Big River Exploration

Posted By on October 29, 2017

Big River Exploration

4.27 miles; West Greenwich, RI

This hike was a Providence County Hiking Club (PCHC) visit to this state management area on an exploration hike. Even with the best map, the Great Swamp Press map, the trails in here are ever-shifting and unpredictable. We followed a Hiking in RI GPS track for most of it. This is such a lovely spot, even with the occasional trash pile.

Boundary Stone

There is something carved into this old boundary stone… your guess is as good as mine. But the land that makes up Big River was once owned privately by many Rhode Islanders, and the property was taken by eminent domain by the state to build a reservoir. Which, obviously, never got built. This story from the Providence Journal tells the story.

When he was 9, the state condemned his family’s farm, just one parcel among 8,600 acres bought from 351 owners for the Big River Reservoir — planned since 1928 as a drinking water backup for the Scituate Reservoir. He was 13 when they had to move, believing that construction was months away.

It has been 50 years since West Greenwich land was taken by eminent domain. The reservoir was never built.


There is still a lot of old trash here. We found one little whimsical vignette with an old chair and a lamp and a broken coffee mug…  And this fuel can in a tree. Huh.

Some Amazing Color

There was some pretty wonderful color here, too. I really love the dark black tree trunks with the yellow leaves. It’s always been one of my favorite autumn color palettes.

Kind of a Metaphor?

Yeah, I like it. Big River kinds of feels like this. The wild west. No regulations…

You can read more about Big River on the ExploreRI website. As always, click on the image, above, for details about this hike and to download the GPS track.


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