A Walk in the Woods

Hiking Browning Mill Pond and Stepping Stone Falls

Hiking has always been a passion of mine. Since I can remember, I loved to explore the dark and daring spaces of the daunting woods. Being the imaginative child that I was, I would envision large grizzly bears prowling the woods surrounding my house and even heard a growl or two as I ventured a few feet into the woodlands. Now that I am an adult (though some may question that statement), I still enjoy hiking through the woods, no matter what the conditions might be.

Crispy autumn days are my favorite time of year to go for a hike. Listening to the leaves crinkle under my feet and the smell of bursting pine trees and maple saplings makes the hiking more enticing.

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The trail we hiked was the Ben Utter Trail, which is part of the Tippecansett Trail. This trails was named after George Benjamin Utter, who was part of the Narragansett Chapter for the Appalachian Mountain Club. The trail is covered with ferns, tangled webs of fallen trees and knotted roots from towering pines, which provides hikers with a challenging terrain.
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Along the trail you may find an abandoned shack or 2 or maybe on old pump house, but be careful, you may fall down the dark ravine! This trail can be mildly treacherous at times, with uprooted trees, tumbling rocks and muddy waters, but mostly it’s pretty safe and serene. Stepping Stone Falls can be located west on Ten Rod Road, almost to Beach Pond State Park. Turn right onto Escoheag Hill Road (there will be a sign for Stepping Stone Stables) and go two miles, turning right on a dirt road. When it crosses the river, stop the car and discover Stepping Stone Falls.
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For something a little less strenuous, try Browning Mill Pond Trail, located in Exeter, RI. This trail is part of the Arcadia Trail, which is 6 miles long. The trail is very scenic, with bubbling brooks, fern encrusted hillsides, fields of flowering perennials and lots of adventure. Expect to find an abandoned homestead or two from yesteryear,

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The trail has a lot of variety, with open fields; fence guided paths and the ever-ready rocky terrain. About halfway through the trail, which tends to swing around Arcadia Pond, you will see an old weathered dam that my dogs thought was the keenest thing around!

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Browning Mill Pond Trail is located in Exeter, RI. Follow the signs to Arcadia Management Headquarters and you will see a sign for Browning Mill Pond, located past the headquarters buildings. There is a fairly large parking area where you can park your vehicle and the trails starts to the left of the parking lot. Pack a lot of water, too, as you get pretty thirsty on this one.

And don’t forget the doggie treats, if you plan on bringing your best friend along and enjoy the day!

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