Moonie and I belong to a Facebook group of local people who love to hike. Unfortunately, a series of pesky injuries have prevented me from joining them since last July – until yesterday’s evening hike at the Audubon Society’s Powder Mill Ledges Wildlife Refuge in Smithfield. We arrived at what our hiking friend Stephen had advertised as a “mini hike” (my mini Moonie’s favorite kind) to find our fearless leader reviewing the trail map.
Our party consisted of 8 humans, one Moonie, and one doggie, all set to take a 6 p.m. hike and cover as much ground as possible before sundown. Luckily, Powder Mill Ledges is a small enough refuge that we’d be able to cover all three trails well before dark. We set right out, looking for trail markers for our blue, yellow and orange trails, set off in the beginning by big, friendly signs.
Many parts of the trails are marked not only with signs and tree markings but also with rail ties, catwalks, bridges, and even with a path mowed through a field. It’s not impossible to get lost – and our group did hiccup once or twice when we’d get caught up in chatting – but it’s pretty hard. It’s generally a smooth and easy place to hike and to look for birds and the occasional chipmunk.