We headed to Coventry, RI looking to enjoy multiple water views as we traveled this paved path that runs the width of Coventry, RI. Signs we saw called this trail the Trestle Trail, but with a little investigation, I learned that it is part of the Washington Secondary Bike Path.
The total distance from beginning to end runs mostly east to west, beginning in Cranston, then through Warwick, ending near Rt. 102 in Coventry, presently a total of 19 miles. Plans for extension of the trail farther west are under design, but when we visited we saw no sign of any work beginning.
We pedaled only the Coventry section of the trail, which offered lots of shade, and lovely water views as we crossed bridges
and pedaled alongside reservoirs adjacent to the trail.
This trail was built to accommodate horses as well, with a dedicated bridle path beginning in Coventry and headed west, staying almost completely separate from the paved path to the present western end.
Two oddities caught our eye as we traveled. The first was a ski jump in the middle of an area filled with motor boats. I would not volunteer to go off one of these things, but for a younger generation, it would certainly offer an added challenge to any water skiing adventure.
The second was the diving board tucked into a small pond/swimming area adjacent to the trail. The depth of the water was not obvious, and I would not advise putting the board into use, but seeing the diving board made me smile, bringing back memories, for me, of diving with my high school swim team many moons ago.
We spotted one “engineering gone awry” along the trail, a solidly constructed, handicapped accessible canoe put in, with a bend in one end that would make carrying a canoe or kayak a neat trick, unless one shifted the craft from hanging down to balanced over one’s head. Well-intentioned, the end along the shoreline dumped would- be paddlers into heavy brush, rather than headed the opposite direction where the shore was less overgrown.
We saw few fellow travelers on our way west to the end of the trail, but as we pedaled closer to Warwick, more walkers and bikers joined us on a sunny afternoon. The farther east we went, the less shade we found too.
We were grateful for the country store at the western end of the trail, which offered “made for you” grinders, and cold ice cream. We opted for the ice cream, and spotted this sign on the tree next to where we stopped to eat our treat before it melted. For more information about this bird atlas, and to volunteer, check the group out here.
As we headed back, we spotted a neat view of the Flat River where the river was not so flat, with rushing rapids that hurried past an old mill that clearly once used the river as a source of power.
A great blue heron perched next to what was long ago a water intake for the mill.
Whether he spotted us or simply grew tired of waiting for another meal, he soon headed off to find a better hunting spot.
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.