Phony Baloney Pelloni and the Great Diamond Hill Swamp Trail Hoax

Posted By on September 28, 2018

Phony Baloney Pelloni and the Great Diamond Hill Swamp Trail Hoax

2.2 miles; Hopkinton, 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.]

So today’s adventure was an attempt to scout out the few parts of the 9.2-mile Tomaquag Trail that I planned on doing in one go in the near future, and it was a TOTAL BUST. So many trails, parking areas, and trailheads marked on maps that were non-existent! I felt kind of cheated.

Let’s start with the Pelloni Preserve. Here’s the trail map, courtesy ExploreRI.com:

There was indeed a well-marked trailhead and parking area on the northern end.

So Far So Good!

So Far So Good!

And a nicely-cleared trail and big easy-to-spot white diamond blazes. Excellent! This will be a piece of cake, I thought. However, go back to the map. See that spot where the Tomaquag Trail takes a left turn and heads due south? Again, it was very well marked. And then… the trail just disappeared. No more trail, no more blazes. “Hm, must have missed something!,” I mused. Nope. After fruitlessly wandering every likely looking path in search of blazes, I thought to myself, “Hey, no problem. I’ll just drive to the southern trailhead and see if I can’t work my way backwards.” Ha  ha ha nope. No sign, no parking area, no blazes and no trail. Nothing, nada. Zilch.

Sigh. Okay. Well, I’ll check out the Diamond Hill Swamp Trail. There’s a nice map, again, courtesy ExploreRI.com:

And again, there is no sign of a parking area, signage, blazes or cleared path at either end of the trail as it is designated on the map. Bupkis. The map does however clearly state:

“This is a rudimentary blazed trail without final clearing, signs or all-season stream crossings.”

If there are blazes further in than can be seen from the road on either end, I was not sharp-eyed enough to spot them, but there may be, who knows? There really wasn’t any place convenient to park at either end, so I didn’t get out to do further exploration. Personally, I think this whole preserve is a big hoax.

“But wait, Auntie,” you say. “Maybe the preserves are so new that the Hopkinton Land Trust hasn’t gotten around to making the trails yet!” Nice theory, but the maps are dated 2013.

The photo above is a shot of the fancy sign on Collins Road at the southern end of the Kenyon Crossroads trail. It apparently slipped my eagle eye that the word, in parentheses, (proposed) was featured in several places. So alas for my planned traverse of the entire Tomaquag Trail, it seems there are some large chunks yet to be created in the middle. (I will link a higher resolution version of the above map to the photo.)

You can find out more about all of these preserves, real and imagined, at this town of Hopkinton website, which includes links to maps of actual and prank preserves. As always, click the image above for details about this hike and to download the gps track.

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