The Walking Posts

The posts labeled with the little “Truckin’ ” man are from my Walking Journal, which I've been keeping since January 1, 2012. What began as a simple New Year's Resolution to exercise more quickly morphed into a hiking addiction. Below are some running totals.

  MILES TIME CALORIES
April 2015 23.46 11h 54m 1702
Year-to-Date 112.29 56h 17m 11615
April Avg. 48.37 22h 26m 6487

PCHC North-South Trail, Leg 1

Posted By on April 11, 2015

PCHC North-South Trail, Leg 1

6.8 miles; douglas, ma and pascoag, ri

i never managed to finish the great north-south trail trek, either year i started it, so i’ve never been on this leg of the trail. the providence county hiking club has broken the trail into more and smaller legs than the “great north-south trail trek” people, and just to be contrarians, i guess, we’re starting at the northern terminus rather than the southern end.

the start of the trail

the start of the trail

wow, this stretch of the north-south trail south of the state line is rugged. there were lots of boulder fields. we had a great day for it, though, sunny and warm. and my knee felt great… for the first mile. by mile 3, though, it was really painful. nothing to do but suck it up and keep going—which i did.

ak on the ledge

ak on the ledge

one of our members really loves ledge climbing. here he is on a huge one.

i have not added this hike to my hikefinder. you can find info on the north-south trail here.

Hodge Pond South

Posted By on April 8, 2015

Hodge Pond South

4.25 miles; voluntown, ct

every now and again i get a real hankering to re-visit a hike (and isn’t that a grand word, “hankering?”). i’ve been thinking about this hike for a while, and today i managed to get there. it has a lot of really interesting features, and despite the fact that this part of the pachaug is basically given over to motorized vehicles, there are some nice sections of trail, though no blue-blazed hiking trails run through here.

old stone house

old stone house

the first half mile brings you to this old stone house. i first noticed the fireplace that’s across the trail from it. it seems to be fairly recent, since there’s actually a cement patio-like area in back. the pachaug state forest was created or at least expanded during the great depression, so i’m guessing this place is early 20th century.

intermittent waterfall

intermittent waterfall

at about the one-mile mark, you come to the waterfall. it’s really just an intermittent stream; i’ve been through here when it didn’t exist. in fact, this whole hike was a series of water crossings. you’re basically walking through the watersheds of two big brooks in the area, the myron kinney brook and the dark hollow brook—lots and lots of intermittent streams.

the unexpected bridge

the unexpected bridge

this is one of my favorite features on this hike, the unexpected bridge. you’re walking along through the woods on a fairly narrow little trail, and suddenly you come upon this very nicely-constructed bridge, with cement aprons.

ah-ha! a clue

ah-ha! a clue

i’ve crossed this bridge at least a half dozen times, but i’ve never noticed this plaque before. the central cycle club is a motocross organization. which would explain the concrete aprons on the bridge. word to the wise: don’t try this hike on a weekend—you’ll prolly get run over.

cellarholes and stone walls

cellarholes and stone walls

toward the end of this hike you come across a very large, impressive complex of cellarholes and stone walls. it’s really beautiful.

you can find this hike in the hikefindertrailhead, auntie’s trail map. and contact me if you want the gps track for this hike.

Canonchet Preserves & Black Farm

Posted By on April 6, 2015

Canonchet Preserves & Black Farm

4 miles; hopkinton, ri

or as i like to call it, crossing the canonchet brook over and over and over again.

granite slab bridge at mill site

granite slab bridge at mill site

i didn’t document my first crossing, which is not far from the parking lot at the canonchet preserves trailhead on route 3. but this is the 2nd crossing, at the old mill site on the yellow trail.

little cave?

little cave?

i noticed a side trail when i got to the big section of cellarholes on the yellow trail, and took it out of curiosity. it only goes a short way to a tiny little cave under a big rock. it looks as if it was constructed to me… maybe a little root cellar? it’s very small.

another brook crossing

another brook crossing

coming back to the parking lot on the blue trail, this handsome bridge is actually my 3rd canonchet brook crossing.

since this is such a small preserve, i decided to visit black farm, too, which i hadn’t been to since october of last year. it was good to be back. and i would have snowshoed it if the state had bothered to plow out the parking lot.

another crossing

another crossing

the trail on this preserve also crosses the canonchet brook several times. this is the first bridge. it’s quite high, and i ended up scrambling up the log to get to it.

bit of ice on plain pond

bit of ice on plain pond

there was a tiny bit of ice clinging to the far side of plain pond, but it was 99.5% ice free.

final crossing of the day

final crossing of the day

this is the last crossing of canonchet brook. it’s substantial enough to drive over.

you can find both canonchet preserves and black farm in the hikefinder. canonchet preserves trailheadtrail map; black farm trailheadtrail map.

Airline Trail & Robbins Preserve

Posted By on April 4, 2015

Airline Trail & Robbins Preserve

4.13 miles; thompson, ct

i guess the providence county hiking club was too optimistic about trail conditions even at this late date, because the originally-scheduled hike was another tri-state trek, but there was waaaay too much snow on the airline trail, so we punted and visited a wyndham land trust property also in thompson. it was a very nice property, but there was still a lot of snow. they’re where we were locally about 2 weeks ago up there as far as trail conditions go, and i apologize for that very convoluted sentence. you get what i mean, though, right?

airline trail conditions

airline trail conditions

this is what the trail conditions looked like on the airline trail, and also for long stretches of the robbins preserve. it was “step-step-posthole-step-step-step-posthole, etc.” the whole distance. my knee did not appreciate it.

turkey tail in the snow

turkey tail in the snow

fungus shot! in the snow, no less.

robbins preserve

robbins preserve

the robbins preserve is owned by the wyndham land trust. it runs along the five mile river in thompson. it consists of several large open areas, and a lot of hemlock, fir, and white pine woods.

open gate at bridge over the five mile river

open gate at bridge over the five mile river

this was a very substantial bridge over the five mile river, and the gate originally faced out from the preserve property. it’s open now.

you can find the airline trail and the robbins preserve in the hikefinderrobbins preserve trailheadtrail map (courtesy wyndham land trust).

Spring Peepers 2015!

Posted By on April 3, 2015

Spring Peepers 2015!

nope, not a hiking post, per se, but i did take a short stroll up to my neighbors’ front field tonight, where there’s a gigantic vernal pond. they call it “lake will-be-gone.”  and guess what? the peepers and wood frogs were almost deafening!

yep. i think spring’s coming soon. any day now.

spring peeper, wikimedia commons image

spring peeper, wikimedia commons image

Francis Carter Preserve

Posted By on April 2, 2015

Francis Carter Preserve

4.3 miles; charlestown, ri

it’s pathetic that this is the longest hike i’ve done since january 21st, but there it is. at least i moved quite briskly. i tend to think of francis carter as a training hike. there’re some hills, and it’s long-ish, but not overly long. it was a gorgeous day, and there’s hardly any snow on the ground at all. i think it’s really spring. maybe.

ice on the pond

ice on the pond

there’s still a bit of ice left on the unnamed pond that is on the northern border of the preserve, but it’s going fast.

nyah-nyah

nyah-nyah

i see the merry pranksters of francis carter have been busy yet again.

large vernal pool

large vernal pool

if anyone is interested, there’s a huge vernal pool here (gps coordinates: 41° 26′ 22.33, 71° 39′ 47.77) off the yellow trail. [and you would not believe how long it took me to figure out how to extract the gps coordinates from an iphone photo. long story short, and mac users only, “view info” on the ORIGINAL file in finder, not the exported version, as apparently iphoto export “helpfully” strips that data out].

old pump

old pump

and as many times as i’ve been to francis carter, i’ve never noticed this old pump by the old mill road trailhead. huh.

you can find francis carter in the hikefinder. old mill road trailhead, trail map (courtesy of the nature conservancy)