Hike Melville in Portsmouth Saturday
Because it's the town's 375th anniversary of incorporation, the Park Committee has modified the annual guided walk, scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 23, to include a separate 3.75 km. sporting walk trail that traverses most of the park’s five-trail system through the woods.
If you're more interested in learning about the area and all that it has to offer, however, local historian James Garman will once again lead a tour of the campgrounds, beginning around 1:30 p.m. at the "ski lodge" (block house).
Sporting walkers will register starting at 1 p.m. at a table close to the "ski lodge." Each walker will be given a map and individual checkpoint sheet and may begin the route as soon as they register. Following the trail map, walkers will encounter three checkpoints manned by local Boy Scouts who will stamp each walker’s card. At the end of the trail, the first 75 successful walkers who turn in their individual stamped cards will receive a commemorative 375th medallion.
The walk can be completed in about one hour if there's light snow or none at all. Snow will present a challenge, at least for the trailblazers at the beginning.
All walkers should be dressed for cool-to-cold weather and wearing good hiking shoes. The walking surfaces are mostly natural, unimproved paths.
An added attraction this year will be members of The Aquidneck Island Intertribal Indian Council, who will provide demonstrations of Native American drumming and singing.
Refreshments in the way of hot chocolate, coffee and desserts will be provided at no charge by the Park Committee from 1 to 3 p.m.
To get to Melville Park, use the entrance to Melville School at 1351 West Main Road. Take Bradford Avenue, passing the campground pavilion, and turn right onto Smith Road. There will be ample parking available.
Heavy rain or snow will cause a cancellation; call 401/864-0916 for updated information.