Grills Sanctuary, Hopkinton
Hopkinton Land Trust
Hunting is not allowed here but it is permitted on nearby land. During hunting season everyone using the trails here should wear blaze orange. Remember, hunting season includes much of the late fall, winter and spring. More details.
In Rhode Island the primary hunting seasons typically run from the second Saturday in September to the last day of February and from the third Saturday in April to the last day in May, however this can vary from year to year and depends on what game is being hunted. During hunting season you should wear at least 200 square inches (a hat OR a vest) of blaze orange. During shotgun deer season, which is typically in December, you should wear at least 500 square inches of blaze orange (a hat AND a vest). For more information see the RI DEM website.
Description & Overview:
The trailhead opens to a mowed field and then the trail negotiates cornfields before entering the woods. Most of the three miles of paths east of Tomaquag Brook, including the peninsula between Tomaquag Brook and the Pawcatuck River, are along old cart paths and are relatively flat. A nice stone bridge crosses Wine Bottle Brook, a tributary to Tomaquag Brook. There is an Atlantic White Cedar swamp in this low crossing area with hardwoods and pines predominating along most of the trails. The Tomaquag Brook Bridge opened November 2013 and completes the link between the Chase Hill Road and Bowling Lane Trailheads. The one mile of trail west of Tomaquag Brook and linking up to Polly Coon Bridge over the Pawcatuck River crosses a more varied wooded terrain with numerous large high rock overlooks interspersed with wooded swamps. The historic Polly Coon Bridge provided a route to move granite across the river to the rail siding in Bradford. Floods destroyed the bridge; it was elevated but was lost in another flood. The new pedestrian bridge uses the old stone abutments and will provide access to five miles of trails in the Westerly Land Trust's Grills Preserve and to their trailhead at the end of Bowling Lane.
Hours: Open year round; 1/2 hr before sunrise to 1/2 hr after sunset
Miles of Trails: 4 miles
Miles of ADA Accessible Trails: None
Trail Width: Mostly cart-path width (6 feet)
Trail Rating: Moderate Explanation
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.
Are Dogs Allowed? Yes. Must be under control or on leash. Waste pick up required.
Is Horseback Riding Permitted? No
Are Bicycles (non-motorized) Permitted? Yes. Must stay on marked trails.
Is Hunting Permitted? Hunting is not allowed on this property but is in nearby areas. Walkers wear orange during hunting season!
Other Amenities: There is a canoe/kayak launch on Tomaquag Brook, near the parking area. Good fishing may be found in the rivers and streams in the preserve. There are benches at a few places along the trails in the preserve.
Trailhead Name: Grills Sanctuary Trailhead
Driving Landmarks: Heading north on RI Route 216 (Ashaway Road) from the junction with RI Route 91, go 0.8 miles to the "triangle" junction with Chase Hill Road. When 216 bends to the north (right) at the triangle, bear left to continue onto Chase Hill Road. Go a couple hundred feet and look for the parking area and trailhead kiosk on the left.
Heading south on RI Route 216 (Ashaway Road) from the junction with RI Route 3, go 1.5 miles to the "triangle" junction with Chase Hill Road. When 216 bends to the east (left) at the triangle, bear right to continue towards Chase Hill Road. Turn left onto Chase Hill Road and look for the parking area and trailhead kiosk on the right.
Parking: Yes: Parking lot, 12 spaces, no overnight parking
ADA Accessible Parking Spaces? No
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This site report was last updated on December 11, 2017