Ninigret National Wildlife Refuge

Quick Facts

Ninigret National Wildlife Refuge

Rhode Island

(401) 364-9124

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

Named after one of the original chiefs of the Narragansett Indians, the Ninigret National Wildlife Refuge is located on the Southern Coast of Rhode Island in the Town of Charlestown, Washington County. The wildlife present is as diverse as the vegetation which occupies the land. Over 250 bird species visit seasonally, and 70 species nest on the property, making bird watching and photography popular refuge activities. From saltmarshes, kettle ponds, freshwater wetlands, maritime shrublands and forests dominated by oak or maple, habitat is varied and plentiful.

Map of Ninigret NWR

Latitude, Longitude: 41.372944, -71.665020

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Activities

  • Boating

    Kayaking and canoeing on Ninigret pond provide unique views of wildlife from the water, and our recently added kayak/canoe launch area is a perfect place for paddle boaters to start their tour. The launch is located off of the East entrance (through Ninigret Park). There is a short gravel road down to the water where you can drop off your kayak, and then return to the parking lot. At times we have volunteers who will help first-time visitors with their experience paddling around Ninigret National Wildlife Refuge.

  • Fishing

    Fishing on Ninigret Pond, the largest coastal salt pond in Rhode Island is a spectacular treat not only because of the fish available, but also because of the expansive vistas and gorgeous sunsets. Fishing is allowed under State regulations, and during the short cinder worm hatch in May, striped bass fishermen line the shores with the hopes of landing these prized sportfish. Coinciding with the worm hatch striper frenzy is an annual fly-tying workshop (held at the classroom at Kettle Pond Visitor Center) coupled with a fishing in a cove along the trail to Grassy Point at the East entrance.

  • Hiking

    The trails in both the Headquarters and Salt Pond Units of the refuge are open to the public from sunrise to sunset.

  • Hunting

    The refuge recently added deer to species for big game hunting. Please contact the refuge for current regulations and season dates.

  • Wildlife Watching

    Spring and fall are favorite viewing times, although something will be seen at any time of year. Over 3 miles of nature trails, interpretive panels, kiosks, and viewing platforms combine to provide a unique and rewarding experience for the refuge visitor. The platform at the end of Grassy Point is particularly picturesque, and a great place to view a sunset. Please use the Contact Us link above to get on our email list for special events regarding wildlife photography provided by our talented volunteers and our Friends group. In addition, our Friends group holds a photography contest every year in the Fall. The entrants are limited to pictures taken on the national wildlife refuges of Rhode Island, but the photographers have plenty of beautiful subjects for the competition. Every year the competition provides wonderful images for our nature-loving friends and visitors.

Seasonality/Weather

The Kettle Pond Visitor Center is open everyday from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., but is closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year's Day. Please call ahead for unexpected closures, or current weather conditions.

Directions

Driving

The Ninigret Refuge can be accessed directly from state Highway 1 which follows the Southern Coast of Rhode Island. The Western entrance is located on highway 1. The Eastern entrance is accessed from Ninigret Town Park, by exiting route 1 onto Old Post Road, turning right into the Town park entrance, and following the road to its end. Ample parking is available.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(401) 364-9124

Links