Sakonnet Greenway Trail Suits Humans, Dogs and Even Horses

The Sakonnet Greenway Trail, which allows both horses and leashed pets, is on target to complete its last phase, a four mile segment, by the end of the year.

Walking your dog in Middletown can be tough. If you are at the , , or the greater part of , you cannot miss the “no dogs allowed” signs that have Middletown canine’s howling.

The Sakonnet Greenway Trail, which is the largest conservation project for the , as well as the longest pedestrian trail on the island, welcomes leashed dogs on the trail. ALT director Ted Clement said the decision to allow dogs was an important part of the project.

Dogs aren’t the only pet that is welcome to use the trails. Horses are also allowed on the segment around the . According to the ALT, it is the only trail on the island that allows both leashed pets and horses.  

The five mile trail crosses agricultural fields, wooded wetlands and around the golf course. Once completed it will extend over nine miles and is the only pedestrian trail to cross over the Portsmouth town line from Middletown.

In order to create the trail, the ALT negotiated trail easements with landowners to grant public right of way. Landowners include the towns of Middletown and Portsmouth, The Pennfield School, Newport National Golf Club, the van Beuren and F. James Hodges & Sheila H. Hodges.

The first segment, created in 2002, is a 2.2 mile stretch around the Newport National Golf Course. In October 2007, ALT completed and opened a 1.5 mile segment of the trail that was later accompanied by a 1.2-mile segment finished in November 2008.

The last phase of the project is currently underway and the public should expect to see construction start as early as late spring.

“We hope to receive our wetlands permit from RIDEM in the coming weeks and then we will send out a construction RFP to qualified trail builders/contractors,” Clement said. “Everything appears to be on track for completing the new four plus mile segment by the end of this year.”

To put the trail to the test, Patch grabbed a camera and three Middletown dogs: Meatball, Mochie and Una. Make no bones about it, the dogs gave it a five wag review. Although we did not meet any horses along the way, we met lots of friendly dogs who have made the trail part of their daily routine.

Enjoy photos from the walk!

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