About the Refuge

About the refuge

Ninigret National Wildlife Refuge is one of five national wildlife refuges in Rhode Island. Established in 1970, it consists of 858 acres of diverse upland and wetland habitats including grasslands, shrub lands, wooded swamps and freshwater ponds. Formerly part of Charlestown Naval Auxiliary Landing Fields, the refuge now provides visitors with over four miles of hiking trails. You may enjoy an excellent view of Ninigret Pond, the largest coastal salt pond in Rhode Island, from the observation platform at Grassy Point. For the birding enthusiasts, over 250 species of birds have been recorded at Ninigret. Also, refuge shores support a large diversity of marine life such as blue crab, bay scallop, and winter flounder.

The parcel of Ninigret National Wildlife Refuge where the Kettle Pond Visitor Center is located is referred to as the headquarters unit. Purchased in 2001, this parcel of forested uplands is home to pitch and white pines, black and white oaks, blueberry shrubs, sweet fern, and princess pine. Hiking along the trails offer visitors a chance to witness visual reminders of the great ice sheet, see changes in the seasonal vernal pool, and views of Watchaug Pond.

Ninigret National Wildlife Refuge Salt Pond Unit Trail Map

Ninigret National Wildlife Refuge Kettle Pond Visitor Center Trail Map

Ninigret NWR Congressional Fact Sheet 2011

Kettle Pond Visitor Center brochure (pdf)

Rhode Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex brochure (pdf)