Hot, muggy nights that were spent drinking vodka cocktails and watching “Shark Tank” reruns will now be spent drinking whisky and watching horror movies as the weather turns cool, and my days will be spent in pursuit of the great outdoors. As far as I am concerned, there is no better time than fall to be outdoors, with New England foliage providing a rich and colorful backdrop to any outdoor endeavor.
Fishing will pick up in fresh and salt water. Bass and trout will fatten up for winter in the lakes and rivers. Striped bass will make their way back down the coast after migrating north in the spring to spawn, and they will be bigger on this return trip.
Late summer and early fall is the ideal time to camp as long as you pack a few extra layers and blankets. The days of scorching heat have passed, freezing nights have yet to arrive and the crowds have thinned out.
Hiking trails are abundant throughout Rhode Island, and provide a simple way to kill a few hours on a day off. Breakheart Loop is one of nine trails in Arcadia Management Area near Exeter. It has 3.7 miles of moderately difficult hiking terrain that loops around a scenic lake. The trail offers good fishing and mountain biking, and leashed dogs are allowed. Rome Point is a 2.4-mile trail in Saunderstown that is easily accessible and fun for families. The terrain is rocky, but easy to navigate. There is an array of wildflowers growing along the trail, and the path leads to the coast where a nice stretch of beach provides a small detour from the main walkway. The Cliff Walk in Newport is a 6.7-mile trail with moderate difficulty. It offers excellent views of the coast, and is known for its wildflowers and birding prospects. Some parts are better groomed than others, so stay on your toes.
Wherever you go, be prepared with appropriate footwear, clothing and gear, including water and snacks. Though most trails are marked and relatively easy to navigate, it isn’t too hard to get lost, and with daylight fading faster by the day, you could find yourself in a panic with each passing minute as darkness falls. Check an overhead view of a potential trail on your gps before traversing unknown territory.
Each hiking trail in RI is unique in its style and terrain, and with a little research, you can find one that fits. For more information on places to go for your next outing, check out alltrails.com or dem.ri.gov.