Planted:               Cranston Bike Path Letterbox; July 13, 2003   

Length:                Coventry Greenway; 4 miles                               

                              Cranston Bike Path; 5 miles

                              West Warwick Greenway; 4 miles     

                             Tongue Pond Loop Trail; mile                                                  

                              Dyer Avenue parking lot to Letterbox; 0.1 miles                                                          

Difficulty:           Easy. Flat, paved trail.


To start from the Station Street parking lot in Coventry; From the junction of Routes 117 & 116, head west on Route 117. About a mile past the junction of Route 33, on your right, will be Station St. The parking lots are just up Station St on both sides of the road.

To start from the Horgan School parking lot in West Warwick; Take exit 10 off of I-95 to Route 117 west. Take a right onto Route 33 and head north. Route 115 joins Route 33. The old Royal Mills will be on your right and the Horgan School will be to your left. Behind the school is a parking lot next to the bike path, along Hay St.

To start from the Pontiac/Natick parking lot near the Cranston County line; From I-295 northbound, take exit 2 to Route 2 (Bald Hill Rd). Take the exit for West Natick Rd west. As you pass beneath I-295, there will be a parking lot on your right. From I-295 southbound, take exit 2 to Route 2 (Bald Hill Rd). Take a right onto East Ave which becomes River St after you cross the river. Take a right on Route 33 (Providence St) and then another right on Pontiac Ave. As you pass beneath I-295, there will be a parking lot on your left.   

To start from the Gibbs School parking lot in Cranston; From Route 10 southbound, take the exit for Garfield Ave. Across the street will be the entrance to the Gibbs School parking lot. Go in the entrance and turn right. The bike trail starts in the northwest corner of the lot. From Route 10 northbound, take the exit for Niantic Ave. Turn left (north) up Niantic Ave to Cranston St. Turn left on Cranston St, then left again down Garfield Ave. A little ways down on your right will be the entrance to the Gibbs School parking lot. Go in the entrance and turn right. The bike trail starts in the northwest corner of the lot.

The Washington Secondary Bike Path is made up of three interconnecting bike paths. The Coventry Greenway, West Warwick Greenway and Cranston Bike Path were built on part of the abandoned Hartford, Providence & Fishkill Railroad Line, which was completed in 1854 and connected the two state's capitols. At present, 2 miles of the Coventry Greenway are paved from Station St towards Coventry Center in the west. The old rail line then continues as a dirt path heading out along the TRESTLE TRAIL to the Connecticut border, where it becomes the MOOSUP VALLEY STATE PARK TRAIL . This trail is also undeveloped, except for a short section in Moosup where it begins. From the Station Street parking lot, the paved trail heads east where it then ties into the West Warwick Greenway after 1 miles. The West Warwick Greenway is paved for 4 miles, where it then ties in with the Cranston Bike Path. At present, 5 miles of the Cranston section is paved up to the Gibbs parking lot where the trail currently ends. A mile spur trail is located here called the Tongue Pond Loop. For more information visit; BIKE RI . All of these trails are part of the EAST COAST GREENWAY .  

Starting from the Station Street parking lot, along the Coventry Greenway; A sign board, picnic tables and some old sections of railroad track from the old rail bed are located here.  

Note; A segment of the Coventry Greenway is scheduled to close on August 20, 2012 and will remain closed into 2013 for reconstruction of the existing bikeway from Station Street to the area of Town Farm Road. Many improvements will be made including a new riding surface and the inclusion of a parallel equestrian trail beginning at the Coventry Greenway parking lot just west of the intersection of Route 117 (Flat River Road) and Abbotts Crossing Road.

Note; Traveling west from the Station Street parking lot along the paved trail for 0.1 miles brings you to an old section of track with two switches. Continue along the trail for another 1 miles, where you'll spot the Flat River Reservoir to your left. The paved part of the trail ends after 2 miles. The old rail line then continues as a dirt path heading out along the TRESTLE TRAIL to the Connecticut border.

Traveling east from the Station Street parking lot; The paved trail takes you over Route 117 on an old trestle bridge. Just over a mile you pass by an old railroad siding with the tracks still in place. You cross the Pawtucket River on another old railroad trestle after .09 miles and come to the Laurel Ave parking lot at 1 mile. After crossing the street, you'll see some left over railroad track and an old platform on your right. You come to another, longer old trestle bridge with viewing sections built in. Another spillway is downstream that you can access via a dirt trail. You pass across the entrance to the Clariant Corp. after 1 miles and meet up with the West Warwick Greenway soon after that in the Artic section of Warwick. Another mile will take you past an old Whistle Stop marker to your right (left over from the railroad days) and 2 miles brings you through a tunnel. You ride alongside the Pawtucket River and then pass by the old Artic Mill, built in 1919. After crossing a busy road (cross light provided) you cross over a refurbished black iron railroad trestle.

Note; The trail passes by a short spur trail on the left that brings you to another parking lot and ball fields.

You then reach the Horgan School parking lot after 3 miles. The trail runs alongside the big red caboose from "New Haven". You have a nice view of the old Caybrook Company's Royal Mill with its two twin towers from here. Next you come to a long steel railroad bridge overlooking the Pawtucket River South Branch and another mill complex.  After crossing over the bridge, take a big whiff. Yes, that's soap you smell. The Bradford Soap Works is located to your left. After about 4.5 miles you cross over Route 33. All road crossings have crosswalks and the busy road crossings have crosswalk signs. A little over 5.5 miles takes you past a playground on your right. Another mile brings you to a trestle bridge crossing over the Pawtucket River again. We spotted geese and even a white swan in the river. The 6.1 mile mark brings you to the Pontiac/Natick parking lot underneath I-295. This is the start of the Cranston Bike Path section. After 6.8 miles, you cross over Meshanticut Brook. From here, the path has more of an uphill grade along a more urban setting. Cross over Wilbur Ave on an old red painted railroad bridge. A small parking lot is located to your left in Oaklawn Village Center, where you can spot a nice gazebo and benches. At the 8.1 mile mark, you pass underneath Route 37.  At the 9.5 mile mark, the grade tops off and starts a more downward flow. After 10.6 miles you cross over Park Ave. Note the yellow/orange pole to your left, with the #312 on it (fiber optic cable buried along the trail). Look for a second pole on your left 0.2 miles further up the trail that is orange with the #313. Just after this pole you'll see a clearing on your left and a water drain. This is just before you cross over a high berm with fencing on both sides of the trail. There is a grassy path here that leads down to a river. Walk down this path, keeping an eye to your right along the bike path embankment. You'll cross over two storm drain covers (they sometimes get lost in the tall grass). Standing on top of the second drain cover, take a compass reading of 100 degrees. You should see two trees close together near the base of the embankment and to the left of some broken up concrete. At the base of these trees are two rocks. Behind the rocks is the Cranston Bike Path Letterbox. Continue down to the river to check out the double stone arch tunnels the railroad built under the embankment. Continuing north along the trail, you pass by the Dyer Avenue parking area. When crossing over Dyer Avenue, Please use caution, as there is no crosswalk signal on this busy road. You pass through a tunnel and eventually come to Garfield Ave, with the Stop & Shop/Kmart plaza on your right. The trail then heads behind the Lowe's store, also on your right.

Note; Just past Lowe's is a spur for the Tongue Pond Loop Trail, a mile paved loop trail around Tongue Pond.

The trail ends after 11.8 miles next to the Gibbs School parking lot. Hopefully they will continue to extend the trail further north in the future.






JANUARY 17, 2011