Weetamoo Woods, Tiverton
Weetamoo Woods in Tiverton, RI is a town owned and volunteer maintained tract of land that is open to non motorized recreation. Weetamoo has over 750 acres of varied habitats, including rare coastal oak-holly forest and an Atlantic white cedar swamp. While there are only 5-6 miles of trail, additional mileage can be found in the abutting Pardon Gray Preserve and Tiverton town forest, making it possible to do a decent 8-9 mile ride without repeating trails.
History abounds in Weetamoo woods, part of the original Pocasset Purchase roadway (ca. 1685) is still visible, along with cellar holes and the remains of a village sawmill. Weetamoo herself was the last sachem (Queen) of the Pocasset Tribe of Wampanoag Indians and a warrior in her own right.
She supported the Great Sachem, Mediacom (King Philip), in the King Philip's War and died in that conflict.
The trails at Weetamoo are pretty typical of New England. Lots of rocks and roots and due to the topography there are quite a few wet spots. Some of the worst are bridged, but there are still many wet spots, so avoid riding after heavy rain. The trails are generally well marked, using colored markers. The trails consist of a mix of single and double track. The singletracks are quite technical, and even the forest roads have many challenging sections. The Orange and Green trails are favorites of mine, as well as the Ridge trail at Parson Gray preserve. To add extra miles, ride Lafayette road to the far east end, almost to Lake rd, then take the trail north into the Town Forest. Some of the most aggressive technical trails are north of Lafayette Road and not shown on the map.
Hunting is not allowed in Weetamoo, so it's a good place to ride in the fall. The land north of Lafayette Rd, the Town Forest, and abutting private lands do allow hunting, so wearing your Orange is still a good idea. It is a swampy area, so there are a lot of mosquitoes and deer flies in the summer. You should also take precautions to deter deer ticks.
There are several different parking areas; the most popular is on East Road (rt 179) in Tiverton, just east of the historic four corners area. The closest parking to Route 24 is a small lot near the gate at the end of the pavement on Lafayette Rd. The parking areas are shown on the map, which is available online at the Tiverton RI website.
More information on Weetamoe Woods is located on the RI NEMBA website.
--By Jason Berube