Cranston Bike Path

Posted By on September 23, 2018

5.78 miles; Cranston & Warwick, RI

[Ed. Note: I have been EXTREMELY remiss in posting for the past few months. A lot of personal drama. But I have made a vow to post at least once a day until I’m caught up. So watch the dates on these, as there is quite a backlog.]

This was an PCHC hike. We’ve decided to explore the entire length of the Washington Secondary Bike Path in RI and the Trestle Trail in CT, which are actually one long rail trail that stretches from Moosup, CT to Warwick, RI. It runs along an abandoned rail corridor of the former Hartford, Providence & Fishkill Railroad. Today’s hike was the first section, which is known as the Cranston Bike Path locally.

The Trail

The Trail

Naturally being a bike path (and former railroad line) this trail is all paved and flat.

White Snakeroot

White Snakeroot, Ageratina altissima

There was a lot of this plant, Snakeroot, all along the side of the trail. Turns out it’s kind of an evil plant. This is from the Brooklyn Botanical Garden:

Sadly, white snakeroot played an unfortunate role in American history. In the early 19th century, European settlers, unfamiliar with the plant, allowed cows and other domestic animals to feed on it. A toxin in the plant called tremetol tainted the cow’s milk, causing sickness and death to those who drank it, calves as well as humans. Milk sickness, as it was called, claimed the lives of thousands of people, including, it is thought, Abraham Lincoln’s mother. Native Americans, who made poultices with snakeroot, knew of its toxic properties, but their botanical knowledge was frequently overlooked by settlers, to their detriment.

Huh. Who knew?

Tunnels

Tunnels

Lots of cool tunnels on this walk.

Snail

Snail

One of our group stopped to stretch and when he looked down he saw this little guy. Wonder where he thought he was climbing to? It’s just an old dried-out weed stem. I think this is a Grove Snail, which originated in Europe. His people were imported to and have settled down in North America. It also could be a White-lipped Banded Snail. I should have asked him.

Evening Primrose

Evening Primrose

A much more benign weed was also in bloom, Evening Primrose. It’s an important food source for birds.

Great Grafitti

Great Graffiti

This is what I’d call an urban hike, and you get to see some pretty cool graffiti on urban hikes.

River

River

Maybe the Pocasset River? Not sure. Could also be a view of the tiny Meshanticut State Park in Cranston.

You can find out more about and get maps of the Washington Secondary Bike Path at this RI Dept. of Transportation website. As always, click the image above for details about this hike and to download the gps track.

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