Friday, July 24, 2009

Roger Williams Park hike

There are many wonderful hiking trails in Rhode Island, but most of them are at least a 45 minute ride each way from my house, so lately I have been trying to find walks that do not use a huge amount of fuel to enjoy.
One of my favorite places in urban Rhode Island is Roger Williams Park.
This park was developed in 1896, and is currently best known for its award winning and beautiful zoo. But besides the zoo, this park is still a treasure. In June I love to visit the Rose Gardens that are just inside the park if you are entering from the Elmwood Ave. side.
There is also an indoor merry-go-round, a japanese garden, a botanical garden, a wonderful playground for the kids, a museum of natural history which also houses a planetarium, a structure called The Temple to Music, many ponds, swanboats, the Casino which is a great place to have a wedding, the Betsey Williams cottage, the stable of the Providence Police mounted command division, and of course, an excellent place to take a hike!!!
Last month, Dan & I plus our niece Eryka and nephew Cory went to RW Park for a hike. We parked at the carousel, crossed the road at the crosswalk, and went over the lovely bridge. (Not the bridge pictured above, the above bridge is between the Betsey Williams cottage and the Casino.) Immediately after crossing the bridge, we took a right. There is a trail that hugs the shoreline.

We walked by this old beech tree, I just had to take a photo of it's above ground roots. This one is pretty old.

Also found this mountain laurel in beautiful full bloom.

This is my ham of a husband.

We followed the trail to the road near the Botanical Garden and crossed over to trek along the large pond. If you want to shorten the hike, you can turn right when reaching the road below the Gardens, which will take you by the Providence Mounted Command and the Dalrymple Boat House & back to the Carousel. Or you can take a left and walk towards the Museum and back to your car that way.

Here is the view towards the gazebo near the Botanical Gardens from the other side of the large pond:

I am not sure how long the hike is around the large pond, but it probably took us at least 2 hours total.

I found the above patch of blueberries, which I noted to my foraging brain to get back to later in the season.
Along the way we saw turtles sunning themselves on logs in the water, many water fowl, including this family of Canadian Geese, people fishing and enjoying themselves.

In the Temple to Music, this group of youth were either rehearsing a dance or a play, couldn't quite figure it out.
Once you pass by the Temple of Music, climb the hill, go accross 2 roads and then back down the hill to get to your car if it is at the Carousel.

Here is a shot of the Swan Boats. They are self propelled paddle boats and look like they could be quite fun, I have not checked on the price per hour yet.

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