Long and Ell Ponds Natural Area
This area is noteworthy as the only designated National Natural Landmark in Rhode Island. High bluffs and rocky overlooks offer stunning views of the forested landscape and the two ponds. The well-developed forests are unique for their extensive stands of rhododendron and some of the largest Eastern hemlock trees in the state. Of further interest is the floating or quaking bog at Ell Pond, which is completely surrounded by white cedar swamp, one of the best examples of this wetland type in Rhode Island. The strenuous trail around these ponds marks the end of Appalachain Mountain Club's Narragansett Trail. A wide diversity of wildlife can be found in this area. Nesting birds of note include hooded and worm-eating warblers. The area is managed in sections by The Nature Conservancy, the Audubon Society of Rhode Island, and the state.
Hint: Plan a visit in early June to enjoy rhododendrons in bloom.
For more information, contact the Audubon Society of Rhode Island, (401) 949-5454.
From I-95, follow Rte. 138 West into village of Rockville. Turn left onto Wincheck Pond Road. After 0.1 mile, turn left onto Canonchet Road. Proceed 0.4 mile past post office and up hill. When road diverges into a "V," veer right onto unmarked North Road. (paved for 0.4 mile and then unpaved). Proceed 1 mile to small parking area on left. Yellow dot trail to ponds begins at sign. End of yellow dot trail and another parking area are 0.6 mile beyond intersection of Canonchet and North roads.
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