Posts Tagged ‘ Waterfalls And Dams ’

Big River – West Greenwich

  • Big River – Big River Management Area
  • Nooseneck Hill Road, West Greenwich, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°38’53.88″N, 71°36’25.88″W
  • Last Time Hiked: May 27, 2017
  • Approximate distance hiked: 5.4 miles
  • Moderate, Difficult navigation without map or GPS.

In the 1960’s several local residents were forced to leave their homes here in the area of Big River. The State took the land by eminent domain to build a reservoir. The reservoir, first planned in the 1920’s, was never built and today the large and sprawling property is considered open space with a maze of trails, small streams, ponds, and cellar holes. With that being said, as with all of the Big River property, it is suggested not to wander here without a map, GPS device, or someone who knows the property well. For today’s hike we were led by Sandi of the Appalachian Mountain Club who guided us through the heart of Big River on a nearly five and a half mile trek. Her knowledge of not just the trails, but the history of the property is astounding. I would highly suggest keeping an eye out for any future hikes she may lead here. We started from the main parking area along Nooseneck Hill Road (a quarter mile south of Route 95). From here we followed Burnt Sawmill Road into the Management Area along the paved road until we reached a gate. The pond, with dam and waterfall, on the left is Capwell Mill Pond, fed by both the Carr River and Mud Bottom Brook. Continuing along Burnt Sawmill Road, we were flanked by old trees and telephone poles. At pole 24 a trail, an old cart path, veers to the left. We took it following the old cart path through pine groves and maples before crossing a stream at a wooden bridge that has seen better days. The trails continues, climbing a small hill, passing a couple of stone walls, and a few young pines on the forest floor below the towering ones. The trail splits and narrows, here we stayed to the right and soon came to another trail intersection where we stayed to the right once again. At the next intersection we stayed to the left slightly and then continued straight. The trail to the right would lead you back to Burnt Sawmill Road. Continuing ahead we came to a cellar hole and well on the left. It is not easy to see from the trail and if you do find it, be sure to use caution by the well. The next highlight of the hike comes up on the right. It is the Sweet Family Cemetery with graves dating back to the 1750’s. The trail then passes through another pine grove. This one is quite noticeable as the trees have grown very densely close to each other. Soon after there is a spur trail on the right that leads to the dam on the north end of Sweet Pond. The dam is now breached, intentionally, and Sweet Pond is no more. It is now just a stream through a grass filled basin. Retracing steps back along the spur trail we then turned right, southerly, along the trail we were previously on. Next we came to Sweet Sawmill Road, another old road. Here we turned right and soon passed the south side of the remnants of Sweet Pond. This stretch is flanked by some stone walls and ferns. At the next intersection, a four way, continue straight ahead. A few hundred feet ahead at the next intersection turn right. This is Burnt Sawmill Road once again. Following this road to its end will lead you back to the parking area. Along the way we would come across another cemetery and a former homestead with the only evidence left being a tire swing. Before concluding our hike we did explore a trail to the right that led to a stream that flows between the former Sweet Pond and Capwell Mill Pond. Wildlife is abundant here as it is not uncommon to see deer, coyote, squirrels, chipmunks, and turtles. The property also is carpeted by ferns and wildflowers with birdfoot violet and wild geranium being in bloom at the time of this hike. This is a popular hunting location as well. Orange is mandatory during hunting season.

Trail map can be found at: Big River (courtesy of Auntie Beak)

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Sweet Sawmill Road

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Dam and Waterfall at Capwell Mill Pond

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Blackstone River Byway – Lincoln/Cumberland

  • Blackstone River Byway
  • School Street, Lincoln, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°57’10.51″N, 71°27’9.88″W
  • Last Time Hiked: March 6, 2017
  • Approximate distance hiked: 0.5 miles
  • Fairly easy with some elevation.

 

The Blackstone River Byway is a utility road that follows the eastern shore of the Blackstone River in Cumberland just north of Albion Road. Between that road and the river is a short footpath of a trail that climbs up to an impressive outcrop of rocks that overlook the river. The trail is entirely in Cumberland but you must park at the bike path parking area just over the river in Lincoln. From the parking area follow School Street over the bridge that crosses the river. From here you will get a great view of the Albion Dam. Just after the bridge and before the gated road is a narrow footpath that heads north along the river. The path passes the dam before heading uphill to the overlook. This is a great little spot to sit and contemplate. This hike out and back (and for this hike description featuring just about all the highlights) is about a half mile. If you choose to further explore, follow any of the spur trails to the Byway road and head north. The utility road is heavily traveled by ATV’s and not so much utilized by hikers. The road follows a buried petroleum pipeline for a distance before pipeline crosses the river. You will see a clearing on the left with a sign down below warning of the pipeline crossing the river. A hike to this point (and back to the parking area) is just about 2 miles. If you care do a loop of 4 miles, a fellow hiker recently explored this option. You can do so by continuing along the dirt road after it passes the utility clearing on the left. Here is a link to her website with a description and a map.

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Sunset Along The Blackstone From The Overlook.

Stump Pond – Smithfield

 

Stump Pond is known mostly to be a fishing spot. The state owned property however has a short out and back trail that follows the shore of the pond. Starting from the parking area, you can first walk along the dam to the left to catch a sweeping view of the pond. At the end of the walkway is the spillway where Stump Pond (also called Stillwater Reservoir) flows into the Woonasquatucket River. From here retrace your steps and continue to follow the dam towards the woods. A well defined trail then follows the shore winding gently up and down small hills. The trail comes to a small peninsula where there is a cluster of trees leaning over the ponds edge. A trail ahead continues onto private property. For this hike, stop at the small peninsula and enjoy the view before returning back to the parking area.

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A wintry Stump Pond.

Shad Factory Pond – Rehoboth

  • Shad Factory Pond/Daniel L. Savoie Conservation Area
  • Water Street, Rehoboth, MA
  • Trailhead: 41°48’31.54″N, 71°16’29.51″W
  • Last Time Hiked: February 5, 2017
  • Approximate distance hiked: 0.7 miles
  • Easy.

 

This walk, just about three quarters of a mile, features a trail that follows the Palmer River and a short stroll to the Shad Factory Pond and its dam. Starting from the parking area along Water street, follow the narrow unmarked trail easterly along the river. The river here is covered in a canopy of trees that birds were flying through. Cardinals, blue jays, robins, woodpeckers, and ducks were all seen along the trail here. Along the way there is an old wooden structure that looks as if it might have been a dock or bridge. The trail ends at Reed Street opposite the entrance to a service road. This road is closed to the public as it is property of the Bristol County Water Authority. From here follow Reed Street south a few hundred feet crossing the Palmer River. To the right you will catch glimpses of some ruins that were once part of the Orleans Mill. You will see a couple of the remaining walls and a double archway over the river. This mill produce cotton cloth but met its untimely fate twice by fire. Some people have claimed that the old mill site is haunted and have seen unexplained figures in the woods. Just over the bridge and on the right as well is Shad Factory Pond with its 1911 dam and newly constructed fish ladder. There are a handful of benches here to sit and relax. From here retrace your steps along Reed Street and along the trail back to the parking area. If you are into bird photography, bring your camera.

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Palmer River just downstream from Shad Factory Pond

Sheep Farm – Groton

  • Sheep Farm
  • Hazelnut Hill Road, Groton, CT
  • Trailhead: 41°21’21.83″N, 72° 1’21.21″W
  • Last Time Hiked: December 30, 2016
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.3 miles
  • Fairly easy with some elevation.

 

This interesting property features a loop red blazed trail, a yellow trail, and a blue trail that cuts through the property. Fort Hill Brook is the highlight of this hike with its series of waterfalls. There are also remains of old mill sites throughout the property. The property is covered with scattered boulders and there is an open field with bird boxes.

 

Trail maps can be found at: Sheep Farm

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Falls at Fort Hill Brook

Round Top – Burrillville

  • Round Top Management Area
  • Brook Road, Burrillville, RI
  • Trailhead: 42° 0’7.11″N, 71°41’47.90″W
  • Last Time Hiked: October 7, 2016
  • Approximate distance hiked: 0.7 miles
  • Fairly easy with some elevation.

 

One of the smallest management areas in the state is mostly know for its fishing ponds. There are, however, a small network of trails on the property. For this hike I started at the parking area along Brook Road and made my way to the pond. I followed first the southern edge, then the western edge of the pond along the grassy area around the pond. Ahead is a trail that leads into the woods and comes to the next pond with a dam and waterfall. The trail then follows the edge of the pond a bit and then climbs uphill before turning to the right. From there it comes to a dirt service road with piles of sand and gravel. Follow the road and it leads you back to the parking area.

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Fall at Round Top

Centennial Park – North Smithfield

  • Centennial Park
  • Main Street, North Smithfield, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°59’57.02″N, 71°34’53.21″W
  • Last Time Hiked: October 1, 2016
  • Approximate distance hiked: 0.3 miles
  • Easy with slight elevation.

 

Part of the Blackstone River Valley National Historic Park, Centennial Park offers a tour of yesteryear. The small park is behind the North Smithfield Library on Main Street in the heart of historic Slatersville. This village is the first planned mill village in the United States. The short single out and back trail first leads you down to the shore of the Slatersville Reservoir where you can view two of the three dams at the park. The dams here were built in the mid nineteenth century. Continuing along the trail the Branch River is below to your right and a manmade canal is to the left. This canal is where most of the western mill complex was. The large stone structure across the canal is one of two buildings remaining of the original mill complex. This structure is the picker house. The other remaining structure is the building now used by the library. The trail ends at the next dam just before a stone bridge. This is where the canal dumps back into the Branch River. From here retrace your steps back to the parking area. Also, if you care to wander around, check out the village. There is a ton of history here.

 

Historic map can be found at: Centennial Park

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Slatersville Reservoir