Great Swamp Management Area

West Kingston, Rhode Island

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This relaxing loop on woods roads travels through upland and wet-footed woods, past fields, and alongside open and vegetated waters—the habitats of pond turtle and croaking frog, patrolling kingfisher and dive-bombing osprey. Covering nearly 3,400 acres, with a 138-acre impound, Great Swamp is one of the most extensive freshwater swamps in the region. Spring migration swells bird counts and species sightings. Following the management road south, you don’t have to walk far before you see the wet-footed forest and undergrowth. Snags pierce the thicket, and power lines open views. You may pause to observe the lily pad–capped black-water pools, aquatic mammal scent mounds, and sunning baby turtles, or listen to the screech of a fish hawk. The travel corridor alternates between partial shade and sun exposure, and the marsh visuals are richly textured and colored.
Hiking Connecticut and Rhode Island

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Hiking Connecticut and Rhode Island

by George and Rhonda Ostertag (Falcon Guides)

This relaxing loop on woods roads travels through upland and wet-footed woods, past fields, and alongside open and vegetated waters—the habitats of pond turtle and croaking frog, patrolling kingfisher and dive-bombing osprey. Covering nearly 3,400 acres, with a 138-acre impound, Great Swamp is one of the most extensive freshwater swamps in the region. Spring migration swells bird counts and species sightings.

Following the management road south, you don’t have to walk far before you see the wet-footed forest and undergrowth. Snags pierce the thicket, and power lines open views. You may pause to observe the lily pad–capped black-water pools, aquatic mammal scent mounds, and sunning baby turtles, or listen to the screech of a fish hawk. The travel corridor alternates between partial shade and sun exposure, and the marsh visuals are richly textured and colored.

© 2013 George and Rhonda Ostertag/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: West Kingston
Distance: 4.4
Elevation Gain: 100 feet
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Duration: 2.5-3 hours
Season: Year-round
Accessibility: Dog-friendly
Local Contacts: Great Swamp Management Area, 277 Great Neck Rd., West Kingston 02891; (401) 789-7481. Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, Division of Parks and Recreation, 2321 Hartford Ave., Johnston 02919; (401) 222-2632; www.riparks.com
Local Maps: State management area map (available online at www.dem.ri.gov/maps)
Driving Directions: Directions to Great Swamp Management Area

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Apr 2018