All I'm going to say is thank goodness my family visit was last weekend. As a Florida resident, I have zero interest in spending my vacation time hunkered down during a hurricane. (Hope ya'll are safe and dry after Sandy!)
My family is outdoorsy (and you wondered where I got it from?), so we spent most of my visit hiking our way through some spectacular autumn scenery. (I really did get the luck of the devil with my travel planning - caught all of the foliage fireworks, and none of the storm surge.)
|View of autumn color at Barden Reservoir|
|Hike on gravel roads around Barden Reservoir|
Many pages of google search resulted in no maps of this hike/trail run, so I'm going to give you directions Rhode Island style (based on landmarks and road names).
Start on Hemlock Road, just west of the intersection with Ponagansett Rd. There are a few places to park off the road near reservoir dam and waterfall.
|Waterfall over the dam at Barden Reservoir|
A small section of the route traverses paved Central Pike. Stay to the left on this stretch as cars travel quickly on this section of road, but pause to admire the views out over the reservoir.
|View from Central Pike|
Despite hundreds of years of wear and tear, these stone walls still crisscross the woods throughout New England.
In addition to the historic stone walls, a hiker often stumbles across tombstones on a typical trek in southern New England.
Historic New England cemeteries are a bit different than cemeteries in many other states in that they were often family plots, on local farms or homesteads, and not in a church yard.
Early Puritans rejected churchyard burials as they rebelled against other "papist" practices, as heretical and idolatrous. Instead, many 17th century New England towns set aside land as common community burial grounds.
Source: National Park Service
|Tombstones in one of many historic graveyards near Barden Reservoir|
|Lichen and leaves in one of the historic graveyards|
|Tree is slowly growing over a traffic sign|
|View over Barden Reservoir near the end of the hike|
|View of autumn foliage reflected in marsh near Barden Reservoir|
|Caterpillar. Anyone know what type he is?|
|Winesap apples, an absolutely delicious heirloom variety.|
What's your favorite autumn hike?