Sunday, October 26, 2008

Arcadia Management Area - Richmond, RI

Melissa and I wanted to head out for a day hike. After a little research we came up with Arcadia Management Area in Southern RI. It covers Richmond, Exeter, Hopkinton and West Greenwich with a total acreage of more than 14,000 mainly wooded acres. It was an absolutely beautiful day with a bright high sunshine just warm enough. And so many trails it’ll take us a solid month to hike them all.

We decided to keep the hike to about 4 miles. So we chose to head to the Browning Mill Pond Recreation Area, which has a convenient parking area as well as beautiful views of several ponds, whose names I can’t remember. We hit the Arcadia Trail across from the parking area. There was this great walkway that I can only assume was built by the parks department. It extended across a small river and overlooked a crystal clear pond.

If there’s one thing in this world that bothers me it’s spiders. Well, only really big spiders or even medium sized ones that have fur or crawl on me. And of course all we saw was spider webs, spiders and spiders in their webs. Good times for me.

Just a few hundred feet into the forest and it felt like we stepped into the deep woods of Maine. It was incredibly peaceful, except for my cell phone; business knows no day off. I keep it on vibe so I don’t bother the animals - besides it’s smart to have in an emergency. Arcadia Trail has a nice flow to it, over ponds and lakes and of course winding through the woods up and down novice type hills. It was full of wildlife as well. We (Melissa) saw a dozen or so small frogs. She’s got a great eye for those little guys. There are also the typical birds, chipmunks and squirrels. Oh yeah and a fair amount mosquitoes and flies.

I don’t know what it is about hiking for us but it seems we’ve started to really pay attention to what the forest has to offer. We’re noticing different trees and bushes as well as the most incredible mushrooms I’ve ever seen. As we follow the trail now we both are looking a little deeper and with wider eyes so as not to miss the details. It’s really refreshing to connect with nature this way. I think I’m going to start bringing field guides with me so I can identify certain things. It’ll be nice to know what the heck it is we’re looking at. I can only get by so far with my Discovery Channel education.

The one and only disappointment for the day was the fact that Arcadia Trail didn’t loop around like we originally had thought. According to the map that is supplied by the Parks Department, it should have connected to a smaller foot trail to the west just before Ten Rod Road. What we found was the trail had overgrown and a few trees had fallen to cover the footpath so all was lost going in that direction. Unfortunately, we had to double back, which I really don’t like to do. It’s the same feeling you get when you have to double back in a car. You’ll drive ten miles out of your way just so you don’t have to turn around. Well in this case there was no other option but to turn around.

One of the coolest things about following the same path back is the different perspective you gain for the land that you just walked past. Things really look different from the other side. Hmmm…

When we got back to the car we decided that we wanted to see what else Arcadia had to offer so we drove around a bit. It’s BIG - really BIG. Melissa and I talked about how amazing it’s going to be to discover these new trails together. I really love being out there with her. We drove down Ten Rod Road and took a right onto Brook Trail, which led us through an entirely new set of possibilities that we can’t wait to explore. To end the day, as we drove down this small dirt road we saw something crossing in the distance. Well as we drove closer I realized my worst nightmare. It was the biggest spider I’d ever seen that wasn’t behind glass or on TV. Can you imagine how big it was if we could see it from our car! Well I got out to take a picture of it. – but made sure I left the car door open so I could make a quick getaway.

Get out of the house and get down to Arcadia Management Area. I guarantee that you won’t be disappointed. Enjoy!

Bob Black
Williams & Stuart Real Estate
870 Oaklawn Ave
Cranston, RI, 02920
Work: 401.942.0200 ext 28
Mobile: 401.261.1599
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1 comment:

Unknown said...

Since I was born and raised in the south, I never thought I was say this, but since my daughter moved to North Providence, RI.; I'm ready to move north! :)
We've been to North Prov probably 3 times and loved every trip.