Top Ten Hikes of 2017, Part 1

Posted By on December 18, 2017

Top Ten Hikes of 2017, Part 1

Welp, it’s that time again. “What time is that?” you ask, astute reader that you are. Why, it’s time to give you my list of my top 10 favorite hikes of the year! What else? And because this post can get a little ungainly (i.e., tl;dr), I’m splitting it in two, as is my wont.

#10—The John H. Chafee Nature Preserve

I’d been here before, so this hike is a 2017 favorite not so much for the location as for the timing. I went as part of a Providence County Hiking Club group, and we absolutely lucked out in that 1) there were seals there, and b) the guy who runs the Rome Point Seals website was also there with his telescope, and he let us all use it and told us all about the seals, some individuals of whom have been coming back to this spot for years. Awesome hike! Try and time it for late March if you want to see seals.

Seals. Honest.

Seals. Honest.

#9—De Coppet Property

This is a pretty new property that was acquired by the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management in 2014 and recently opened for hiking, and, I presume, hunting, though I haven’t been back during the hunting season. The walking is mostly on old woods roads which haven’t been destroyed by motorized traffic and there are tons of old cellar holes and foundations to explore. It’s really a lovely place, and I really do need to get back to do some more exploration!

Village of Hillsdale

Village of Hillsdale

#8—Block Island, Mohegan Bluffs

This year’s PCHC hike on Block Island wasn’t as grueling as last year’s 10-miler, but as is always the case with BI, there’s always something fascinating and charming to encounter. This year we got great views of the off-shore wind farm and discovered a menagerie.

Emu

Emo Emu

#7—Belding Path & Valley Falls Park

Sometimes I find hikes just by randomly poking around on the Connecticut Forest & Park Association’s interactive hiking map. Which is how I found this hike, which looked interesting and do-able and not too far to drive (I’m such a Rhode Islander at heart), so I went to check it out. It turned out to be in places absolutely gorgeous, and in other places mysteriously surprising!  Oh, and rather more costly than I’m used to, also.

Tankerhoosen River

Tankerhoosen River

#6—Ken Weber Conservation Area

It’s not often that a hike that’s under a mile makes it onto this “best of” list, but this one had to be included. Ken Weber is someone to whom I owe a huge debt of gratitude. His books were the inspiration that got me into the woods, and if you’re new to the area, I highly HIGHLY recommend you check some of them out. They’re getting to be a bit out of date now, but they are mostly still great guides. This conservation area was dedicated to his memory, and it’s really a tiny gem.

Cascade

Cascade

Stay tuned for Part 2 of my “Best of” list, coming to a social media platform near you soon.

UPDATE: Part 2 here

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