevation.

The Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center offers several miles of trails. For this hike, start at the backside of the Nature Center. First make a loop around the duck pond. From there follow the boardwalk to the red blazed trail. The boardwalk turns to the right and becomes part of the red blazed trail. It crosses over a small stream before bending to the right and coming out to a field. Stay to the left here and continue ahead. The trail will soon turn left back into the forest. From here follow the red blazes as the trail loops around the southern end of the property passing several impressive boulders along the way and crossing the stream once again. Ahead on the right is the white blazed Ledge Trail. This trail winds through the dense forest first up and along a ridge before meandering down to Hidden Pond. The trail turns to the left before the power lines and descends downhill eventually coming out to the back of the Pre-School. From here make your way around the school to the parking area.

Trail Map: Denison Pequotsepos

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Boardwalk Along Red Trail

Booth Pond – North Smithfield/Woonsocket

  • Booth Pond Conservation Area
  • Dowling Village Boulevard, North Smithfield, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°58’44.15″N, 71°30’21.44″W
  • Last Time Hiked: July 10, 2021
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.8 miles
  • Fairly easy, some significant elevation.

A hidden gem behind a bustling shopping area preserved from further development. Starting by a kiosk at the Dowling Village Apartments follow the access trail through a power line easement and into the woods. For this hike we turned left at the first intersection onto the Booth Pond Trail and followed it to the southern shore of the pond. Here you will find evidence of beaver activity and their handy work of tree trimming. Continuing along the trail we then turned left at the next major intersection onto the Border Trail. This trail straddles the town line with Woonsocket. The trail bears to the right when it reaches the pond again. From here we continued pass the “Seasonal Passage”. This area is quite unique as the trail dips substantially below the water level of the pond. A wall of logs and branches of a beaver dam holds the pond back. There is a rocky outcrop just after the dip that looks over the northern end of the pond. This is a good spot to take in the views. From here we continued ahead to a multiple trail intersection. Here we turned to the right onto the Pitch Pine Trail. This trail looks as if was an old cart path as it climbs steadily uphill most of its length. We ignored the trails to the left and then on the right on the way up the hill until we found the trail that turns to the right and goes through the Pitch Pine Grove. At the end of that trail we then turned right onto the Border Trail for a bit and then left onto the Vista Trail back into North Smithfield. We soon passed a trail to the right that we would later exit on. soon we turned left onto a trail to the left that continued to climb uphill a bit until it reached the power lines. We turned right here and followed the trail to the overlook. From the overlook we followed the Vista Trail north and then turned left (trail we passed earlier) and scaled downhill passing some impressive ledges. We then turned left onto the Booth Pond Trail and retraced our steps back to the entrance. There are no blazed trails here (yet) however maps are available at the kiosk. There are many more trails here to explore if you are looking to look around a little further.

Map can be found at: Booth Pond

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Visitor to Booth Pond

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

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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Wildwood – Westerly

                                                                            

This may be one of the shortest trails in the State. Being on a Land Trust property, I had to check it out… (part of hiking every trail in Rhode Island). The trail cuts through a wooded area in a residential neighborhood following the bank of a stream. The walk out and back is just under a quarter mile. There is a nice sitting area if you so choose.

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Stream at Wildwood