Posted By auntie on July 29, 2015
11.16 miles; west greenwich, ri
as i’ve told a few close friends anyone who stands still long enough to listen, i am planning a hiking trip to ireland this september. it will be an 8-day self-guided hike on the kerry way hiking trail, which closely follows the famous “ring of kerry” road. the best part is that i will be staying in b&bs every night, and the tour company will be delivering my luggage from stop to stop, so no backpacking. i only have to carry a day pack and a lunch. i am incredibly excited about it, and can’t wait for it to happen, except for the fact that the day hikes average 13 miles, and one day is 20 miles of hiking. eesh.
with my ireland trip in mind, i’ve been trying to increase my mileage locally, and today was a good example. i finally did the full tillinghast-wickaboxet loop i tried to do last may. it came to 11+ miles because there is a new addition to the tillinghast pond preserve, the macalpine-shepherd preserve, which takes the entire property out to hazard road in west greenwich, which, coincidentally, is part of the north-south trail. hm. i wonder if there is a reroute in that trail’s future?
and as a side note, this hike would have been even longer had i started from the pratt conservation area (see the trail map at the end of this post). i’m kind of glad i didn’t, though, because the very end of that trail back to the trailhead is a really long, steep hill, and think if i’d have had to climb that hill after 11+ miles, i think i would still be there.
i started off on the coney brook trail, which is across the road from the parking area on plain road. i decided to head out quite early in the morning to beat the heat, rather too optimistically as it turned out, and was happily munching my way down the trail eating fresh blueberries, when suddenly i came across…
a new trailhead! yes, as i mentioned above, i found a newly-cut and blazed spur trail off the coney brook trail that ended at hazard road. it was only 7/10ths of a mile long, but being an out-and-back, added almost another mile and a half to my hike.
coney brook crossing
there were several new boardwalks on this new trail, and a nice bridge across coney brook.
hazard road trailhead
and check out the fancy marker for the trail head here! very classy.
north south trail blaze
and as i also mentioned, it hooks up with the north-south trail, this particular section of which, coincidentally, the providence county hiking club will be passing along on saturday.
pond above coney brook cascades
i don’t believe i’ve ever noticed this pond above the coney brook cascades, but i should have. it’s quite lovely.
ever since i found the mushroom identification Facebook group, i’ve spared you most of my fungus shots, but this one was too good to pass up. the thing is almost the size of a dinner plate! no idea on the i.d., sorry.
victim of the ants
one of the “highlights” of the wickaboxet loop trail is the allegheny mounding ant mounds. they’re very aggressive, as this poor millipede could probably tell you if he could talk and was still alive. i stopped near here to get something out of my pack and had to brush ants off my legs. they seem to be super active right now to the point where you really can’t slow down on this stretch.
you can find the entire tillinghast pond-wickaboxet trail system (minus the newly-cut trail and including pratt conservation area) in the hike finder. trailhead, auntie’s trail map.