Located more or less directly across the highway from Burlingame State Park, Ninigret National Wildlife Refuge protects Rhode Islandís largest coastal pond and associated wetland and upland habitats, including swamps and grasslands. With 310 species recorded, it is one of the premier bird-finding spots in the region. As much of the 407-acre refuge is the site of a former naval air station, expect a combination of asphalt and natural vegetation underfoot. The refuge is at its best in late summer and fall, when Ninigret Pond and nearby marshes attract great numbers of harriers, herons, egrets, gulls, terns, and shorebirds and the upland shrubs and fields harbor kinglets, vireos, warblers, blackbirds, and sparrows.
Across Ninigret Pond, the Ninigret Conservation Area has more than 2 miles of barrier beach. Access to the beach is via East Beach Road at the western end of the pond. In summer, parking is a problem by midmorning, so plan accordingly.
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