The Story of the Yawgoog Trails


Section 2: The Early Names of the Trails


When the trails were first developed there was no color-coded system; each trail had its own name. It was not until the 1970's that these trails were incorporated into the color-coded system that exists today. This system was first displayed on the Reservation map prepared by Phil Booth of Troop 1 Rumford in 1975; color-coding was included in the 1976 version of The Story of the Yawgoog Trails. The original names are mentioned in this section under the respective color trails that contain them. Many of the older names have been obtained from old Reservation maps, like the map of 1931, Everett "Steve" Westcott's map of 1941, and others. It should be noted that the color-coded system is not intended to replace the named trails, but to link them together in an easy-to-follow system.

Early Names of the Orange Trail

The Toad Rock Trail, running from the East Cabin to Toad Rock, is "the oldest Yawgoog trail" (Williams and Tracy). Early campers, staying in tents pitched in what is now Donald North Court, found an overgrown road leading to Wincheck Pond; it was cleared of growth in 1919. Pastureland used to exist in this area in the days of the Palmer family and it was probably served by this road. Staffer David Newton found a 1798 penny on it, showing just how old this route may be! The Camp Yawgoog map of 1931 illustrates this trail as being named the Birch Trail, presumably because of the many birch trees that can be seen near the Challenge Center. Extending from Wincheck Pond, next to the Protestant Cathedral, through a rhododendron forest to Sharpe Lodge in Camp Three Point is the Swamp Trail.

The Adams Trail is named after benefactor Herbert M. Adams of Barrington. Adams provided funding for the Protestant Cathedral, the improvement of this trail, and the Adams Gate. The path begins at the Adams Gate, designed by Ranger "Inkey" Armstrong and built in 1957; after the gateway, the footpath passes between the J. Harold Williams Amphitheatre and the Parsonage -- the summer residence of the Protestant Chaplain. The Parsonage is also called the Four Eagles Cabin, named after Eagle Scouts Dana, Gregory, Geoffrey, and John Gaebe of Troop 2 Barrington. This building, dedicated in 1977, was a gift from their parents, Morris and Audrey Gaebe. After leaving the Parsonage, the Adams Trail comes to a covered bench donated by Chaplain John A. Gardner in memory of his nephew, Thomas Kirtley Gardner, Jr. The trail continues to the Protestant Cathedral, where it ends. This trail used to be called Cathedral Trail, Rhododendron Trail, and the Nature Trail (because the Williams Amphitheatre area used to be a nature center called the Nature Den). Years ago the path was muddy, but was improved by the addition of tons of rottenstone (decomposed limestone) from the town of Narragansett. The Adams name also memorializes George C. "Cliff" Adams, "the Breathing Man," for his development of the aquatic safety program as Commissioner for Health and Safety.

Two other trails associated with the Orange Trail existed long ago. One was the Lower Glen Trail; it started near the garage and headed west toward Boulder Brook and the property line shared with a parcel of land known as Hatetokwitit. The path turned southwest to end at The Glen. The second defunct trail, called the Fern Rock Trail, connected the Challenge Field (formerly called the Cooking Field) to what is now the Adams Trail.


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