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Best Easy Day Hikes: Rhode Island
by Steve Mirsky (Falcon Guides)
Another route within Rhode Island’s 14,000-acre Arcadia Management Area, the Ben Utter Trail passes close by Wood River up to Stepstone Falls, passing mill ruins and massive quarried stones. The return leg passes high above the river through mixed forest.The yellow-blazed trail begins at the parking turnout, paralleling the Wood River close to your right (east) after crossing a wooden bridge. Pine trees tower over the trail, mostly to your right and on the river’s opposite shore, while deciduous trees populate the woods to your left. Continue on a flat grade. Even though the trail is well marked, it can be confusing since you’ll see both blue and yellow blazes next to each other. Cross a wooden footbridge over a small wooded swamp close to the river’s edge at 0.1 mile.
Best Hikes with Kids: Connecticut, Massachusetts, & Rhode Island
by Cynthia Copeland, Thomas J. Lewis, & Emily Kerr (The Mountaineers Books)
While the sight of the river tumbling and spilling down the wide, step-like rocks delights children, the ever-present sound of the cascading water soothes adult ears. The trip to Stepstone Falls via the Ben Utter Trail—lovely any time of the year, but especially appealing on a steamy day or after a rain storm—understandably rates as one of the most popular hikes in the Arcadia Management Area. While it is possible to begin the hike from the falls, it would be anticlimactic to have to walk away from this most appealing sight. A better idea is to begin at the bridge off Austin Farm Road. (Avoid hiking in Arcadia during the late fall and winter because hunting is permitted then. If you do hike then make sure to wear blaze orange for visibility.)
Discover Rhode Island
by Christie Matheson (Appalachian Mountain Club Books)
A streamside trail leads to short tumbling falls. The Ben Utter Trail was named for George Benjamin Utter, who was part of the original trails committee of the Narragansett Chapter of the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) and a strong advocate of hiking, trailblazing, and trail maintenance.
Relatively easy hike from Plain Road to Fall River Road and back. I did this hike to get eyes on the Wood and Fall River. I wanted to fish the river. I noticed caddis and spinner hatches, but no fish anywhere. Easy trail to follow except I did get off trail a few spots before I realized how well marked, (paint on trees), the trail actually is.
see for your self at my youtube page.
Great for kids, quick easy hike if you're short on time but need a nature fix.
The Ben Utter and River Trails to Stepstone Falls was a very casual, easy trail. It starts off going over a small foot bridge and continues on through easy terrain. The entire trail was very well marked, and also follows the North-South trail. There is a small rock garden once you split onto the white-blazed trail, from there you reach stepstone falls which was very nice place to enjoy a snack or small mid-hike meal. There were a number of ways to cross the falls some more challenging then others, but all in all quite a good time if you like a novice hike.
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