Prudence Island II

Posted By on August 25, 2018

Prudence Island II

5.7 miles; Portsmouth, 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.]

Another great day of hiking with my friends Ernie and Jenn. We returned to Prudence Island in blessedly better weather than last time to more completely explore the Baker Farm trail system on this 5-1/2 square mile island.

Early Morning Start

Early Morning Start

We made an early morning start to catch the 7:30 ferry from the dock on Thames Street in Bristol.

Lambchop

Lambchop

For some reason Lambchop was especially looking forward to this adventure.

Extensive Trail System

Extensive Trail System

There is an extensive and very well blazed and maintained trail system on the middle of the island which is overseen by the Prudence Conservancy on land known as Baker Farm. I have linked to a map below, but there are more trails here than are indicated on the map. All the trails in this area radiate out from the old farm/inn site, which sports some impressive cellar holes. And there is also a Disc Golf course.

Bench

Bench

Although we didn’t hike it today, the Division Wall Trail (or ÷ Wall Trail… get it?) goes clean across the island from East to West, and once marked the boundary between land bought from the Native Americans in 1637 and split between Rhode Island Founder Roger Williams and Massachusetts Bay Colony Governor John Winthrop. The wall itself still stands. I wonder if they got the Native Americans to pay for it…?

The Trail(s)

The Trail(s)

The majority of these trails are greenways kept neatly mown. They are a pleasure to walk.

Farmstand

Farmstand

There are several long-ish road walks on the route we took, although the roads were mostly dirt. One stretch passed a nifty little farm stand selling homemade jams and muffins and of course Prudence Island honey. So don’t forget to throw a few sheckles in your backpack if you decide to do this hike.

Although don’t plan on having a cool, frosty adult beverage while you wait for your ferry ride back—there are NO bars or restaurants on the island, and you cannot in fact even buy any alcohol. There is only the one little General Store at the ferry landing which has a pretty limited inventory. Although, this being Rhode Island, you can buy a Dell’s Lemonade if you get there during the few hours the place is open. That said, you can still get that cool and frosty once you get off the ferry in Bristol…

You can find out more about these trails from this map/brochure (2-page pdf) produced by the Narragansett Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. Read more about the Prudence Conservancy on their website. Get the ferry schedule and order tickets from the Prudence & Bay Islands Transport website. And as always, click the image above for details about this hike and to download the gps track.

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