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Naked Woman in the Waterfall LbNA #2123

Owner:Mary (RI) et al Contact
Plant date:Jul 14, 2001
State:Rhode Island
Found by: quiltjoy
Last found:Dec 17, 2021
Last edited:Jul 14, 2001
Finding this box requires you to drive out into western RI around the Scituate Reservoir in a beautiful forested watershed area. It's a lovely colorful drive in the fall that takes you into "apple country" where orchards abound, but is a delightful country drive in any season.

If the water is sufficiently high, the waterfall is fast and fun to watch. The dam area had been under reconstruction since the box was placed (JULY 14, 2001), but it appears to be finished. YOU SHOULD BE AWARE that there now appear to be some No Trespassing signs cropping up in the area, but the area is neither fenced nor clearly posted if you enter the woods from Ponnagansett Road. I intend to leave the box there unless I am compelled to remove it, but that time may be soon. It could be that since 9-11 the reservoir area will become progressively harder to access. It could very well be that this was supposed to be a protected area all along but visitors or locals removed the signs. It has been a popular spot to explore for years. I don't want anyone being charged with trespassing, but this is land governed by the City of Providence and you are taking a risk going on reservoir land if the signs are an indication. I have never been approached or asked to leave by any authority, and chances are just walking won't get you into much trouble. Just be careful and discreet.

Once you reach the falls at Barden Dam, the walk is short and not at all challenging except for roots and rocks. This is not a good path for wheelchairs or strollers. This is a great "beginners" letterbox because it has explicit directions and a few compass directions for practice. The directions are simple enough for a school-aged child. You may or may not want your child looking for the Naked Woman stamp: she is shown in full frontal nudity but is as innocuous as a bare Barbie doll. Why a naked lady? That's explained in the letterbox log. (LOGBOOK IS TEMPORARY - a maintenance check found a full logbook again)

Driving directions:
There are a few ways to get to the reservoir area and Barden Dam (aka Ponaganset Falls), but we have chosen what we feel is simple, easy, and picturesque via Rte. I-295 access from points north and south. (Both Rtes. 37 and I-95 will bring you to Rte. 295.)

Take I-295 N or S to exit 4, Plainfield Pike, Rte. 14W. Travel west about 0.8 mile and turn left onto Rte. 116 S. Follow 116S for approximately 1.9 miles and turn right onto Rte. 12W, Tunk Hill Road. Route 12 (begins as Scituate Ave. in Cranston) offers a great view off Gainer Dam (aka Kent Dam). Follow Rte. 12W all the way till the end where it meets Rte. 102N/14E at a T intersection. Turn right onto 102 for just a short distance. At about 0.2 mile you will take a left onto Ponnagansett Road. Take your first road on the left off Ponnagansett, now clearly marked as Hemlock. Travel up this side road for a short distance and you will see the dam and newly constructed wooden rails that block the parking area on the opposite side of the road. Park anywhere you can on either side of the road, or wherever you feel comfortable. I usually park on Ponnagansett and walk in.
Foot directions:
Walk behind the new wooden guardrail to the southern end of the stone retaining wall that runs along the waterfall. Walk in a northerly direction either next to or atop the wall and enjoy the view of the water. At the northern end of the wall, the old wall has been continued with new granite blocks. From the last new block, count back eight block stairs. On the last of the "old" stone steps, the one with blasting holes and red paint on the side, you will see a tree with a heart carved on it to your east. Walk 45-50 footfalls into the woods at 70º. Stop and sit on the rock that looks like a beheaded dinosaur. Now walk from the head about 18 steps at 290º to the rooty path that skirts the falls. Follow this path downhill (@ 10º) for about 87 steps. You will pass by a large uprooted tree to your right. When you stop, you should find a tree directly on your left side. Take a bearing of 45º and follow it to a stone slab that sits higher than the others around it. This is part of the wall leading away from the falls. Follow this wall to the end on the right, 90º, only about 10 steps. While bending, kneeling, or sitting on the last stone slab, reach behind and under the corner of the slab immediately on the left. You could also stand behind the wall to reach in. The Naked Woman should be hiding behind some small rocks. Please rehide carefully.

Respect the water supply: No showers or shampoos, please. :-)

Let us know of any questions, problems, or concerns.

Last checked in May 2005; has a temporary log (no nice cover or story about the box) because the onld one was full. Will fix this soon. Ink replaced.