Posts Tagged ‘ Waterfalls ’

Wenscott Reservoir – Lincoln

  • Wenscott Reservoir – Lincoln Jogging Trail
  • Twin River Road, Lincoln, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°52’50.92″N, 71°28’8.24″W
  • Last Time Hiked: July 10, 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
  • Last Time Hiked: June 4, 2015
  • 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 Mill, 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

Pawtucket Falls – Pawtucket

This short walk, a little over a half mile out and back packs a bit of history. So much so that it is now part of the newly formed Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor. The walk weaves through two small city parks, a historic site, and follows a new section of bike path. Starting at the intersection of Roosevelt Avenue and Main Street, I followed a walkway that leads toward the river. There are two sets of falls here. The first, being the Lower Falls, a combination of a natural waterfall and manmade dam, are just about under the Main Street bridge. This is where the Blackstone River ends and the tidal waters of the Seekonk River begins. These falls were used by the Native Americans and the colonists as a fishing spot for years before it was used for its water-power. In fact, the city of Pawtucket gets its name from these falls. Pawtucket is Algonquin for “place of rushing waters”. The Upper Falls are just a few hundred feet north at Slater Mill. Following the river along the brick walkway that follows the river, I soon found myself at a set of several older buildings. This is the Slater Mill Historic Site. It comprises of three buildings and is today a living museum open to the public. The first building of note is the large rubblestone mill. This is the Wilkinson Mill, which was built around 1810, housed a blacksmith shop and a machine shop. The second building of note is the Sylvanus Brown House. The large reddish-brown house was built in 1758, however, at a different location a few blocks away. During the construction of Interstate 95 the house faced demolition. It was saved and relocated to its present site. The third building of note is the highlight of this historic site. The Slater Mill is said to be the birthplace of the American Industrial Revolution. The mill, built in 1793, became the first successful cotton factory in the newly formed United States. In the next hundred (plus) years, mills and factories would begin to line the Blackstone River from here in Pawtucket northerly to Worcester, Massachusetts. The next part of this walk would lead me around Slater Mill to a parking area. I made my way to the large stone wall along the river. This wall was built in 1940 by the Works Projects Administration. I followed the wall north a few feet to a new section of bike path. At the time of this walk, it seems that more improvements may be in store to connect the historic site to a newly installed bike path. The bike path, short in distance, follows the river. To the left is the backside of the Pawtucket City Hall. This art-deco building built in 1933 features a central tower that is over 200 feet tall. The building is also home to the police and fire departments. After passing the City Hall I came to an amphitheater at Veterans Memorial Park. The path then continues to wind up to street level. At the intersection of Roosevelt Avenue and Exchange Street there is a sign. It is the same design of sign I came across at the Pawtuxet River walk. It reads “River and Fields at Pawtucket – One of the bounds of Providence mentioned in the Indian deed to Roger Williams”. From this point I retraced my steps back to the point of beginning.

I did not find a map on-line.

Slater Mill

Slater Mill

Blackstone River Central – Lincoln/Cumberland

  • Blackstone River Bikeway – Central
  • New River Road, Lincoln, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°58’5.51″N, 71°28’1.02″W
  • Last Time Hiked: May 20, 2015
  • Approximate distance hiked: 3.0 miles
  • Easy.

Starting where we left off a couple weeks ago (Blackstone River North), we continued our walk along the Blackstone River Bikeway. The first mile or so of this walk is along a stretch of the bike path that is flanked by the railroad on the right and the river on the left. Most of it is fenced, but there are occasional trailheads that appear along the left. The Albion Dam soon appears on the river to the left. The water cascades over the dam then ripples downstream under the School Street Bridge. This is a good spot to relax and take in the scene. At the halfway point of this walk we crossed a bridge that spans the river. We were now entering Cumberland and the bike path climbs a small hill. There is some impressive looking ledge at this location. Soon we came to a railroad crossing where the bike path switches sides. Do not walk down the tracks. These are active tracks and occasionally a freight train will come rumbling through. We then continued along the bike path crossing under Interstate 295. About 2/10 of a mile after the interstate a path appears on the right. It leads to the river. Another path follows the river downstream pass the Ashton Dam. This path loops back to the bike path. We then continued south along the bike path crossing under the arched bridge that carries Route 116 over the Blackstone River. We then came to the Ashton Mill complex where we concluded this leg of the Blackstone River walk.

Trail map can be found at: Blackstone River Central.

The Albion Dam Along The Blackstone River.

The Albion Dam Along The Blackstone River.

Spencer Rock – Coventry

  • Spencer Rock
  • Lewis Farm Road, Coventry, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°41’24.97″N, 71°45’41.28″W
  • Last Time Hiked: May 12, 2015
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.0 miles
  • Easy with some slight elevation.

In western Coventry the Moosup River cascades over a rock formation creating a waterfall. This large boulder the width of the river is known as Spencer Rock. The beautiful natural feature is accessible from various locations throughout the Nicholas Farm Management Area, but for this hike, I choose the most direct and easiest route that follows the blue blazes of the North South trail. I started the hike from Lewis Farm Road where the Trestle Trail crosses and started hiking westward. The Trestle Trail is an old railroad bed that once was used as part of the Providence, Hartford & Fishkill Railroad. The trail to the east is under development and is becoming a bike path. This part of the trail will one day connect to the Coventry Greenway and the Washington Secondary Bike Path. But for now it remains a dirt path that was once a railroad. Within in a couple hundred feet I was crossing a narrow trestle bridge. The trestle is now paved and has chain link fence on each side for safety. It sits high above the Moosup River. From here I observed a squawking crow among the tree tops. Just on the other side of the bridge in the middle of the trail you will find a square chunk of granite with a drill hole in it. This is a granite bound used by surveyors to mark property lines and corners. With that being said, there are many side trails along this stretch, however the trails to the south lead off the management property. I continued straight along the old railroad bed that is high above the surrounding terrain. Following the blue blazes, I soon turned right onto a trail the is surrounded by mostly pine trees with an occasional oak tree and some mountain laurel. The birds were very active along this stretch. I saw several wrens here and in the distance I could here frogs. I then came upon an small grass filled field that seemed to be a haven for dragonflies. The trail bends slightly to the right, back through the trees, and down a small rocky section before coming to a dirt road. Here, look for a white pole to the right with blue blazes on it. Beyond the pole is a narrow path that leads up and over a small hill to another dirt road. I then continue straight along the road a few steps through an open area to the river where Spencer Rock is. The rock is a large boulder that spans across the river and creates a small waterfall and the flow is very dependent on weather. I then spent some time lingering and taking in the beauty of this location for a while before retracing my steps back to the starting point. This entire hike follows the blue blazes of the North South Trail and the area is open to hunting. Be sure to wear orange during hunting season.

Trail map can be found at: Spencer Rock.

The Moosup River At Spencer Rock.

The Moosup River At Spencer Rock.

Escoheag Hill – West Greenwich

  • Escoheag Hill
  • Hazard Road, West Greenwich, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°37’2.58″N, 71°46’51.15″W
  • Last Time Hiked: May 10, 2015
  • Approximate distance hiked: 3.5 miles
  • Moderate with some significant elevation.

In the northwestern part on the Arcadia Wildlife Management is Escoheag Hill. The hill overlooks the valley that the Falls River runs through and once was the home to the Pine Top Ski Area. This hike will take you through the former ski area, over Escoheag Hill, then along part of the Tippecansett Trail, a stop at Stepstone Falls and finally along the base of the hill along the North South Trail. We started this hike from the gate at Hazard Road. The first part of the hike follows a sandy trail that is blazed blue. The open field that we passed through was once the parking lot for the ski area. Today nature has overtaken it with tall grass and shrubs. Following the wide main trail we soon came to a split. The blue blazed trail to the left we would return on. We choose to continue to the right. In a short distance we beared to the left onto a trail that looped back to the right. Ahead of us was one of the former ski slopes on Escoheag Hill. This area is a little confusing, GPS, a good map (I was using the Great Swamp Press map), and a compass couldn’t hurt to have. There are several trails (ski slopes) that lead to the top of the hill. For the most part they converge at the same point at the top. The trails here are also a little overgrown. We then climbed up Escoheag Hill along the former ski slope until we reached the top. Stop a few times along the way to catch your breath and to turn around and see the view. When we reached the top we started looking for the remains of an old shed. Here a pine covered trail leads away from the ski slopes then turns slightly left. This is the main trail then continues over Escoheag Hill. There are several trails that spur off of it, however, you will want to follow the main/widest trail through this area. The trail passes some of the remains of the ski area, as well as stone walls and open fields. The trail also hugs the property line. Several houses can be seen along this stretch. Please do not cross onto their properties. This trail finally comes to Falls River Road. Here we turned left and started following the yellow blazes of the Tippecansett Trail. The blazes would lead us back into the woods for a while before bringing us out to another road. Continuing following the yellow blazes we soon came to the backpackers campsite. It was once a large shelter for hikers and campers complete with two fireplaces. Today, unfortunately, it was a pile of debris. Sometime over the winter (I was here in October of 2014), it collapsed. Southern New England did endure a rather tough winter and the shelter may have been a victim of it. From here we followed the yellow blazes to the end of the Tippecansett Trail, again at Falls River Road. At this location is one of the most beautiful spots in Rhode Island. We took a rather lengthy break here at the cascading Stepstone Falls and watched (and listened) to the water tumble over the series of short waterfalls. After our break we then began the lest leg of the hike. We started following the blue blazed North South Trail away from the bridge along Falls River Road. The trail soon turns right into the woods and follows the base of Escoheag Hill. This stretch is blazed blue the remainder of the way back to the parking area and several sections are quite muddy. Be careful of your footing along here as it is rather rocky as well. We soon came to the fork where we made our initial right turn. From here we retraced our steps back through the old parking area and out to where the car was parked. This area is open to hunting and orange is required to be worn during hunting season. We also came across snakes, toads, and chipmunks along this hike.

Trail map can be found at: Escoheag Hill.

Spring In Bloom From Escoheag Hill.

Spring In Bloom From Escoheag Hill.

Blackstone River North – Woonsocket/North Smithfield/Lincoln

  • Blackstone River Bikeway – North
  • Davison Avenue, Woonsocket, RI
  • Trailhead: 42° 0’2.26″N, 71°29’54.91″W
  • Last Time Hiked: May 6, 2015
  • Approximate distance hiked: 3.1 miles
  • Easy.

I’ve decided to walk the Blackstone River Bikeway and take in the sights along the way. I’ve broken it up into three sections, all around 3 miles in length. The route I describe will be a one way route, therefore, if you are not doing a car spot you must double the distance listed. I also decided to start in Woonsocket and work my way south for this walk. Starting from the parking area on Davison Avenue, the bike path first follows an access road to the athletic complex. Soon we were passing a soccer field and then following the bike path that lies between the Blackstone River and the Providence & Worcester railroad tracks. Along the bike path there are mile markers. The distances listed are the miles to Providence. Interesting enough there are mile markers along the railroad as well. The “P” stands for Providence and the “W” stands for Worcester. We came across some ducks and swans in some of the inlets of the river. The trees were in spring bloom and the colors were reminiscence of autumn. Next we came to a granite marker with the names of the three towns that converge here. Soon we were passing under the highway bridge that carries Route 99 over the Blackstone. From under the bridge you can get a sense of how deep the valley is here by how high the bridge is. We then came to an area along the river that had a channel next to it. This is one of the sections of what is left of the Blackstone Canal. The canal was built in the 1820’s to connect Providence and Worcester. It would remain in operation until the late 1840’s. By then the railroad had become the primary means of transportation. Most of the canal today has been filled in or is covered in thick brush. The final highlight of this portion of the walk is the Manville Dam. It was built in 1868 and a few years later a mill was built at this site. The mill at the time was the largest textile mill in the United States. We then continued passing under Manville Hill Road and making our way to the parking lot off of New River Road. A couple weeks later we would continue our walk onto the next section of the bike path.

Trail map can be found at: Blackstone River North.

Manville Dam.

Manville Dam.

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