The day promised to be warm enough for us to get our adaptive tandem bicycle back out and head out for some road biking. Trails are once again subject to overcrowding, so rather than risk getting too close to others, we chose to explore more rural roads in West Greenwich, RI.
Arcadia Wildlife Management Area has extensive holdings in several contiguous towns, and we found a quiet, unoccupied parking area on Liberty Hill Road with a small trail.
We were able to set up our bike in solitude. We brought our own lunch, and have become adept in peeing in the woods, (off the trail, away from waterways, both for courtesy and to avoid contaminating nearby water sources. Not strong enough to squat? Find a tree without poison ivy growing on it and hang on.)
What we found was a series of rolling hills, some dirt roads, and lots of pull offs where hikers had parked to head into the various trails in the area.
The hills offered some serious challenge for our biking muscles–I am still feeling it a few days after our ride! These are almost without exception old “twisty windy” roads, my favorite roads to bike on. Stone walls, or stone wall remnants remain on each side of these roads, a great reminder of the hard work and challenges that faced settlers to this area in years past. We saw countless “historical cemeteries” by the road, along with small dams that offered pretty cascades offering that lovely sound of flowing water as it tumbled past us along the road.
The day was growing short, and we headed for home, but as happens in our family, my husband got an idea and pulled off the highway. It is a great practice to look at maps. He noted on our GPS that a large green area reached out to the shoreline of Narragansett Bay in East Greenwich. Often conservation areas or parks, these green spaces can also be golf courses. Turns out what we saw was both, a golf course, and Goddard Memorial State Park. Bridle paths as well as beaches are part of this park, but it was near sunset, and we were unsure of how to access the shore. We headed on, hoping to catch the sun before it set.
After poking around the point, we found a quiet spot to leave our truck, and scrambled along a trail through saltmarsh to the shoreline in time to catch the sunset.
We always say, “We need to come back” and perhaps another day, with more daylight, we will. Happy trails!
Marjorie Turner Hollman is a writer who loves the outdoors, and is the author of Easy Walks in Massachusetts, 2nd edition, More Easy Walks in Massachusetts, 2nd edition, Easy 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: Finding the Sacred in Everyday (and some very strange) Places.
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.