North~South Trail: The Sequel
I love sharing my recreational experiences. I even enjoy writing about them. My procrastination is an unsolved mystery. I am here now, finally (during a March blizzard), to get back to finishing this one and only thru-hike in Rhode Island. We carry on in Coventry for the start of Leg #4. If you haven’t had the pleasure of reading Part 1, you may want to do that first and then come on back.
This hike was a 15 mile trek through Coventry, West Greenwich & Exeter. I recall this as being our longest and least eventful hike. At this point, I decided that I wanted to finish in 6 hikes, not 7 so we had to push the mileage a bit. It was a gray, raw day and we were cranking to finish before the rain that was forecasted fell. The first few miles are on a mix of dirt and paved roads but certainly roads I have NEVER been on, so that was interesting. As we passed along the western boundary of Wickaboxet Conservation area, we came across an amazing heron nesting site. Here is a crappy phone pic on a gray day.
The big highlight that was only a few miles from the start, was discovering the half-way marker. I can’t thank the Trail Angels enough for all the signage. It makes you SO happy!
Other than this, my lack of photos for this hike prove it’s plain jane-ness. #4 ends at Browning Mill Pond in Arcadia. A very lovely finish at the falls at Roaring Brook.
Moving on to hike #5 and definitely moving into territory I’ve never been to! Starting at Browning Mill and ending at Meadowbrook Pond in Wood River Junction (where??). This 14.42 miler had major highlights and sadly, also some sucky parts. Passing through the rock garden was magical as we wound our way out of Arcadia. Also mighty glad it was early spring because it looks like it’s a poison ivy festival in the summer 🙁
So many blue blazes here it’s silly.
There is a fair amount of road walking on this hike. Some of it is very scenic but the mile on Rt138 simply sucks with dozens of cars flying past you at 50+mph. Very jarring to the senses after the quiet of the woods. After that you head into the Carolina Management Area (again, I say, where?) and back into the quiet (ahhhhhh) 🙂
I love how historical cemeteries can appear anywhere in RI
As opposed to many sections of Arcadia where you can hear background highway noise, Carolina is truly quiet and you can literally feel your senses chill out and go to their calm, happy place. It is similar to Arcadia in that it’s a mix of remote forest and man-made remnants of Rhode Island’s past. Leaving Carolina, you enter meadows and a turf farm then finish at Meadowbrook Pond in Wood River Junction.
And da da DAAAAA!!!! We are at the final leg, hike #6 on May 21 (purposefully finishing before Memorial Day weekend so we can party on the beach like it’s 1999). To celebrate our finish, we each packed a picnic dinner, a cooler, beach chairs and all the dressings to build a nice fire. I decided I wanted to cap off the accomplishment with a cold plunge and wore my bathing suit under my hiking gear and encouraged my compadres to do the same.
The Final Four
The beginning is along some back roads and then you head into Burlingame State Park. The trail in the park is really quite pretty. I love all the boardwalks and the Vin Gormley covered bridge.
It’s a bit unfortunate but when you exit the park, the final mile or so you have to cross route 1 (thankfully there is a crosswalk button) and walk East Beach Road. But really, you are so pumped to be finishing you don’t care!
We spent as much time on the beach celebrating as it took us to finish the hike that day! Had such an amazing time 🙂 I hope you’re inspired to hike your state. Please share your experiences here!