Bowdish Reservoir

Glocester, Rhode Island

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Paddle around the bog mats at the center of this biologically rich reservoir. This 226-acre reservoir in the George Washington Management Area used to be all bog, but these days it’s much more paddler-friendly. A few bog mats remain, anchored to the bottom of the reservoir by tree roots, in the middle of the reservoir. They make for an interesting exploration as long as you don’t try to walk on them. Growing on the bog mats are a collection of unique bog plants such as laurel, rosemary, and dwarf mistletoe, which sprouts from black spruce trees. The waters are rich for fishing here—bass, perch, pickerel, and catfish can all be found; in winter, otters have been spotted scrambling across the ice of the reservoir. The reservoir has rocky shores, with large swaths of granite jutting out into the water. Flora growing along the shore includes oak, birch, pine, and mountain laurel as well as blueberry bushes and pepperbush. This flooded bog promotes rich water-plant growth; fanwort and bladderwort grow underwater, while lilies float on the surface. Hiking trails meander through the woods that surround much of the reservoir to the west and north, and birds that visit these woodlands include warblers, thrushes, hawks, and owls.
Discover Rhode Island

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Discover Rhode Island

by Christie Matheson (Appalachian Mountain Club Books)

Paddle around the bog mats at the center of this biologically rich reservoir. This 226-acre reservoir in the George Washington Management Area used to be all bog, but these days it’s much more paddler-friendly. A few bog mats remain, anchored to the bottom of the reservoir by tree roots, in the middle of the reservoir. They make for an interesting exploration as long as you don’t try to walk on them. Growing on the bog mats are a collection of unique bog plants such as laurel, rosemary, and dwarf mistletoe, which sprouts from black spruce trees.

The waters are rich for fishing here—bass, perch, pickerel, and catfish can all be found; in winter, otters have been spotted scrambling across the ice of the reservoir. The reservoir has rocky shores, with large swaths of granite jutting out into the water. Flora growing along the shore includes oak, birch, pine, and mountain laurel as well as blueberry bushes and pepperbush. This flooded bog promotes rich water-plant growth; fanwort and bladderwort grow underwater, while lilies float on the surface. Hiking trails meander through the woods that surround much of the reservoir to the west and north, and birds that visit these woodlands include warblers, thrushes, hawks, and owls.

©  Christie Matheson/Appalachian Mountain Club Books. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing
Nearby City: Glocester
Distance: 4
Skill Level: Easy
Duration: 2 hours
Class: Class I
Season: Year-round; best spring through fall
Local Contacts: George Washington Management Area
Local Maps: USGS Glocester
Driving Directions: Directions to Bowdish Reservoir

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May 2018