Saturday, July 5, 2014

East Bay Bike Path

After we rode the Virginia Creeper Trail, I "liked" the Rails to Trails Association on Facebook and started seeing lots of posts about all the different Rails to Trails. One was about best Rails to Trails in New England and that's how I discovered the East Bay Bike Path. It was even in the Rails to Trails Hall of Fame! The bike path went from Bristol to Providence and it was about 15 miles long. I had figured we could ride it both ways and cover the whole thing.

Our drive yesterday was mostly along the route the bike path took and once I located the path on the map we were able to see what looked like the perfect place to park - only a few miles from the Walmart and in a State Park.

When Dad and I headed out from the Walmart we almost immediately made a navigational error and missed a turn. Now in most places this isn't a huge issue, you just turn around. Well in Rhode Island, turning around seems to be impossible. The roads are set up so you have to do a U-Turn at a cut in the median in order to access anything on the left side of the road. This system does cut down on stop lights, but otherwise it seems to be kind of a pain. We ended up touring a neighborhood to get to Squantum Woods State Park.

When we got there we discovered that what is marked on the map as a State Park is really a private club. Looked like a ritzy garden club type club. They had a parking lot right by the trail but it had "no trespassing" signs all over. We parked anyway.

The first part of the trail went toward downtown Providence and wasn't very scenic. There were some ponds with some egrets and herons in them, as well and views of city, and views of industrial stuff.

After the first three miles or so we were mostly riding through trees and passing through small towns. There were tons of road crossings and tons of other places to park! Lots of places to park the RV even!

Bristol Bay
Lighthouse near Providence

Towards Bristol the trees thinned and we could seen more marsh, with more frequent views of the bay. There were also more people! They have an interesting rule on this bike path - bikers go right and walkers go left. This makes a lot of sense! The walkers can see the bikers and the bikers can just go around without having to worry if the walker sees you or not. My only problem was that I kept expecting that since the walkers could see me they'd move out of my way and they didn't!

All told it was about 26 miles to ride both ways. The weather was almost perfect, sunny, no clouds, temps in the 70s, but it was very windy! Riding back into the wind helped increase the calorie burn!

On the way back to the Walmart we again had navigational trouble. We missed a turn and ended up on I-195 headed toward Providence! Away from where we wanted to be! Took a little while to get turned back the correct way and get back to Walmart.

Our next stop was Wegmans in Northbourough, MA. We had been here 2 years ago and knew it was a must stop! We spent about an hour or so at Wegmans. It was nice to get my favorite brand in stuff I'd already run out of!

After Wegmans we continued on into Maine to the Cabela's at exit 42. You aren't technically allowed to stay overnight, it's a town ordinance, but Cabela's allows it and no one has ever been removed. They have a nice big RV/Truck parking area, free dump station, and dog & horse kennels! Not only that but Cabele's is more fun to wander around in than Walmart! I never realized how many different types of camo there were!

When we came back to the RV we heard what sounded like a speedway. I was convinced it was just I-95 road noise, but I searched google maps for "speedway" and sure enough there was a speedway just on the other side of 95. AND, they were having a "NASCAR-Series" race this evening. Luckily, the race seemed to end around 10:00 and it got nice and quiet, even I-95 was quiet!



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