Osamequin Nature Trails and Bird Sanctuary: 'First Bird' Trails, Barrington
Town of Barrington
Hunting is not allowed here but it is permitted on nearby land. 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 second Saturday in September to the last day of February and from the third Saturday 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.
Description & Overview:
Osamequin Nature Sanctuary offers visitors a place to enjoy a diverse sample of Rhode Island's coastal plant and animal communities along the west shore of the Barrington River's Hundred Acre Cove, Rhode Island's most extensive and pristine inland estuarine system. This system has been noted by the US Fish and Wildlife Service to be one of the 50 most important coastal marshes between Long Island and Cape Code. The trail system on the preserve provides many views of the cove as well as the various habitats and environments within the preserve. The trails are all easy and flat and each habitat type is accessible to refuge visitors via the color coded trails which begin with the green trail at the park entrance. See the trail map for more details on the trail routes and colors. There are two parts to the preserve. What is being described here is the primary, "first bird," trail system. The second part, the "second bird" trail system, is about 0.7 mile north on Wampanoag Trail. See the separate listing for that "second bird" trail system.
As a result of sea level rise (seen here as higher high tides), the marsh plants and animals are migrating inland. As a result some trails have been relocated to higher ground. If you encounter flooded trails please use caution and when it doubt turn around and use a different trail. Please help the wildlife by staying on marked trails.
Osamequin is named in honor of the Massasoit or "Great Leader" of the Pokanoket Tribe of the Wampanoag Nation. All of Barrington was part of their homeland of Sowams. Massasoit Ousamequin prevented the failure of the Plymouth Colony and negotiated a peace treaty on March 22, 1621 that lasted over 50 years. For more information about the Pokanoket Tribe of the Wampanoag Nation visit the Pokanoket website.
Under the Green Acres program the Town of Barrington acquired the 42 acres of land that are Osamequin Nature Sanctuary and granted permission to the Barrington Garden Club to develop the area as a conservation area. Dedicated in May 1968, the management and maintenance by the Garden Club has continued ever since in cooperation with the Conservation Commission and the Department of Public Works.
There is something to offer in every season. Salt marsh islands in the cove are visible from the shoreline of the refuge - bring your binoculars for bird-watching. Horseshoe crabs lay eggs on the shoreline each spring. You might see a rare diamondback terrapin sunning upon a log or peeking up from the water. The only known nesting population of this terrapin in Rhode Island is at the Rayner Refuge across Hundred Acre Cove which also offers public hiking trails.
To access the preserve by bus use the Route 60 Newport Providence bus. On the Inbound (northbound) bus the stop is known as "Wampanoag Trail Opposite Primrose Hill Road." On the outbound (southbound) "Wampanoag Trail Far Side Primrose." The preserve is on the inbound side and since Wampanoag Trail is a divided highway it can be a problem getting to the far side stop since there are no crosswalks or crossing lights and the speed limits in the area are 40-45 mph.
Hours: Open year round
Miles of Trails: 1.5 miles
Miles of ADA Accessible Trails: None
Trail Width: Two person footpath
Trail Rating: Easy Explanation
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.
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? Hunting is not allowed on this property but is in nearby areas. Walkers wear orange during hunting season!
For driving directions see the trailheads information below.
Public Transit: Yes. Use the Providence - Newport Route 60 bus (see description for more information)
Trailhead Name: 'First Bird' Trailhead
Driving Landmarks: This trailhead is right on Route 114 North, also known as County Road and Wampanoag Trail.
From the South take Route 114 North. You will pass Federal Road in Barrington -- the "White Church" (Congregational Church) bridge intersection -- and Walker's Farm, and then about 0.2 mile beyond the turnaround exit for Route 103 to Riverside look for a sign for the preserve on your right as well as a parking area next to the road.
From the North take Route 114 South to the turnaround exit on the left 0.15 miles south of Primrose Hill Road. Take this turnaround, which puts you on Route 114 north. Go 0.2 miles and look for a sign for the preserve on your right as well as a parking area next to the road.
Parking: Yes: Parking lot, 10 spaces, no overnight parking
ADA Accessible Parking Spaces? No
The data on this website come from many sources, including volunteers and organizations across the state of Rhode Island and nearby parts of Massachusetts. We have done our best to make sure the data are accurate and up to date, but any information critical to the success of your trip should be confirmed before you start. The maps and information on this website should not be substituted for topographic maps or other more detailed maps and guides. We welcome corrections and additions. To send a correction or provide other feedback, please use our feedback form (see link above).
This site report was last updated on October 26, 2017