Posted By auntie on January 21, 2017
5.44 miles; Exeter, RI
After the last very short hike, I really needed some mileage. I was also both a little tired of driving a long distance to hike, and of all of my local hikes. What to do?
Long careful study of the Great Swamp Press map of Arcadia revealed, amazingly, a big swath of this wildlife management area I was not familiar with, the Paucamack Hill area, which is the part of Arcadia south of the eastern end of Beach Pond, between routes 138 and 165.
I plotted a long hike with some unblazed trails that I’d never tried before, starting from the Roscoe Dexter parking area only to realize, belatedly, the drawback to hiking on unblazed trails. More often than not, there are no bridges. This proved to be problematic when I slipped off a rock mid-stream and got, well, pretty wet and a little banged up. Otherwise, fun hike.
View from Deep Pond Trail
I haven’t been on the Deep Pond Trail in ages, and I realized I kind of missed it. There are a lot of distant views out over the rolling hills, at least in the wintertime.
White Dot Trail
As much as I love the Great Swamp Press maps, I have found that in this particular part of Arcadia, there are a few trails that aren’t exactly accurately depicted. For example… white dot trail? Not on my map. But I did, again, have the Open Hiking Map on my phone, and I was able to find my way using this when the GSP map failed me.
Old Breached Dam
Once I got soaked crossing what I think was Brushy Brook, I decided to cut my hike short and head back on the west branch of the Deep Pond Trail, but along the way to that trail I came across the remains of a dam which had obviously been breached, who knows how long ago. It was impressively large, and I kind of wondered if there was a large mill foundation in the area anywhere… maybe another trip would be warranted?
I’ve been hiking through the area immediately south of Beach Pond a few times before on both the Tippecansett Trail and the Deep Pond Trail, and I’ve noticed this blue-blazed trail and always wondered about it. Well, now I know. It heads east towards Deep Pond, and eventually hooks up with the white-blazed Deep Pond Trail. Not that you could tell that from any map I could find…
My Track (click for details and to download)
I also can’t find anything online that would enlighten anyone about Paucamack Hill, except that the word Paucamack, or Paucamuck, means something like “open or clear pond, or shallow pond” in some Native American language, probably Narragansett. The only map I can find of the trails in this area, not counting the Open Hiking Map (note, the one accessible online is nothing like the one I get on my iPhone app) is the old-fashioned paper map of the area published by the Great Swamp Press, and as I said, it’s not completely accurate. To be fair, its publication date is 2003, so, there’s that.