ARCADIA MGMT AREA
Explore Browning Mill Pond and the Mt. Tom Trail in Exeter, Rhode Island.
Arcadia Management Area has access points in Richmond, Exeter, Hopkinton, and West Greenwich, Rhode Island. The area contains an extensive network of trails throughout a large acreage of forest. Hike along some rocky outcrops, through a pine barren, or around a pond.
You can spend a whole day going from trail to trail. The Mount Tom Trail starts just off of Ten Rod Road at Wood River, and extends through an amazing pine barren. These trees are rugged, lichen-covered, and they tower over you. Then you'll cross Mt. Tom Road and hit some great ledges. There are a ton of boulders to climb. Past those ledges, the trail extends back up north of Ten Rod Road, and along Old Ten Rod Road for a bit, where the trail lays flatter than before, but is still surrounded by many rocky outcrops. The colors and textures in Arcadia are amazing, even in winter. There's a color palette of lichen green with tinges of pink in the rocks.
The tree bark has so much character. And there are chunks of quartz here and there that add to the texture of the boulders. There are many great spots to stop for a picnic along the ledges. You'll even hit a point with a great outlook, and a cluster of stones set up as chairs. After the best ledges, you'll cross 165, where the trail meets up with Old Ten Rod Road, a wider and flatter stretch. Towards the end of the loop, just before you get back to 165, and cross over to the parking lot, you'll come across a large, open, sandy spot that seems desert-like. The whole walk is a little over five miles, and you won't find a trail with such eclectic landscapes anywhere else in Rhode Island.
Another great loop in Arcadia Management Area is the Browning Mill Pond Trail. This is a simple loop around the pond, but it's got the greatest spot for a picnic under some towering pines. The spot is a little peninsula that juts into the pond, and there are a bunch of picnic tables around to set up lunch. After a long morning on those trails, follow 102 East over to Tilted Barn Brewery at One Hemsley Place in Exeter. It's Rhode Island's first farm brewery, where they grow their own hops and brew the beer in a historic barn. In the winter, the wood stove will be keeping the barn warm, and in the summer, you can hang out on the lawn- where on Saturdays you might be able to catch our faves Walrus & Carpenter shucking oysters. Don't miss it. The beers are wonderful and the farm is a great place to hang out, no matter what the season.