Highlights: 490 acre park with a 9 hole golf course, playing fields, beach, performance center and equestrian show area with bridle trails. The foliage isn’t bad either.
To borrow a term coined by my northern Vermont neighbors, “stick season” is fast approaching. Stick season is the fall and winter transition that occurs after the leaves have fallen but also before snow has settled on the trees. This season is not just common to Vermont though.
Indicative of “stick season, I noticed many of the trees at Goddard Memorial State Park had already lost most of their leaves. Yet, there were still some decent foliage opportunities along the shore of the beach and park. The densely wooded Goddard has 62 deciduous (trees that have leaves that change) and 19 evergreen species (a species of tree that does not change color throughout the year). So, there were a variety of trees to find foliage on.
Considered one of the best parks in Rhode Island, Goddard Memorial State Park’s 490 acres of land along Greenwich Cove and Greenwich Bay in Warwick, RI.
Goddard Memorial State Park has an equestrian show area and 18 miles of bridle paths for horse riders to enjoy. While I was there I did happen upon a few riders.
I had never been to Goddard before. I only learned about the park the day before after a quick search for the best parks in Rhode Island. And the reviewers didn’t miss their mark. The best part of the park may be the variety of activities and Goddard Park also has a 9 hole golf course, 11 playing fields, a canoe launch, a beach that allows swimming and a performance center. With its pretty waterscapes, extensive hiking trails and picnic areas, Goddard is definitely a great place to take the family.
Dates Of Event: February 25 & 26, 2017 (photos taken Feb. 25)
Location: Easton’s Beach (First Beach), 175 Memorial Blvd, Newport, RI
Hours: 1:00 -2:30 p.m.
Parking: Free (parking was free for this event but usually the beach charges to park at the beach)
Handicapped Accessible: Yes
Dog Friendly: Yes
Highlights: people on horses playing beach polo
It’s not everyday you get to see polo. It’s even less often when you get to see it on a beach.
As part of their “Winter Carnival”, Newport Rhode Island held a polo match sponsored by the Newport International Polo Series.
Even if you don’t know the rules of the game (I don’t), it is still fun to watch the horses and players. There was also an announcer who did the play by play and explained some of the rules during the game.
While there are some rules of the game I don’t know, the basic goal (no pun intended) is pretty basic. Put the ball between the two orange cones. The team in gold won 10-9 by the way.
The horses looked especially pretty with the wavy water along the beach. Onee thing I noticed about the horses is how they will sometimes use their legs to kick the ball and help the player. Or, they are sick of the player getting all the glory and they may want to score a goal or two.
The players all seemed to really have a lot of fun but they also play hard. And the game is not without risks. One player had to be carted away with a leg injury after she fell off her horse.
Dogs like polo, too. I was surprised and impressed how well the leashed dogs and horses coexisted.
The players and fans have a close connection. At the end of the match, the players trot by on their horses and greet the fans.
Parking: There is on street parking and several parking garages in the area
Handicapped Accessible: Yes
Dog Friendly: Yes
Highlight: concrete obelisk constructed with over 1,000 real guns embedded in the concrete of the structure
I found this group of photos from a visit to Providence, Rhode Island last summer. I was originally going to post it on my Facebook page. But, since not everyone has liked my Facebook page (you really should), I decided to post it here. But, I do periodically post additional photos, videos and other fun stuff on my Facebook page that I don’t post on WordPress. So, think about joining it. OK, enough shameless self-promoting.
Built from 1,000 reclaimed guns from the Guns For Goods gun buy back program, the Gun Totem is a 12 foot obelisk made of concrete and 1,000 guns. Perhaps not coincidentally, the totem is located across the courthouse in Providence, Rhode Island.
Award winning artist Boris Bally created the monument in 2001. The concrete was chipped away to reveal the guns giving the guns a fossilized look. Or, as Bailey is quoted and saying:
“All aboriginal cultures, including this country’s own native American culture, build totemic structures to serve as venerated symbols of a clan or family… It will act as a monolithic, metallic warning and ‘mojo’ to ward off evil and violence so prevalent in today’s society. A crew of volunteer ‘archaeologists’ aided me in carefully chipping away areas of the concrete skin to reveal the ‘fossilized’ handguns beneath.”
As a preface, I am trying to post about as many of my trips from earlier this year before the end of the year. So, I may be posting pretty much every day until the new year and into the beginning of the new year to catch up and start fresh in 2017. Lucky you… ( :
Tucked away just over the Massachusetts and Rhode Island border is a serene little trail with lots of surprises.
One of the cutest surprises are these blinds that you can hide behind to photograph or observe birds.
The trails at Emilie Ruecker are easy enough to navigate and they are mostly loops so it is easy to stay on the trail. There are also maps displayed throughout the sanctuary. The trails can be narrow in some areas. Also, if you go on the red trails, it’s easy to go off track. Just keep looking for the color coded trees to stay on track.
One of the cool things are the openings along the trails that allow you to get closer to the water so you can view the ducks and other birds.
You’ll also find the occasional bench to rest at.
Although there is lots of wildlife at the sanctuary, the highlight for me was the beautiful scenic views.
If you look closely, you may see the outline of a deer just behind the branch of this tree. Unfortunately, my camera couldn’t focus in time to get a better photo.
Much like this deer, the birds at Emilie Ruecker were hard to photograph.
The birds in the water proved more easy to photograph.
These birds were very easy to photograph, as long as I kept my distance. They were hanging out on the other side of the road across from the sanctuary on some farm land.
Originally an award-winning sculpture by Barnaby Evans in 1994, Water Fire has become a staple of the Providence entertainment scene. Initially, the Water Fire display was a celebration of the 10th anniversary of First Night Providence. There were 11 braziers, or hot coal baskets, that were lit at the first Water Fire. There are now over 80 in the three rivers of downtown Providence.
It was another warm summer day when we arrived. Summer’s last gasp. And there was plenty of outdoor pre-Water Fire entertainment.
The first braziers are lit right after sunset (around 7 pm when I went). People on boats, some in the fashion of gondolas, float by during the festival and music is played during the event.
It was a cool evening. But the warmth of the fires kept us warm.
This man kept going by and throwing flowers to various people. I didn’t get one.
Of course, Providence looks beautiful with or without the water Fire lighting.
It was also Chinese Culture Night. Steeple Street had booths with information and games about Chinese culture.
The next Water Fire is scheduled for Nov. 5 (bundle up if you go). It will be your last chance to attend the event this year asit is the last Water Fire event of the year. They usually start up again in the spring of each year, usually in March.
Dogs are allowed at the Water Fire event.
Oakley is a 4 month old Australian Cattledog
Raleigh is a 6 month old American Staffordshire Terrier with a special talent (see the videos below)
Below are some videos from the Water Fire event:
A dragon in the water! Part of the Chinese Culture Night
A human on a skateboard:
wait for it….yes a dog on a skateboard…
Someone playing with fire
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Location: 1 Colt Drive, Bristol, Rhode Island (about half an hour from Providence and 1 hour from Boston, MA) (401) 253-9062
Hours: presently open Tue-Sun 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
December 15 – April 15 Open Weekends, 10 am to 4 pm
Open February 16 – 21, 2016 for February vacation
April 15 – December 15 Open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 am to 4 pm.
Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.
Children (3–12): $3
Children under 3: Free
Children (3–12): $5
Children under 3: Free
You can also purchase a membership for unlimited visits, free access to special events and discounts at their gift shop. If you plan on going more than once or twice a year and especially if you go with your family, the membership is probably the best rate:
Individual membership: $25
Parking: There is a space for about 4 or 5 cars across from Coggeshall Farm. You can also park at Colt State Park, which is adjacent to the farm but you may have to pay a fee to enter the park.
Size: 48 acres
Time To Allot For Visit: About An Hour
Dog Friendly: No (except for guide dogs)
Highlights: living museum, character actors, farm animals, historic style homes
You often find the most wonderful places in the most unexpected places. On an otherwise nondescript trail at Colt State Park used for cycling and running, lies a farm frozen in time.
Established in 1973, the Coggeshall Museum Farm features interpreters and authentic reenactments of farm life in the year 1799. Every last detail from the tools they use to the bedding (mostly hay) is authentic to the time it represents.
I loved the houses and workshops at Coggeshall. The homes and interiors were definitely the highlight of the trip for me. The rooms were modest and fairly bare (and I thought my room was small).
Even the papers and bills in the houses are accurate to those days. They don’t accept them as legal tender though, in case you were wondering.
Coggeshall Farm Museum also has a variety of animals. When I came to visit there were 2 steer, 11 sheep and several chickens, turkeys and other fowl. I also got to see some newly hatched chicks.
When I asked how long they keep the animals there I was told they usually live 6 to 8 years and then they have a “retirement plan.” Yes, everything gets used at the farm.
There were several character actors working during my visit. This gentleman was cutting wood to store (it’s never too early to get ready for long, chilly winter nights). When I asked how long it would take to cut all the wood he said, “util it is done”. Where has that work ethic gone?
The grounds are well kept and very pretty. They also have a large grazing area for the animals.
Then there was Moe – the resident cat and pest control manager. He was very friendly and playful as you can see. Believe it or not, the chipmunk he’s hunting and carrying so gently escaped only a little worse for the wear.
Coggeshall Farm also lets the patrons partake in some tasks (such as cutting wood) as long as it is supervised and they have many events throughout the year such as Arts On The Farm and Farm Camp. Check their website for more details.
Location: 380 Corys Ln, Portsmouth, RI (about 15 minutes north of Newport, RI and 1 hour south of Boston, MA) (401) 683-1267
Hours: Open everyday 10-5 seasonally (May 21 – Oct. 10 this year but the dates may change each year)
Cost: $15.99 for adults, $6.99 for youth (ages 6-17). There are discounts available if you provide an AARP card (I’m not quite that oldyet) and if you have AAA and possibly if you’re in the military. Take note that the Green Gardens is considered part of the Newport Mansions and their prices are based on how many houses you visit. In this case, the price was based on a one house tour because there is only one mansion on the premises (the Brayton House)
Parking: Free parking for 24 vehicles
Dog Friendly: No (service dogs may be allowed)
Highlights: shrubs and bushes cut into shapes of animals and other shapes, pretty flowers and gardens, mansion (Brayton House)
If you think the grass is always greener on the other side, you’ve never been to the Green Animals Topiary Garden in Portsmouth, Rhode Island.
Located adjacent to the Brayton house, the Green Animals display is the brainchild of gardener Joseph Carreiro. Carreiro began the topiary in 1905 and the 80 pieces of topiary have been in place at the garden ever since.
The topiary may be the main attraction. But the flowers and plants are also very pretty. In fact, as much as I loved the different shapes at the topiary, I found the flowers and the garden near the side of the topiary to be just as appealing.
The website states there are 80 different shapes sculpted into the greenery (although I don’t remember seeing that many). I have included the most interesting of these 80.
The Damask Rose Garden is featured at the entrance of the topiary.
The topiary has shapes of all kinds of animals. Like this giraffe.
with her/his baby giraffe (the black dot in this and some other photo is dirt on my sensor which I didn’t notice until after I got home unfortunately)
And this duck.
This is a growly bear (it is standing on its hind quarters)
Not all of the shapes are made in the image of creatures that are presently with us. This dinosaur was one of the scarier shapes in the garden.
This colorful shape is of a yew rooster
I don’t usually get this close to lions.
This swan peaked her head out among the other green animals.
This appears to be a bird
It was a little warm for a polar bear
Reindeers aren’t just in the North Pole.
There are even human shapes cut into the greenery. This human is riding a horse.
This police officer helped direct traffic around the green garden. I am not sure if he is affiliated with the Portsmouth department.
There’s even a mythical unicorn
This baby bear just wants a hug
There are even inanimate objects cut into the greenery. For instance, you can take a seat in this chair if you get tired (I am just kidding, you’re not allowed to climb and/or touch the greenery)
One of the few birds who actually sits still long enough for me to photograph him
I looked like this elephant was going to charge!
I don’t mean to boar you with this piece from the topiary.
The handout I received did not have a description for this shape. it appears to be a train.
This mommy and baby bear were sitting outside the Brayton mansion.
There is also a pet cemetery located at the topiary. Four pets of the owners are buried there. This section is very peaceful and decorative. The cemetery has a bench for sitting and reflecting and gravestones with the names of the deceased friends. It is very tranquil.
The flowers and garden are well kept and have some very vivid colors. I thought it was cute how they had “scarepeople” instead of scarecrows. I also liked the different chairs and wind vane and other decor around the grounds.
There is also a fish pond with goldfish in it.
I also liked the Brayton House. They do not allow flash photography in the house (although you can take photos with your cellphone). I don’t like how photos look on my cellphone so I didn’t take any photos in the house but it is a must see on the tour.
Location: 117 Memorial Blvd, Newport, RI (by Easton’s Beach)
Hours: open everyday dawn until dusk
Parking: 3 hour metered parking is available at Easton Bank (but limited). You can also park at other entry/exit points along the trail off Bellevue Ave (such as The Breakers mansion at 44 Ochre Point Ave which is free for a limited parking time and Narrangasett Ave.)
Distance: 3.5 miles each way
Time To Allot For Walk: The website suggests 2.5 hours. I would allot 3-4 hours if you’re walking the entire trail (and back)
Dog Friendly: Yes
Highlights: scenic, free, always open, good for people of all ages, popular with joggers
The Cliff Walk in Newport, Rhode Island, is not only a historically important attraction, it is also a great way to burn some extra calories or stroll along the shore, depending on your energy level.
Construction of the Cliff Walk began in 1880. Since then, the trail has been extended and designed over a series of redevelopment projects.
The Cliff Walk, which begins at Memorial Blvd or Bellevue Ave (depending on where you start) takes you on a series of breath taking views and, at times, challenging trails. Most people begin the trail at Memorial Blvd next to Easton’s beach (also known as First Beach). This trail ends at Bailey Beach. There is one “comfort station” on the walk at Narragansett Rd.
Rather than backtracking on the trail to get back, which you can do, it is easier to take the first right at Bailey Beach which leads onto Bellevue Ave. You can follow Bellevue Ave all the way back to Memorial Blvd or one of the many access points along the trail since it runs parallel to the cliff. It is easier because it is a straight and more direct route. I used this path to get back and it cut my walking time in half.
The views of Rhode Island Sound and First Beach from the Cliff Walk are astounding.
The first two thirds of the 3.5 mile trek (starting from Memorial Blvd) is easy and well defined. However, the terrain gets rocky, challenging and more scenic after the first 2 and a quarter miles. The steps and paths go from being well defined and wide.
to rugged, rocky and narrow
Other than the challenging terrain, the Cliff Walk is an easy, fun trail (it’s best to stop and turn around at the Breakers mansion or Webster Street if you’re starting from Memorial Blvd to avoid the more rocky terrain).
The Cliff Walk is also a good place for birding. There were lots of birds flying here and there, calling out to each other and even a few relaxing on the rocks. They look like they’re conspiring.
Perhaps the most well known part of the trail is the 40 Steps. In addition to providing you with an up close look of the shoreline, the 40 Steps also provides a little bit of history to the trail. The 40 steps is where the servants and workers of the mansions used to congregate during the Gilded Age.
One of my favorite parts of the walk was watching the people on the various water crafts and other flotation devices.
Another great thing about the Cliff Walk are the unusual features of the trail. Tunnels, makeshift trails, colorful flowers, even a memorial attached to a rock and other decorative items are scattered throughout the Cliff Walk. The memorial on the rock is dedicated to former surfer pro Ryan Patrick Roberts, nicknamed “Gazoo”. Roberts, a Newport native, passed away February 5, 2000. One wonders how they got the plaque on there and made it stay there.
The Cliff Walk also offers many great views of the mansions and other buildings built along the shore.
Some of the visitors at the Cliff Walk weren’t contend to stay on the trail.
There were a lot of dogs on the trail during my visits. It is a great place to take your pup for a walk. But, you may want to avoid the rockier terrain when you take your dog to the Cliff Walk.
Remy is a 10 month German Short Hair Pointer and a loyal Red Sox fan I presume.
Winston, a 4 year old Maltese from Seattle, WA, took the easy way around the Cliff Walk
Fion is an 8 year old Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen. Her breed is named after the area of France where that breed originated from (Vendeen).
Believe it or not, Penny, a Great Pyrenees, is only one year old.
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Location: Rte 114 (off Poppasquash Rd – yes that is the real name of the road – or Hope St depending which direction you’re coming from), Bristol, RI
Cost: It was free when I visited, according to the new parking fees it is $7 for residents and $14 for non residents to park at beaches in Rhode Island (lawmakers in Rhode Island recently cut the costs in half)
Parking: There are several parking areas. But, they fill up quickly. Arrive early to ensure you get a good spot, especially during the summer weekends. There are also electric vehicle charging stations available for 4 hours max while enjoying the park or other facility.The EV station does not guarantee a space on full capacity days
Hours: open daily dawn to dusk.
Time To Allot For Visit: This can vary depending on what you’re doing there (kayaking, running, cycling, barbecuing, etc.) If you’re just going for a walk or jog an hour to two hours should be enough time. I spent three hours there but I was stopping a lot to take photos
Size of Park: 464 acres
Highlights: scenic waterscape, various wildlife, walking/running/biking trails, fields and picnic areas, beach, bridge and pretty architecture and well kept trails
Named after Samuel P. Colt who owned the property in the early 1900’s where he built his home the Casino, Colt State Park has been considered the “gem of Rhode Island.” With its pretty views, teeming wildlife and peaceful setting it lives up to its name.
The park is surrounded by water for people to launch their boats, kayaks and other types or watercraft.
One of the best things about Colt State Park is the abundant wildlife. There are birds aplenty.
Red Winged Blackbird
American Black Crow
There are many other animals at the park like this chipmunk
I even saw lions at the park
Off the beaten path, I found these top bar bee hives. And they get nasty when you get too close and I had a bee sting to prove it! I suppose I wouldn’t like it if someone came into my home and started taking photos either.
And, of course, there were dogs at the park.
Butch, a Lab mix, is a shelter dog from South Carolina. His mommy wasn’t sure of his age (either 3 or 4 years old probably).
Max is a 6 year old English Lab. He is also an AKC (American Kennel Club) dog.
Parking: There is not a designated parking lot for Wilcox Park. But, you should be able to find off street parking.
Wilcox Park is not your average park. In fact, it is unique in many different ways. One thing that makes Wilcox Park unique is that it is not part of the DCR or any other city or governmental body. Wilcox Park is privately operated by the Westerly Public Library’s Board of Trustees. The library, located on the grounds of the park, and a group of volunteers help keep the grounds clean and orderly. They rely on donations and fundraisers.
Westerly Library is attached to the park at the entrance. The library’s beautiful architecture of the building is both artful yet modest. It complements the beauty of the park and seems right in place. There are also benches for visitors to unwind and perhaps read a book from the library’s collection.
There are also a number of statues in the grounds of the library.
As you entered the park, one of the first statues you will see is the statue of Christopher Columbus sculpted by Ciriaco (or “Charles” as he was commonly known as) Pizzano in 1949. Originally from Avellino, Italy, Pizzano was living in Medford, Massachusetts, when he decided to sculpt this statue, appropriately, out of Westerly granite.
The inscription reads:
INTREPID ITALIAN EXPLORER
WHO LINKED THE OLD WORLD OF
OUR FATHERS TO THE NEW WORLD
OF OUR SONS
On the back of the pedestal:
WESTERLY AND PAWCATUCK
Somewhere Leif Erikson is rolling around in his grave.
Down the staircase from the entrance to the park is a fountain (which was not running when I went to visit due to the still cold temperatures). The Wilcox Memorial Fountain was designed by John Francis Paramino in 1898 and was dedicated in honor of Harriet and Stephen Wilcox who had donated the land for the park.
There are a variety of beautiful trees, plants, bridges and statues at Wilcox Park.
There is also a pond along the trails at Wilcox Park. It is populated with Koi fish
There’s room for two on this thing, right?
and baby turtles. I couldn’t find his mommy but I am sure she was nearby.
The bronze Runaway Bunny statue was dedicated in 1998 by Connecticut sculptor Joan Binney Ross. it is based on the book of the same name by Margaret Wise Brown. Unfortunately, the bunny has been the target of vandalism, predictably. But, it has been restored after each attack. Cameras are now installed liberally around the park to deter vandalism or catch the vandals.
This fella just wanted to play with the ducks
This sculpture sort of looked like a face to me. A very ugly face.
Dogs are allowed at Wilcox Park. Bandit, a Siberian Husky, had fun playing in the park. Apparently, Bandit earned his nickname because he “takes things”. What a beautiful dog. He caught my eye because of his handsome markings and his very cute smile. You can tell he’s a “bandit” based on his playful grin.