The Story of the Yawgoog Trails


Section 2: The Early Names of the Trails

Early Names of the White Trail

Yawgoog's Narragansett Trail is named after the Narragansett Nation. The Narragansetts are the Native Americans of this part of Rhode Island. This trail should not be confused with the Appalachian Mountain Club's Narragansett Trail (which overlaps the Yellow Trail on Reservation property). The trail starts at Rathom Lodge, wanders through Camp Sandy Beach, climbs to Smugglers' Cliffs, and then turns right (north) to end on Camp Yawgoog Road.

The Hidden Lake Trail begins at the site of the old mill on Camp Yawgoog Road and turns north (right) to Hidden Lake. It follows the shoreline, meets with the General Dean Trail on the northern shore, and returns to the Hidden Lake dam.

The General Dean Trail is named after the Scoutmaster of the First Providence Troop in 1910, Herbert R. Dean. A member of Narragansett Council's Board of Directors, he was President of Starkweather and Shepley Insurance, and Adjutant General of Rhode Island. The trail starts on the northern shore of Hidden Lake and leads northeast to the Freeman Trail. It continues through the Curtis Tract and ends at Metcalf Lodge.

Early Names of the Yellow Trail

Yawgoog's Round-The-Pond Trail, also called the Round-The-Lake Trail, starts at the beginning of the Yellow Trail (the site of the mill is nearby). It encounters Hemlock Ledge, the Green Trail, Blueberry Swamp, and ends at Cooning Orchard. The portion running from the site of the mill to Hemlock Ledge used to be named the Deer Trail.

The part of the Yellow Trail that connects Hemlock Ledge to Blueberry Swamp bears the name of Third Avenue. It honors the Third Providence Troop, whose members included "Gus" Anthony, Paul Slade, "Inkey" Armstrong, and Chet Worthington, with Chief Williams as Scoutmaster. "Gus" Anthony has reminisced, "Our Troop was a real pioneer leader in those days" (Anthony, letter, 15 Feb. 1991).

Both of the two side-paths leading from the main Yellow Trail to the Davis Campsite have names. When approaching from Hemlock Ledge, the first path is known as the Bridge Trail because it used to lead to Slade's Bridge. It is also called Armstrong Trail because it passes through Armstrong Point; both are named for Yawgoog Ranger "Inkey" Armstrong. The second path is known as the Black Skunk Trail. Another path, the Veterans' Trail, reached from Blueberry Swamp to Fort Hilton.

The Lumber Road is the second trail to have been cleared by the Reservation; the overgrowth was removed after the great fire of 1930. It is the stretch of the Yellow Trail that extends from Fort Hilton to the dam on Yawgoog Pond. This road provided a route of transportation for the lumbering camp and charcoal makers that were in the southwestern part of Yawgoog during the Civil War and earlier. The Road was later widened by the Reservation for fire-access purposes.

The Aline Buxton Trail is a side-trail associated with the Yellow Trail. It had the dubious honor of being known as Breakneck Trail, probably relating to the steepness of Devil's Slide. The Ghost Pond Trail used to circle Ghost Pond before it became overgrown.


Facebook    Twitter    Instagram    YouTube    Pinterest