Knight Farm Walking Trail
Western Cranston is home to one of the best forest walking trails in the state.
Located on Laten Knight Road, directly across from Beechwood Drive, the entrance to the trail is marked by a small wooden plaque on a tree. You hardly know the 1.7-mile loop trail is there until you squeeze between two boulders and come upon an old tractor path.
Look up and you will see faded but easily visible white squares painted on trees.
After a short distance you come upon an overgrown swath lined with telephone poles and wires. Cross over, and you enter a forest path that is used so infrequently that new growth has grown on it.
The Loop Path continues deep into the forest with nothing in sight but trees.
The narrow path has been labeled the Lollypop Path. You will come to an open field, where crops are currently growing. Circle the file about halfway to the right, and you will pick up the white markings again (like the stem of the lollypop) and follow the trail back to the road.
If any trail is underutilized in the state, this is the one. I had a wonderful sense of being completely alone, away from “social distancing,” face masks, the noise of traffic, and any signs of civilization.
There are a good variety of conifer and deciduous trees, ferns and berries.
The trail has a number of small branches and could use a little clearing in spots – a great job for some Boy Scout’s Eagle Project.
On my first trip to Knight Farm Walking Trail, I came to the field and started walking around the perimeter, finding an opening to the road.
I decided to skip the return loop and walk back to my car, which I assumed was just down the road, except it was a different road.
This old Eagle Scout had no map, compass, or even cell phone with him.
I walked over a mile and saw no car in sight, except those that passed me.
A friendly Cranston policewoman pulled up alongside me with her flashing lights on.
“Can I be of any help?” she asked.
“Oh yes you can,” I humbly replied. “Am I glad you came along.”
“I’ve had a few calls about a man walking along the side of the road,” she said.
Yeah, an old man with a cane walking slowly on a quiet country road must have gathered some attention.
She graciously took me back to my car, my first trip in a Cranston police vehicle.
The Westbay Community Action’s Westbay Farm in Warwick has a short, slightly overgrown path that starts at a working root cellar and will take you around a field, currently growing zucchini, past the Valley Country Club golf course, blueberry and raspberry bushes and back to the community farm.
The farm supplies a number of food pantries in Cranston and Warwick with fresh vegetables, and it is open to the public on Thursday afternoons from 3 to 6 p.m.
Take Route 95 south to the Route 117 exit to West Warwick. The farm is located at 1351 Centreville Road, on your right, just before New London Avenue. The sign says Westbay Farm.
I met the farm manager, Steve Stycos, who was weeding squash with one of the volunteers, as other volunteers from the Buttonwoods Food Pantry arrived to pick up fresh product.
You can support the city’s efforts to serve its low-income and elderly residents by visiting the farm Thursday afternoons. You’ll get good prices, plus delicious fresh vegetables.