Trustom Pond National Wildlife Refuges
Established by private donation, Trustom Pond Refuge includes over 640 acres of varied wildlife habitat. Approximately 3 miles of gently sloping foot trails meander by open fields, shrublands, woodlands and freshwater ponds and swamps to 160-acre Trustom Pond, Rhode Island's only coastal pond free from shoreline development.
Trustom is noted for its diversity of wildlife. Approximately 300 bird species seasonally inhabit the refuge along with more than 40 resident species of mammals and 20 of reptiles and amphibians. Observation platforms along refuge trails enhance your viewing opportunities.
A barrier beach forms the refuge's southern boundary along Block Island Sound. This area remains as one of the few east coast nesting sites for two bird species of special concern—the least tern and the endangered piping plover. In order to reduce human disturbance to the birds the beach is closed during the nesting season (April-August).
| - Osprey return in late March.
- Woodcock perform courtship flights.
- Piping plover (early April) and least tern (early May) arrive to nest.
- Prairie warbler, bobolink and other songbirds in full chorus.
- Shadbush and beach plum flower in May.
| - Honeysuckles and sweet pepperbush flower.
- Painted ladies, red admirals and many other butterflies present.
- Fledged young of resident birds appear.
- Southbound shorebird migration peaks in August.
| - Monarch butterfly migration peaks in late September.
- Hawk migration best mid-September through early October.
- Ruddy duck, scaups and other migratory waterfowl raft in Trustom Pond; many species winter.
| - Short-eared owls present, great homed owls nest.
- Tracks of gray fox, river otter, raccoon and other mammals found in snow.
- Trustom Pond sometimes freezes, forcing waterfowl to Ninigret and other coastal ponds.
Getting There - Trustom Pond Refuge is approximately 40 miles south of Providence. From U.S. Route 1 take the Moonstone Beach exit. Follow Moonstone Beach Road for 1 mile then turn right onto Matunuck Schoolhouse Road. Continue 0.7 mile to the refuge entrance on your left.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication