Monarch and goldenrods

Wildlife Observation

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.

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.

Wildlife Interpretation

To celebrate the rich history of the refuge, a variety of kiosks, interpretive panels, and educational materials are available to the public to enrich their visit and assist them in learning about the refuge and the wildlife which abounds there.

At the east entrance of the Salt Pond Unit is the Trails Through Time trail. 

Along the Grassy Point trail, several signs lead you through the history of the area from glacial re-creation about 12,000 years ago, through the Native Peoples era, the Colonial farming period, the World War II era as a Naval air field, and finally leading up to what you see today! The Trails Through Time is an enjoyable way to view the landscape through its various uses in the past.

At the west entrance of the Salt Pond Unit, a usually quite section of trail leads you past Foster's Cove, through the restored runways where many white-tailed deer congregate in the evenings, and out to Fisherman's point for a nice view of Ninigret Pond and the barrier beach on the far side of the pond.

The Lavallee Cross Refuge Trail and the Charlietown Runway Trail connect the west and east entrances. The Cross Refuge Trail moves through some excellent birding locations with some fresh-water sources for the many migratory birds that stop here to rest and re-fuel.

On the Headquarters Unit of Ninigret, where you will find Kettle Pond Visitor Center, there are two trails that leave the parking area and two others that connect to Burlingame State Park and Kimball Wildlife Sanctuary. The Watchaug Pond Trail is a favorite among birders, particularly since it ventures along the former Audubon Society's Kimball Wildlife Sanctuary, Watchaug Pond, one of the best vernal pools in the State, and Burlingame State Park.