Quick Reference Summary: Long and Ell Ponds Area
Total distance: 1.15 miles (1.85 kilometers)
Total hiking time: approximately 30 minutes
(one-way, from the Red Trail to the ponds)
Caution: Hikers should be very careful, by wearing at least 400 square inches (2,580 square centimeters) of blaze orange material, such as a vest, when hiking in the Long and Ell ponds area during hunting season. The Rhode Island hunting season starts on the second Saturday in September and runs through the end of February. Orange is also required in Rhode Island from the third Saturday in April through May 31. Hunting is prohibited in Camp Yawgoog.
The trail to Long and Ell ponds begins at a juncture of paths on the Red Trail, just after rising from Cedar Swamp. The main Red Trail heads to the right (southwest), but the path to the ponds leads left (east). Just before it meets North Road (also called Hopkinton-Rockville Road, Long Bridge Road, Old Rockville Road, Rockville Road, and West Rockville Road), the trail passes by a fallen tree from which two of its branches have grown into trees themselves! Turning left onto the road, the trail follows it eastward until it reaches a small parking area on the right. (Please walk single-file on the left side of the road.)
The trail leads south into the forest and reaches an intersection of trails between the two ponds. On the right (west) is a short unmarked path to a good view of Ell Pond -- a National Natural Landmark, as a plaque embedded in a rock there explains. The Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) Narragansett Trail continues straight ahead (southwest) from the intersection, between the ponds, to eventually end at Ashville Pond in Hopkinton. Hikers are encouraged to take the left-hand (eastern) path from the intersection to an enormous outcrop high above Long Pond. To enjoy the view, travelers can either scramble up the steeper face of the rock formation that faces the pond or take the easier climb on the opposite side. Hiking any farther on the northern shore of Long Pond is forbidden, because it is private property. Swimming, littering, and campfires are prohibited in this area -- it is not part of Yawgoog Scout Reservation; the Audubon Society of Rhode Island (ASRI) prohibits geocaching on its portions of the Long and Ell ponds area; see the map. Hikers can return to camp by retracing their steps.
Note: Horses are prohibited in Camp Yawgoog (land north and west of North Road). If horse riders, hoof prints or feces are observed on trails, please contact Narragansett Council. A sign noting the prohibition of horseback riding and other activities is posted on the trail to North Road; please notify the Council if the sign is missing. More information is available.
For the full description of this hike and driving directions to the ponds, please see the Long and Ell Ponds Area.