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.

EnteringNinigretNWRsignKettlePondNinigretNWRCharlestownRI8May2017

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.

OceanViewTrailsignKettlePondNinigretNWRCharlestownRI8May2017

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.

orangetrailsignsKettlePondNinigretNWRCharlestownRI8May2017

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

WatchaugPondTrailsignKettlePondNinigretNWRCharlestownRI8May2017

trailKettlePondNinigretNWRCharlestownRI8May2017

Along the way, we saw a few interesting plants:

ChimaphilaMaculataSpottedWintergreenKettlePondNinigretNWRCharlestownRI8May2017
Chimaphila maculata (spotted wintergreen)
ChimaphilaMaculataSpottedWintergreenoldflowerheadsKettlePondNinigretNWRCharlestownRI8May2017
Another view of Chimaphila maculata (spotted wintergreen), with last year’s flowerheads
ViolaPedataBirdfootVioletflowersKettlePondNinigretNWRCharlestownRI8May2017
Viola pedata (birdfoot violet) — see how the leaves are different from most violets?
blueberryflowerbudsKettlePondNinigretNWRCharlestownRI8May2017
blueberry flower
CanadamayflowerbuddingKettlePondNinigretNWRCharlestownRI8May2017
budding Maianthemum canadense (Canada mayflower)
AnemoneQuinquefoliaWoodanemoneflowercloseKettlePondNinigretNWRCharlestownRI8May2017
Anemone quinquefolia (wood anemone)

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

mossKettlePondNinigretNWRCharlestownRI8May2017pathtopondKettlePondNinigretNWRCharlestownRI8May2017pondKettlePondNinigretNWRCharlestownRI8May2017

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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.

leafytrailKettlePondNinigretNWRCharlestownRI8May2017RIHistoricalCemeterymarker92KettlePondNinigretNWRCharlestownRI8May2017

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

trailsignsKettlePondNinigretNWRCharlestownRI8May2017

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

smallpondreflectionsKettlePondNinigretNWRCharlestownRI8May2017
reflections in Toupoyesett Pond
treesinsmallpondKettlePondNinigretNWRCharlestownRI8May2017
rather high water in Toupoyesett Pond

bendingtrailKettlePondNinigretNWRCharlestownRI8May2017

curvingtrailglacialbouldersKettlePondNinigretNWRCharlestownRI8May2017
glacial boulders
glacialboulderKettlePondNinigretNWRCharlestownRI8May2017
glacial boulder
glacialbouldersKettlePondNinigretNWRCharlestownRI8May2017
glacial boulders
TrientalisBorealisstarflowerKettlePondNinigretNWRCharlestownRI8May2017
Trientalis borealis (star flower)

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

windingtrailKettlePondNinigretNWRCharlestownRI8May2017

bluetsbKettlePondNinigretNWRCharlestownRI8May2017
bluets (Houstonia caerulea) and some kind of cinquefoil (Potentilla sp)
viewfromOceanTrailKettlePondNinigretNWRCharlestownRI8May2017
view of ocean from observation deck
smallpuffychippingsparrowbirdredheadKettlePondNinigretNWRCharlestownRI8May2017
puffy chipping sparrow
smallpuffychippingsparrowbirdredheadupKettlePondNinigretNWRCharlestownRI8May2017
another view of the puffy chipping sparrow
towheebirdsidebestKettlePondNinigretNWRCharlestownRI8May2017
towhee — not a bird I see much

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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.

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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.

One Comment on “Kettle Pond @ Ninigret NWR

  1. Pingback: Upcoming – A Moveable Garden

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