5 Rhode Island Hikes Off the Beaten Path
Five hikes that are still somewhat undiscovered in the Ocean State.
Fall is a great time to get outside and experience the natural beauty of Rhode Island (and work off some of the pumpkin-flavored treats we may have consumed, ahem.) We were looking for some hikes far from the everyday bustle, so we checked in with Ernie Germani, who writes the blog Trails and Walks in Rhode Island.
Here are his top five places to escape civilization for a while:
Connors Farm, Smithfield
Terrain: Two to two and a half mile hike. Moderate with some areas of elevation.
Why go? “It’s quiet. The entrance is actually in a residential neighborhood. It’s not very well known, and the Smithfield Land Trust calls it one of the most scenic trials they offer. There are some overlooks and beautiful stone walls and I have been told there is a cranberry bog there, but haven’t found it yet.”
How to get there: Access the trail at small parking lot located between 20 and 24 Connors Farm Rd. For more information and a map, go here.
Ballard Park, Newport
Terrain: A little over a mile of trails. Easy hike.
Why go? “It’s essentially a quarry and they have trails going around it.” He recommends the overlooks, which include a thirty-foot cliff overlooking an open meadow. Trails are short, very kid-friendly hike.
How to get there: Ballard Park is located at the intersection of Hazard and Wickham roads in Newport. Follow the entrance road to a sign with the trail map. For more information and a map, go here.
Westconnaug Meadows, Scituate.
Terrain: About a mile and a half of trail. Easy hike.
Why go? “Ironically enough, there are no meadows there. What’s nice about it is if you’re into trees, they have them all labeled with short descriptions.” (They include red oaks, white pines and sassafras.) It’s one of the most peaceful, serene trails Germani says he has been on. It’s another good one for kids.
How to get there: The trailhead is by the parking area for a ballfield on George Washington Parkway in Scituate. For more information and a map, go here.
Steere Hill Farm/Heritage Park, Glocester
Terrain: More than five miles of trails. Moderate, with some elevation.
Why go? “There is a tremendously beautiful hill on the top of the main trail, with a bench underneath it. It opens up to a large field and it’s a great view.”
How to get there: It’s off Putnam Pike in Glocester. For more information and a map, go here.
Hidden Lake, Hopkinton
Terrain: “You have to do some scrambling up and down on rocks.” Lots of trails.
Why go? “Obviously, there’s a lake there and it’s not so hidden when you find it. It’s a beautiful spot.” Really nice when the leaves are turning.
How to get there: The trailhead is on Camp Yawgoog Road in Hopkinton. (It’s Boy Scout property.) For more information and a map, go here.
And, as a bonus, a place that Germani says has been discovered, for good reason:
Ben Utter Trail/Stepstone Falls
Terrain: There are some rocky spots, but the trail is about a mile and a half each way and fairly easy.
Why go? “It’s very well- known, but it’s without a doubt the most beautiful spot in Rhode Island.”
How to get there: The hike is located in the Arcadia Wildlife Management Area on Plain Road in West Greenwich. For more information and a map, go here.