Yawgoog Backpacking Trip
March 6-7, 2010
Camp Yawgoog
Rockville, RI

Event Info

Troop 54’s March outing was a backpacking trip along the Tippecansett Trail to Camp Yawgoog in Rockville, RI. Camp Yawgoog, named after a Naragansett Indian Chief, is one of the oldest Scout camps in the U.S. It was founded in 1916. The Tippecansett Trail is maintained by the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC), Naragansett Chapter. “Tippecansett” is a Naragansett term meaning “at the great clearing”. Making the trip were eight Scouts and four leaders.

The Troop hiked the Tippecansett between Beach Pond and Yawgoog. We took a lunch break near some old cellar holes. The Tippecansett Trail became the Yawgoog Blue Trail at Dinosaur Rock where we found the Who’s Line is It Anyway? Geocache. From there it was up and over Dinosaur Cliffs & Caves (Scouts took a break to explore the caves) and then the White Trail to our campsite at Smuggler’s Cliffs. All told we covered 6.57 miles with a total ascent of 991 feet (max. elevation 558 ft.) in about 5-1/2 hours.

Smuggler’s Notch was a true backcountry type campsite. We really had the feeling of being out in the middle of nowhere. Water was supplied by a nearby stream running into Pickerel Cove, part of Yawgoog Pond. Scouts used their water purification skills to make sure no one got ill. Camp was set up, dinner was cooked and eaten, some socializing around the campfire and then into the tents to end a busy day.

Sunday morning we had breakfast and started moving out. A group of Scouts collected everyone’s water bottles and filled them at the Camp office rather than from the stream. This resulted in an unplanned 2 mile hike before we even put the packs on. The rest of the Troop cleaned up the campsite and explored Smuggler’s Cliffs while waiting for them to return – Leave No Trace.

We took a slightly different route on the way out to avoid some steep downhill areas. We started on the White Trail and took a loop around Hidden Lake. We went a little too far and had to backtrack to pick up the Freeman Trail then to the Galkin Trail where we passed by Anthony Acres, the site of our December 2009 camping trip. Galkin Trail followed one of the camp roads until the road ended. We stopped for lunch near the road’s end. From there it was through the woods along the Galkin Trail until it met back up with the Tippecansett Trail near the cellar holes where we had lunch on Saturday.

We found two gecoaches on the way back along the Tippecansett. The first was near a survey marker placed on the Connectcut/Rhode Island border. The second cache was near a bridge that had been built as an Eagle Scout project in 2004. We looked for one other but came up empty. From there it was straight on to the cars. Everyone was happy to get the packs off and sit in a soft car seat. Sunday’s hike out covered 6.92 miles with a total ascent of 972 feet (max. elevation 527 ft.) in about 5-1/2 hours.

Article by: Keith MacNeal

See our actual trail (GPS data recorded by ASM Keith MacNeal):

Trimble Outdoors
GPX file
GPX file displayed in MappingSupport

Narrative originally posted on Trimble Outdoors by Keith MacNeal:

Hike is relatively easy. Trails are wide and max. elevation is around 500 feet. There are a couple of steep scrabbles.

There are many trails in the area. Descriptions can be found at the link. www.mdc.net/~dbrier/yawgoog/trails/

Photos by: Joshua Froimson

Page updated 3/14/17
J. Froimson

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