Published August 28. 2012 2:00PM Updated April 17. 2014 3:58PM
The Narragansett Trail
Towns: North Stonington CT, Voluntown CT, Hopkinton RI
Wintechog Hill Road trailhead: Take I-95N to Exit 92. Left off exit ramp to get on Route 2. A right on Milltown Road will take you around under the Route 2 overpass to get on Wintechog Hill Road. The unmarked trail head will be on your right about a quarter-mile up the road.
Wyassup Lake Road trailhead: Take I-95N to Exit 92. Left off exit ramp to get on Route 2. After two miles, turn right on Main Street and then right on Wyassup Road. After three miles, turn left on Wyassup Lake Road. Parking is available at the boat launch on the right.
Route 49 trailhead: Take I-95N to Exit 92. Left off exit ramp to get on Route 2. Turn right on Route 184, then left on Route 49. In 5.8 miles, First Baptist Church will be on your left and the trailhead will be on your right.
Camp Yawgoog Road trailhead: Take I-95N to Exit 93. Turn left on Route 216. After 1.4 miles continue straight on Denison Hill Road. After five miles, turn right on Green Fall Road. Park at Connecticut/Rhode Island state line.
Ashville Pond trailhead: Take I-95N to Exit 1 in Rhode Island. Turn right on Route 3. Drive 3.4 miles and turn left on Canochet Road. Drive one mile and turn left on Stubtown Road. Drive half a mile, parking area is on the right.
Where to Park: The parking areas at most of the trailheads are small, informal dirt lots.
Description: The Narragansett Trail goes about 22 miles from Lantern Hill in North Stonington to Ashville Pond in Hopkinton, RI. The entire trail could be completed in 12 hours, but there are many opportunities for shorter day hikes along the trail.
After climbing and descending Lantern Hill, the trail goes east to Route 2, then northeast into the Pachaug State Forest. The terrain along the trail is extremely varied. Some portions are flat and well-worn, others are extremely rocky and steep. The trail passes through forests and wetlands, and follows dirt and paved roads for short sections.
The Connecticut portion is blazed with light blue rectangles, while the Rhode Island portion is blazed with yellow rectangles. In Rhode Island, the Narragansett Trail follows a portion of the Camp Yawgoog yellow trail, which is blazed with yellow circles.
Regulations: Portions of the trail are open to motor vehicles and horses. Backpackers wishing to camp at either of the shelters in the Pachaug State Forest must contact the DEEP at least two weeks in advance for a permit.
DEEP Eastern District Office
209 Hebron Rd.
Marlborough, CT 06447
Amenities: None. There may be a portable toilet at the Wyassup Lake boat launch, and composting toilets can be found by taking a slight detour to the camping area at Green Fall Pond.
Natural Features: The summit of Lantern Hill (mile 1) offers sweeping views. Another scenic overlook is found at mile 4, before a beaver pond at mile 5. High Ledge near mile 8 offers a view overlooking Wyassup Lake. A rocky crevice known as the Bear cave is found around mile 9. Miles 15-16 go up the rocky ravine of Green Fall River to Green Fall Pond. Miles 19-22 skirt swamps around Yawgoog Pond and climb up and down through steep rocky hills near Ell Pond and Long Pond.
Good to know: Portions of the trail are open to hunting, so hikers should wear orange during hunting season. The portion of the trail that crosses the Groton Sportsman's Club is closed from October to March.
Owned by: The trail crosses both private and public land. In Connecticut, it is maintained by the Connecticut Forest and Park Association. In Rhode Island, it is maintained by the Narragansett Chapter of the Appalachian Mountain Club.
Miles from Wintechog Hill Rd. Trailhead:
0.7 Lantern Hill Summit (470 feet)
3.4 Route 2
3.9 Scenic overlook
4.9 Beaver pond on Yawbux Brook
6.5 Wyassup Lake
7.7 High Ledge and side trail to Legend Wood Shelter
9.3 Bear Cave
12.9 First Baptist Church/Groton Sportsmen's Club
15.9 Green Fall Pond
17 Side trail to Peg Mill Shelter
18.3 State line marker
22 (approximate) Ashville Pond