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Tillinghast Pond / Wickaboxet / Pratt Conservation Area, West Greenwich

Co-Owners/Managers: West Greenwich Land Trust, The Nature Conservancy, and RI DEM

Hunting is permitted here (hunters should check with the property manager before hunting). During hunting season everyone using the trails here should wear blaze orange. Remember, hunting season includes much of the late fall, winter and spring. More details.

In Rhode Island the primary hunting seasons typically run from the third Saturday in October to the last day of February and from the last Thursday in April to the last day in May, however this can vary from year to year and depends on what game is being hunted. During hunting season you should wear at least 200 square inches (a hat OR a vest) of blaze orange. During shotgun deer season, which is typically in December, you should wear at least 500 square inches of blaze orange (a hat AND a vest). For more information see the RI DEM website.

Comments & Overview:

These three adjacent preserves protect over 2700 acres of forest, fields, streams and ponds in western West Greenwich. Tillinghast Pond Management Area is the western-most of the preserves and centers around the 40-acre Tillinghast Pond. There are about 6 1/2 miles of trails in Tillinghast, in three loops (described below). Pratt Conservation Area is the smallest and eastern-most of the preserves, and currently has a single, approximately half-mile long trail down to the beautiful but unfortunately named Acid Factory Brook. Wickaboxet Management Area is between Tillinghast and Pratt. Trails are currently being built across Wickaboxet to connect the trails in Tillinghast and Pratt. This will create over 10 miles of connected trails. The new trails are due to be completed in the spring of 2013.

Surrounded by protected forest, Tillinghast Pond Management Area offers serenity and natural beauty that rank among the best in southern New England. Tillinghast Pond's waters are clear and shallow, perfect for a family paddle. Cast a line, explore the coves, or just float around and let the solitude recharge your batteries.

The Nature Conservancy, RIDEM, and the Town of West Greenwich are working closely together to establish Tillinghast Pond as a top hiking destination. Three interconnected loop trails provide for a wide range of options, from a short walk in the woods to a half-day six-mile hike.

The 2.3-mile Pond Loop (blazed white) starts from either end of the Plain Road parking lot. The trail passes over easy, flat terrain around Tillinghast Pond, with ample opportunities to look for wildlife or simply enjoy the long views across the water. An observation platform is located roughly half way around the pond. The Pond Loop also includes three hayfields, which are leased to a local dairy farmer.

The Flintlock Loop (blazed yellow) winds for 2.6 miles through the open woods east of Tillinghast Pond, and is highlighted by a glacial "boulder garden," a historic cemetery, and an 1830's-era farmstead. Start on the Pond Loop by the kiosk; walk for a tenth of a mile and look for the sign for the Flintlock Trail. The trail is also accessible from the small parking lot on Plain Meeting House Road, via Narrow Lane.

The Coney Brook Loop (blazed orange) takes hikers through a forest restoration site, past the stone walls of an early 1800's farm, and along the tops of glacial ridges, shaded by hemlocks and beeches. Coney Brook highlights the 2.3-mile route, rushing over a dam and through a small ravine. Start on the Pond Loop (white blazes) from the north side of the Plain Road parking lot and watch for the sign to Coney Brook approximately 500 feet ahead.

Please note: The red barn on Plain Road, and the house and garages across the street, are private property. There is no public access on the farm roads that pass next to those buildings.

Pratt Conservation Area has a single trail leading from the trailhead on Saddle Rock Road downhill through a deciduous forest to a wetland area along Acid Factory Brook. The land is steep in places and there are many rock outcrops. Note that while hunting is allowed in Wickaboxet and Tillinghast, hunting is not allowed in Pratt Conservation Area. Walkers should, however, still wear blaze orange during hunting season when walking in Pratt since the trail at times passes very close to areas where hunting is permitted.

Wickaboxet Management Area contains a mix of deciduous and coniferous forests, as well as wetlands and streams. A trailhead off Plain Meeting House Road currently provides access to woods roads (no motor vehicles or bicycles allowed) that run through the preserve. When the new trails are completed they will also be accessible from this trailhead.

Page 2 of the trail map (below) shows the trails under construction in Wickaboxet and the Pratt Conservation Area trail.

Portions of the text above are courtesy of The Nature Conservancy.

The Nature Conservancy web page for Tillinghast Pond Management Area

The West Greenwich Land Trust page for Pratt Conservation Area

Trail Safety Information

Photographs

 

What's There:

Hours: Sunrise to sunset, all year

Miles of Trails: 10 miles

Miles of ADA Accessible Trails: None

Trail Width: Most trails are single track. Some are double track/cart path.

Trail Rating: Easy   Explanation

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Trail Rating Key

Easy: Trails are relatively smooth and the route is quite obvious such as a single point to point trail or an easy network of trails in an urban or suburban setting where help is always readily at hand. A map may be useful but is not necessary.

Moderate: Somewhat more strenuous trails or harder to follow trails. Trails are well-marked but following them requires a trail map and a trail map is readily available either at the site or online.

Difficult: Strenuous trails, trail systems that mostly involve multi-mile loops and trail systems where there is no available trail map or the trails are not marked.

Skiing/Snowshoeing: Yes

Are Dogs Allowed? Yes. Dogs must be leashed and owners must pick up waste.

Is Horseback Riding Permitted? No

Are Bicycles (non-motorized) Permitted? No

Is Hunting Permitted? Yes. Contact property manager for details before hunting. Walkers wear orange during hunting season!

Other Amenities: In addition to walking trails Tillinghast Pond is also a good place to fish, kayak and canoe.

Trailheads:

Trailhead Name: Plain Road-Tillinghast Pond Trailhead

Coordinates: 41° 38.708' N    71° 45.4' W   See this location in: Google Maps   Acme Maps

Google Maps is the mapping system used on the new ExploreRI maps and shows the trailhead located on a terrain view, a street map or an aerial photograph. Clicking on this link will take you to the full Google Maps website, which is not part of ExploreRI.org.
Acme Maps shows the trailhead located on a topographic map. The Acme Maps website is not part of ExploreRI.org.

Driving Landmarks: From I-95 north or south take exit 5B for route 102/Victory Highway. This will put you on route 102/Victory Highway heading north. Go about 3 1/2 miles north on route 102 and then turn left onto Plain Meeting House Road. Go 3.9 miles west on Plain Meeting House Road and turn right onto Plain Road. The parking area for this trailhead is 0.6 miles up Plain Road, on the right.

Parking: Yes: Parking lot, 24 spaces, no overnight parking

ADA Accessible Parking Spaces? No


Trailhead Name: Plain Meeting House Road Satellite Tillinghast Trailhead

Coordinates: 41° 38.363' N    71° 44.709' W   See this location in: Google Maps   Acme Maps

Google Maps is the mapping system used on the new ExploreRI maps and shows the trailhead located on a terrain view, a street map or an aerial photograph. Clicking on this link will take you to the full Google Maps website, which is not part of ExploreRI.org.
Acme Maps shows the trailhead located on a topographic map. The Acme Maps website is not part of ExploreRI.org.

Driving Landmarks: From I-95 north or south take exit 5B for route 102/Victory Highway. This will put you on route 102/Victory Highway heading north. Go about 3 1/2 miles north on route 102 and then turn left onto Plain Meeting House Road. Go 3.7 miles west on Plain Meeting House Road and look for a small parking area on the right.

Parking: Yes: Parking lot, 4 spaces, no overnight parking

ADA Accessible Parking Spaces? No


Trailhead Name: Wickaboxet Management Area Trailhead

Coordinates: 41° 38.192' N    71° 44.15' W   See this location in: Google Maps   Acme Maps

Google Maps is the mapping system used on the new ExploreRI maps and shows the trailhead located on a terrain view, a street map or an aerial photograph. Clicking on this link will take you to the full Google Maps website, which is not part of ExploreRI.org.
Acme Maps shows the trailhead located on a topographic map. The Acme Maps website is not part of ExploreRI.org.

Driving Landmarks: From I-95 north or south take exit 5B for route 102/Victory Highway. This will put you on route 102/Victory Highway heading north. Go about 3 1/2 miles north on route 102 and then turn left onto Plain Meeting House Road. Go 3 miles west on Plain Meeting House Road and look for a small parking area on the right.

Parking: Yes: Parking lot, 6 spaces, no overnight parking

ADA Accessible Parking Spaces? No


Trailhead Name: Pratt Conservation Area Trailhead

Coordinates: 41° 38.632' N    71° 42.979' W   See this location in: Google Maps   Acme Maps

Google Maps is the mapping system used on the new ExploreRI maps and shows the trailhead located on a terrain view, a street map or an aerial photograph. Clicking on this link will take you to the full Google Maps website, which is not part of ExploreRI.org.
Acme Maps shows the trailhead located on a topographic map. The Acme Maps website is not part of ExploreRI.org.

Driving Landmarks: From I-95 north or south take exit 5B for route 102/Victory Highway. This will put you on route 102/Victory Highway heading north. Go about 3 1/2 miles north on route 102 and then turn left onto Plain Meeting House Road. Go 1.4 miles west on Plain Meeting House Road and turn right onto Saddle Rock Road. Park in the cul-de-sac at the end of Saddle Rock Road. Please respect the private property in the area and please park in a way that respects the local residents.

Parking: Yes: On street, 4 spaces, no overnight parking

ADA Accessible Parking Spaces? No

 

Photographs:

Trailhead Kiosk at the Plain Road Trailhead

Trailhead Kiosk at the Plain Road Trailhead

Photography by: Mike Parker

Date of Photograph: October 10, 2009

 
Tillinghast Pond

Tillinghast Pond

Photography by: Mike Parker

Date of Photograph: June 17, 2012

 
Tillinghast Pond

Tillinghast Pond

Photography by: Mike Parker

Date of Photograph: June 17, 2012

 
Fall Field on the Coney Brook Trail

Fall Field on the Coney Brook Trail

Photography by: Tim Mooney

Date of Photograph: October 27, 2009

 
Boardwalk Across a Wet Area on the Pond Trail

Boardwalk Across a Wet Area on the Pond Trail

Photography by: Mike Parker

Date of Photograph: June 17, 2012

 
Viewing Platform at the North End of Tillinghast Pond

Viewing Platform at the North End of Tillinghast Pond

Photography by: Mike Parker

Date of Photograph: June 17, 2012

To get to this viewing platform follow the Pond Trail to the north side of Tillinghast Pond.

 

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This site report was last updated on January 5, 2013

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