Ninigret Park, Beach Conservation Area, and National Wildlife Refuge

Charlestown, Rhode Island 2813

Ninigret Park, Beach Conservation Area, and National Wildlife Refuge

Ninigret Park, Beach Conservation Area, & National Wildlife Refuge. Professional Review and Guide

"Located in Charlestown. Two nature trails, a network of abandoned runways, and a stretch of barrier beach welcome hikers. Special attractions: Wildlife watching, with nesting piping plover (April-August), woodcock courtship flights (dusk, mid-March through June), and wintering waterfowl; crystalline sand beach; Rhode Island's largest coastal pond (Ninigret Pond)."

More Ninigret Park, Beach Conservation Area, & National Wildlife Refuge. Professional Reviews and Guides

"Once the home of the Charlestown Naval Auxiliary Landing Field, today Ninigret National Wildlife Refuge consists of 409 acres of diverse habitat. With more than 4 miles of trails to explore grasslands, shrub lands, wooded swamps, freshwater ponds, and the state’s largest saltwater pond, the refuge is an ideal spot to discover many resident and migratory birds. This flat, 4.5-mile loop traverses the entire refuge. Although you will occasionally stumble across a former runway it is amazing to witness how quickly nature reclaims previously developed landscapes."

"Reclaiming a US Naval Air Station on the coast of Block Island Sound, the adjoining properties of this state beach conservation area, a Charlestown town beach, and a 400-acre federal wildlife refuge forge an uncommon coastal open space benefitting wildlife and humans.

The modern wildland encompasses upland grassland, shrubland, and woodland; marsh and pond habitats; and barrier-beach dunes, swale, and shore. The diversity supports native and migrant species."

"In the spring bring a kite, in the summer carry a bathing suit and towel, and in the fall take along a book to identify seashells, especially if you opt to camp here and anticipate having some time on your hands. This 2-mile-long beach lies between the Atlantic Ocean and Ninigret Pond, a popular spot for clamming, in the Ninigret Conservation Area. As with most ocean walks, there are no paths to follow, just the water’s edge, so children can lead the hike just as well as the parents.

Although it may seem that without trail intersections, stream crossings, or rocky scrambles, a hike such as this might get monotonous, the ocean never ceases to fascinate younger folks. They thrill to the sheer expanse of water and to the roaring, rolling waves that continuously deposit tiny treasures in the sand for collecting or tossing back into the foamy water. In the summertime, the parking lot (which accommodates fewer than 100 vehicles, for a fee, in-season) often fills quickly; so arrive early or hike in the off-season."

Ninigret Park, Beach Conservation Area, & National Wildlife Refuge. Reviews

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3/15/2009
We hiked the trail network of the airfield today with our Webelos today. It was a great first hike after a long winter. Flat terrain, great variety of things to look at to keep the boys engaged. The views from the beaches are of the Charlestown Breachway not Block Island as indicated in the previous post. I would recommend for an afternoon family walk as Ninigret park also has facilities and a playground for the little ones.
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11/18/2006
If you love the ocean then don't pass this one up as it was absolutely beautiful.
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11/28/2002
Ninigret is a wonderful area. The barrier beach has some wonderful areas for photography - it was too bad we were just out for a short hike before Thanksgiving dinner, and hadn''t brought our cameras! Anyway, the view of Block Island can be truly stunning and nothing was too muddy, nor frozen, as of yet, though further inland the brackish water was frozen. This definately isn''t rigourous or challenging; I brought my elderly parents along on this hike, and they loved it, whining joints and all. There are some wonderful diving birds just off the coast - we saw one stay under for just under 12 seconds, and swim about 5 yards underwater in choppy conditions! Check it out!
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Ninigret Park, Beach Conservation Area, & National Wildlife Refuge. Photos

Trail Information

Charlestown
Nearby City
7
Distance
Out-and-back
Trail Type
Moderate
Skill Level
Year-round.
Season
Ninigret NWR or Ninigret Conservation Area.
Local Contacts
Refuge map; attain a copy at the office for Ninigret National wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Shoreline Plaza or at the Charlestown Visitor Center, both off Route 1A.
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Oct 2018