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John C. Whitehead Preserve/Dundery Brook Trail System

Little Compton, The Nature Conservancy

1.9 miles of trail

0.6 miles

Easy

Very Easy

0.6 miles of trail at this site are wheelchair and stroller-friendly, however, these trails may not meet ADA standards.

Close

Very Easy

Trails that are smooth and relatively level with no steps, no roots, stones or uneven ground. These may be paved, crushed stone, continuous boardwalk and similar surfaces. These trails have a route that is quite obvious such as a single point to point trail or an easy loop or network of trails.

Easy

Relatively flat and smooth trails with a route that is quite obvious such as a single point to point trail or an easy loop or network of trails.

Moderate

May have a few hills or steep sections and multiple surface types including rocks and roots. Trails are generally well-marked but following them requires a trail map.

Difficult

Strenuous trails, trail systems that mostly involve multi-mile loops and trails that are narrow and may have obstacles such as stream crossings or rocky areas, some trails are less well marked.

Click on the "Trail Map (PDF)" button to download a PDF of the trail map that you can print and take with you on the trail.

Avenza maps are special, free maps that you can use in the Avenza app on your smart phone. These maps let you see your location on the map as you walk. Download the Avenza App for free in the Apple App Store or on Google Play

Click on the Avenza Trail Map button to "purchase" the free map for this trail from the Avenza map store. If this is your first time, Avenza will ask you to set up an account to check out. However, all Avenza trail maps listed on ExploreRI are free.

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.

What’s There:

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From the Dundery Brook trailhead the Dundery Brook Trail (orange on the trail map) runs through a forested wetland and then into an open meadow and pond habitat. Seasonal changes in flora and fauna can be observed all year long. Highlights include the Spring return of migratory birds and emergence of amphibians of all kinds. Flowering wetland plants that include jack-in-the-pulpit and some very rare plants can be observed along the trail.

Since the trail is almost entirely a boardwalk it is particularly suitable for younger children and those for whom getting around can be a challenge. The trail provides visitors with an opportunity to explore a myriad of wetland habitats which support a changing variety of creatures throughout the year.

The Dundery Brook Trail continues around Bumblebee Pond as Blanche's Path (white on the trail map), following an old cart path that takes walkers through woods and open fields.

The newly created Hope's Path (blue on the trail map) connects the Dundery Brook Trail and Blanche's Path to the new trailhead on West Main Road. This trail runs through woods, around a number of small ponds and over Dundery Brook and another, unnamed stream.

With the purchase of Bumble Bee Preserve in 2001, The Nature Conservancy was able to protect a stunning freshwater ecosystem that feeds into Briggs Marsh. However, providing for access was not simple given the Preserve is surrounded by hardwood swamps and marshes which are associated with Dundery Brook.

Following a stem of Dundery Brook, the Dundery Brook Trail boardwalk provides an outdoor classroom for schoolchildren and the community to engage with nature up close while learning about freshwater resources that supply the community's drinking water. Easily traveled 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.

"Being able to walk and hike in such beautiful spots makes me appreciate all the hard work it takes to keep these places unspoiled and available for us, for our children and for the generations who follow. It would not be possible without the sustained efforts of conservation groups everywhere." -Piper Hawes

Dundery Brook Trail web page on The Nature Conservancy website

Become a Friend of the Dundery Brook Trail

Other Amenities: The town center as well as an elementary school are nearby for restrooms and other services during business hours. There are also port-a-johns nearby, seasonally.

Getting There:

Dundery Brook Trailhead

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 West Main Road (Route 77), go east on Meeting House Lane exactly 1/2 mile toward the center of Little Comption. Turn left into the parking area just past the Country & Coastal Real Estate office. This lot is shared by trail users and users of the town's recreational fields and tennis courts.

Parking: Yes: Parking lot, 10 spaces, no overnight parking

ADA Accessible Parking Spaces? Yes

Coordinates: 41° 30.514' N    71° 10.601' W   See this location in: Google Maps   Acme Maps


West Main Road Trailhead

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: The parking lot for this trailhead is on West Main Road, 1.3 miles south of Peckham Road and 0.3 miles north of Meetinghouse Lane.

Parking: Yes: Parking lot, 7 spaces, no overnight parking

Coordinates: 41° 30.593' N    71° 11.396' W   See this location in: Google Maps   Acme Maps


 

Protect Against Ticks!!

Submitted by: Lynn; May 6, 2021; 10:12 pm

Although it looks like a beautiful hike, I can't really rate the John C Whitehead Trail, because we left after less than 5 minutes in. I immediately had 5 ticks on my shoe. On the way out, six more were on my shoe. I found four more on my leg and two inside my shoe in the parking lot. My husband had five on him. If you want to do this trail, definitely spray your clothes before you enter.

Rating:

starstarstar

Photographs:

Photo Credit: Lynn


Open trail

Submitted by: Jan; June 5, 2020; 2:02 pm

Please open! When will this trail open!


When will this trail be open?

Submitted by: Corinna ; June 4, 2020; 7:25 pm

Hello. I am wondering when this trail will re open?

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This site report was last updated on May 7, 2021

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