With the weather continuing to be relatively warm for the last weekend in January, I decided we should explore someplace new. I was originally thinking two short separate hikes on the upper St. George’s Peninsula; the ½ mile Fort Point trail on the west side of the peninsula and the ¾ mile Town Forest or Kinney Woods trail. Then I started researching our hike and discovered that a few years ago, the George’s River Land Trust connected the two trails with the 1.5 mile Jones Brook Trail; a perfect hike of about 5 miles.
Initially, we thought we would do the short Fort Point trail first before crossing the road to the Jones Brook Trail. After parking at the trailhead parking lot, we decided we should scout out where exactly the Jones Brook trail was located across the street. As we were making our way towards the street, we saw water flowing out of a pipe at one end of the parking lot and several people getting out of their cars with large water jugs to fill them with the spring water flowing from the pipe. Next to pipe was a sign with a full analysis of the water from the spring, and everyone told us it was the best around.
After crossing the street, the only thing we could find was an historic homestead and what appeared to be a private road. We walked along the road in front of the homestead for a bit, before we spotted some posts with blue paint along the side of the historic property. We had found the Jones Brook Trail. Later, when we were returning towards Fort Point, we found a small painted land trust sign hidden by the tall grass along the road.
We walked through the field, following the blue painted posts before entering a wooded area. As we meandered along the dirt road, we noticed all the trees had relatively small trunks. This was a young forest. Looking into the woods, we saw that the area was very wet.
Soon, we found a small GRLT (Georges River Land Trust) sign pointing left. We followed this trail around a small rounded ravine that seemed to exhibit the characteristics of a quarry. The side opposite us was littered with rather large shells but since my husband pointed out that there were not enough to be remnants of something historic, we came up with a story of someone going to the local fish market and enjoying a meal here.
After this point, the woods became more mixed but we were too busy maneuvering our way around the wet, muddy trail to take too much notice. Once past this wet area, I notice a floodplain a short distance away. In a few more minutes, we found ourselves in a more grassy area walking alongside the ice flooded area. I thought I saw a beaver lodge, but my partner pointed out that the surrounding trees did not bear the marks of those hardworking lumberjacks. But, in a few more minutes I found the sign I was looking for; a double tree that had definitely been felled by beavers. Straight out on the ice from this tree we found the lodge.
We continued on the trail into a more conifer inhabited woods. The trail followed the brook and in some places it was interesting to study the design the tributaries left in the forest below us. A little further on, we found a small, dark pool of water at the base of a waterfall. Crossing a planked bridge over this section of the stream, we entered the Kinney Woods trail.
We strolled around the Kinney Woods Trail enjoying the gifts nature had to offer before making our way back towards the Fort Point trail. The Fort Point trail was very muddy and we continuously had to find walk arounds from the trail. On a very short section of the path, planks had been place to help visitors over the mud but it wasn’t the first time we joked that the entire length of the trail needed a boardwalk.
After hiking the longer trails, the walk along the Fort Point Trail took no time at all to reach the area where a fort had been located on the Georges River. It was very windy along the point, so we only spent a few minutes looking down the river and studying the berm that was the remnants of the fort before heading back to the trailhead.