Kettle Pond @ Ninigret NWR

On 8 May, before we walked the Trustom Pond NWR trails in South Kingstown, RI, we checked out the Kettle Pond trails at Ninigret NWR, in Charlestown.


These trails are described at the very helpful Trails & Walks in Rhode Island blog. Until we got there, though, it was unclear to me that Ninigret NWR is divided into two parcels that don’t abut each other. There is a Salt Pond trail area and a Kettle Pond trail area. Had we realised this, we would probably have chosen the Salt Pond section, off Old Post Road (formerly part of Charlestown Naval Auxiliary Landing Fields), but as it was, we ended up at the Kettle Pond section off Bend Road; there is a visitor center/headquarters there, which is handy (and how we got tipped off to visit Trustom Pond NWR). The main features of this section are views of Watchaug Pond, a vernal pool, and some erratic boulders left by retreating ice sheets. There’s also a short trail with a view to the ocean.


What’s confusing about the Kettle Pond section of Ninigret is that it abuts and intertwines with both the Rhode Island Audubon Kimball Bird Sanctuary and Burlingame State Park. Some of the trails intersect near a private house or two as well. There is a colour-coded system that’s helpful but not entirely unambiguous.



We started off on the 1/2-mile trail to Watchaug Pond.



Along the way, we saw a few interesting plants:

Chimaphila maculata (spotted wintergreen)
Another view of Chimaphila maculata (spotted wintergreen), with last year’s flowerheads
Viola pedata (birdfoot violet) — see how the leaves are different from most violets?
blueberry flower
budding Maianthemum canadense (Canada mayflower)
Anemone quinquefolia (wood anemone)

We also saw some moss before we got to the pond.



Then we took off on the colour-coded trails, skirting or overlapping with the bird sanctuary and the state park. I didn’t take any photos on this part of the walk except for trail signs, the trail itself, and a cemetery sign.



The orange trail led us back to the Toupoyesett Pond Trail, which connects to the main (Watchaug Pond) trail.


I guess we walked by Toupoyesett Pond, which was quite high, and the glacial erratic boulders.

reflections in Toupoyesett Pond
rather high water in Toupoyesett Pond


glacial boulders
glacial boulder
glacial boulders
Trientalis borealis (star flower)


Arriving back at the parking lot, we took off in the opposite direction to follow the 1/2 -mile Ocean View Trail.


bluets (Houstonia caerulea) and some kind of cinquefoil (Potentilla sp)
view of ocean from observation deck
puffy chipping sparrow
another view of the puffy chipping sparrow
towhee — not a bird I see much


It wasn’t the most interesting walk during our 4-day coastal Rhode Island visit — though the towhee sighting was exciting — but it’s an easy stroll through some varied habitat. I look forward to seeing the rest of Ninigret (the saltwater Ninigret Pond section) next time we visit.


Ninigret (c.1610-1677) was a sachem of the eastern Niantic Indian tribe in New England at the time of English colonization. He was based in Rhode Island, though he spent some time with the Dutch on Manhattan. His remains are supposedly buried at Burying Hill, near Charlestown, RI.

3 Comments on “Kettle Pond @ Ninigret NWR

  1. Pingback: Upcoming – A Moveable Garden

  2. Pingback: More Than Promised – BEYOND RIVALRY

  3. Pingback: More Than Promised – A Moveable Garden

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: