- Great Swamp Wildlife Management Area
- Great Neck Road, South Kingstown, RI
- Trailhead: 41°28’8.16″N, 71°34’46.54″W
- Last Time Hiked: June 28, 2013
- Approximate distance hiked: 4.7 miles
I have a small group of friends who will be joining me for a summer (and into the autumn) full of Friday afternoon hikes and this week we kicked it off by having a friend who traveled approximately 11,400 miles from Kuala Lumpur to be here. The area that we hiked through has significant history. In December of 1675, a battle between the Native Americans and English Colonists was fought nearby. Today Great Swamp is a wildlife management area owned by the State. We started the hike from a parking area at the end of Great Neck Road and followed a crushed stone road into the management area. At the first fork we followed the road, mostly grass now, to the left. (The road to the right we would exit on) We crossed under a set of power lines and walked by a few fields. Along the way we came across what might have been coyote tracks. Along the road were remnants of old stone walls covered heavily with brush and ferns. It was a very humid day and mosquitos were in excess. Bug spray is a must here. At the next intersection we turned right following another grass covered road through a tunnel of trees. This area is known as Great Neck and is the highest point in the swamp. There were stone walls along this road as well. At the next fork we went left following the road to the beginning of the impoundment. Here there is a oddly shaped rock you could use for a rest if you so choose. This is about the halfway point of this hike. The next part of the hike follows the edge of the water for quite a while crossing under power lines once again. Perched at the top of several of the poles were osprey nests. One was very active with two ospreys taking turns being in the nest. They were obviously well aware of our presence. There we also sounds of frogs along this road and there were many several species of smaller birds as well as Canadian geese. Daisies and black eyed susans were in bloom as well. The road eventually left the waters edge and made it’s way back into the wooded area. We came across a frog at this point. At the next intersection we went left onto the road that eventually came back to the first fork we came across (Note: it appears that a path continues straight along the power lines. Take the road that veers to the left.) From here we retraced our steps back to the car.
Trail map can be found at: Great Swamp