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
December 2014 35.69 17h 38m 3160
Year-to-Date 496.98 269h 52m 52105
December 2013 6.08 3h 4m 807
December 2012 41.51 18h 53m 4058

Parker Woodlands

Posted By on December 13, 2014

Parker Woodlands

6.92 miles; coventry and foster, ri

so between a trip to cincinnati to see the steelers and the bengals (yay stillers!), deluges of rain, and a case of the flu, i missed a whole week’s hiking. it was saturday, and hunting season, and genius that i am, i decided to hit an audubon refuge that i haven’t been on too recently, parker woodlands.

don’t let anyone tell you that a week off doesn’t affect your fitness level, especially not if you’re an old lady like me. the seven miles of parker kicked my ass, and gave me the worst charley-horse leg cramps i’ve had in months and months. they kept me up most of the night, and ruined my plans for a providence county hiking club hike the next morning.

all this wingeing isn’t to say i didn’t enjoy myself. i always like hiking, even when it’s challenging.

turkey meadow brook

turkey meadow brook

the water in turkey meadow brook was sparkling clear. it made me think of that video that’s popular right now of the guy walking on crystal clear ice.

here’s the video i was talking about.

beautiful cellar hole

beautiful cellar hole

there is a large, beautifully-excavated cellar hole on this property, and a very detailed informational sign that talks about the excavation, and the original owners of the property, that goes back to 1790.

other ruins

other ruins

there are lots of other ruins on this property, as well as the famous, mysterious stone cairns. there is also a charcoal burning site, a “table” rock, and an old woods road that is named for a legendary revolutionary war incident. all in all, parker is a very cool place to visit. i talked about a lot of this stuff in an earlier post.

and as usual, you can find parker woodlands in the hikefinder.

Riverwood

Posted By on December 5, 2014

Riverwood

3.75 miles; westerly, ri

i headed out early this morning (well, early for me) to get in a quick hike before running a bunch of other errands, and i realized i hadn’t been to riverwood in ages. this is a westerly land trust property that can be found at the end of boy scout lane. it’s, as i mentioned before, very weird to get on to. i did the orange trail, which runs around the perimeter of the property, by the railroad tracks and the pawcatuck river, and also did a side excursion up the blue trail, which climbs the big granite knob in the center of the property. the two trails combined make 3.75 miles.

frosty leaves

frosty leaves

it was pretty cold this morning, and the fallen leaves were still sporting a coating of rime. or hoarfrost. whatever.

old quarry

old quarry

westerly has been known for its granite for many years, and there is an old quarry on the property. there are big piles of quarried stone everywhere, like legos or blocks left behind by a giant child.

chapman pond from the blue trail

chapman pond from the blue trail

there’s even an overlook of sorts. you wouldn’t see much in the summer. but then, i don’t recommend visiting riverwood in the summer. it’s very overgrown in places and very, very buggy.

pawcatuck river

pawcatuck river

as i mentioned, the orange trail follows the river for about half its length, and there are a few spots where it’s clear enough to go down to the water’s edge.

men, men, men

w men, men, men

as you might surmise from the name of the road to this place, there’s a boy scout camp at the beginning of the trail system. i took the yellow trail from the orange to go back to my car, and it passed right through the camp. when i first looked at this outhouse, all i saw was “men, men, men,” and i couldn’t help thinking of this:

“batten down the ladies’ room” indeed.

you can find riverwood in the hikefinder. the mileage posted there is for both the blue and orange trails combined. the orange trail by itself is 2.75 miles.

Francis Carter

Posted By on December 4, 2014

Francis Carter

3.93 miles; charlestown, ri

i have a zillion things to do later today, but i didn’t want to miss a chance to hike, so i zipped over to the francis carter preserve to get in a quick 4-miler. i heard that the national weather service has predicted a much warmer than expected december for new england, which is great, because that means plenty of hiking days.

dangerous rock

dangerous rock

i was glad to see people have behaved responsibly and not removed the stick preventing this giant rock from rolling and crushing all in its path. other than that, not much happening at the francis carter today. i did get jumped by a very enthusiastic and excited bassett hound, which was weird, because i just don’t associate bassett hounds with excitability or enthusiasm. but the dog and her master were the only souls out for a stroll this fine december morning.

you can find the francis carter preserve in the hikefinder.

Kettle Pond-Kimball-Burlingame Trails

Posted By on December 2, 2014

Kettle Pond-Kimball-Burlingame Trails

5 miles; charlestown, ri

in trying to decide where i wanted to hike today, i vaguely recalled an old “usual suspects” hike through burlingame that started at the kettle pond visitor’s center in ninigret. i looked it up, and saw that it was 4 miles and took around 2 hours. and since it wasn’t entirely on blazed trails, i downloaded the track from my old garmin gps and uploaded it to the iphone to be sure i knew where i was going. seems one of my gps-like devices is really off, because the iphone said it was a 5-mile hike, not a 4-mile hike. not that that was a bad thing, it was just that i timed it a little close to an appointment i had later in the day. whoops. made the appointment only 2 minutes behind schedule, but i had to really move through this hike to do it. i would like to revisit it again so i can take my time next time.

memorial garden

memorial garden

this hike starts from the parking lot of the kettle pond visitor’s center on the ninigret national wildlife refuge. the trail i followed, the watchaug pond trail, crosses into audubon’s kimball wildlife sanctuary, and detours slightly to visit a lovely walled memorial garden with a lawn and a big holly tree.

holly

holly

the tree was looking especially festive today. from the kimball sanctuary, the trail picks up the yellow-blazed vin gormley trail and cuts across the burlingame campground. not far after it leaves the paved roads of the campground and re-enters the woods, my track took a hard left south onto the blue-blazed north-south trail.

boardwalks on the north-south trail

boardwalks on the north-south trail

there must be a quarter-mile of boardwalks through here. it just seems to go on and on.

territorial poop

territorial poop

you really have to watch where you walk on these boardwalks, because there is apparently some kind of massive territorial dispute going on among the local raccoons, and there are defiant little piles of droppings everywhere. i’m pretty sure they’re raccoon droppings because a lot of them seemed to contain seeds and other plant material—not that i inspected too closely—and raccoons are omnivores.

old gravel pit

old gravel pit

south of the campground on the north-south trail, the hike passes an old gravel pit. it’s really kind of beautiful, in a way.

at the almost precise 3-mile mark (based on the now-slightly-suspect iphone gps… actual coordinates 41,36367, -71.70229), the track parts ways with the north-south trail. i followed this unblazed track for most of 2 more miles. i think it’s a mountain bike trail… it was narrow and deeply eroded in spots, but it didn’t look as though it carried any motorized traffic. along through here you pass the detritus of what i am told is an old ccc camp—various unrecognizable bits of metal, pipes, vents, etc. eventually you come to a “T” intersection with the campground in front of you. if you look to your right at this point, you’ll see a sign for the visitor’s center. you just follow those signs back to the parking area.

i have revised this entry in the hikefinder. and for those of you who are more technologically-oriented, here is a link to the actual track i followed.

Canonchet Trail

Posted By on December 1, 2014

Canonchet Trail

6 miles; hopkinton, ri

another month, another new beginning. decided to see what the entire canonchet trail was like to do from the route 3 trail head to stubtown road and back. verdict? it’s hard. there are a couple of easy stretches, but mostly it’s bouldery and hilly. which is not to say it’s bad… just not a beginner’s hike.

bouldery trail

bouldery trail

i started from the route 3 trail head, as i said, and followed the blue-blazed hoxie trail for its approximately 1-mile length up to lawton foster road north. then i headed up into the nature conservancy’s canonchet brook preserve on the yellow-blazed canonchet trail. don’t pay attention to the trail signs! this is 3 miles out, and 3 miles back, no matter which way you go.

watery self-portrait

watery self-portrait

another canonchet brook crossing, this time a little south of stubtown road. i am planning a post about all the canonchet brook crossings made on the many trails throughout south county. stay tuned.

BIIIIIGGG rock

BIIIIIGGG rock

i have no way to show you the scale of this, but this is the HUGE rock i’ve mentioned before. i am not kidding when i say it’s as tall as a two-story house. giganto! humongous! seriously, you need to see it.

old mill site

old mill site from, where else, a canonchet brook bridge

also, i just need to say again what an amazing and beautiful complex of cellar holes you encounter as you head south on the yellow trail from lawton foster road. they’re huge, and complex, and beautiful. you won’t find better short of the wonderful foundations at the start of the mid-state trail in the douglas state forest.

you can find info on the canonchet brook preserve in the hikefinder.

100 Miles on Barn Island

Posted By on November 30, 2014

100 Miles on Barn Island

5.01 miles; stonington, ct

welp, i did it… i hiked 100 miles in november, finishing it up, fittingly, on barn island. this was the place back in january of 2012 where i amazed myself by actually walking 3 whole miles in a row. (just a warning, if you follow that link you won’t find much. i really  hadn’t gotten the hang of this whole blog writing thing yet.) i went with a friend, mr. trails and walks in ri, and when his post goes up you can see the actual photos from this hike. for now, i’ve posted a photo from a few weeks ago.

barn island

barn island

it looked pretty much the same today. my next goal? i’m up to a little over 461 miles for the year. i’m thinking it should be pretty easy to hit 500 miles for 2014, barring snow.

you can find barn island in the hikefinder.

UPDATE: here’s the link on trails and walks: http://trailsandwalksri.wordpress.com/category/barn-island/