Nature Conservancy’s Newest: King Preserve
I got out today for a good medium sized hike so I’d have something better to write about than bitching about Facebook. Thanks to one of my favorite RI hiking blogs, I saw that the Nature Conservancy’s new acquisition(trail map) while still under construction, was open for hiking. I was sharing this new found info with my Partner over a beer and we excitedly made plans to satisfy our curiosity.
This new parking lot is right on 1A just north of Casey Farm. As you can see the signage is brand new and beautiful. We didn’t expect to have to wear orange but there are signs stating it’s archery season and orange is required. The trails are very well-marked and signed but there are 2 areas where we had confusion. The first problem we encountered was after walking through Spruce Lane. This property used to be a Girl Scout camp and this part of the “trail” is obviously an old road lined with massive spruce trees. The trail map makes the trail look like you continue straight along the continuation of this road BUT YOU DON”T. Toward the end of the row of spruce, you take a hard right. The trail is blazed white and there is a sign but the trail drawing rendition and the road (not pictured on the map) threw me off. Not a big deal because the distances here are short. If you follow the road, you end up on Snuff Mill Rd after about a quarter mile and realize you probably should turn back 😛
Spruce Lane/The Falls
The other spot that gave us trouble was at the footbridge in the middle of the yellow loop. We wanted to do all the trails and were making a figure eight (with a bit of back-tracking) except when we got back to the footbridge, there was no other trail. Huh. I’m a good map reader and I was starting to feel rather inadequate. We decide to back track again and attempt the rest of the loop from the other direction (where the blue trail meets the yellow). When we get to this section, it is marked as “trail under construction”. It is definitely less traveled but it is still blazed yellow for a bit until the trail takes a left turn back into the woods and comes to an end. Throughout the trails we saw plenty of surveying tape on trees and we tramped around a bit trying to see if we could discover the rest of the trail but the tape ended after a couple of trees. We briefly considered bushwacking the rest of the way because it wasn’t that far but there were to many briars for our lycra pant’s comfort. Good to know that it was the map and not me.
New lot under construction on Snuff Mill Rd and the section of the yellow loop that is incomplete.
The western edge of the property ends at the upper reaches of Narrow River. This is the body of water you enter when you launch paddleboard/kayak/canoes from Gilbert Stuart Museum. There is an old road (the one mentioned earlier) on the property that gets you close to the water but it is chained off and it doesn’t appear that they’re going to change anything about that anytime soon. Kind of a bummer because this would be a much better launch than raiding the museum parking lot and having to paddle/walk your flotation device down a rocky and shallow creek.
The creek enters at the top right of this photo.
When we got back to the car, we managed 6 miles and we were very happy with that. The trails are all relatively short and we’re not happy unless we get in at least 5 miles. You could also make it longer by adding in some road walking along Snuff Mill. The whole property is generally flat. We dressed in many layers today for the 30 degree high and we never peeled any layers off.
So, that was mucho betterer. Glad to have a mini-adventure to share. Love checking out new spots (that are more than 1 or 2 miles). Next weekend my 3 boards and one set of sticks fam will be heading to the slopes in VT. Gotta make your own fun in winter!