Long Pond/Ell Pond">Long Pond/Ell Pond

Long Pond/Ell Pond

long view of long pond

Long view of Long Pond

Stats

  • Distance: 1.6 miles (one way)
  • Level of Difficulty: Strenuous
  • Town: Hopkinton, RI
  • Property Owned By: Nature Conservancy, RI Audubon Society, State of RI
  • Hunting Allowed: On state land only
  • Dogs Allowed: On state land only

Description

This Hopkinton, RI, section of the Narragansett Trail traverses a cluster of properties owned by the Nature Conservancy, the RI Audubon Society, and the state of Rhode Island. It’s probably the most beautiful, and the most strenuous, hike in Rhode Island. It’s also pretty short—at least, the part that most folks are familiar with is.

There are two trailheads for this hike. One is on Old Rockville Road, also known as North Road (I know, right?) in Hopkinton. The name is different based on what map you look at. If your gps can’t find Old Rockville Road, try North Road. North/Old Rockville Road is about 4-1/2 miles long, and turns from paved to dirt somewhere in the middle, where the first trailhead is. It turns back to paved before it intersects Canonchet Road. If you take a right onto Canonchet at that point, you’ll find the other trailhead, at a parking area marked by a sign that designates it as the Long Pond Fishing Access Area.

Be careful if you start at this end, because the yellow blazes run in two directions from here. One direction takes you to Long Pond and Ell Pond, the other takes you south to Ashville Pond, and the Rhode Island terminus of the Narragansett Trail on Stubtown Road. Take the trail closest to the pond (i.e., with your back to the road, take the right-hand trail that goes straight back into the woods).

Highlights

  • The yellow-blazed Narragansett Trail eventually takes you to a high spot between the ponds and intersects an unmarked trail that runs perpendicular to it (see photo, above). Take the trail that goes East. It takes you to a HUGE rock outcropping, and then snakes around to the left and over the outcropping. This is really the most spectacular overlook on this whole trail system. It is seriously not to be missed.

  • Scenes from the 2012 movie Moonrise Kingdom were filmed on this trail. That climb in the photo above? You’ll know it when you see it.
rhododendrons

Rhododendrons

  • The native rhododendrons through here are amazing. They are at least 30 feet high, and walking along the trail feels like you’re walking through a primeval jungle in some places. And don’t forget to try and get here in July when they’re in bloom (the native rhodies bloom later than the cultivated varieties you see in peoples’ yards).

On-line Resources (Links)

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