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Steere Hill Farm Conservation Area, Glocester

Glocester Land Trust

Also known as Heritage Park & Phillips Farm

Description & Overview:

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Steere Hill is the largest of four abutting protected open space properties totaling over 447 acres. In this conserved area are also Phillips Farm, LePlat Woodland, and Heritage Park. Within this area are over seven miles of wide dirt/gravel roads and narrower foot paths created by the Town of Glocester and the Glocester Land Trust. Most trails have a gentle slope and visit scenic ledge vistas, vernal pools and wetlands, stands of American Beech, two large fields, miles of stone walls, trout streams, and stone foundation walls for barns and farmhouses.

The lower elevation of Steere Hill nearest to the parking area was the former Angell Farm and remnants of the silos, barn foundations and gates are still visible. The summit of Steere Hill was a vast orchard of apples, peaches, and pears. The orchard closed in 1963 and the land became overgrown with invasive plants such as Oriental Bittersweet, Japanese Barberry, Autumn Olive, and Multiflora Rose. Soon after the GLT acquired Steere Hill, and with assistance from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, it cleared much of the former orchard of the invasive plants and created a field of native grasses and wildflowers. This created a wildlife habitat needed by ground nesting birds and mammals, such as bobolinks, meadowlarks, woodcocks, bluebirds, owls, New England Cottontail Rabbits, and butterflies. The invasive plants killed most of the fruit trees, but a few apple trees remain and produce fruit which is very popular with the deer population.

Phillips Farm was once an orchard, but converted to a dairy farm. Remnants of the farming activity, such as old wagon wheels, manure spreader, and hay baler, can be seen along the trails. As on Steere Hill, the fields of Phillips Farm are left unmowed during the summer to allow ground nesting birds to breed.

In 1967 the Town of Glocester acquired the land for Heritage Park and created wide walking paths. In 1990 the newly formed Glocester Land Trust acquired Phillips Farm, which was a half mile from Heritage Park. When the Steere Hill property was acquired in 2002 it connected Heritage Park to Phillips Farm, followed by LePlat Woodland in 2010. Acquisition funding was from a combination of Town of Glocester Open Space Bonds, RI DEM Open Space Bonds, The Nature Conservancy, Champlain Foundations, and private contributions.

Steere Hill is open year round from sunrise to sunset. During the winter months it is open for snowshoeing and cross country skiing. In warm weather Steere Hill is a popular place for horseback riding, jogging, geocaching, dog walks, and casual walks.

Glocester Land Trust website

Trail Safety Information

Photographs

 

What's There:

Hours: sunrise to sunset, all year.

Miles of Trails: 6 miles

Miles of ADA Accessible Trails: None

Trail Width: Half the trails are 5 feet wide. The rest are typical one person footpaths.

Trail Rating: Moderate   Explanation

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Trail Rating Key

Easy: Trails are relatively smooth and the route is quite obvious such as a single point to point trail or an easy network of trails in an urban or suburban setting where help is always readily at hand. A map may be useful but is not necessary.

Moderate: Somewhat more strenuous trails or harder to follow trails. Trails are well-marked but following them requires a trail map and a trail map is readily available either at the site or online.

Difficult: Strenuous trails, trail systems that mostly involve multi-mile loops and trail systems where there is no available trail map or the trails are not marked.

Skiing/Snowshoeing: Yes

Are Dogs Allowed? Yes: must be under owners control (voice or leash). Remove/knock waste off trail.

Is Horseback Riding Permitted? Yes: To minimize erosion, no riding for 48 hours after heavy rain.

Are Bicycles (non-motorized) Permitted? Yes: only on wide gravel trails. To minimize erosion, no riding for 48 hours after heavy rain.

Is Hunting Permitted? No

Other Amenities: In the summer there is a portable toilet as well as picnic tables at the summit of Steere Hill. In the winter the portable toilet is moved to the Putnam Pike trailhead.

Trailheads:

Trailhead Name: Steere Hill Trailhead

Coordinates: 41° 53.64' N    71° 36.65' W   See this location in: Google Maps   Acme Maps

Google Maps is the mapping system used on the new ExploreRI maps and shows the trailhead located on a terrain view, a street map or an aerial photograph. Clicking on this link will take you to the full Google Maps website, which is not part of ExploreRI.org.
Acme Maps shows the trailhead located on a topographic map. The Acme Maps website is not part of ExploreRI.org.

Driving Landmarks: The parking lot for this trailhead is across from 383 Putnam Pike (Route 44) in Glocester, just east of the Harmony Post Office. The parking lot and trailhead are on the south side of the road (the right side if you are heading towards Providence).

Parking: Yes: Parking lot, 15 spaces, no overnight parking

ADA Accessible Parking Spaces? No


Trailhead Name: Heritage Park Trailhead

Coordinates: 41° 53.53' N    71° 37.93' W   See this location in: Google Maps   Acme Maps

Google Maps is the mapping system used on the new ExploreRI maps and shows the trailhead located on a terrain view, a street map or an aerial photograph. Clicking on this link will take you to the full Google Maps website, which is not part of ExploreRI.org.
Acme Maps shows the trailhead located on a topographic map. The Acme Maps website is not part of ExploreRI.org.

Driving Landmarks: The parking lot for this trailhead is across from 57 Chestnut Oak Road, Glocester, about 0.4 miles south on Chestnut Oak Road from Route 44 (Putnam Pike). The parking lot and trailhead are on the left if you are headed south (away from Route 44) on Chestnut Oak Road.

Parking: Yes: Parking lot, 20 spaces, no overnight parking

ADA Accessible Parking Spaces? No

 

Photographs:

The Steere Hill Trailhead on Putnam Pike

The Steere Hill Trailhead on Putnam Pike

Date of Photograph: April 14, 2012

 
The Summit of Steere Hill on the Steere Hill Trail

The Summit of Steere Hill on the Steere Hill Trail

Date of Photograph: April 14, 2012

 
The Cart Path Trail

The Cart Path Trail

Date of Photograph: April 14, 2012

 
Beech Trail

Beech Trail

Date of Photograph: April 14, 2012

 

Awesome Experience

Submitted by: Anonymous; April 17, 2017; 6:12 pm

Steere Hill Farm conservation Hiking Trails are clean and well marked. I would rank them as easy to navigate and hike.
I will definitely return to explore

Rating:

starstarstarstarstar

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This site report was last updated on April 12, 2013

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