Posts Tagged ‘ Waterfalls ’

Sprague Hill – Glocester

  • Sprague Hill
  • Putnam Pike, Glocester, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°55’15.19″N, 71°44’17.69″W
  • Last Time Hiked: October 28, 2016
  • Approximate distance hiked: 3.7 miles
  • Moderate, areas can be difficult due to weather.

 

This three and a half mile hike explores the lesser traveled paths of two well known hiking destinations and a connecting road between them that crosses over Sprague Hill. Starting at a parking area along Putnam Pike for the Durfee Hill Management Area follow the dirt road beyond the gate. The road winds south before first coming to an area on the left with a small waterfall and some old stone work along Brandy Brook. Continuing ahead the road turns to the right. The trail to the left you will return on. At the next split the follow the road to the left and it will come to Burlingame Reservoir. There are some blazes and marks in this area presumably used by cyclists, ignore them for this hike. Next you will cross the earthen dam of the reservoir. The view of is quite nice here. The next part of this hike can be quite difficult after some rain. The unmarked but relatively defined trail turns away from the reservoir. It is a very rocky trail and after some rain can be quite wet and somewhat flooded. Take your time here and be sure to follow the trail. It soon comes to an intersection. Take a good look around and familiarize yourself with the intersection. You will be returning to this point but following a different trail out. At this point turn right and follow the trail to the southwest. This trail is actually Elbow Rock Road and it is fairly narrow, channeled in areas, and travels gradually up Sprague Hill for about a half mile. Much like the previous trail, it is quite rocky and areas and will be wet, almost stream like, after significant precipitation. The trail is also flanked by areas of mountain laurel and hemlocks. Do note that there are “No Trespassing” signs on each side of the trail after you leave the Durfee Hill Management Area. The trail itself lies within a public right of way. Be sure to stay on this trail ignoring other trails that spur off in either direction until you reach the top of the hill at a four way trail intersection with a parking area. The trail to the left is actually the end of Sprague Hill Road and the lesser known small parking area is public parking for Sprague Farm. For this hike continue straight and follow the dirt road slightly downhill. You may notice white dot blazes here. This is part of the Sprague Farm trail network. Soon on the right you will find a narrow unmarked trail that crosses over a large section of outcrop. Turn here and follow the trail that climbs the hill. This is Elbow Rock. There are no sweeping views here but be aware of the edges. The rock is rather large and looms high above the surrounding forest. From here follow the trail over the rock and to the left back down to Elbow Rock Road. Turn left and retrace your steps back up and over Sprague Hill a little over a mile to the intersection that you had familiarized yourself with. From here follow the trail mostly straight, along the main trail, as it winds to the pond. There is a large field to the right if you choose to explore it. Next the trail comes to another earthen dam and a smaller pond on the left. After heavy rains this is also a challenge as an area of the dam is slightly compromised and water flows over it into Brandy Brook. Next there is a small bridge that crosses a stonework channel. Turn right and retrace your steps back to the parking area. Hunting is allowed in these areas, be sure to wear orange during hunting season.

 

Trail maps can be found at: Sprague Hill

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Burlingame Reservoir

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

Dark Hollow Brook – Voluntown/Griswold

  • Dark Hollow Brook
  • Hodge Pond Road, Voluntown, CT
  • Trailhead: 41°32’28.76″N, 71°51’27.01″W
  • Last Time Hiked: September 16, 2016
  • Approximate distance hiked: 4.0 miles
  • Moderate due to navigation, some significant elevation.

 

If you like stone walls and ledges, this is the hike for you. I met with fellow hiker Auntie Beak for this mid afternoon hike in the Pachaug State Forest in Connecticut. She has done this hike on several occasions and it was nice to relax and just follow her lead. The trails here are not blazed, therefore it is recommended to obtain a copy of the map for the forest trails and use GPS. (If you use Auntie Beaks map, linked below, note that we did the southern portion of her overall hike). Starting from the parking area just west of Kinney Brook along Hodge Pond Road we followed the old dirt road south into the forest. The first part of this hike you will continue straight along the main road ignoring side trails. After climbing uphill for a bit we came upon an old stone building. The stone work is quite impressive. Continuing along the old dirt road, immediately following the stone building is an open field with flowers. It appears this might have once been a garden. Further ahead is a seasonal brook and waterfall to the right. Soon after there are some beautiful ledges as well. At the end of the road turn right and start heading northwest. You will start to see more impressive ledges along this stretch. At the next intersection merge to the left. The trail becomes much more primitive and narrow at this point as it meanders through a forest of rocks and boulders. Ahead, seemingly in the middle of nowhere, you will come to a bridge that crosses Dark Hollow Brook. At the next two trail splits stay to the left. You are now in the Town of Griswold. Ahead stay to the right, the trail now winds as it climbs uphill toward an old farm site. The trail soon becomes flanked with stone walls. Take your time here and look around. There is a well here and several old farm tools abandoned years ago. The trail soon comes to another dirt road. Stay to the left here and follow the road back to the paved Hodge Pond Road. Turn right and follow the paved road downhill back to the parking area. You will pass a cemetery along the way. Hunting is allowed here and blazed orange is required during hunting season.

 

Trail maps can be found at: Dark Hollow Brook

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Trail Flanked By Stone Walls

Cat Hollow – Killingly

  • Cat Hollow Park
  • Cat Hollow Road, Killingly, CT
  • Trailhead: 41°50’0.49″N, 71°52’27.03″W
  • Last Time Hiked: September 10, 2016
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.3 miles
  • Fairly easy with some elevation.

 

This small park along Whetstone Brook Reservoir has a half mile road that is closed to traffic. There are a few narrow side trails that lead to some of the park’s features such as an old trolley bridge and the ruins of a mill. The highlight of the park is the stone dam and waterfall that tower of the brook below. To get to the spot to view the waterfall follow the road to the picnic area. After passing the picnic area turn left on the trail that follows the brook to the dam.

 

Trail maps can be found at: Cat Hollow

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Dam and Waterfall At Cat Hollow.

White Mill Park – Burrillville

 

This small town park sits on the site of a former mill. In fact two mills. The first occupied this location from 1834 to 1892 when it burnt down. A second mill was built and was here until the 1970’s. Today the property features the old dam with its waterfall that creates a small reflective reservoir. A pedestrian footbridge crosses the Clear River to the wooded portion of the property. There are a handful of trails beyond the bridge. There is also a playground here.

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The Bridge At White Mill Park

 

Lower Ten Mile River – Pawtucket/East Providence/Seekonk

  • Lower Ten Mile River
  • Daggett Avenue, Pawtucket, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°53’6.76″N, 71°20’43.05″W
  • Last Time Hiked: March 20, 2016
  • Approximate distance hiked: 10 miles
  • Moderate due to distance.

 

This hike explores the highlights of the lower Ten Mile River from Pawtucket, through East Providence, and into Seekonk. The route of this hike, ironically enough, is about 10 miles and is partly on a bike path, paved neighborhood roads, and trails. It is a one way hike and requires a car-spot. Starting at Doreen Tomlinson Field on Daggett Avenue in Pawtucket, you start this walk by first following the northern most part of the Ten Mile River Greenway Bike Path. The bike path, flanked by post and rail fence, follows the river for a little over three quarters of a mile before coming to Armistice Boulevard. Here, you will see a small dam and waterfall. After crossing the boulevard you are in Slater Park. Soon you will see the one mile marker. Shortly after the marker the bike path makes an abrupt curve to the right and back to the left again. At this point to the right and across the road you can see a pond. A loop around the pond is about a half mile if you choose. In December you will find several Christmas trees decorated here. Just before crossing the road and to the right is the Slater Park Carousel and at the far end of the pond is a bandstand. After you complete the loop of the pond return to the bike path and continue south. To your left the river runs through an area that looks like a canal. These walls were built during the 1930’s by the Works Progress Administration. The bike path then continues south leaving Slater Park, passing under railroad tracks, and soon the first large body of water on the left appears. This is Central Pond and it will remain on your left to the end of the bike path. The southern portion of the bike path crosses into East Providence passing through an old rifle range and former Water Department property before reaching Kimberly Rock Field. Here you want to turn right into the parking lot. A couple hundred feet ahead and on the left is a clearing and a short trail that leads to the adjacent residential neighborhood. The next six tenths of a mile of this hike is on roads. At the end of the trail turn left onto Wildwood Avenue, then right onto Redland Avenue. To the left you can still see Central Pond through the yards. At the end of Redland Avenue, turn left onto Bishop Avenue, and then left once again onto Newman Avenue (Route 152). Be careful here, as traffic is relatively heavy. When you reach Central Pond cross Newman Avenue. The body of water south of Newman Avenue is the Turner Reservoir. You will notice a trailhead just to the right of the reservoir. This is part of the Turner Reservoir Loop Trail. This section of trail follows the shore of the reservoir on one side and the back of a subdivision, with a post and rail fence along the property line, on the other. Soon the trail passes the subdivision and enters a small wooded area. There is a short unmarked trail to the right here that will lead you into the Bridgham Farm Conservation Area. Take it, at the end of the trail turn right and follow that trail to its end. It will come out to a cul-de-sac of the subdivision you just passed. To the left you will notice two things. First, a very large oak tree, said to be over 400 year old known as the Newman Oak. and second, just over the rooftop of the nearby house, you will catch a glimpse of the old windmill that was part of the old farm. After viewing the historic tree and windmill retrace your steps, but instead of turning left back to the reservoir, continue straight. The trail will lead you out to a large open field. This area is what part of the farm was conserved during the 1990’s. Continue straight through the grass field. The trail will slightly turn to the left and lead through the trees back out to the reservoir. Turn right here and follow the earthen embankment towards the Turner Dam. This dam was built in the 1930’s to create the Turner Reservoir as a drinking supply for the City of East Providence. It was used as the primary water supply until the late 1960’s. Continuing you will see a trail to your south that again follows the river. This short stretch of trail will lead you to the parking area along Pleasant Street (Route 114A). From here you want to turn right, then cross the street, and then turn left onto Hunts Mills Road. There is a split in the road, stay left. You will pass the first of two houses on the property. The house is currently boarded up and has seen better days, but there are plans to restore it. The second house, however, is a stunningly beautiful Georgian style home built in the second half of the 1700’s. This is the John Hunt House and it is the current home of the East Providence Historical Society. Just to the right of the house is a gazebo and just to the right of the gazebo is a post with a red trail marker. This is the beginning of the three quarter mile Hunts Mills Trail. The trail first cuts across the north side of the property passing a rather significant sycamore tree before reaching the Ten Mile River once again. Along this stretch there are two rock outcrops to view the river. The first, is somewhat high above the river, is known as Sunset Rock. The second, is by the rivers edge, is known as Otter Rock and received its name by multiple sightings of the river mammal. When the river is running low in the summer months you may catch a glimpse of turn of the century inscriptions on the rock. Continuing to follow the red blazes, you will find yourself in an area that seems abandoned. This is the former Fire Department training grounds. Here there are a couple old tankers and fire tower. There is also a large metal shed. This area is now being leased by the Ten Mile River Watershed Council and they have plans to convert it into a picnic area. Continuing to follow the red blazed trail will lead you to the large grass area behind the Hunt House. There are some informational boards here describing the history of the property. There was once an amusement park here with a carousel. The ring of granite blocks delineates where it once stood. You will next want to pass the gate between the Hunt House and the large stone pump house. Just ahead is the picturesque Hunts Mills Falls. The sounds of the water rushing of the falls makes this a good place to take a break. After taking in the falls for a bit, you will follow Hunts Mills Road back to Pleasant Street, turn right and cross the road once again. You will continue along Pleasant Street crossing the bridge over the Ten Mile River and then through the parking lot. Here is the trail-head to the eastern side of the Turner Reservoir Loop Trail. This section is mostly on boardwalks that cross over the wetlands by the river. Soon you will come back to the earthen dam. The path turns to the left. If you want another view of the waterfall at the dam follow the path, for this hike however, continue straight up the small hill. At the top of the hill you will have a sweeping view of the reservoir. This spot is particularly beautiful during the autumn foliage. To the right the trail continues to follow the edge of the reservoir. This is where you first cross into Seekonk. The trail is now faintly blazed blue and you will follow those blazes to Arcade Avenue with the exception of a few minor detours. Along this trail you will pass the Seekonk High School athletic fields. In the woods to the right you will find a shelter with a stone pillar by it. This is a monument to three Seekonk High School students who lost their lives on the reservoir in 1998. Further along the blue trail, there is a trail that splits to the left and leads out to a peninsula that offers great views of the reservoir in every direction. If you choose to visit either of these sites be sure to return to the blue blazed trail and follow it to Arcade Avenue. After reaching the road, you will have about a mile of road walking. You will want to turn left onto Arcade Avenue, then left onto Newman Avenue. You then need to cross Newman Avenue to get to and follow West Avenue. You will follow West Avenue to the fourth left. This is West River Street and you will turn left here. Turn left again at Reservoir Street and follow it to the end. The asphalt ends and the dirt road turns to the right. On the left is the sign for the Seacuncke Sanctuary and its trail-head. Follow the trail into the sanctuary. It soon splits, stay to the right and you will find yourself on the main trail, known as the Seekonk Trail, that runs along this side of Central Pond. There are other narrower trails that run parallel to this trail. As long as you are going north they all lead to the same spot. The trail then starts to turn slightly to the right and ahead you will see a split. There are two trails here with a gully in between. Both of the trails are blazed blue. The trail to the right will lead you to the majority of the trails of the Gaminno Pond Preserve. For this hike stay to the left. Soon you will be flanked by water. To the left is Coles Brook and to the right is Gaminno Pond. Continuing to follow the blue blazed trail, you will see a mulch covered trail on the left that leads to the Gaminno Pond parking area. Continue ahead a short distance. The blue blazed trail turns to the right. Stay to the left here following an old road that leads up to the Seekonk Meadows and to the parking lot for the Seekonk Library where you left another vehicle. This hike takes about four and half to five hours at a relaxed pace.

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Ten Mile River Greenway Bike Path

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Hunts Mills Falls

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Turner Reservoir