Brickyard Pond, Barrington, RI

Near the midpoint of the East Bay Bike Path you pass a large pond, Brickyard Pond. The pond is large, about 84 acres, and, from the bike way seems quite wild, as it’s ringed by marsh grasses and has several small islands covered with marsh grass and trees. In fact, it’s man-made – it was the site of a clay quarry used to make bricks that eventually filled with water.

Riding past the pond, I’ve long been wanting to kayak it, and today I finally made it happen. I did a little online research, and found that there’s a small boat launch on the other side of the pond, and set off this afternoon. Once I managed to convince Siri that I was looking for the boat ramp in Barrington, Rhode Island and not one in Sharon, Massachusetts, it was relatively easy to find. The boat ramp is in a park, and is simply the gravel edge of the pond. There was only one other car there, and it too had a kayak rack.

It was a great afternoon for kayaking. It was comfortable, not hot, not humid, with a very slight breeze, not strong enough to create a problem. It was easy to put the boat in, and I set off around the perimeter of the pond.

The first leg of the trip was to cross the pond over to the bike path. The pond is very irregularly shaped, and in the very first inlet, I noticed a bunch of blue dragonfly like insects buzzing around the edge of the marsh grass.

Once I arrived at the bike path, I cruised alongside it for a little while, heading east. As I headed east, the pond opened up quite a bit — the leg from the launch to the bike path is relatively short, and the rest of the pond is pretty large. In the large middle section, there was a constant stream of seagulls wheeling overhead.

Satellite view of the pond, with my basic path added
Satellite view of the pond, with my basic path added. The East Bay Bike Path is the dark horizontal line near the top.

When I reached the eastern shore, I turned south, following the edge of the shore line. About two thirds of the way, I saw an island in the middle and went out to investigate, and tried to take some pictures of the wheeling seagulls. Then I continued on to the southern shore, and turned westward. There are some nice homes in through here. As I reached the edge of the little bump out on the southern shore, I saw a dead tree covered with a bunch of cormorants. They were all perched on the tree, seemingly standing at attention. They watched me for a while, then took off as I got closer.

I continued on along the perimeter of the pond. As I entered another inlet, I saw more cormorants and a snowy egret on the opposite side of the water. I sat in the kayak slowly drifting towards them until they got spooked and took off.

Onward. As I navigated the inlets, I saw more of the blue dragonflies and got some shots of a pair of them on some twigs.

There is a long straight line of shrubbery — you can see it on the satellite view above — separating the area where the boat ramp is from the rest of the pond. As I was rounding it, I saw a large swan. It didn’t seem particularly aggressive, but I didn’t get too close. I let it pass, then turned around and followed it back along the way I’d come — and a good thing too, as I spotted the egret again. I got a series of pictures of it standing on a log, until it finally took off.