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National Wildlife
of Rhode Island

This page is an electronic excerpt of a brochure published
by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in March 1996.

Ninigret Refuge
Trustom Pond Refuge
Sachuest Point Refuge
Pettaquamscutt Cove Refuge
Block Island Refuge


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service invites you to visit the five national wildlife refuges in Rhode Island:

The refuges offer excellent wildlife-oriented recreation opportunities with visitor facilities and programs provided to enhance your experience.

The refuge headquarters is located in Charlestown, Rhode Island. The refuge complex also consists of eight refuge units in Connecticut. For more information on these refuges please contact our Connecticut office at (203) 399-2513.

Ninegret National Wildlife Refuge

Ninigret Refuge consists of 400 acres of diverse upland and wetland habitats including grasslands, shrublands, wooded swamps and freshwater ponds. The refuge, located on a former naval air station, provides visitors with over 9 miles of trails on a mix of paved and unpaved materials. An observation platform overlooking Ninigret Pond (the largest coastal pond in Rhode Island), and numerous trails offer visitors an opportunity to see some of the more than 250 bird species recorded at the refuge. Refuge shores also support a large diversity of marine life such as blue crab, bay scallop, and winter flounder.

Trustom Pond National Wildlife Refuge

Established by private donation, Trustom Pond Refuge includes over 640 acres of various wildlife habitats including fields, shrublands, woodlands, fresh and saltwater ponds, and sandy beaches and dunes. Approximately 300 bird species, more than 40 mammal species, and 20 species of reptiles and amphibians call Trustom Pond Refuge home during the year. Trustom Pond is the only undeveloped coastal salt pond in Rhode island, making it even more valuable to wildlife.

A barrier beach forms the refuge's southern boundary. This remains one of the few Rhode island nesting sites for two species of concern--Least Terns and Piping Plovers.

Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge

A vast diversity of habitats from salt and freshwater marshes, to grasslands to sandy beaches and dunes make up this 242 acre refuge. Three miles of trails wind their way through upland areas and along the rocky shore. The observation platforms offer visitors panoramic views of refuge lands and abundant wildlife. The refuge is a great place to watch wildlife with more than 200 bird species present seasonally including harlequin ducks, scoters and eiders.

Sachuest Point Refuge offers Rhode Island's only refuge visitor center. The building is open year round, but hours of operation vary. For current information phone the center at (401 ) 847-5511. The visitor center is accessible for people with disabilities.

Pettaquamscutt Cove National Wildlife Refuge

A large diversity of wildlife call this 200 acre refuge home throughout the year. Refuge habitat includes tidal salt marshes, tidal sand flats, grasslands and shrublands. The refuge can be accessed through the Narrow River by canoe or small boat. There is no developed trail system.

Pettaquamscutt Cove has been identified as the most important black duck migratory and wintering habitat in Rhode Island.

Block Island National Wildlife Refuge

Block Island Refuge is broken into two parts. The first is located at the north end of the island on a former U.S. Coast Guard light station. This parcel consists of 46 acres of sandy beaches and rolling dunes. The lighthouse is open to the public during the summer months. Although no formal trails exist, the site is accessible by foot over sandy terrain. The diversity of birds that migrate through the refuge in the spring and fall is often spectacular.

The Beane Point Parcel is located 3 miles south on the West Beach. Beane Point is not open to the public to to minimize disturbance to nesting birds.


All five refuges are open daily from dawn to dusk.

Refuge Headquarters, Charlestown: From U.S. Route 1 take the Green Hill Beach exit (in South Kingston) onto Route 1A. Travel 1 mile, take a right into the Shoreline Plaza entrance. Office hours are Monday-Friday, 8:00 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. Phone (401) 364-9124.

Block Island Refuge, Block Island: Regular ferry service is available from the Port of Galilee in Galilee and air service from the State Airport in Westerly. On the island, travel north on Corn Neck Road to its end. A sandy pathway leads to the refuge.

Ninigret Refuge, Charlestown: The entrance is off U.S. Route 1 in Charlestown.

Pettaquamscutt Cove Refuge, South Kingstown and Narragansett: Boat access to the refuge can be obtained at the Middlebridge boat ramp and by boating to the mouth of the Narrow River.

Sachuest Point Refuge, Middletown: From U.S. Route 1 take Route 138 east over the Newport Bridge. Follow 138 onto Miantonomi Avenue 0.6 miles. Continue east on Green End Avenue for 1.2 miles then turn right onto Paradise Avenue. Travel 1.3 miles and turn left onto Hanging Rock Road. Continue 0.3 miles then bear right onto Sachuest Point Road and follow it to the refuge entrance.

Trustom Pond Refuge, Green Hill: From U.S. Route 1 take the Moonstone Beach exit in South Kingstown. Follow Moonstone Beach Road for 1 mile then take a right onto Matunuck Schoolhouse Road. Continue 0.7 miles to the refuge entrance on your left.

Refuge Hours

All the Rhode Island refuge trails are open from sunrise to sunset. The main office is open from 8:00 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. Monday through Friday. The Sachuest Point Visitor Center hours vary, depending on season. Please call the center for up-to-date information (401) 847-5511.

For Your Safety

While on the refuge you must remain on designated trails. This is to prevent erosion of surrounding areas, as well as to protect you from abundant poison ivy, biting flies, and ticks. The tiny deer tick is responsible for Lyme Disease, an infection affecting people and pets. Staying on refuge trails, wearing protective clothing and checking yourself carefully for ticks will help decrease your chances of infection.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Ninegret is one of more than 500 refuges in the National Wildlife Refuge System administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The National Wildlife Refuge System is a network of lands and water managed specifically for the protection of wildlife and wildlife habitat and represents the most comprehensive wildlife resource management program in the world. Units of the system stretch across the United States from Northern Alaska to the Florida Keys, and include small islands in the Caribean and South Pacific. The character of the refuges is as diverse as the nation itself.

For further information or to report unusual sightings please contact:

Refuge Manager
Ninegret National Wildlife Refuge
P.O. Box 307
Charlestown, Rhode Island 02813
(401) 364-9124

Hard of hearing or deaf visitors may call the Rhode Island Relay Center at 1-800-745-5555 TDD/voice.

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