I have been blessed with helpful collaborators in this latest book project of documenting the trails and places to paddle within the towns that host the Ten Mile River watershed. For those of you not immersed in this project, as I have been these last number of months, those towns include Plainville, N. Attleboro, Attleboro, Seekonk, E. Providence, and Pawtucket. I’ve made new friends, gotten acquainted with some really lovely outdoor spots, and learned my way around these towns to some extent.
One of the major contributors to this latest book, Ernie Germani, the guy behind Trails and Walks RI, recently offered to take me to some of the smaller outdoor spots in East Providence. We spent an entire morning touring from one spot to the next, small recreation areas for sure, but many with really pretty views.
Willet Pond was our first stop, a small body of water on Willet Ave. surrounded by houses on one side, businesses on another, but with a large area of wetlands at the back of the pond that allows a place of refuge for wildlife.
Indeed, as we walked we encountered lots of signs that deer had been traveling the path not long before us. It seemed at times that we were walking through people’s backyards, but Ernie assured me that the trail around the pond is all City-owned property. He also explained that the pond was used as a source of ice in the days prior to refrigeration. We saw no signs of any ice-making the day we visited, unless the small canoe launch along the shoreline was once part of the ice-making operation.
But there was no lack of ice since the pond was frozen pretty solid the day we visited!
We headed for the nearby shoreline and got some great views of Narragansett Bay from two different small, but accessible parks–Sabin Point offers a motor boat launch into the bay, and a great spot to walk, especially on a calm day. The day we visited the wind was stiff, so our visit was short.
Within sight of Sabin Point is Crescent Park, just south of there, also on the shoreline. This park has accessible crushed stone pathways to nice views of the Bay. Access to the shoreline itself requires going down stairs, but the views are really quite nice. And right across the street is a carousel, open in the summer months.
Another tiny park was Jones Pond, next to Pierce Field. I learned from Ernie that this area has been cleaned up and landscaped recently. I also learned that 4th of July fireworks for E. Providence are launched from next to the pond, so the area is closed to the public while they prepare the fireworks each July.
I had been unsuccessful in discovering Seacunke Sanctuary when I was visiting Seekonk on another outing, so Ernie crossed the state line with me and quickly showed me this nice spot that offers views of Central Pond.
We walked out to the point and back, observing that it is a rather neglected, but actually nice spot for an easy walk.
The field work is pretty much done for our upcoming book, and now for the maps that will help people find trail heads. And clarifying directions to each pretty spot in this watershed. And editing, and getting the word out about the book once it’s complete. Still a lot to do, but we’re getting there.
I’m getting excited to share this book with area folks, helping them discover Easy Walks and Paddles in the Ten Mile River Watershed, right around the corner from where they live. Grateful to Ben Cote, who had the idea for the book in the beginning; Ernie, who has written up so many posts on his website that he has so generously shared; and Bill Luther, who is a passionate paddler and ardent hiker, who has contributed multiple write ups for the book too. We’re getting there. Stay tuned.
Marjorie Turner Hollman is a personal historian who loves the outdoors, and is the author of Easy Walks in Massachusetts, 2nd edition, More Easy Walks in Massachusetts, 2nd edition, and editor of Easy Walks and Paddles in the Ten Mile River Watershed. Just out is her latest book, Finding Easy Walks Wherever You Are. She has been a freelance writer for numerous local, regional, and national publications for the past 20+ years, has helped numerous families to save their stories, and has recorded multiple veterans oral histories, now housed at the Library of Congress. She is a co-author of the recent community history, Bellingham Now and Then.