Top Ten Hikes of 2014, Part 1

Posted By on December 31, 2014

Top Ten Hikes of 2014, Part 1

it’s that time of year again, and i guess that means it’s time to list my 10 favorite hikes of 2014. it was really very difficult to narrow this list down to only 10 hikes, as there were so many really great ones. oddly, all of the hikes i picked except for #3 and #10 were solo hikes. not sure what that says about me… doesn’t play well with others?

number 10—weetamoo woods, tiverton, ri

cows

cows

this property, which belongs to the town of tiverton, is beautiful, there’s just no doubt. there are some amazing old ruins, an historic cemetery, a working farm, and a very high rock overlook, called, er, “high rock.” the hiking is mostly easy on old woods roads. the only caveat is that it can be wet in spots. wear good boots. and watch out for cow pies! trailhead, trail map

number 9—sheep farm, groton, ct

waterfall

waterfall

a real gem, this property is owned by the groton open space association (gosa). like all of my favorite places, it’s a mix of physical beauty and history. gosa is doing a lot of work here to increase the diversity of the habitat, including clearing an area for endangered new england cottontail rabbits. the only downer? it’s really short. trailhead, trail map

number 8—pequot trail, southern end, ledyard, ct

hallville pond

hallville pond

as i said in my post about this hike, my completist fetish (thanks a lot, ctmuseumquest.com) led me to hike the part of this blue-blazed connecticut forest and park association (cfpa) trail that i hadn’t gotten to yet. assuming it was short, i planned it as an out-and-back, but it turned out to be 4-1/2 miles one way. oops. however it was very cool to go on foot through places i’d driven by a thousand times, and i got to see the rose hill wildlife management area, which is gorgeous. and i was actually kind of impressed that i managed to hike 9 miles without a problem. i have plans to complete more blue-blazed cfpa trails in 2015. stay tuned! trailhead, trail map

number 7—kettle pond/kimball/burlingame, charlestown, ri

holly

holly

this hike crosses 3 different properties: the ninigret national wildlife refuge, audubon’s kimball wildlife sanctuary, and the state of rhode island’s burlingame state park. and it’s in part on the vin gormley trail, and also on the north-south trail, so you really get around. the thing i liked about it the most, i think, is the unnamed and unblazed trail that runs across the state park back to the federal land. it cuts through fields and thick pine woods. it also goes through an abandoned ccc camp. lots to see, and mostly pretty easy hiking. trailhead, trail map

number 6—ankle day hike, exeter, ri

woods around sand hill trail

woods around sand hill trail

so-named because it was the route through arcadia wildlife management area that i had planned to hike in 2013 when i slipped off a rock and broke my ankle in 3 places. i hiked it on almost the same date a year later, and i have to tell you i was a little bit nervous when i came to that rock. but i managed it without incident (this time), and continued the hike as i had originally planned. the sand hill trail, which is part of the north-south trail, is just beautiful through here. thick, deep pine woods, and the trail is soft and fragrant with pine needles. lovely hike. trailhead, trail map

whew. this post is getting totally out of hand. i’m gonna break off here and continue later. best hikes of 2014, part 2, here.

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One Response to “Top Ten Hikes of 2014, Part 1”

  1. […] part 1, here. and with no further ado, here is the rest of my best […]

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