In search of quiet–Buck Hill, Burrillville, RI

Lonely pond at Buck Hill

We often study maps prior to heading outside, and this trip was no exception. But it turns out that best laid plans still go awry. As we traveled on some unfamiliar roads we completely missed our original goal, of Black Hut Wildlife management area, in Burrillville. Instead, we overshot and ended up at Buck Hill Wildlife Management area, also in Burrillville, RI.

Visiting new areas offers interest, but also challenge. Where is the parking? What will the trails be like? Will I be able to navigate the trails? Will my nearly paralyzed right ankle be able to navigate the trails we encounter? Lots of rocks and roots on trails make these types of trails very difficult for me to use.

Wide fire road brings visitors into Buck Hill management area

We found a fire road into the property, with a large parking area and only a few cars parked near the trailhead. Donning our cloth face masks, which mostly protect others from us if we are forced to encounter them, we headed out to investigate.

The wide fire road continued past the locked gates, and an access path allowed us to bypass the gates easily. We encountered few other visitors while we were on the trail, and managed to make way for them when we met up. They offered the same courtesies to us.

Fresh beaver activity next to the stream flowing out from the dammed pond

A small stream crossed under the path through a culvert, and offered some great views of beaver activity–lots of beaver activity.

Taking in the views, with mask in place

Just above the stream was a rise that looked quite like a dam structure. We followed the path next to the stream and found a scenic lake, with a beaver lodge in the water away from the shoreline.

Driftwood near the shoreline

Dead trees had washed up next to the shoreline, creating the sense of being at the ocean and encountering driftwood on the shore. We stopped and had a snack and enjoyed the view.

This small snake posed for us on the edge of the trail

Continuing through the woods, we stumbled upon a small snake that froze, allowing us a couple of nice pictures of him. Moving on, we left him to find his way wherever he was headed.

Lots of rocks on this section of trail convinced me to turn around

The trail became rockier as we headed uphill, and eventually we turned around, hearing from some fellow travelers that the fire road ahead was filled with water and not easily passable. I grow frustrated at the limitations I live with, unable to feel safe on these rocky trails.

Cool bent tree along the trail

And yet, if I had simply come and spent time at the shoreline of the pond here, it would have been enough for me. That and all the beaver signs.

Spring is here–so much life showing itself in the woodland

And the increasing green all around us. If we were lucky and waited long enough, we might have even seen the beaver getting back to work. A return trip when the trails are drier is a possibility. Please be safe, and happy trails!


beech cliffs 2018

Marjorie Turner Hollman is a writer who loves the outdoors, and is the author of Easy Walks in Massachusetts, 2nd editionMore Easy Walks in Massachusetts, 2nd editionEasy Walks and Paddles in the Ten Mile River Watershed, and Finding Easy Walks Wherever You Are. Her memoir, the backstory of Easy Walks, is My Liturgy of Easy Walks: Reclaiming hope in a world turned upside down.


Filed under Blog posts--Easy Walks

5 responses to “In search of quiet–Buck Hill, Burrillville, RI

  1. Jerry

    Spouse and I spent the day at Buck Hill, hiking the various trails, largely on your recommendation.. We saw the beaver work too. One trail in the northern part of the park played out and became a muddy stream. Not knowing the area and not fully trusting the map, we decided to backtrack. Yes, the trails in places were incredibly stony or rootbound. That made for some uncomfortable and slow progress.
    Overall it was great. Quiet and peaceful and hardly another soul in site. Thanks,

    • marjorie561

      Thanks so much for letting me know your experience, Jerry, and for reporting back! Glad you were able to locate this spot, and that you had a positive experience. Take care, be safe and happy trails.

  2. Pingback: Coventry RI, searching for quiet | Marjorie Turner Hollman

  3. Stacey

    Marjorie, thank you for these lovely pictures. I grew up here, camping at Buck Hill every summer when I was little. I remember the cliff behind the lake (or pond, I’m not really sure) and I was wondering if you happened to have a picture of it. I once fell off the top of it when I was about 6 and I was thinking about it today. I can’t find any pictures of that cliff and I’d love to see one! I’d be so appreciative if you have one and would be willing to share! So many family memories growing up there! We used to spend our entire summers there when I was young. My dad would drive in on weekends. It was an amazing childhood! Thanks for listening! I hope to hear from you soon!

    • Marjorie

      Dear Stacey, what a wonderful memory! I am not sure if what I have fits your description of the cliff next to the lake, but we did walk on some rather steep trail next to the water. I avhe several p hotos I would be glad to share with you. Please email and I would be glad to share what I have with you.

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