26th Annual N-S Trail Trek, Leg 2

Posted By on March 24, 2018

26th Annual N-S Trail Trek, Leg 2

13.8 miles; Charlestown, Richmond, and Exeter, RI

Wow. I had forgotten (perhaps mercifully) how rugged the very last few miles of this section are. Painful. But I’m not in as bad shape as I was after Leg 1, so I’m getting stronger. And just in time for Leg 3, which is 17 miles…

And We're Off!

And We’re Off!

The View

The View

This hike starts (naturally) where the last one left off, at Meadowbrook Pond in Wood River Junction. Immediately north of this spot, the trail winds around a very large cornfield for about a mile and a quarter. This time of year, the wind really whips through here, and it was a pretty cold walk.

Credit Where Credit is Due

Credit Where Credit is Due

After the 3 (and a half) Nor’easters we had in this area recently, the deadfall in the woods was catastrophic. So many downed trees! So the North-South Trail Maintenance Crew took entirely justifiable credit for the massive amount of cutting and shifting they did to make the trail walkable. I saw these notations on sawn-off log ends in many, many places. Heck of a job, guys! (I’m assuming it was mostly guys—happy to be corrected if there are trail ladies who also pitched in with the cutting and hauling.)

Laurel Tunnel

Laurel Tunnel

This is one of the things I absolutely adore about hiking in Rhode Island and southeastern Connecticut. There are many places where you walk through evergreen tunnels of mountain laurel. It’s really one of the distinguishing characteristics of the trails around here. And not to be missed during the laurels’ bloom time in June.

Alas, Road Walking

Alas, Road Walking

One thing I have learned is that if you want to hike a long-distance trail, at least in the Northeast, you’re going to have to resign yourself to a lot of road walking. This section of the N-S Trail was no exception. But at least (once off busy Route 138) it’s a stroll along country roads populated by farms and cows. Oh, and very noisy dog parks.

This section ends up in Arcadia WMA, and the infamous “Boulder Field.” It is brutal walking, particularly after you’ve already walked 10 or 11 miles. Ok, enough whining.

As you can see from the annotated map below, the trail brushes right along the boundary of another very lovely wildlife management area: the DeCoppet Property. I’ve hiked here before. There aren’t any published trail maps that I could find, but most of the walking I did was on lovely old woods roads. This is a must-hike spot.

You can find out more about the North-South trail from this rather old and slightly link-rotty website called HTML Outdoors Planet. Also check out the great map collection available from the AMC Narragansett Chapter. There is also some very good info on “The Trek” website. As always, click the image above for details about this hike and to download the gps track.

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