Wickaboxet and Flintlock Trails

Posted By on August 27, 2019

Wickaboxet and Flintlock Trails

7.5 miles; West Greenwich, RI

My weekly “mileage” hike. Came away from this with very bad back pain for some reason. Could be that I got a new daypack. It’s not any heavier than the old one, but it’s a different size; longer. I’ve scheduled a massage, so stay tuned.

Baby Destroying Angel

Baby Destroying Angel

This is why you have to be so careful while foraging for mushrooms. This looks, at first glance, like a puffball, which is a common edible mushroom. But note the pointy bits all over it. Those are the remnants of an amanita mushroom “veil.” The amanitas, of which Destroying Angel is one, start life inside a covering underground, called the veil. It’s like a caul or a placenta. As they emerge, the veil breaks apart and the bits sticks to the cap of the mushroom. All the amanitas do this, including this most deadly of fungi, the Destroying Angel.

Pond Trail

Pond Trail

I started this hike on the Pond Trail where it leads from the main parking area on Plain Road. This is such a pretty, inviting trail. I always start these long mileage hikes in such a great mood! The sights, the sounds, the smells… they all contribute to a massive feeling of well-being. At the same time I find myself wondering what’s going to make me miserable by the end. Will it be the heat? The bugs? An injury? Who knows. But there’s always something that makes me very happy to see my car at the trailhead.

Bolete, Old Man of the Woods

Bolete, Old Man of the Woods

This is an easily-identifiable member of the Bolete family, Old Man of the Woods. It’s ostensibly an edible mushroom, but opinions vary on its taste. Some love it, some say it tastes rather too much like the forest floor it grows from to be considered “choice.” I’ve never tried it myself, mainly because I just don’t like the way it looks. I mean, aesthetically it’s kind of cool, but to eat? Nah. Pass.

Dead Oaks

Dead Oaks

I took the Flintlock Trail from the Pond Trail, and then did the blue-blazed Wickaboxet Loop. From there I returned to the Flintlock Trail. It’s been quite a while since I hiked here, and I was shocked at the amount of dead oaks I saw. I actually got a little sunburn from hiking through here, which is not something I expected at all. This could become quite a problem if we go through another very dry period… that’s a lot of fuel. Fires seem inevitable.

Unknown Seed Head

Unknown Seed Head

After a diligent (10 minutes) Google Image search, I couldn’t find what this was. I was just struck by the detail captured by my new cellphone’s camera. Now if you know me at all, you’ll know I loved my old iPhone 5s. But it stopped charging, and I had to get a new iPhone. Not happy. I hate having to learn new gadgets, and this is so different from the 5s it’s not even funny. But I have to say I love the camera.

You can find out more about the Tillinghast Pond Management Area, where these trails are located, and get a trail map from this Nature Conservancy website. And a map of Wickaboxet, a Rhode Island state property, can be found here. As always, click the image above for details about this hike and to download the gps track.

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