George Washington Wildlife Management Area, Glocester
RI Department of Environmental Management
Also known as George Washington State Campground
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 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:
With over 4,000 acres of land, George Washington Wildlife Management Area is Rhode Island's second largest state property. There are no paved roads on the property, all are gravel and the ones closest to the campground are fairly well maintained. However these roads, called 'Trails', further from the campground area can be quite rocky and impassible for most passenger cars. In winter these gravel roads are used by snowmobiles.
The property closest to Route 44 is a state campground with tent and trailer camping. A boat launch and beach for swimming is part of the campground.
The land was acquired during the 1930's by the US Government and developed by the Civilian Conservation Corps. During WWII the land was turned over to the State of RI. The white blazed Angell Loop trail follows the shore of Bowdish Reservoir then passes by a section of the property used for tent camping. In the late 1960's Australian Navy sailors on temporary duty in Newport created what is known as the "Walkabout Trail", a series of three connected walking trails blazed blue, red, and orange. This walking trail can be rocky in spots, and passes through wetlands via 'corduroy' log bridges, a white cedar swamp, dry upland forests, and a hemlock grove. A stretch of the orange blazed trail near the Pulaski Wildlife Marsh is used for an annual bird survey.
Some of the Walkabout Trail is also the route of Rhode Island's North-South Trail, which starts near the ocean and ends at the Massachusetts state line. North-South Trail markers can be seen on those stretches of trail.
The painted trail blazes are maintained by seasonal state employees, and the Walkabout Trail is largely maintained by volunteers from the Narragansett Chapter of the Appalachian Mountain Club.
Note that the trail map published by the state is not up to date. The map below is more up to date.
Hours: sunrise to sunset
Fees: No fee for hiking. There is a fee for staying in the campground.
Miles of Trails: 10 miles
Miles of ADA Accessible Trails: None
Trail Width: Typical one person footpath
Trail Rating: Moderate 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.
Skiing/Snowshoeing: Yes. Groomed cross-country ski trails are available at the adjacent Pulaski State Park
Are Dogs Allowed? Yes. Must be leashed from April to October.
Is Horseback Riding Permitted? Yes, but only on the gravel roads, not on the walking/foot trails. Horse trailers are not allowed in the state campground area, but may park on the gravel roads beyond.
Are Bicycles (non-motorized) Permitted? Bicycles are not permitted on the walking trails but are permitted on the gravel roads such as "Center Trail," "Ross Trail," etc. (see map)
Is Hunting Permitted? Yes. Contact property manager for details before hunting. Walkers wear orange during hunting season!
Other Amenities: Restrooms, picnic tables, fishing, swimming, camping
Trailhead Name: George Washington Campground Beach
Driving Landmarks: The address is 2185 Putnam Pike (Route 44), West Glocester, RI. It's 4.5 miles west of Chepachet village. Watch for a large "George Washington State Campground" sign. This is the entrance road to the area and the trailhead parking area is 1/4 mile down the good gravel road, near the beach.
Because of the network of gravel roads there are numerous other possible "trailheads," depending on weather, road conditions and the type of vehicle you are driving (the gravel roads may be too rough for regular passenger cars in places).
Parking: Yes: Parking lot, 30 spaces, no overnight parking
ADA Accessible Parking Spaces? Yes
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 January 30, 2018