Trip Report: Glocester Land Trust – Steere Hill & Phillips Farm

I’ve been unsuccessful with finding any shed deer antler this year, so Saturday I ventured out to some local trails to try again. With no snow cover I thought I might have better luck, and these area does not allow hunting which is always a plus. I did about 50% of the time off trail, which was very nice and easy going. The woods were open and not very thick at all. There is quite a bit of interesting rock ledges in this area. Eventually it opens up to a field with a bit of a view, I spent a lot of time wandering around here, but still, no luck shed hunting. All the trails I did take were very well marked and maintained, this is some of the finest hiking Rhode Island has to offer.

 

Distance: 4.66 mi
Time: 2:32:56
Avg Pace: 32:49 min/mi
Avg Speed: 1.8 mph
Elevation Gain: 369 ft

 

They have a handy trail map available online:

Via the GLT website:

Steere Hill & Phillips Farm

Overview/History – The Steere Hill Conservation Area is comprised of four abutting parcels acquired from 1967 to 2010 with a total of 448 acres. The 68 acre Phillips Farm was the first property acquired by the GLT in 1990. Before the 1920’s this farm was the Cutler Farm and the site of the historic Cutler Inn and Tollbooth.

West of Phillips Farm is the 208 acre Steere Hill Conservation Area acquired in 2002. During the early 20th Century, both Phillips Farm and Steere Hill were used for orchards, hayfields, woodlots, and livestock. The northern portion of Steere Hill was Angell’s Farm until 1959 and remnants of farm buildings and silos are still visible at the parking area. The summit of Steere Hill was a large apple, pear and peach orchard operated by the Steere’s until 1963. Recently on Phillips Farm and the summit of Steere Hill the GLT has created a 26 acre wildlife habitat of tall native grasses for threatened ground nesting birds such as woodcocks and bobolinks.

West of Steere Hill is Heritage Park, a 115 acres woodland acquired by the Town of Glocester in 1967 as part of the state’s Green Acres program. South of Heritage Park is the 57 acre LePlat Woodland acquired by the GLT in 2010.

There are six miles of marked and maintained trails that connect these properties.

Directions: These properties are in the Harmony village area and two parking areas with trailheads are available. The parking area for Heritage Park is on Chestnut Oak Road, and the Steere Hill parking area is opposite the Harmony Post Office on Putnam Pike (Route 44).

Overlay trail map to my GPS track

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Nice tree in the open field

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I am guessing a hawk took off with a rabbit here?

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Fun in the swamp

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Trip Report: Bushwhacking in the Great Swamp, West Kingston, RI 1/26/2013

I wanted to get out and see if I could find some antler sheds this weekend, so we decided to visit the Great Swamp Management Area down in West Kingston. We decided early in the week that it would be more fun to try and bushwhack around rather than use the traditional trails, and should give us better luck finding any sheds. We got to the parking lot at the red gate and followed the road for a short bit before veering off into the frozen over swamplands. Our hope was to whack due south to Stony Point, but we soon gave up the idea, instead followed some of the many game trails we came across, as evident by the abundance of tracks in the light covering of snow that fell overnight. We came out to a power line running overhead and soon spotted a large deer and 3 smaller ones, none had any antlers. They dashed off before we could get a photo and we soon intersected the main trail again. We followed it for a short bit, chatting with a couple have a walk about and then headed west back into the bush. This area was very thick, but often opened up to some amazing Atlantic White Cedar groves. We continued on our bearing before finally heading back east to join the main trails. We had some lunch at the bunker area on Wordens Pond, and completed the loop back to the cars, without finding any sheds. We saw another large pair of deer, several wood-peckers, a large hawk, and many interesting wildlife tracks, one I think to be Bobcat.

Trails Map

GPS/GPX Track