WHY YOU SHOULD VISIT
Dundery Brook Trail is the place to experience the myriad of wetland habitats which are endemic to coastal Rhode Island from the safety and comfort of a boardwalk path. Dundery Brook Trail is handicapped accessible. Created by The Nature Conservancy in Rhode Island in 2012 of native black locust wood, this trail is particularly suitable for younger children and those for whom getting around can be a challenge. Forested wetlands, swamps, old fields and wet meadows surrounding Dundery Brook trail support a changing variety of creatures throughout the year, so this trail is well worth getting to know.
Following a stem of Dundery Brook, the boardwalk trail provides an outdoor classroom for schoolchildren and visitors to engage with nature up close while learning about freshwater resources that supply drinking water for residents of the surrounding community. Easily travelled on foot, the boardwalk provides views of the swamp’s hidden treasures while the existing grass trail follows the edge of a pond and historic meadowland that offers numerous opportunities for bird sightings as well as deer and wild turkey. Over 60 bird species use this area as breeding habitat including warblers and vireos, hawks and owls, and wood ducks.
Little Compton, Rhode Island
Dundery Brook trail crosses from the Town’s Veteran’s Field property into the Conservancy’s 118-acre Bumblebee Preserve, across nearly 3,000 feet of boardwalk structure, which then connects with a grassy trail over an old cartpath of an additional 3,000 feet. A hike in and out easily exceeds two miles.
WHY THE CONSERVANCY SELECTED THIS SITE
Bumblebee Preserve was acquired by the Conservancy in 2001 for its significant size, its intact and rare plant communities which support a diversity of wildlife, and for its location within the Dundery Brook watershed, which supplies critically needed clean freshwater to the coastal lagoon ecosystem at Briggs Marsh in Little Compton. Briggs Marsh is important in its own right for its rare shorebirds, marsh and wading birds and waterfowl, both resident and migratory, along with shellfish and state-listed rare plants.
WHAT THE CONSERVANCY HAS DONE/IS DOING
Dundery Brook trail is just one feature of the Conservancy’s effort to protect, steward, and provide opportunities for environmental education in its Sakonnet landscape, an area where nature predominates in all its forms in Rhode Island’s southeast corner. Other key Conservancy preserves include Goosewing Beach and its Benjamin Family Environmental Center, and Pocasset Ridge Conservation Area, a 500-acre forest reserve where trails will be opened, soon.