Family Hiking: Arcadia Management Area

[ 0 ] March 31, 2013 |

Go it alone, or join RI Families in Nature on Sunday, April 7, as we explore this area together.

Breakheart Pond

Rhode Island may be small, but it’s big on natural places to explore. Case in point: Arcadia Management Area. With over 14,000 acres to explore, Arcadia is the state’s largest recreational area. Along with Tillinghast Pond and Wickaboxet Management Areas, and URI’s Alton Jones campus, Arcadia helps connect 40,000 acres of protected forest spanning the RI-CT border.

Breakheart Pond

Arcadia really does offer something for everyone: picnicking, fishing, kayaking, canoeing, mountain biking, hunting, horseback riding, camping, and hiking, of course. The miles and miles of trails offer everything from easy, flat, short strolls (well suited for families) to rugged, rocky, long treks (for the older and/or more experienced set).

One of my favorite spots in Arcadia is Breakheart Pond Loop. This 1.5 mile trail is easy to follow and offers many wonderful views of the 44-acre pond. Several bridges cross streams and small waterfalls.

Breakheart Pond

Here are two other trails to check out:

Upper Roaring Brook

There is a long wooden walkway great for both strollers and wheelchairs at Upper Roaring Brook. Don’t let the fact that it’s only ½ mile roundtrip throw you. You’ll still feel like you’re in the forest and there are beautiful views. Plus, you can easily extend your adventure along the yellow and blue trails.

Upper Roaring Brook

For more information about Upper Roaring Brook, click here.

Browning Mill Pond

Just across the road from the turnoff to Upper Roaring Brook is the Browning Mill Pond Recreation Area. This is one of the most popular spots in Arcadia and, with its large picnic area, old stone walls and pavilion, and rectangular ponds that were once part of a fish hatchery, it’s not difficult to figure out why. The 1.5 mile hike around the 50 acre pond is beautiful in every season.

Browning Mill PondBrowning Mill Pond

For more information about Browning Mill Pond, click here.

See you outside!

The Details
Where: Arcadia Management Area
Cost: Free
Bathrooms: the great outdoors
Website: Arcadia Management Area page on RI Parks website.
For more information, including directions: visit the RI Families in Nature website.

Rhode Island Families in Nature Hike: Join Rhode Island Families in Nature every month for a different hike created by and for families who want to spend more time outdoors, explore Rhode Island’s natural places, and reconnect with and reap the many benefits of nature.

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Category: community news


Jeanine Silversmith

about the author ()

Jeanine is a self-described tree hugging, science and math geek whose love of nature, coupled with her absolute certainty that people, especially children, are happier, healthier, and wiser when they regularly spend time in nature, led her to establish Rhode Island Families in Nature. Jeanine also works for the RI Environmental Education Association, supporting formal and informal teachers as they create "place-based" curriculum. She loves to hike, run, garden, bake, and go camping, especially when accompanied by her husband, Ian, her daughter, Sierra, and her son, Devin. They live in Wakefield.

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