Two Short Hikes, One Long Brook

Posted By on October 20, 2014

Two Short Hikes, One Long Brook

3.6 miles; hopkinton, ri

today was my first monday in 6 weeks free (not counting holidays like columbus day and labor day), so i decided to celebrate by visiting two of my favorite places nearby, canonchet woods preserve and black farm.

interestingly, canonchet brook runs through both of these properties, even though they’re several miles apart. i think i crossed canonchet brook at least 6 times between these two short hikes.

canonchet brook map

canonchet brook map

they (the hopkinton land trust, in concert with the nature conservancy of rhode island) have added another short trail and done all the blazing on the canonchet woods property, and not incidentally they’ve put up some dynamite signage.

dark skies signage

dark skies signage

who knew that there was a “borderlands dark sky trail system?” i do know what they mean by dark sky, though. i remember seeing a satellite view of this part of new england taken at night (wish i could find it now), and it was the only swathe of darkness along the whole northeast corridor. i feel very lucky to live here.

leaves on the trail

leaves on the trail

you can tell we’re truly into deep autumn here in new england. that’s good news and bad news. the good news? temps are perfect for hiking, and we’re almost completely bug-free. the bad news? every rock, root, stump, and hole in the trail is now buried under a carpet of leaves. a colorful carpet, to be sure, but still a little treacherous.

cellarhole

cellarhole

the canonchet woods preserve is a ruin-lover’s paradise. there was obviously a large mill complex and/or farm here, and countless cellarholes and walls to attest to their presence. that line from the shelley poem, ozymandias, kept running through my mind: “look upon my works, ye mighty, and despair,” about the ravages of time and the impermanence of all human endeavor.

whew. melancholy. autumn does that to me, i guess.

steps down to the road

steps down to the road

speaking of works, i didn’t remember this from last time i was here, but i may have missed it. this is where the trail leaves the woods and continues along lawton foster road north—a very nice set of stairs. and you really need them, as the embankment on the side of the road is pretty steep.

the wood river

the wood river

after i left canonchet woods, i just had to go revisit black farm. this is the wood river. canonchet brook ends it long journey here.

former turtle eggs

former turtle eggs

i came across this beside the trail… an empty turtle’s nest. i hope this means the little guys hatched and made it to the river, and not that some enterprising raccoon or skunk found himself a feast one night…

you can find canonchet woods preserve and black farm in the hikefinder.

Comments

One Response to “Two Short Hikes, One Long Brook”

  1. Anubis Bard says:

    I’ve always found something inspiring about ruins in the woods. Nature reasserts itself, civilizations recede and re-boot. When my own civilization seems at its most idiotic, I find that reassuring.

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