Narragansett Chapter Local Hikes and Walks
Kerri Green, Local Hikes Subchair
Check for last minute status on the On-Line
Gazette or the Message Board.
Sign up for Local Hikes or Dog Hikes email announcements on our List-Server.
The Conservation Committee also offers local walks.
Gear for Local Hikes and suggestions for new members.
- Foot wear for hiking: This important item should be suitable for rough terrain. Shoes or hiking boots can be found in discount stores to sporting good stores. Heavier socks are needed for comfort. Bring an extra pair for wet conditions.
- Clothing: Synthetics will wick water away from you skin and is better than cotton because it adsorbs water. Synthetic fleece and wool will keep you warm even wet during cold weather. Synthetic pants are best for hiking and those designed for hiking are the most comfortable. Have rain gear, wind breakers, jackets, hats and mittens to counter the weather conditions.
- Backpacks, Hiking Poles: Small backpacks can be found at many retailers. They should be large eought to carry what you need. Fanny packs if large enough are good for some local hikes. Hiking poles have been found at discount stores.
- Items to bring for local day hikes: Extra clothing, insect repellant, sunscreen, personal medications, sunglasses, first aid items, snacks, plenty of water, cameras.
Enjoyable Local Hikes for New Members
This is a list of some favorite local hikes for both new members and members who are looking for a less demanding hike or walk. Check our schedule to see when we offer these activities. These are also suitable for hiking with friends or family. (HBS)
- Lincoln Woods, in Lincoln RI. -- This hike takes us off the beaten path to areas seldom seen by most people. It also includes the Chase Farm on Great Road. A great place for bird watching. Spring, fall and winter are good times for this hike.
- Blue Hills, South of Boston on I-93 -- This area offers extraordinary diversity for easy and challenging hikes (2.8MB pdf map) to the weather station with views of Boston. Spring and Fall are good times to go. There is snowshoeing in the winter. We are fortunate here in southeastern New England to have this area. Check with leader if fit enough to do it.
- Long Pond - Ell Pond Trail, Exeter RI -- This trail is in the Arcadia Management Area ((27KB pdf map)). Hikers enjoy going through the rhododendron forested section of this trail. It is also known for the spectacular views from ridges high above the large ponds, which is a great place to have lunch. Spring and fall are favorite times to go.
- Wednesday Evening Walks -- These walks are held in a different place every week. From the towns of Lincoln to Newport. They are two to three mile walks starting at 6 pm. If the hikers choose to do so, they go for a light dinner afterwards.
- Two easy scenic hikes -- The Great Swamp and Trustom Pond. These two are favorites. The Great Swamp (1.2MB pdf map) is a historical Indian site that is noted not only for hiking but is adjacent to two popular canoeing streams. Trustom Pond hike may include a MoonStone Beach (short history) walk when allowed by DEM.
There are many other hikes. New members are invited to inquire about them from you local hiking leaders, listed on the web site and in the Gazette.
Summer Advisory - Get Ready for the Sun and the Bugs
Articles suggest that using DEET products and sunscreen together may not be in your best interest. But not all sources have the same recommendations. Read articles on the proper use of insect repellants by the US Center for Disease Control, one by Undercurrents magazine, and one by the Illinois Department of Public Health.
State Land Use Permits for Groups of 10 or more Hikers
Hikes of 10 or more persons require a special written permit to hike in State lands. Hiking leaders note the following regulations are applicable all year.
This regulation is in the "Park and Management Area Rules and Regulations (August 1, 2014)" (pdf) Section 14. - Groups, Meetings, Distribution of Printed Matter.
(Section)14.2 Organized groups utilizing public reservations under the jurisdiction of the Division of Parks and Recreation, scientific collectors and groups of ten (10) or more in other public reservations, must submit prior written request to and have
official written permission for a Special Use Permit from the Director or his/her authorized representative. (See Section 23 for Large Event Permits for groups between 75-150 people.)
For the Arcadia management area and all other State lands (except the George Washington area), print a copy of the Arcadia Activity/Special Use Permit (pdf) for submittal. For the George Washington area, print and submit this permit form (pdf). Jay Aron (Div. of Forest Environment) suggests calling him at 401-568-2013 so the request can be discussed prior to submitting an application.
For locations that are regulated, there are two maps to assist hiking leaders. The newest is a RI DEM interactive map that provides pdf cutouts of topo maps for selected locations in the State, but does not identify the areas on the map. The pdf maps are nice color printable topo maps with the State areas in shaded portions. The other map is an older version which does identify the management areas by name and gives a better overview of the State lands. It is the same as referenced below for trail maps for Wildlife Management Areas.
Hunting Season and Orange
Fluorescent Orange must be worn in Rhode Island State Management areas by all users (hikers, bicyclists, horseback riders, etc.) The requirement is to wear 500 square inches of solid daylight fluorescent orange from the second Saturday in September to the last day of February (deer season), and 200 square inches (non-deer season) from the third Saturday in April to the last day in May, annually. There are a few days and places in the deer season that only 200 sq in. are needed but not worth dealing with, so use the 500 sq inches the whole deer season. Details are available in the RI Hunting Regulations for 2014-2015 Season.(284kB pdf)
The requirements give specifics to what qualifies. "To meet this requirement, safety clothing must be solid daylight fluorescent orange. Fluorescent camouflage does not meet this requirement. The hunter orange must be worn above the waist and be visible in all directions. Examples that meet the orange requirements are a hat that covers 200 square inches or combination of hat and vest covering 500 square inches."
Note: Both Connecticut and Massachusetts do not allow hunting on Sunday so orange is not required on those days. But hunting is legal in Rhode Island on Sunday.
Fluorescent orange vests, jackets and hats are available at any of the local sporting and big box (eg. Walmart, Dick's) stores at very reasonable prices. If you are xc-skiing in the George Washington/Pulaski management area this winter you will need the fluorescent orange, so buy something big enough to go over your ski jacket.
Local Winter Hiker Advisory.
When below freezing or there has been snow on the trails, local hikers need to think about not slipping on ice. You can hike just about anywhere with proper winter foot gear. Get Microspikes (kahtoola.com) or Stabil-icers (The ones with bolts over entire sole). If you're not yet committed to winter hiking and want something less expensive, go to the hunting/fishing department of your local sporting goods store and buy slip on fishermen's cleats that will serve you well for several seasons. Yaktraks are not recommended for serious hiking. For more information and sources, see the Snow Resources page.
Rules for our "Hiking with Dogs" group.
If you are condidering joining our "Hiking with Dogs" group there are rules and information that we use. If you wish to join a hike, contact the leader and if you have not filled out the application form, download the .docx file here. Fill it out and attach it to and email to the leader.
- Registration for dog hikes is required, and must be done in advance as space is limited on these hikes.
- Please use a leash that is not the expandable-type since they can be very dangerous around other people and dogs.
- When you arrive at the hike parking area, please leave your dog in the car with the windows cracked open. We really can’t have a bunch of excited dogs tugging our arms off in the parking area. After a brief introduction, the leaders will advise you when to return to your car to get your dog and start off.
- Oddly enough, there seems to be some hunting in season every month in Rhode Island except for the month of August so please be sure that you and your dog have ORANGE on ESPECIALLY during deer hunting seasons in the fall, and regardless of whether or not hunting is allowed in the hiking area.
- Every dog needs to be leashed at the start of the hike at least until we are out of harm's way and we know that everyone will get along with one another.
- For the entire hike, you must keep your dog under positive control at all times. If he/she acts out, and trust me, all of our dogs do from time to time, then YOU are responsible for leashing your dog and moving to a position in the pack that is compatible with the group. We walk a fine line here since this is an AMC GROUP hike, we want to keep the group together, but we also need to make it enjoyable for everyone…canine and human.
- Please make certain that your dog is physically capable of enjoying the length and type of hike planned. The hike leaders purposefully plan some hikes that are shorter, about 3 miles, and some that are longer; 6 or 7 miles. Make sure that your dog is ready for the hike for which you sign up. Remember that your dog will travel twice the distance you do on a hike running back and forth along the way.
- Speaking of which, watch your knees! Dogs will charge back and forth on the trail and you need to be prepared to withstand their wrath! Any children you bring with you need to be with you at all times and near the tail of the group where you can watch to be sure they are safe.
- You need to understand that hikes with dogs at least on the surface can seem confusing and chaotic until the hike is underway. Dogs tend to try to establish a pecking order and it works best just to keep them moving. We don't take regular breaks on these hikes because just like two-year olds, when given a little lag time, dogs get into trouble. This said, these are AMC hikes and it is important that humans have as good a time as canines. So if/when you need a separation break (potty break), time to readjust clothing, or a water break, please alert one of the hike leaders so we can make proper arrangements.
- About the poop…I know it's the woods and most dogs go off trail, but imagine what a mess we'd have if 8 or 9 dogs all went on the same trail on the same day… Ewe! The rule is that every little treasure they leave behind, YOU have to carry out in a bag! No flinging, ignoring, or casually covering it up. When we’re in the woods on these hikes, we represent the AMC, and we want/need to leave a nice impression about the way we feel about the woods.
- Please bring ample water for you and your DOG! Also, bring snacks for you and your DOG!
- Our AMC hikes are fun group activities, not competitions. Therefore, the group stays together to ensure safety for all.
- Please be aware that you dog will find every mud hole and take every opportunity to get wet and disgusting that he/she can, so bring towels for the ride home.
- If your dog is involved in a disruption, a leader may ask you to keep your dog leashed or change position in the pack. As with humans, dogs occasionally have issues with other dogs and may be happier with a different dog either ahead or behind, or back on the leash with you. These decisions are absolutely necessary at times and the group leaders appreciate your full cooperation with their decisions.
Find your Favorite Hiking or Walking Trail
(This section has been moved to Hiking Resources.)
The overall AMC Leadership Requirements and Guidelines will apply to all our leaders. There are two categories for leading.
Hike leader: Co-lead two non-Wednesday local hikes of at least five to ten miles in length, under guidance of two different qualified hike leaders. Then lead one local hike with a qualified hike leader acting as co-leader.
Walk leader: Co-lead two local hikes/walks Then lead one local hike/walk with a qualified hike or walk leader acting as co-leader.
"Elaine: I don't even know where I'm going."... "That's the best way to get someplace you've never been." -- J. Peterman
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Photo Credits (unless noted) - Michael Krabach
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Rev. Oct. 13, 2015