Posts Tagged ‘ TWRI Beginner Hike ’

Pasquiset Pond East – Charlestown

 

The Pasquiset Pond Preserve in Charlestown has two separate trail systems. Along the eastern edge of the preserve is a short quarter mile trail that winds through one of the most beautiful pine groves in Rhode Island. The towering elder pines sway gently above the younger spawns that cover the forest floor. Although a very short stroll, it is worth the stop if you are in the area. There is a sign for the preserve at the northern entrance but parking is available a few hundred feet down the road at the unmarked southern entrance. The remainder of the trails at this preserve are off of Narragansett Trail about a quarter mile away.

Trail maps can be found at: Pasquiset Pond

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Trail Through The Pine Grove

Conanicut Battery – Jamestown

  • Conanicut Battery National Historic Park
  • Battery Lane, Jamestown, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°28’53.46″N, 71°23’33.64″W
  • Last Time Hiked: September 13, 2016
  • Approximate distance hiked: 0.7 miles
  • Fairly easy with some slight elevation.

 

Many people pass this hidden gem of a property on their way to Beavertail State Park without even knowing it is there. It is a historically significant site that takes one through decades of military history. Like nearby Beavertail, Fort Wetherill, and Fort Adams, this property has remains of bunkers as well as it highlight, the battery. There is also a short wooded trail that circles around the property. On the north side of the parking lot (opposite side of the main entrance) is a trail entrance to the North Loop. At the first intersection stay to the right. The trail winds through an area of heavy brush, a haven for birds. At the next intersection stay to the right. This trail will lead you to a large lawn. In this area is the battery that was built during the American Revolution as a defensive fort. Among the mounds cannons would fire to nearby enemy ships. There is also a trail that leads to a significantly large boulder before turning north and uphill to a series of World War era concrete bunkers. These structures are actually spotting stations built upon Prospect Hill to warn the nearby armed forts of incoming enemy vessels. There are six bunkers in total. Evidence of Native American activity has also been found on this property. Though small, this property offers quite a bit and makes a nice supplement to a walk at Beavertail State Park.

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Mounds of the Battery

Woodland Path – Bristol

  • Woodland Path – Colt State Park
  • Colt Drive, Bristol, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°40’20.01″N, 71°17’54.46″W
  • Last Time Hiked: March 13, 2016
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.3 miles
  • Fairly easy.

 

At the extreme southern end of Colt State Park there is an area of woods. There is a network of trails here, some part of the park wide “Path to Health” system. The trails are faintly blazed and easy to follow. There is a couple small ponds and several vernal pools here. At the time of this hike, the frogs were very active. To add distance to this easy and short hike follow any of the parks paved walking paths or walk to the nearby Coggeshall Farm. There is a trail map sign near the parking area.

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Path in the wooded part of Colt State Park.

Albro Woods – Middletown

 

Albro Woods is a small property just off of East Main Road. The trail is a short loop that follows the perimeter of the property as well as a trail that cuts across the property. The trails at Albro Woods are just about a half mile in distance, however they connect to the longer network of trails that are part of the Sakonnet Greenway. You could easily add several miles to this walk by doing the Middletown Loop Trails. Albro Woods is a good starter walk and for younger kids. Dogs are welcomed but must be leashed.

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Albro Woods

Patriot Place – Foxboro

  • Nature Trail At Patriot Place
  • Washington Street, Foxboro, MA
  • Trailhead: 42° 5’2.54″N, 71°16’22.67″W
  • Last Time Hiked: December 26, 2015
  • Approximate distance hiked: 0.6 miles
  • Easy.

 

Patriot Place… known for Gillette Stadium, the home of the New England Patriots, and the sprawling complex of stores around it. Tucked away behind the Bass Pro Shop is a nature trail. The trail is short and easy to walk. This is a good trail for all ages as it is relatively flat. As soon as you enter the trailhead, you descend slightly downhill and away from the bustle of Patriot Place. The trail is a loop consisting partly of a boardwalk over wetlands, an active cranberry bog, and a wooded area. You will catch a glimpse of several birds here including ducks. The bog is usually harvested in the fall. This is a great little walk if you are in the area shopping, dining, or looking for some pre-game activities. (Go Patriots!!)

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Boardwalk Along Nature Trail

Bowdish Reservoir – Glocester

  • Bowdish Reservoir – Angell Loop Trail
  • Putnum Pike, Glocester, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°55’23.14″N, 71°45’29.73″W
  • First Time Hiked: September 26, 2015
  • Last Time Hiked: April 7, 2018
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.5 miles
  • Fairly easy with some elevation.

To say that this hike is easily one of the best in Rhode Island is a tremendous understatement. Just long enough to spend enough time in the woods and just short enough for beginners and folks with younger children. The one and a half mile loop trail has two diverse parts to it. The first meanders up and down over small hills in the remote part of the George Washington Campground and the second winds along the picturesque southern shore of the Bowdish Reservoir. To access the trailhead use the main entrance of the campground on Putnam Pike. There is currently a $2.00 visitor entrance fee that you must pay at the entrance. After paying and passing the gate, take your third left and use the parking area here behind the brown Civilian Conservation Corps cabin. From here walk along the dirt road, passing the Walkabout Trail trailhead on the right, toward the beach at the reservoir and follow the road as it turns to the left. There will be a kiosk for the Angell Loop Trail on the right. The trail, blazed white, first passes some boulders before passing a couple campsites on the left. Just ahead is a trail split with two boardwalks that cross a seasonal stream. Take the one to the left, this will lead toward the remote campsites first and leave the best part of the hike for the end. The trail then climbs uphill for a short distance. Ahead is a trail junction, be sure to follow the white blazes and ignore the side trails. Soon you will be near the top of the hill and notice a lot of ground cover shrubs. The trail then starts slightly downhill and comes to a service road. Turn right here and follow the dirt road. The road leads by the five remote campsites. These sites each have a picnic table, fire pit, and tent platform, but are for campers only and must be reserved to be used. Along this stretch is also a restroom if you feel so inclined. Just after the fifth campsite the service road becomes visibly less used and starts to look like a wide trail traversing through the tall oaks and pines. The trail continues to slightly climb uphill as it passes an area with some boulders in the woods. Near the top of the hill to the right is an unusual formation of stones. There is no indication to what they represent. The trail then leads over the last hill and the down toward the shore of the reservoir. The trail along the shore is narrower and has plenty of spots to view the reservoir. This is quite possibly one of the prettiest stretches of trail in Rhode Island. The next half of a mile is a haven for small woodland critters such as chipmunks and squirrels, waterfowl such as geese and ducks, and has an abundance of birds as the trail winds along the reservoir. If the breeze is blowing just right you will smell the campfires off in the distance. The trail then passes through a grove of hemlocks and mountain laurel just before coming to the boardwalk. After crossing the boardwalk, turn left and retrace your steps back to the trailhead. For the more experienced hiker that would like a longer walk, head over to the Walkabout Trail. There is the option of adding an additional 2, 6, or 8 miles to your hike.

Trail map can be found at: Bowdish Reservoir.

Along The Angell Loop Trail

Along The Angell Loop Trail

Bowdish Reservoir

Bowdish Reservoir

Wenscott Reservoir – Lincoln

  • Wenscott Reservoir – Lincoln Jogging Trail
  • Twin River Road, Lincoln, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°52’50.92″N, 71°28’8.24″W
  • First Time Hiked: July 10, 2015
  • Last Time Hiked: October 6, 2015
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.0 miles
  • Easy with slight elevation.

This small town owned property just off of Twin River Road in Lincoln offers quite a bit. The trails are wide and easy to use. There are several areas to stop and sit on a bench including a small picnic area right on the shore of the reservoir. And lastly there is a small babbling brook, actually it is a river, that you can enjoy. There are several options with a main loop and a couple cut through trails. Starting from the parking area the trail goes southward toward the reservoir. At the first intersection a trail goes to the right (I would return on this trail), I opted to go straight. The trail then splits again. This time I stayed to the left. The main trail is wide as it traverses through tall trees. There are some boulders just off the trail in the woods as well. Soon I approached a narrow trail to the right. Here I continued straight following the main trail. At the next intersection the trail to the left is barricaded. It leads to private property. Turn right here and soon you will start seeing the reservoir. The trail then bends to the left and again to the right. Here to the left is the shore of the reservoir and a small picnic area. The trail continues to the right. Continuing along the trail it starts to turn to the left before the next split. At the split stay left. Soon I was walking along the West River. There are some spots to view the trickling waterfalls of the river. The trail then starts climbing slightly uphill to an intersection. I turned right here and continued uphill away from the river. Just before the two large stone pillars start looking for the trail on the right. Beyond the pillars is private property. After turning right, I followed the trail a short distance to the trail I entered the property on. I turned left and retraced my steps back to the parking area.

I did not find a trail map on-line.

Small Waterfalls Along The West River.

Small Waterfalls Along The West River.

Blackstone Canal – Lincoln

  • Blackstone Canal
  • Interstate 295, Lincoln, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°56’22.58″N, 71°26’39.25″W
  • First Time Hiked: June 4, 2015
  • Last Time Hiked: April 8, 2017
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.8 miles
  • Easy with some slight elevation

Long before highways and even before the railroad came through these parts, the Blackstone Canal was the primary means of transporting goods from Providence to Worcester. The canal and its several locks ran along side the Blackstone River and was in use in the early 1800’s. Today most of it is long forgotten. It has been either covered over or nature has taken it back. But here in Lincoln a long stretch of it has survived the test of time and is well preserved for all of us to look back at yesteryear. It seems very fitting that this walk starts from the visitor center along Interstate 295 North. There is a 0.8 mile long stretch of bike path that winds gently down to the Blackstone River Bike Path. Following this stretch of bike path the roaring sound of the interstate soon vanishes and is replaced by the sound of the water falling over the Ashton Dam. I first came to a spur of the bike path that led to the right. I continued straight following it further downhill and the canal soon appeared on my left. I soon came to a path on the left with a wooden bridge. I continued straight again. I would return over that bridge toward the end of the walk. After walking under the large arched bridge that carries Route 116 over the Blackstone River I turned left and crossed a bridge toward the Kelly House Museum. This area features several granite bollards with inscriptions on them of structures that stood years ago including the Kelly Mill, the barn, and the 1825 Towpath Bridge. I then turned right, keeping the house was on my left and the canal on my right. After passing the barn site the “road” turns to the left. I continued straight (bearing slightly right) onto the towpath the follows the edge of the canal. The towpath ends at the Blackstone River Bike Path. Here I turned left following the bike path back to the large arch bridge. I then turned left and made a quick right passing through a parking lot under the bridge that leads to another trail. This trail first passes the Kelly Mill site and then the wooden bridge (on the left) before dead ending. At the end on the right is the Blackstone River as it cascades over the Ashton Dam, on the left is one of the old locks on the canal. From here I retraced my steps back to the wooden bridge. Take a moment to look at the canal from the wooden bridge. Here is the best vantage point to look at the stone work of the canal walls. After crossing the wooden bridge I then turned right following the bike path back to the parking lot at the visitors center.

I did not find a map on-line.

The Blackstone Canal

The Blackstone Canal

Breakheart Pond – Exeter/West Greenwich

  • Breakheart Pond – Arcadia Wildlife Management Area
  • Hicks Trail, Exeter, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°35’43.81″N, 71°42’13.28″W
  • Last Time Hiked: October 24, 2014
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.7 miles
  • Easy.

 

I had originally planned on doing a 6 mile hike in this area this morning but due to the wet weather I decided to do a much shorter hike instead. I choose to hike a loop around the ever scenic Breakheart Pond. Starting from a parking area near the pond I made my way to a small bridge that crosses Breakheart Brook. Here is a small dam and waterfall as well as the ruins of an old fish ladder. I soon found myself following the yellow blazes of the Breakheart Trail. The trail then turns left at a sign depicting distances to nearby landmarks. Here on the left is the first cellar hole I encountered. I soon crossed another brook with a small waterfall on the right. The trail then crosses into West Greenwich slowly moving away from the pond. I then found myself in an area of pines and oaks with stone walls. Next, I approached an intersection. Two trails lead to the left, one blazed yellow. They merge at the bottom of the small hill. Another trail goes straight. I turned left following the yellow blazes and crossed another wooden bridge. Here you can see the north end of the pond. After crossing the bridge, the yellow blazed trail turns right. I continued straight up a very small hill. At the top of the hill I turned left onto Hicks Trail. This would eventually lead me back to the parking area. The trail here is a wide lane that traverses through tall pines and a fern covered forest floor. A small spur trail to the right appears. A few feet in along this spur is another cellar hole. There are also several stone walls here. Continuing along the Hicks Trail and back into Exeter, I soon found a small opening to the left with a sweeping view of the pond. There is another at the boat ramp just ahead in the parking area. After taking a few pictures I finished the hike and returned to the car. Hunting is allowed here and blaze orange is required during hunting season.

 

Trail map can be found at: Breakheart Pond.

Rainy Morning At Breakheart Pond

Rainy Morning At Breakheart Pond

Westconnaug Meadows – Scituate

  • Westconnaug Meadows
  • George Washington Highway, Scituate, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°46’0.18″N, 71°40’18.46″W
  • First Time Hiked: May 18, 2014
  • Last Time Hiked: January 1, 2020
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.3 miles
  • Easy with slight elevation.
 

Just outside of the village of Clayville is Westconnaug Meadows. This property, owned by the Scituate Land Trust, offers a short trail that is just over a mile long. It is a good hike for beginners and children. The trail head is at the parking area for the ball fields on George Washington Highway. The trail enters the woods by the stone wall. There is a sign here at the trailhead. The trail first crosses two small boardwalks before turning right into the thick of the woods and slightly uphill. This first section can tend to be a little muddy in wet conditions. Along the way there are several signs describing the types of trees such as the black oaks, red oaks, white pines and sassafras, to name a few. The trail then comes to a fork. Stay to the left here and follow the trail downhill a bit. The trail soon starts bearing right and slightly uphill. This part of the trail is a loop. You will soon see yellow blazes on trees to your left. This marks the property of the Scituate Reservoir – you are not allowed to cross onto that property. There is small overlook along this stretch that gives you a view of the property to the west. If you look closely you will see a small stream below. The trail slowly takes a series of small right turns passing some boulders left behind from the days of glaciers. Soon the trail returns to the fork. Here, you turn left retracing your steps back to the parking area. The entire trail is marked with brown plastic trail markers and is very easy to navigate. The property is well-preserved and well-maintained by both the Land Trust and the Conservation Commission. I was tremendously surprised by this hike – I may chalk this one up as one of the most peaceful, serene and quiet hikes I’ve enjoyed yet. About midway into the hike, I found myself in complete silence – other than the sounds of the chirping birds and the breeze blowing through the various types of trees. Without any doubt, I would consider this one of Rhode Island’s best kept secrets.

I did not find a trail map on-line for this site.

At Westconnaug Meadows

At Westconnaug Meadows

This trail was featured in Rhode Island Monthly Magazine – October 2014

This trail was featured in RI Local Magazine – April 2015