Mary Ann Topp and Christine Galvin, Local Hikes Co-Subchairs
Check for last minute status on the On-Line
Gazette or the Message Board.
Sign up for local hikes or dog hikes announcements on our List-Server.
The Conservation Committee also offers local walks.
View Photo Album
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)
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.
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.
(updated) Hiking leaders note the following applicable all year. The Rhode Island DEM Hunting and Trapping Abstract (870KB pdf) states under "State Lands" on page 20, "...In order to effectively manage and safeguard these open areas for people, wildlife, and habitat, the following regulations are to followed: ... Groups consisting of 10 or more persons must obtain a group use permit available from the Division of Forest Environment."
This regulation is also in the "Park and Management Area Rules and Regulations (Nov. 2010) (pdf) on page 17.
(Section)14.2 Groups of 100 persons or more 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.)
Note that for public land under the jurisdiction of the Division of Parks and Recreation, permits are only required for groups of 100 or more.
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. For your convenience, these are the Wildlife Management Areas affected.
Fluorescent Orange must be worn in Rhode Island State Management areas from the third weekend in October thru the end of February (small game hunting season)and again from April 25 thru May 26, 2009 (turkey hunting season). The requirement is to wear 200 square inches during these hunting periods, except during the shotgun deer season, when 500 square inches is required. On the mainland, the shotgun deer season is from December 1-9 on private and state management areas and also from Dec. 10-16 on private land only. However on Jamestown and Aquidneck Island, the shotgun deer season is Dec. 1-16, Dec. 29 & 30, and Jan. 5 & 6. Details are available on the Rhode Island DEM Hunting and Trapping Abstract (870KB pdf).
The requirements give specifics to what qualifies. "Fluorescent orange safety clothing is required during the hunting season statewide for all hunters. 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 are: a hat that covers 200 square inches or combination of hat and vest covering 500 square inches."
"In addition to the above hunter requirements, all other users (hikers, bicy-clists, horseback riders, etc.) of State Management areas are required to wear 200 square inches of solid daylight fluorescent orange from the third Saturday in October to the last day of February and the last Thursday in April to the last day in May, annually."
Hiking leaders are referred the following for information on the hunting season in CT and MA.
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.
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.
Rhode Island has many parks, recreation areas, preserves, beaches and campgrounds, all managed by the RIDEM. Many are suitable for hiking and walks. The ones listed below offer sufficient space for short hikes, or long walks. All the State Parks can be found by region with this map. The page uses Google Maps so it is a large site to download.
Aerial photographs are useful to explore various hiking areas. All aerial photos on this page are interactive, which means you can pan and zoom the image. The largest size saved (via screen capture) is limited by the size of your display monitor. The photos are not necessarily taken in the Spring and tree leaves will obscure some trails. (Some images over the Bay are currently to dark to view details.) The photos are taken at various times, the latest in Rhode Island are May 1, 2010.
(new) The RI DEM uses Geographic Information System (GIS) technology to create, manipulate and analyze spatial data that you can use in an interactive mode. There are two maps that may interest hikers. The "Geographic Data Viewer has down the page, the "DEM Guide to Outdoor Recreation". It is a popup window, but expandable to a full screen, which is a guide to State Management Areas, including information on "..Public Hunting Land & Management Areas, Fishing & Boating Access and new information on the state's extensive network of multi-use trails."
The "Topo Map & Aerial Photo Viewer" (same URL) is described as a "..Fast & easy viewer including aerial photography dating back to 1939, USGS Topographic Maps, & NOAA Navigational Charts." This application uses the interactive arcGIS Explorer which allows you to view different maps, customize them and print. Both these interactive programs are difficult enough that you may want to look at the tutorial page on using GIS software that the DEM offers.
DEM Guide to Outdoor Recreation
Topo Map & Aerial Photo Viewer
Click either image for maps.
(new) Many of the woodland places to hike in Rhode Island are located in the State Wildlife Management Areas (WMA). The RI DEM has produced maps that are suitable for locating these areas and exploring the trails. Some trails are marked but not identified. The maps include topographic features. RIHunts.com includes WMA maps, including named trails (but no topographic features) on one set, and topographic maps on another set. All the maps are primarily designed to identify the boundaries of the State WMA's. Use the images below to start finding WMA maps.
Click either image for maps.
The new Kettle Pond Visitor Center and headquarters located in Charlestown, RI, is the central location that manages the five National Wildlife Refuges in the State. Several are suitable for hiking, the Ninigret National Wildlife Refuge, Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge, and the Trustom Pond National Wildlife Refuge. A location map of the refuges is on this page.
This trail (although not a trail for the entire distance) runs from the Massachusetts border in the Buck Hill Management Area, to the Atlantic Ocean on East Beach Road, Charlestown, at Blue Shutters Beach. It consists of about 75 miles of trail that is a mix of trails, paths, and some roads. A map of the route is available, and a book describing the trail can be purchased at REI. (New) Topo Maps for the North-South trail are available.
There are many properties in Rhode Island under the ownership of the Nature Conservancy. Many of them have short trails suitable for walks and hikes. A map of the preserves can be used to investigate hikes. Use the Visit tab to see the Google maps. All the preserves require that you honor their rules and conditions for visitation.
(new) There are many land trusts in Rhode Island, some offer hiking and walks. Some require visitation is by scheduled walks only. The following are some of the more popular ones, and can be visited without scheduling.
Audubon maintains nearly 9,500 acres, including 13 refuges in Rhode Island and nearby Massachusetts which are open to the public and have groomed trails for hiking and other nature activities. The Society requires that you abide by their rules to ensure that the refuges remain as healthy habitats. The following areas are suitable for hikes of walks from 3 to 5 miles.
Many of the town and cities of Rhode Island have places to hike as a result of the rugged terrain and unbuildable land. Many towns and cities also are becoming concerned with the open land and farms being developed and have taken advantage of special conservation easements. The result is a variety of landscapes suitable for hiking and walks. A few are listed below.
There are many places to walk and hike near Rhode Island in neighboring Massachusetts. Below are places of interest.
Massachusetts Dept. of Conservation and Recreation - This page has trail maps for online viewing or downloading of Mass. State Parks, State Forests and Conservation Areas.
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