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Visitor Activities

  • Fishing

    Fishing on the refuge - USFWS

    Fishing is allowed, but there are very few shoreline access points, and no trails on the John H. Chafee National Wildlife Refuge at Pettaquamscutt Cove. Please call our headquarters in advance of your trip for more information on fishing access: (401)364-9124.

  • Wildlife Viewing

    Kayak launching - USFWS.

    Many visitors to the John H. Chafee National Wildlife Refuge at Pettaquamscutt Cove are able to view the periphery of the refuge as they canoe the Narrow River. Although there is no refuge trail system, visitors can gain a vantage point of the refuge from the Middle Bridge pull-out and Sprague Bridge on Route 1A. Designated fishing access points also provide visitors an opportunity for shoreline viewing and photographing of wildlife. Parking at Sprague Bridge is available near the kayak launch.

  • Interpretation

    School group on the refuge - USFWS.

    There are year-round walks and talks conducted by both volunteers and staff who are eager to share their enjoyment of nature with you. Those public programs and many more are listed on our home page under Upcoming Events.

  • Environmental Education

    Child learning on the refuge - USFWS.

    The Friends of the National Wildlife Refuges of Rhode Island conduct an award-winning environmental education program with participants from many elementary schools in Southern Rhode Island. The program seeks to educate schoolchildren, through classroom curricula combined with field-based tours and study, about the importance of barrier beaches and the natural environment. View the Barrier Beach Curriculum.

    In addition, there are year-round walks and talks conducted by both volunteers and staff who are eager to share their enjoyment of nature with you. Those public programs and many more are listed on our home page under Upcoming Events.

    Environmental Education - EarthCache

    An EarthCache involves using a GPS unit to go to a certain location. Before going to the location the user needs to research the EarthCache and perform the educational lesson at the site. Visitors to the refuge EarthCaches will discover unique land features, geological processes, and a treasured landscape.

    Approximately 20,000 years ago the last ice age ended. The geography and landscape of Rhode Island and New England is a direct outcome of glacial retreat.

  • Photography

    Spider - Andrew MacLachlan/USFWS.

    Several photographs taken by local photographers are displayed at the contact station at Trustom Pond NWR, and the visitor centers at Kettle Pond and Sachuest Point. Finally, the Friends group holds an annual photography contest in the fall.

    Formal surveys of American black duck (Anas rubripes)and saltmarsh sharptailed sparrow (Ammodramus caudacutus) are underway. Other waterfowl that commonly winter in the Narrow River watershed are mallards, canvasbacks, bufflehead, mergansers, Canada geese, and the non-native mute swan. Another common salt marsh species found on the refuge, besides sharptailed sparrows, are red-winged blackbirds. Snowy egrets are often found foraging in tidal channels and salt marsh pools. There is at least one osprey nest in the watershed, and as many as three pairs forage there. The uplands contain a diversity of nesting and migratory songbirds, including common yellowthroat, eastern pewee, gray catbird, common grackle, American redstart, blue-winged warbler, and white-eyed vireo.

Last Updated: Jun 16, 2014
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