Patricia Sprague Forest Preserve
Owned by the Town of Charlestown since 2016, this 27.8 acre property was purchased with a Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management open space grant and Town Open Space Bond funds. The DEM and the land trust hold conservation easements on the land in perpetuity.
The property contains a floodplain forest, vernal pools, and approximately 1600 feet of frontage on the Pawcatuck River, one of South County’s most important public recreational attractions. The Pawcatuck River has been nominated for Federal designation as a Wild and Scenic River. The Wild and Scenic River designation recognizes the presence of plant and animal species of national significance. The section of the Pawcatuck River that flows through this property is rated as “Pristine”.
The land is a hummocky glaciated landscape of high relief that contains a three-acre meadow adjacent to the river and a one-acre hay field bordered by a few old apple trees, in addition to oak forests and a variety of wetlands. The steep slopes near the river contain unique glacial features.
Once the preserve parking lot is complete, and the trails are open, hikers will access the property’s trail system from a parking lot on Railroad Avenue in Carolina that will provide hiking opportunities year round and cross country skiing or snow shoeing in winter.
Existing trails through the property include an old farm road and trails through forest and around fields. There are also trails along the river and trails to the bluffs overlooking the river. There is dry access to the river and views of the river from different points.