Sunday, March 29, 2009


Rome Point is a marvelous piece of land that used to be owned by the National Grid but is now the John Chaffee Nature Preserve, for directions click on the link:

I like it when things like that happen, instead of nice places being bought by large corporations and being made into parking lots and towers of glass and steel.
Last Sunday we went on a "birthday hike" as my daughter-in-law called it, as my birthday was the very next day. It seems to be a tradition in our family. Along with me were my husband, both my sons and 1 daughter in law and our nephew. The quickest path to the beach is a straight pathway that is quite wide and goes directly to the beach, several people can walk together most of the time, and it is pretty level and easy to push one of those 3 wheeled strollers.

There are a few paths that veer off from the main path and one could spend a good amount of time to explore them all. But on this day I was on a mission, to see the seals, so we took the straight-away trail directly to the beach. Rome Point has the good fortune of having harbor seals winter on the rocks off of the point. The beach here is very rocky, but there is a great view to the south, where one can see the Jamestown Bridge and beyond.

On Sunday it was gray and overcast, but the lighting was gorgeous, expecially if you are into taking photographs, as I obviously love to do. To get to the area where the harbor seals are, take a left when you get to the beach, and follow the shoreline to the point. Along the way you will pass a beautiful marsh your left side that in the summer has red-winged blackbirds as visitors. There were quite a few families on the point doing seal watching on this day, and many happy dogs frolicking and making new friends. Dogs must be allowed at Rome Point, because I see people and their pals there all the time. My older son had a new camera, so he spent a good deal of time taking pictures and trying out th new zoom lens. The rest of us passed the binoculars to get a good look at the beauties on the rocks. There must have been about 30 of them on this day, what a gorgeous site.

After spending some time watching the seals and playing with the dogs, we took the trail that starts at the point and follows the curve of the shoreline of the cove next to Rome Point. This part of the trail has many cedar trees and old foundations and ruins. I think this area of the Preserve is the favorite of the men in the family, because there are many old dumping locations along the way, cellar foundations, one old rotted 50's station wagon

and we also saw deer poop and coyote scat. While the boys were digging around for treasures, the female in the medical field was worrying about tetnus shots. I think we determined that they are all due for their shots. The boys also found the remains of an old horse wagon. There are also several trails that can be taken off of this trail that meander around the property. One of the favorite spots of the younger kids in the family is a huge rock that is on this return trail just before you connect with the main trail. Usually we have to take photos on the rock, and this time was no exception, except that there was only one nephew with us this time.

this photo is from a previous hike

After passing this huge boulder, take the main trail to the right and follow it back to the parking lot.
There is room enough for 29 cars to park in the lot, but during the seal watching times it is usually full, and some cars end up having to park on the side of the road.
The photo of the kids on the rock and of the rotted station wagon are from old file photos of mine. The two close ups of the seals were taken by Jeremy Butterfield.

1 comment:

  1. Damn it, Natalie, you've gone and made me all nostalgic again. Just yesterday Denise and I were pining for the wilds of Rhode Island. We really miss the area and the people we got to know (that'd be you guys).

    Looks like it was a great hike, and perfect weather for it (not too hot).