A one-mile loop trail marked with yellow blazes begins at the preserve entrance at the end of Fox Ridge Drive, over spectacular rocky outcrops and seasonally wet seeps, through woodlands thick with underbrush.
A second trail runs along an old cart path from the southeast corner of the existing loop down to the river. Take this route and you will pass a colonial era grist mill. The trail ends at the Beaver River.
The Beaver River is a major tributary to the Pawcatuck River. The Pawcatuck River's 300 square mile watershed comprises most of southwestern Rhode Island and extends into Connecticut. It supports roughly 70% of Rhode Island's globally imperiled species. In fact, the watershed hosts the largest and perhaps most significant cluster of known breeding sites for the globally vulnerable Ringed Boghaunter dragonfly (Williamsonia lintneri) across the specie's range. Beneath the Pawcatuck watershed lies an abundance of clean groundwater which serves as the sole source of drinking water for more than 60,000 local residents.
Bring insect repelent during warmer months. Watch for beavers at the large wetland at the river.
•From Route I-95, take Route 138 east (exit 3A)
•Follow Route 138 east for 2.5 miles and make a left on Hillsdale Road.
•Travel north on Hillsdale Road for approximately 3 miles.
•Turn left on Old Mountain Trail and proceed 1.1 miles.
•Turn right on Oak Hill Drive.
•Go 0.1 miles and bear right on Fox Ridge Drive.
•Travel 0.7 miles on Fox Ridge Drive through a housing development until the road ends. Park here and enter the trail where marked.
This is a very enjoyable hike. It wasn't very long, so it fit into 1hr 45 minutes time period, at a leisurely pace. Today most of the leaf canopy was gone so we enjoyed the colors of the understory. We saw no sign of the colonial-era grist mill. It was not a far drive from the NK, EG area. Easy to fit in before the 4:00 pm football game!