Browning Mill Pond
By guest bloggers the Rice family
There are a lot of cool features and some really beautiful scenery all packed in a short trail loop around Browning Mill Pond in Arcadia. Usually We like to head down in the mornings to try our luck at pulling a Trout out of the water, and when we’re done, we take a hike around the 50 acre pond. The trail is 1.5 miles (loop) and a real easy grade that takes roughly 1 hour to complete. Start off right or left, you’ll end up right back in the same spot. There is a box for maps but like we normally discover….empty! For this trail a map is not really essential, it’s well beaten, well blazed (yellow) and traces fairly close to the waters edge keeping the beauty of the pond almost always in view. Pack a water bottle & snack, your good. Maybe bring the dog!
Our hike took us past some picnic tables and fishing spots that are set just down the trail, to some foot bridge crossings over a few slow moving brooks. There are a couple of large rocks on the trail here, but nothing too extreme. Beyond the bridge we came across an old stone foundation that sits beside the trail; not sure what the history is on this but it’s a nice spot to do a little exploring. I’ll even bet there may be a Geocache hidden nearby.
Once we Reached the opposite side, the pond spills over a waterfall and rush’s away down Roaring Brook. We hiked around and popped out of the trees into a open space and found multiple small ponds that were formerly used to hatch fish. We then passed along an old wooden fence and found a tree burl. A burl is a deformity in a tree that causes the wood grain to become wild! Their highly coveted by woodworkers.
The trail then re-entered the woods crossing over a gate, I assume this was used to release fish into the pond at one time. The trail now became wide and the last half mile or so became mostly wooded, leaving most of the interesting features behind. Besides a few birds, we only spotted a small frog hiding in the rocks. I’ve read in other blogs that the trail around Browning Mill Pond is a nice spot to begin snowshoeing in the winter. We may give it a try!
Browning Mill Pond, 321 Arcadia Rd, Exeter, RI
Foot Bridge Crossings
Old Fish Hatchery Ponds
Old Rail Fence
Fish Hatchery Gate