Posted By auntie on October 14, 2016
5 miles; Westerly, RI
Wow. I’ve hiked these properties before, but I obviously never got to see all that much. Woody Hill, which is a State of Rhode Island Wildlife Management Area, is stunning. Gentle hills criss-crossed with stone walls, quarries, old forest roads, and trails, these woods feel quite far removed from suburban Westerly, although the road noises are never too far from hearing. Today was a PCHC hike on these two properties using another hiker’s gps track (thanks, Stephen!).
This walk starts off on an old Girl Scout camp called Wahaneeta, and the Westerly Land Trust has done an amazing job restoring some of the old buildings and blazing the trails. This outhouse is quite functional.
But the real highlight of this hike is the Woody Hill Wildlife Management Area. Because it’s a WMA, hunting is allowed, so blaze orange is the fashion of the day, at least from September 15 through January 15.
The pond that our track took us around was created by the state in conjunction with Ducks Unlimited. We crossed a small dam by this sign, but it had been breached pretty badly by the the 2010 floods. In a non-drought year, this trail would have been impassable.
Yeah, odd. But handy for the extra-fastidious hiker!
As has been usual lately, a ton of mushrooms everywhere. There were a TON of boletes in the area of the pond, for any local mushroom hunters… I don’t know enough about the boletes to know which are edible, but these were not blue-staining, so that’s a hint that they might be.
As I said above, we navigated this hike using a friend’s gps track, but he figured it out using a combination of the Westerly Land Trust’s Wahaneeta trail map (warning: map is not oriented with north at the top), a map from the Westerly Track Club, and the State of Rhode Island’s Hunting Atlas map.