Sunday, September 28, 2014

John B. Hudson Trail in Exeter, Rhode Island

Last weekend Susie and I met up with friend Magali at the Staples in University Heights just off of north Main Street. Magali climbed in the back of our car and the three of us drove west out of the city to the Arcadia Wildlife Management area in Exeter, Rhode Island. Using Ken Weber's Weekend Walks in Rhode Island, our plan was to hike the John B. Hudson Trail, one of a series of trails that crisscross Arcadia. Magali's friends Sandy and Roger, both avid hikers, would also be joining us near the trail head.

After parking our cars at the trail head just off of Route 165, the five of us plunged into the woods. The day was warm and humid and even though were were near a variety of bodies of water there was nary a mosquito -- a pleasant surprise particularly since most of the trail was in deep woods dotted with tunnels of mountain laurel that seemed to turn day into twilight.

Nevertheless, the path was strewn with rocks and roots most of the way and the return leg was through a fair amount of muck which required us all to be rather nimble, not a characteristic I'm particularly noted for. But it was fun.

But it was a gorgeous day to be out with an added bonus of having Roger and Sandy regale us with stories of past hiking adventures, particularly on Mount Washington in New Hampshire.

Sandy and Susan

Although we were under cover most of the way, we did come across a tiny family cemetery deep in the woods: the Wilcox family once lived near by and their remains, or rather the stone markers that once marked their final resting places, can still be found inside what was once a substantial stone wall.

About midway through the trail itself we came to Breakheart Pond and an old fish ladder on Breakheart Brook; like the cemetery, it too, had been abandoned and long neglected.

the blackness of the rocks in Breakheart Brook paralleling our return trek puzzled us

We missed a turn on the return and ended up Frosty Hollow road which took us back to the highway and then to the parking lot.

Along the way we came across yet another historical cemetery (no. 5), this one marked by just two stones: one to the Barber family and the other to Edward Lovejoy who had served in the 2nd Massachusetts during the Civil War.

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