Posts Tagged ‘ Streams ’

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

Jim Russell Preserve – Smithfield

  • Jim Russell Preserve
  • Burlingame Road, Smithfield, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°54’40.87″N, 71°33’53.27″W
  • Last Time Hiked: June 16, 2019
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.1 miles
  • Fairly easy with some significant elevation.

 

On the back side of Connors Farm and from a lesser known access on Burlingame Road is the Jim Russell Preserve. The yellow blazed access path and loop winds through the highest points of the property offering stone walls and seasonal brooks. From the one car (maybe two at most) parking lot, follow the yellow blazed trail downhill to the first trail intersection. Stay to the left here and follow the trail downhill a little further. The trail suddenly turns to the right at a stream crossing. Be sure to keep on eye out for the blazes here. You will pass boulders and stone walls along the next stretch that follows a rather impressive ridge. Ahead the blue blazed Cave Trail of Connors Farm appears on the left. Continue ahead following the yellow blazes to the next intersection. Turning right here you will find a rather large boulder followed by an interesting outcrop both on the right before winding through the ups and downs of the northern part of the property. At the next intersection turn left and retrace your steps uphill back to the parking area.

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Along the Yellow Blazed Trail

Connors Trail Map

Jim Russell Map

Prescott Farm – Middletown/Portsmouth

 

Prescott Farm is a Newport Restoration Foundation property that straddles the Middletown/Portsmouth town line. The forty acres offers historic structures and an 1812 windmill as well as a wooded area with ponds and streams. Just after the windmill and to the left is a trail that leads into the woods. The loop trail offers several stream crossings and a pond near the far end. There are deciduous trees and a mix of pines and junipers among some thickets. There was quite an abundance of birds here at the time of the visit. At the pond near the front of the property were plenty of ducks and geese. Among the old structures is also a garden maintained by the U.R.I. master gardeners. Although privately owned, the property is open to the public and is a great spot for those interested in local history or looking for a short walk.

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The Guard House and Windmill at Prescott Farm.

Dunham’s Brook – Westport

  • Dunham’s Brook Conservation Area
  • Main Road, Westport, MA
  • Trailhead:  41°32’37.64″N, 71° 5’14.17″W
  • Last Time Hiked: September 8, 2018
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.8 miles
  • Fairly easy.

 

Wedged between Main Road and Route 88, Dunham’s Brook offers nearly 3 miles of trails in three very different and distinctive loops. Starting from the parking area, the trail first follows an open area of grass before entering the woods. At the first wooden bridge look to the right to notice a pond. The next bridge crosses Dunham’s Brook itself. Shortly after that is an area of boardwalk that winds through the thick brush. After taking a sharp right and climbing uphill, you will come to a set of stairs of the left. Go left here first climbing the stairs up to the trail (blue loop) This trail will lead you along the ridge of the hill passing the remains of a stone silo on the left before coming out to a large farm field. The trail bends to the right here. The path to the right (blue loop) will turn back to the south pass a stone wall and end at the orange loop. The path to the left (green loop) will lead you through a large seasonal corn field before entering the woods once again. This section is not shown on the map provided, but is shown at the kiosk at the trailhead. A logging operation was also actively occurring at the time of this hike. Continuing straight the trail will soon turn to the right to complete the loop. Turn left and retrace your steps back through the corn field, pass the silo, and to the stairs. For the last part of this hike, turn left at the bottom of the stairs, follow the trail slightly uphill to the next intersection. Turn left onto the blue trail and follow it to the stone wall at the corn field. Turn right here and follow the orange loop trail as it re-enters the woods. The trail winds through a dense area of woods and wetlands along the southern end of the property. The trail eventually makes a loop and returns to the stairs. From here continue ahead and retrace your steps back to the parking area.

 

Map can be found at: Dunham’s Brook

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The Stairs at Dunham’s Serves as a Good Reference Point

 

Tri Town Ridgeline Preserve East – North Stonington/Griswold/Preston

  • Tri Town Ridgeline Preserve East
  • Miller Road, North Stonington, CT
  • Trailhead:  41°30’46.39″N, 71°54’16.06″W
  • Last Time Hiked: August 21, 2018
  • Approximate distance hiked: 4.1 miles
  • Moderate, hills can be difficult.

 

This new Avalonia Conservancy property is large and sprawling offer several miles of trails. The longer blue blazed trail follows the perimeter of the property whereas the yellow blazed loop is shorter and explores the inner parts of the preserve. The red blazed trails serve as access and exits to and from the preserve. Do note that a portion of the blue trail has not been blazed yet pending finalization of land acquisitions and is expected to be completed in the autumn. For this hike, guided by a member of the Conservancy, we explored the eastern portion of the preserve utilizing a little of each trail. Starting from a small parking area at the bend in Miller Road we first followed the red blazed trail. We soon came to a marker for the blue blazed trail and continued ahead. The yellow trail comes in from the left  and shortly thereafter we turned to the right to continue to follow the blue blazes. The red and yellow blazed trail continues ahead and we would return from there. The blue trail, named the Wapayu Trail, then starts a steady climb up the first of several significant hills on the preserve. We passed several walls along the stretch that are believe to be of Native American origin. These are known as serpentine walls that twist and turn like a snake with a boulder at the end of the wall as its head. As the trail climbs over the hill and descends we came to the next trail intersection. Here the yellow trail (Fenway Trail) joins the blue blazed trail once again. This is also about where we entered Griswold. From here we followed the double blazed trail passing beautiful outcrops. Ahead the trails split again. The yellow blazed trail veers to the left and the blue blazed trail turns to the right sharply and climbs up another significant hill known as Rixtown Mountain, also known as Wapayu. Along the trail on the long steady climb we passed several cairns, several outcrops, and a vernal pool. (Note: that at the time of this hike the trail was blazed only with survey flagging and will be blazed by the autumn). Near the peak of Wapayu is a small rock formation along the trail. From here the trail descends and winds passing several impressive stone walls and an old quarry before traversing the northern reaches of the preserve. The blue trail once again joins the yellow trail for a bit as it crosses an area known as Oak Alley. The trees are very large and old along this stretch with an outcrop and stone wall on the left. The yellow and blue trails split once again to rejoin at the bottom of the hill. Follow the blue blazes down the hill and then back up another small hill, once again rejoined by yellow blazes before passing through a cairn field. The trail then turns sharply to the south following a babbling brook that we crossed just before an old stone dam at the edge of Lost Pond. The trail then climbs back uphill catching glimpses of Lost Pond on the left. We ignore a red blazed bypass trail on the left and continued straight. A little further the blue and yellow split one last time. We stayed on the blue trail climbing over a hill passing more cairns and entered Preston. At the next trail intersection we turned left onto the red blazed trail. It is an access road that runs south to the parking lot. For the remainder of the hike we followed the red blazes back into North Stonington passing an occasional outcrop. The red blazes are once again joined briefly by yellow and blue blazes before exiting the property. A map of the property is currently posted at the parking area. Also be sure to bring plenty of water. This hike can challenge your stamina.

 

Thank you to Carl Tjerandsen for leading this hike!

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Stone Wall Along Blue Trail

World War II Memorial Trail – Mansfield

  • World War II Memorial Trail – Nature Trail
  • Fruit Street, Mansfield, MA
  • Trailhead:  42° 0’22.08″N, 71°11’49.04″W
  • Last Time Hiked: August 13, 2018
  • Approximate distance hiked: 3.9 miles
  • Easy.

 

Two walks in one, literally. The World War II Memorial Trail follows a 1.6 mile stretch of the former Old Colony Railroad. The trail is a paved bike path that follows a straight section of former railroad from the Mansfield Airport along Fruit Street to the outer edges of downtown Mansfield at East Street. The trail is tree lined running through residential neighborhoods. At the midway point and west side of the bike path is the World War II Memorial Nature Trail. There is just about a mile of trails that meander through the woods here. The red blazed trail follows the perimeter of the property. The entire bike path out and back and the perimeter trail is just under 4 miles. Public parking is easier at Fruit Street.

 

Map can be found at: World War II Memorial Nature Trail

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The Bike Path in Mansfield

Prudence West – Portsmouth

  • Prudence West
  • Bay Avenue, Portsmouth, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°37’20.93″N, 71°19’21.29″W (1.5 miles from ferry)
  • Last Time Hiked: July 30, 2018
  • Approximate distance hiked: 3.1 miles
  • Fairly easy with some elevation.

 

This hike on the western side of Prudence Island covers a variety of trails. It starts at a picnic and parking area along Bay Road at the entrance of Pulpit Rock. The rock it self is a couple hundred feet from the trail head along the Blind Allen Trail. This rock is where Roger Williams use to preach to the Native Americans and is also believed to be the throne of Canonicus and Miantonomi of the Narragansett Tribe. Continuing a little further along the winding Blind Allen Trail you will come to a trail intersection. Take a left here onto the newly created Deer Chase Run. This trail, blazed with deer hoof symbols, slowly climbs up a hill that leads to the Desert, an area of the island that wind erosion has made unsuitable for farming. The area now is abundant with pitch pine trees and occasional areas of sand. Soon you will come to the intersection of the Desert Trail. Continue ahead here following the hoof symbols of Deer Chase Run. The trail winds slightly downhill to a bridge crossing at Mill Creek. The trail then winds easterly exiting at utility pole 11 along Sunset Hill Avenue. Turn right here and follow the dirt road for about a tenth of a mile passing the Sunset Hill Farm (Bacon Farm) on the right. Ahead of you will signage for trails. Continue straight and onto the trail. You will see signage for the Diamond Trail on a tree. Continue ahead for a bit and you will come to a trail intersection. This is the Diamond Trail. To the left it would lead you to Baker Farm. For this hike turn right onto the Diamond Trail and follow it, passing tall grasses and shrubs, for about two tenths of a mile to another dirt road. At the dirt road stay to the left and pass through the wall. You are now at a six trail intersection. Turn right here and start to follow the Division Wall Trail keeping the wall to your right for the time being. This trail is blazed with a mathematic division symbol. The wall, which runs almost completely across the island represents the division line between land owned by Roger Williams (to the north) and John Winthrop (to the south). The wall was built a century after the agreement was made in the 1630’s. The trail follows the wall dipping into a valley, crossing a small stream, and then slightly back uphill a bit before ascending to Bay Avenue. The Ballard Trail runs parallel to this trail and joins it before coming to the street. Across the street is the end of the wall and the Division Rock, the dividing point between the two property owners. Also at this location is the beginning of the Sunset Trail on which you will follow along the west shore of the island for a half mile. Along the way on the right you will find a grave of an unknown British sailor who perished in the American Revolution. The Sunset Trail ends at Chase Way, a dirt road. Stay to the left here and follow the road along the shoreline. The road passes Chase Beach before winding to the right. At the end of Chase Way turn left onto Bay Avenue and follow it to the parking area at Pulpit Rock.

 

NOTE: If you plan on hiking on Prudence Island, be known that the island is not commercialized. There are no restaurants, lodging, or transportation services. There are no public restrooms on the island except a composting toilet by the T-Wharf at the southern end of the island, which is several miles from most hikes. Once you are off the ferry you are on your own. Bring everything you will need for a day hike with no services. Furthermore, ticks are in abundance on the island. It is necessary to take precautions including proper clothing, sprays, and frequent checks.

 

 

Updated trail map can be purchased at NBNERR at South Prudence.

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Along The Division Wall Trail