George Washington Wildlife Management Area
Within this large management area, which includes portions of the towns of Burrillville and Glocester, are deciduous woodlands, Atlantic white cedar swamps, hemlock forests, and several ponds. The area covers 3,489 acres, and was the first state forest created in Rhode Island when the initial 244 acres were donated by the Edgewood Women's Club. The management area has hiking and skiing trails, fishing and boating, and forestry demonstration and experimental areas. In 1965, sailors from the Australian ship Perth constructed an 11-mile hiking trail that they named the Walkabout Trail. The area has 45 campsites for tent and trailer campers, and two shelters in a wooded area overlooking Bowdish Reservoir.
A wide variety of wildlife can be seen here. The Pulaski Wildlife Marsh covers 10 acres and creates excellent habitat for waterfowl and other wetland-dependent birds and mammals. Unfragmented forest cover provides habitat for forest interior species, including some neotropical migrants, such as warblers, thrushes, and flycatchers, and hawks and owls. During the winter, it is not unusual to see an otter running over the ice of Bowdish Reservoir. On the reservoir are several islands, which are actually floating bog mats. Atlantic white cedar and black spruce are the dominant trees of these mats, and several rarer plants typically found in northern climates are also found here.
Hint: Put your boat in at the management area's boat launch and investigate some of the bog mats at the center of the Bowdish Reservoir (do not walk on these mats). Or, take your binoculars and hike the red dot trail to the Pulaski Wildlife Marsh to see what species of waterfowl you can find.
For more information, contact R.I. DEM, Division of Forest Environment, (401) 624-3367, which has its headquarters at the George Washington Wildlife Management Area. Maps of the area can be obtained.
From I-295, take Rte. 44 West to management area on right, just 2 miles east of Connecticut state line.
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