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Ninigret National Wildlife Refuge
Named after one of the original chiefs of the Narragansett Indians, Ninigret National Wildlife Refuge is located on the southern coast of Rhode Island in the Town of Charlestown, Washington County.
The 868-acre refuge is perched on the shoreline of the largest salt pond in Rhode Island. It sits upon the glacial outwash plain of the Charlestown moraine, which provides the area with its unique geological character.
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.
Kayaking and canoeing on Ninigret pond are increasingly popular activities, 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.
Another popular refuge activity includes fishing, which is allowed under state regulations. During the short cinder worm hatch in May, striped bass fishermen line the shores, hoping to catch one of the prized sportfish.
Ninigret, along with the four other National Wildlife Refuges in the State, is administered by the Rhode Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex, headquartered in Charlestown, RI.
On the refuge North of Route 1, the Kettle Pond Visitor Center and headquarters, which opened in October 2005, celebrates the Ninigret NWR and all of the other refuges in Rhode Island. This facility contains interactive exhibits, displays, a gift shop, classrooms for special events, and knowledgeable people where visitors can gain a better understanding of the wildlife resources and coastal environments of each refuge. For more information please follow this link: Kettle Pond Visitor Center and Headquarters.