Bates Loop Trail, Tillinghast

Posted By on December 25, 2015

Bates Loop Trail, Tillinghast

3.5 miles; west greenwich, ri

merry christmas to all my readers, by the way. i hope it was just as good as your expectations. hm, that could be either good or bad, actually…

this is both a new and new-to-me trail at tillinghast. very pretty. it goes through some interesting spots, including the old bates homestead (lots of great cellarholes), a thick pine forest, along the banks of phillips brook, and through a gorgeous young beech thicket. merry christmas to me!

phillips brook crossing #1

phillips brook crossing #1

the brand-new red-blazed bates loop starts at the hellsgate trailhead at the tillinghast/wickaboxet complex, on plain meetinghouse road. it almost immediately crosses the road onto the newly-acquired bates property. from there it crosses phillips brook twice in a big loop, although there is a crossover trail that starts at the first crossing and just follows the eastern bank of the brook to the 2nd crossing. total mileage for this loop is about 2 miles, unless you do what i did and hike it part way a 2nd time in order to see what the crossover trail is like.

young beech thicket

young beech thicket

this is a lovely trail that changes its character several times. it was almost startling to walk into this little beech thicket.

double-blazes

double-blazes

the crossover trail is red double-blazes, which had me somewhat mystified the first time i saw it. according to my understanding of blazing, a double-blaze side-by-side like this indicates a trail terminus, either the start of the end of a trail. but the entire bates loop crossover trail is double-blazed red. guess there is no real standard for this sort of thing, and in fact, i’ve seen all kinds of blazing systems. this double-blaze was a first for me, though.

cascade along phillips brook

cascade along phillips brook

however they blazed it, the crossover trail is really lovely. it follows the banks of phillips brook for its entire length (maybe 1/4 mile). there were several little falls and cascades.

warm enough for witches butter

warm enough for witches butter

and i forgot to even mention that it was WARM! i mean, i was hiking in a short-sleeved teeshirt (polypro, of course) and far from being cold, i was actually sweaty by the time i finished. on christmas day. there are signs all over that this weather is confusing the plants, including lots of mushrooms popping up unseasonably.

this hike is part of the nature conservancy’s tillinghast/wickaboxet trail complex. i have not added the bates loop to my “auntie” hiking map, but you can find the nature conservancy’s map at their website.

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