Charlestown Things to Do
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Third time a charm? Not exactly...I missed the turnoff again! But I realized my mistake a lot more quickly this time. Unfortunately, I got there too early in the day, and the visitor center was closed. There were a few trails around the visitor center, and I started down the Ocean View trail. This trail had some modest hills to it, and is only a 1/2 mile long, but it was partially under construction (they are proposing to build a viewing tower at the end of it.) I headed back to the visitor center, and started down the Watchaug Pond trail, but having seen not much too exciting and getting rained on, I cut that hike off before hitting the pond.
All these trails in the area are nice and easy little hikes - on a nice day, they were all worth the time.
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Having had difficulty getting into the park the first time, I'm sorry to say the entrance to the lot with the trailhead for the Foster Cove Loop wasn't any easier to find. Once again, I had to pass it going west, then backtrack, and did this twice until I saw the sign for the park entrance.
Looking at the map, I was hoping to be on a trail that went alongside the Foster Cove. And it does, but for the most part, you can't see it because you are secluded behind a forest. Not that there is anything wrong with that - again, it is a flat easy trail, and the forest provides a lot of solitude. The length is just under a mile. Taking the trail clockwise, the second half led past an abandoned airfield, which has a few trails of its own.
Being a NWR, I was hoping to see some wildlife. Unfortunately, that didn't come to pass :( Maybe next time!
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This NWR is a real pain to get to - the exits off of Route 1 are complicated (you have to go past your stop and backtrack often). After that, the entrance to the refuge off of Old Post Road is not well marked, so I missed it twice. And finally, within the park, finding the parking lot that had the trailhead to Grassy Point was missed twice as well. But eventually I got there, and got to walk this scenic trail. It's a dirt trail, but very flat and easy, and it meanders along Ninigret Pond. Watch for deer and other wildlife as you take this quiet walk. The trail is about 1 mile, and is an out and back trail, that ends overlooking the pond. Once you find it, a great place to stretch your legs!
Nordic Lodge is every food lover's dream. $67.50 will grant you entry to all the lobsters, king crab, steamers, filet mignon, prime rib and scores of other word class eats. You will have two hours to eat your fill, so plan accordingly. The restaurant is slit into stations and well organized. An entire room is dedicated to all things meat, and the main room has a table for lobsters, steamers, king crab, then next has the peel and eat shrimp and raw bar. Across from that is the ice cream bar, that features Haagen Daas ice cream (the milk shakes are really good). After that is the dessert table and in the middle of it all the station has tons of different dishes, including bacon and scallops, baked stuffed shrimp, shrimp scampi, the list goes on. It's pricey but a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
Favorite Dish: I love lobster and that is the bulk of what I get while there, along with some king crab, steamers, peel and eat shrimp, scallops and bacon and baked stuffed shrimp. Occasionally I'll have some meat, but that's rare. Stay away from potatos, bread and salad, and stick to the what this place is known for...mass quantities of high end food.