PROVIDENCE -- The Department of Environmental Management is reporting excellent snow conditions for cross-country skiing at Pulaski Memorial Recreation Area in Glocester.
DEM's Division of Parks and Recreation maintains four one-way loop ski trails at Pulaski, ranging from less than one mile to four miles long. The management area's 10 miles of groomed and tracked trails offer beginner and expert cross-country skiers a variety of terrain on which to ski. For example, the half-mile long Pulaski trail has several small inclines and stays close to the start point. The three other trails – Hemlock Glen trail, Covered Bridge trail, and Woods trail – cover longer distances, and each has some downhill terrain.
New for the 2013 season is the addition of a designated snow shoe trail, which will allow snow shoers to use a designated trail for their use only without customary groomed tracked trails for cross country skiing. Park staff has seen an increase in snow shoe guests and have made the new adjustment to accommodate this increased outdoor activity.
DEM Director Janet Coit said, "Our state parks and conservation areas are magnificent this time of year, and provide an excellent place for Rhode Islanders to get outdoors and enjoy nature. If you are like me, one of my New Year's resolutions is to get more exercise. Pulaski and other public recreation areas provide beautiful places to get outdoors, get fit and have fun!"
The ski trails at Pulaksi Memorial Recreation Area are open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and weekends from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., weather permitting. On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day – Monday, January 21 – the trails will be open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Cross-country skiers must bring their own skis and equipment, as rentals are not provided at the management area. Parking is available for 200 vehicles, and heated restroom facilities are available while the recreation area is open for skiing. Skiers may call DEM's 24-hour recorded telephone line at 568-2085 for up-to-date information about trail conditions at Pulaski Memorial Recreation Area. Directions from Providence: Take Interstate Route 6 West, to Route 295 North, to Route 44 west. Follow 44 west approximately 15.4 miles and turn right onto Pulaski Road. The Recreation Area entrance is .8 miles ahead.
In addition to its cross-country ski trails, Pulaski also includes several hilly areas where the public may enjoy sledding, hiking, and snowshoeing. However, these activities, as well as animals, are not permitted on the ski trails. While Pulaski Memorial Recreation Area is the only state facility offering groomed and tracked ski trails, Colt, Goddard, and Lincoln Woods State Parks offer open areas where patrons can enjoy snow-related recreational activities such as hiking, sledding, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing.
George Washington Management Area in Glocester provides designated trails for those operating snowmobiles. Snowmobiling is also permitted on the roadways in Arcadia, Burlingame, Wickaboxet and Woody Hill Management Areas, Burlingame State Park and Campground, and Lincoln Woods State Park, and on open fields at Colt State Park. All snowmobiles must be registered by DEM's Office of Licensing and Registration, located at 235 Promenade Street in Providence. For registration information, call 222-3576 or visit the office weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
With Rhode Island's small game hunting season open, DEM reminds all users of state management areas, and all hunters statewide, that they must wear at least 200 square inches of solid daylight-fluorescent orange material through the end of the season, February 28. The fluorescent orange has to be worn above the waist, and must be visible from all directions.