The Story of the Yawgoog Trails
Trail and Map Discrepancies
There are several minor discrepancies between the Yawgoog map of 1998 and actual trail conditions; suggestions for resolving the inconsistencies are included. Discrepancies were corrected in the 2011 update by Keith Boone of Troop 339, Severna Park, Maryland. Noteworthy trail conditions are also mentioned.
- The map shows the Blue Trail as drifting off to the northwestern corner; the trail should be redrawn so that it connects with the Freeman Trail. A dashed line could lead into the northwestern corner of the map, with an arrow and "To Green Fall Pond."
- Signs at the juncture of the Narragansett and Tippecansett Trails and at Dinosaur Rock need to be refreshed.
- Erosion bars are needed on a section of trail between Dinosaur Rock and the juncture with the White Trail.
- The bridge near the juncture with the White Trail needs repair.
- The map shows the Wo-Jack and Wilcox branches of the Green Trail as being marked in double-dotted side trails. In the field, the trails are actually marked with single markings. It is recommended that the next revision of the map show the two paths with single markings as part of the main route. The main route would start near Hemlock Ledge and run to the Sawdust Pile, then proceed on the Wo-Jack Trail, and then on the Wilcox Trail. The main Green Trail would then end where it begins, near Hemlock Ledge. It is also recommended that the vertical bar on the map that marks the trail end near Hemlock Ledge be changed to a star, as the beginning of the trail.
- A path, unmarked in the field and not shown on the map, leads westward into Connecticut from the Sawdust Pile; signage is needed at the Sawdust Pile, including a "No Horses" sign facing Connecticut.
- The map shows the Symbol Rock Trail in single dots. The Symbol Rock Trail is a side-trail and, in the field, it is correctly marked in double dots. The map should be revised to show the Symbol Rock Trail in double dots, as well.
- The Twelve-man Shelter, at the juncture of the Death Valley and Wilcox trails, is missing from the map; it is recommended that it be restored.
- Parts of the trail between Hemlock Ledge and the Sawdust Pile are slightly overgrown.
- A sign is needed to mark the start of the Green Trail near Hemlock Ledge.
- The map currently depicts the trail as starting at the T. Dawson Brown Gateway and then north, ultimately ending at the Richard J. Drayton Memorial Flagpole. This reverses the original direction of the trail. It is recommended that the original direction of the trail be restored, starting and ending at the Gateway, as it follows the historical progression of the Reservation: from the original campgrounds in the Bucklin area to Camp Three Point, then on to Camp Medicine Bow and Camp Sandy Beach.
- In the field, the trail bypasses The Glen, the popular Toad Rock, Thrush Cove and the site of the old Protestant Cathedral. It is recommended that the original course be restored. The map could be adjusted so that the route reaches Thrush Cove and turn right to the Cathedral.
- "Lizard Ledge" and "The Glen" should also be added to the map, near "Lattner Cabin," if there is room.
- The map shows single marks from the beginning of the Rim Trail, over to North Road ("Long Bridge Road" is no longer used), then on to Long and Ell ponds. Because the main Red Trail now runs to the Sawdust Pile, the map's single markings from the Rim Trail to North Road should be changed to a dashed line.. It is recommended that the map's Red Trail markings running down Long Bridge Road to Long and Ell ponds be removed, as the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) Narragansett Trail marks that section in yellow markings in the field. The vertical bar marking the end of the trail at Long and Ell ponds can be removed from the map, and a dashed line can illustrate the trail, along with the existing arrow. The "To Long Pond" should be changed to "To Long and Ell ponds." It is recommended that the star where the Rim Trail and George Utter Trail meet be removed; it used to mark the beginning of the Green Trail.
- The Red Trail currently ends at the Southwest Marker. It is recommended that it be extended slightly to the Sawdust Pile. This would keep the main Green Trail as a loop on the Wo-Jack and Wilcox trails. If the extension is made, the single green markings on the map between the Southwest Marker and the Sawdust Pile should be changed to single red markings. A vertical bar could be placed beside the Sawdust Pile on the map to mark the end of the Red Trail there.
- In the field, that same short section currently has few color markings, apart from metal property line discs on trees; color markings should be added.
- The map shows the double marks of a side path to the edge of Old Settler's Point. The trail is now overgrown toward the end; the trail should be cleared and marked in the field, or it should be removed from the map.
- A dot for Snapper Rock should be added to the map between "Wells Fargo" and "Eagle Trail." "Glacier Rock Park" should also be added to the map in the same area.
- A sign is needed near the Giants Chairs to direct hikers onto the relocated portion of the trail, avoiding Campsite Wells Fargo.
- Painted trail markers between the Giants Chairs and Sharpe Lodge need to be refreshed.
- A few portions of the trail near the Richmond Boulder Field are slightly overgrown.
- The New Frontier center should be moved to the Campcraft Center.
- The map lists an unnamed campsite near Smuggler's Cliffs; it is recommended that "Atlas" be added for the campsite name.
- The side-trail along Pickerel Cove is marked in the field with single markings; they should be double-white markings. The side trail is also slightly overgrown.
- The side trails to the Atlas Campsite need double-white markings in the field.
- A few double-yellow markings are recommended for the map to show the way from the main Yellow Trail to the Deer Cove campsite. Old, double-yellow markings are present in the field.
- Painted markings on trees between Cooning Orchard and Sharpe Lodge need to be refreshed.
- The side trail to the Deer Cove Campsite is overgrown and the double-yellow markers need to be refreshed.
- Both side trails to the Davis Campsite and the tip of Armstrong Point are overgrown and need double-yellow markers.
- The Cove Trail is not marked on the map, due to overgrowth in some areas and because it runs through several campsites. Some thought should be given to clearing the trail and marking it in the field and on the map; it would make for a pleasant walk during the off-season.
- A dot should be added to the map for Toenail Rock between campsites Scott and Zuccolo. "Chief's Grove" should be placed where "Grand Canyon" is currently. "Grand Canyon" should be moved closer to "The Fortress."
- Fuller Cabin and Anthony Shelter should be removed from the map as the structures no longer exist.
- It is suggested that an arrow be placed near the site of the haunted house symbol on the map with "To Beach Pond."
- Parts of the trail are overgrown.
Suggested Maintenance Plan
A repeating 4-year schedule of trail maintenance is recommended; it could include trimming overgrowth, bridging, refreshing trail markers, and refreshing or replacing signage on the main trails and side trails. Such a schedule might be:
- Year 1: Red Trail, Green Trail, and the portion of the Narragansett Trail leading to North Road
- Year 2: Blue and White trails
- Year 3: Orange and Yellow trails
- Year 4: Galkin Trail, Hill 431 Trail, and the portion of the Tippecansett Trail between Dinosaur Rock and Route 138
Horses are prohibited in Yawgoog, which is posted private property. In the past, trespassing horse riders entered the property on the Red Trail from North Road. If horse riders, hoof prints or feces are observed on trails, please contact Narragansett Council; the Hopkinton Police Department may be contacted at 401-377-7750. Horse feces may contain the parasites giardia and cryptosporidium; infected horses may not display symptoms (Lloyd pp. 508-509). This becomes an additional threat to Yawgoog's water quality. Furthermore, leaving feces behind may constitute littering and vandalism under Rhode Island law (R.I. Gen. Laws § 37-15-3(4) and § 11-44-1(a)).
Hunting is prohibited in Yawgoog at all times; the perimeter of the property is well-posted. If a hunting stand is found, please contact the Hopkinton Police Department at 401-377-7750.
Illegal hunting stand
Geocaches and Letterboxes
Yawgoog operates a GeoScouting program for its campers in summer; however, public geocaches appear to have been placed on the property without permission. One cache is "Who's [sic] Line is it Anyway?" (GC11XBM) and its description does not indicate landowner permission. The cache is located under a boulder on Dinosaur Rock on Yawgoog's Blue Trail.
Location of geocache (under boulder)
Coordinates: N 41° 32.104', W 71° 47.458' (Datum: WGS84)
Another cache, "Scout Adventureland" (GC3XH3J) has been placed near the Yawgoog sign on the northwest corner of Spring Street and Camp Yawgoog Road; that large parcel of land is owned by Rhode Island Boy Scouts. This geocache is a mystery cache; the actual coordinates are N 41° 31.435' W 71° 45.914'.
A letterbox has also been placed on the property; permission is not indicated in the description. It is "PTAH" and it is under a flat rock, about six feet west of the Tippecansett Trail, north of Dinosaur Rock.
Location of letterbox (under flat stone)
Coordinates: N 41° 32.177', W 71° 47.511' (Datum: WGS84)
Illegal dumping is an occasional problem along North Road, opposite the Long and Ell Ponds Area. It also occurs on the Tippecansett Trail near Route 138 (Spring Street). If debris is found, please contact Narragansett Council.
Dumped concrete bases