Canonchet Brook Preserve Trail Extension

Posted By on July 7, 2014

Canonchet Brook Preserve Trail Extension

2.27 miles, 2 mph; hopkinton, ri

this walk was half excellently blazed hiking trail, half dicey bushwack, but all fun. the brand new trail i posted about a few days ago was only blazed as far as lawton foster road north, but it had colored tape and a sort of trail to follow beyond that. there were some amazing cellar holes, and a granite slab bridge over the canonchet brook and an old millrace upstream from the bridge.

the trail

the trail

as you can see, the trail was mostly level and clear and well-blazed as far as lawton foster road north. some hills, but nothing that rose to even “moderate” height.

road lily

road lily

a daylily by the side of lawton foster road south, attesting to its other name, “road lily.” and the orange bits you see in the foliage below are the start of a nice patch of cinnabar chantarelle mushrooms, i’m pretty sure. they’re just tiny now. guess i’ll have to come back and check on them.

you could make this into a long hike if, instead of turning south as i did off of lawton foster road, you continued a little further to the southern trailhead of the nature conservancy’s canonchet brook preserve. i have usually hiked that preserve by including stub town road and canonchet road. i’ll have to investigate this further and see what it’s like linking the two trails together. today i just wanted to see the newly-cut trails.

as i mentioned, the blue-blazed trail ends at lawton foster north. continuing west along towards lawton foster south, i noticed an old cart road that headed south, and from poring over the preliminary trail map that was posted, i guessed that this was the return loop. it was. it’s not blazed, exactly, but there is, in most places, a discernible path, and there is colored tape placed where blazes would be, so it’s not hard to follow.

the first thing  you see when you start down this old cart path is a big complex of cellar holes. big ones, small ones, one set of two that were exactly adjacent to each other but not obviously connected… maybe someone added a wing to a house? hard to say.

bridge

bridge

eventually you come to this amazing granite slab bridge over the canonchet brook. if you stop on the bridge and look upstream, you can clearly see that the sides of the brook have been reinforced. probably a millrace. so some of the bigger cellar holes are probably part of a mill complex. it’s fascinating to speculate.

root

root

i had to stop and snap a shot of this old vine climbing up an oak tree. it looked as though it may have been a grape vine. hard to tell for sure.

great spangled fritillary

great spangled fritillary

the best surprise of the hike was waiting for me at my car, however. the parking area is also quite new and overgrown with grass and weeds and milkweed, where i caught this great spangled fritillary grabbing lunch.

i have added this hike to the hikefinder, but i have linked to the preliminary trail map for the time being. i intend to make my own map, but i don’t have the time to spare right now. stay tuned; i will add it and update this post when i do.

UPDATE: changed the linked map in the hikefinder to my own map.

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