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Cuttyhunk Brook Preserve

A Trail Runs Through It




Open to the Public

Yes

Things To Do

There's plenty of potential for discovery at Cuttyhunk Brook Preserve View All

Plan Your Visit

Please follow our preserve guidlelines and your visit will a pleasurable one View All

Get Directions

Why You Should Visit
A new trail has just opened at the preserve (spring 2012). The yellow loop trail wanders through oak-pine forest featuring Cuttyhunk Brook, a historic homestead, stone walls, glacial erratic sand an impressive boulder field.

Hunting for deer is permitted at the Preserve. All visitors are required to wear florescent orange during the hunting season as noted below:

From September 15 – January 31 (Archery season) and November 7 to December 1, and December 26- January 2 (Muzzleloader), 200 square inches of florescent orange is required. A Hat or Vest is sufficient. 
****Please note that from December 7-22 and December 26-January 2 (Shotgun) – 500 square inches of florescent orange – Hat AND Vest is required

Dogs must be leashed.

Location
Exeter and West Greenwich, RI

Trail through oak-pine forest featuring Cuttyhunk Brook, a historic homestead, stone walls glacial erratics and an impressive boulder field.

Size
800 acres

Boundary map of Cuttyhunk Brook Preserve

Topographic map of Cuttyhunk Brook Preserve

Trails
From the parking area at Sunderland Road, the yellow loop trail travels east along an old logging road. The property was selectively logged in the past and additional old logging roads crisscross the property. Numerous stone walls are found on the property which is indicative of land that was once pasture. Oak, white pine, huckleberry and mountain laurel are common along the trail. The trail descends and crosses Cuttyhunk Brook arriving at the yellow loop intersection. The left spur travels alongside Cuttyhunk Brook, which is particularly visible in late fall and winter. The trail takes a gradual ascent into the uplands of white pine forest onto additional old logging roads which take various turns throughout. Follow the yellow blazes in order to stay on the correct path. The trail arrives at Stony Lane, an unimproved town road. Turn right onto Stony lane and follow the road east to the trail turn on the right which travels south back to the trail junction.

The right spur passes a historic homestead which is marked by stone foundations. Continuing on, the trail takes a left into white pine forest, through a large stone wall and along a boulder field. Follow the yellow blazes to Stony Lane, an unimproved road, and take a left. Follow the road and turn left at the trail markers. Old logging roads are common throughout this area with some unauthorized vehicle use. Follow the yellow blazes in order to stay on the correct path which will return to the trail intersection at Cuttyhunk Brook.

Please note: Stony Lane is an unimproved town road. Unfortunately, dumping and litter often occur. Please notify us of these problems. Consider joining the Friends of the Cuttyhunk Brook Preserve and help keep the preserve pristine and enjoyable for other visitors.

Volunteers

The Nature Conservancy has established a volunteer group called the Friends of the Preserves. These volunteers assist with ongoing stewardship projects including trail maintenance, litter cleanups and removal of invasive plants. If you would like to become a friend of Cuttyhunk Brook, please contact Cheryl Wiitala at cwiitala@tnc.org, or (401)331-7110 x 25.

Why the Conservancy Selected this Site

The Queen's River forms the eastern boundary of Cuttyhunk Brook Preserve. The Queen’s River originates in a roughly 1,000-acre forested area east of Hopkins Hill Road in West Greenwich and between Sunderland Road, New Road and Route 102 in Exeter, Rhode Island.
The Queen’s River is considered one of the most pristine rivers in the state. Its watershed, which includes Cuttyhunk Brook, encompasses 23,000 acres of forest, fields, wetland, and river. Because of the relatively unimpacted nature of the river, it contains native trout, freshwater mussels and a number of dragonflies that depend upon clean, cold, running water. The river’s aquifer holds drinking water of exceptional purity, on which many local residents depend.

The Conservancy’s Cuttyhunk Brook Preserve forms an important stepping stone between protected lands at the Audubon Society of Rhode Island’s Eppley and Fisherville Brook Wildlife Sanctuaries. These conservation lands are critical to the maintenance of the high water quality in the river.

What the Conservancy Has Done/Is Doing

A number of parcels located in Exeter and West Greenwich which make up the preserve were acquired between 2001 and 2004. The Conservancy has recently opened up a hiking trail on the southern portion of the preserve.  Thanks to a generous donation by our partner, APC by Schneider Electric, a parking area and kiosk greets visitors.  More trails may be planned in the future.

What to See: Plants
The preserve’s uplands are primarily oak-pine forest with black oak, scarlet oak, white pine and black huckleberry. Huckleberry is very common along old logging roads and on shallow ridge-top soils. Yellow birch occur in moister soils. American beech stands are located along sections of the trail. The trees are of mixed ages and species throughout. Several noticeable outcrops and ridges are present. Some mountain laurel is also present.

The wetlands are primarily red maple swamp along the stream corridors. These are characterized by open stands of red maple with an understory of tall shrubs such as winterberry, sweet pepperbush, and highbush blueberry.


What to See: Animals
White-tailed deer are very common. A variety of birds such as the yellow warbler, Eastern phoebe, ovenbird and Eastern towhee are common in spring and summer. The preserve’s streams and wetlands support numerous frogs, salamanders, dragonflies, and damselflies.


 

We hope you enjoy visiting our preserves in any season. We ask that you please observe the following guidelines:

•Stay on the walking trails, using marked trails wherever they exist.
•Respect preserve open hours (one hour before sunrise to one hour after sunset). Overnight camping is not allowed.
•Do not ride horses, bikes or any motorized vehicle through preserves or on the trails.
•Do not disturb bird nesting areas. Between April 15 and September 1, nesting areas may be off-limits to visitors. People or dogs can easily destroy a nest with one misstep.
•Leave your pets at home, for the safety of the fragile ecology of preserves and as a courtesy to other visitors.
•Contact our office in Providence to visit those preserves that have restricted public access because of their very sensitive flora and fauna. These places deserve special respect and are best visited only on guided field trips.
•Do not remove any living materials from a preserve or disturb any vegetation.
•Remove any trash you create and, if possible, any garbage that you see left by someone else.
•When visiting Block Island or Prudence Island in the spring, summer and fall, dress in long pants and socks to avoid deer ticks. After any walk on a preserve, it is a good idea to check for ticks when you return home.
•Be careful! Your safety is your responsibility.
Thank you for your help.

 

Directions

From Route 4, take exit 5B toward Exeter
Merge onto Route 102 North/Ten Rod Road
Follow Route 102 North for about 2.5 miles
After the Exeter Volunteer Fire Station, take next right onto Sunderland Road
A small parking area is under a quarter of a mile on the right.
 

Discussion

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