George B. Parker Woodland Wildlife Refuge
Natural history programs, hikes, and field trips are available at this 700-acre site, which is primarily mixed deciduous forest, with some stands dominated by mature chestnut oak. Red maple swamps, streams, and open fields are also found on this property. This Audubon Society of Rhode Island refuge is also the site of an archaeological dig designed to study the stone remains of mills and the columnar-saped cairnspiles of stoneswhose origin remains a mystery. There are charcoal mounds as well, where 18th- and 19th-century residents processed charcoal for cold-blast iron furnaces. North of Maple Valley Road, in Foster, forest trails cross areas that were once farmed, and also pass two small quarries. Look for Pine Swamp Brook, which flows down a rocky ravine. The Isaac Bowen House, on this site, is on the National Register of Historic Places.
A variety of educational programs is available throughout the year. The Audubon Society of Rhode Island offers a summer day camp for children at this site.
For more information, contact the Audubon Society of Rhode Island, (401) 949-5454, or the refuge office, (401) 397-4474.
From Rte. 102, turn east onto Maple Valley Road. Sign marks entrance to parking lot. Kiosk at head of trail offers maps and refuge information.
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