Claire D. McIntosh Wildlife Refuge/Environmental Education Ctr., Bristol
Audubon Society of Rhode Island
Description & Overview:
The 25 acres of land that is now the Claire D. McIntosh Wildlife Refuge once belonged to the DesLauriers family, who were well known in Bristol in the early 1900s. At that time, most of the property was a family farm where corn and other crops were grown. Claire was the second of two children, born in 1915. She grew up in the family home at 1389 Hope Street, and also spent most of her adult life there (the house is still in its original location, but does not belong to ASRI). Claire's husband died long before she did and they had no children. A licensed practical nurse and a private duty nurse, Claire had a very strong love of animals and nature and at her death in 1992 left the 25 acres of family land to ASRI, hoping that others would enjoy its wildlife and natural beauty as much as she did during her lifetime. Her will also created the Norman A. DesLauriers memorial fund to endow the property. Norman, her only brother, was killed in action in WWII.
The property now is home to the award-winning Environmental Education Center, where educational and refuge programs are offered year-round. The fields, woods, wetlands and the boardwalk to the shore of Narragansett Bay present the visitor with a wide variety of habitats for nature study and observation.
Hours: Dawn to dusk, year round
Miles of Trails: 0.8 miles
Miles of ADA Accessible Trails: 0.8 miles
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? No
Is Horseback Riding Permitted? No
Are Bicycles (non-motorized) Permitted? No
Is Hunting Permitted? No
Other Amenities: The Audubon Environmental Education Center at McIntosh Wildlife Refuge is a state-of-the-art natural history museum and aquarium offering many natural wonders to explore. Look inside a 33-foot life size Right Whale, discover life in a tide pool, observe Narragansett Bay 's marine life, visit a rare blue lobster, or even explore a cornfield at night. The Center's interactive exhibits feature local habitats and offer many fun ways to enjoy nature.
The Center offers guided tours, nature walks, special family programs and much more throughout the year. The facility and trails are handicapped accessible.
Public Transportation & Bike Paths:
For driving directions see the trailheads information below.
Public Transit: The Number 60 bus (Providence-Newport) stops at the entrance to the refuge
Bike Path Access: The East Bay Bike Path runs through the refuge
Driving Landmarks: From Newport: Take the Mt. Hope Bridge to Rte. 114 North. Travel north on Hope Street (Rte. 114 north). The entrance is approximately 5 miles from the bridge, on the left, just before the Bristol/Warren town line.
From Providence: Take I-195 East to Exit 7 in East Providence. Go South on Route 114, through East Providence, Barrington, and Warren, to the Bristol town line. The entrance is on right, immediately after the Bristol/Warren town line.
From Fall River: Take I-195 West to Exit 4 in Swansea. Go west on Rte. 103 to Rte. 136 south. Turn left onto Rte. 136 south to the stop light at tupelo Street in Bristol. Bristol Toyota will be on your left. Turn right onto Tupelo. Follow to end, turn right onto Hope Street (Rte. 114 North). Entrance is approximately 0.5 mile on the left just before the Bristol/Warren line.
Parking: Yes: Parking lot, no overnight parking
ADA Accessible Parking Spaces? Yes
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This site report was last updated on April 18, 2013