Spring 2023

Invasive Plants in
Canonchet Farm

View Canonchet
Farm Video

Plans for the
Linear Park


Map of Canonchet Farm Property

Trail Map


Trail Map


Trail Guide

Watch a short film on Habitat Restoration at Lake Canonchet

On Protecting Canonchet #1
The Master Plan

On Protecting Canonchet #2
Appropriate Uses

On Protecting Canonchet #3
Management of the Park

On Protecting Canonchet #4
Finance Issues


Cleanup at Lake Canonchet
September 10, 2011

Charlie Lee Remembrance
February 6, 2011

Canonchet History
Who was Canonchet?
by Richard Vangermeersch

Canonchet Farm Master Plan
Town Council Holds Workshop on Planning Board Report

Our Response
October 21, 2010

Our Vision and Recommendations for Canonchet Farm
April 2009

Guided Walks Fall 2010

Beech Grove Cleanup Complete
Cleanup - Day 4
October 31, 2009

Beech Grove
Cleanup - Day 2
October 9, 2009

Tom Wessels
Guided Walk
October 10, 2009

Other Links
Narrow River Preservation Association

South County Museum

On Pettaquamscutt 2020

Narragansett Chamber of Commerce


Posted May 15, 2023

Tree Identification on the
Canonchet Farm Trail

Saturday, June 3, 10:00 a.m.

Friends of Canonchet Farm is pleased to host Peter Stetson to guide us in exploring the varied tree life on the trail. Peter is President of Educational Mapping Service and a popular OLLI instructor in tree identification as well as GIS and other mapping techniques. He is the founder of Educational Mapping Service in Wyoming, R.I.

We’ll start off inside the Metz Building at the South County Museum for a brief overview of tree identification and then hit the trail. This event is free and open to the public. For more details and to register for this event, click the Register button show a sign-up page on Eventbrite.

Posted May 9, 2023

Exploring What’s New and Historical on Canonchet Farm Trail

Saturday, May 13, 1:00 p.m.

Join Tom Hoagland and Alan Woodmansee, Master Gardeners and respectively President and Trail Manager of Friends of Canonchet Farm, as they lead us on Narragansett’s beloved Canonchet Trails. Here is how Tom previews the walk:

“We will meet at the South County Museum and walk east, viewing the Sprague spring house foundation and our newly planted trees, walk to the beach side of Littleneck Pond to the new clearing, then back along the trail and turn left at the field loop to view where we hope to employ the goats to remove invasive plants. Come enjoy Canonchet Farm forest before the mosquitoes take over next month!”

Meet us at the parking lot at the South County Museum. This event is free and open to the public.  For more details and to register for this event, click the Register:

You don't need to print a ticket. Just reserve a spot and come!

Read John Kostrzewa's description of Canonchet Farm in the Providence Journal (April 30, 2023).


Walk Canonchet with John Kostrzewa

Saturday, May 6, 10 a.m.

John Kostrzewa, a former Providence Journal reporter and editor who now writes the "Walking Rhode Island" column for the Journal, will tell us about his favorite hikes and what he has learned on the trails. He'll also offer recommendations on where to hike in R.I. and what to bring on your trek.

Join will then lead a walk through Canonchet Farm. Along the way, he'll point out historic sites and other areas of interest. We’ll start with a brief talk inside the Metz Building at the South County Museum.

Friends of Canonchet Farm is pleased to sponsor this free event. Click the button below to register using EventBrite:

Annual Meeting Featuring Goats!

Sunday, May 7, 1:00 p.m.

It’s that time again! Our Annual Meeting is on Sunday afternoon, May 7 starting at 1:00 in the Metz Exhibition Building of the South County Museum.

Join us for lunch and beverages and our speaker Jackie Magnan, Co-Owner of The Sanctuary of Hope, the organization that provides goats to renew landscapes infested with invasive plants. As you know, we hope to employ their goats to clear an overgrown field just to the west of the museum. Jackie will show a brief video and discuss how the goats work. One of the goats is expected to make a guest appearance!

We will also honor our volunteers at the meeting -- something long overdue.
Please mark your calendars and use the Register button to RSVP:

We look forward to seeing you on Sunday, May 7!

Posted March 12, 2023; Updated March 22, 2023

Mark Your Calendar:
Spring 2023 Guided Walks
at Canonchet Farm

Here are four walks at Canonchet Farm planned for this spring:

April 8, 1:00 p.m.,“Vernal Pool Amphibians at Canonchet Farm” with Nancy Karraker

Catch the activity in these small wetlands before they dry up! We are delighted to begin our Spring Trail Walks with a return visit by Nancy Karraker, URI Associate Professor in the Department of Natural Resources Science.

We'll meet at the South County Museum parking lot. Nancy will lead us on a tour of Canonchet vernal pools, host to spring-breeding for amphibians, reptiles, and aquatic insects. Canonchet Farm's has a large number of these “puddles” that play a crucial role for amphibians, such as wood frogs and spring peepers.

For more details and to register for this free event, click on Register button:

You don't need to print a ticket.  Just register and come!

Up Next

May 6, 10:00 a.m., Walking Canonchet Trails in the Spring with John Kostrzewa, former business editor and nature columnist with The Providence Journal.

May 13, 10:00 a.m., Canonchet: A Woodlands Treasure in the Heart of Narragansett, a walk led by Tom Hoagland and Alan Woodmansee, Master Gardeners and respectively President and Trail Manager of Friends of Canonchet Farm.

Date To Be Announced, Everything about the Trees! Peter Stetson, OLLI Instructor, former environmental earth science teacher, current President of Educational Mapping Service.

All walks are free and open to the public. Look for registration and other more information here and on Facebook as the event approaches.

Posted January 8, 2023

Restoring Narrow River's Salt Marshes with Save the Bay
Maury Loontjens Memorial Library
Sunday Afternoon, January 29, 2023 from 2:00 to 3:30.

Join us at the Maury Loontjens Memorial Library as we learn about past and proposed salt marsh restoration efforts along the Narrow River. Save The Bay’s Wenley Ferguson will highlight our salt marsh restoration projects in partnership with U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Audubon Society of Rhode Island and the Narrow River Land Trust on the Narrow River, and proposed work in Pettaquamscutt Cove in coordination with the Town of Narragansett.

Background: The region's salt marshes are degraded and experiencing plant die-off due to a combination of factors including legacy human impacts such as past agricultural and mosquito control activities and accelerated sea level rise. Restoring tidal hydrology through the digging of shallow creeks allows water impounded on the marsh surface to drain and the marsh plants to recolonize die-off zones.

This event is free and open to the public; advance registration is encouraged. Click the Register button to sign up at the library website.

Posted January 8, 2023

January 7, 2023 – Jake Brown (left) and Bob Stepanian were among the volunteers who cleared brush from around an old well providing access for the town to install a temporary cover. The well was discovered during a work session a week before when a Friends of Canonchet Farm crew was removing invasives from the stone wall along the Canonchet Farm Trail behind the South County Museum. Note the museum’s Carpentry Shop and Metz Exhibit Hall in the background. The crew meets on Saturday mornings (weather permitting) to maintain the trails. New volunteers are always welcome; contact Tom Hoagland for more information.

See the Friends of Canonchet Farm Home Page in 2022.

THE FRIENDS OF CANONCHET FARM was created in 2007 by a group of Narragansett residents who recognized this forgotten parcel of land could be preserved as a natural space for the community to enjoy. The group has evolved into a partnership with the Town to provide funding and volunteers for enhancing the property. We are committed to help create a natural park for the enjoyment and education of Narragansett residents and visitors.

Today Canonchet Farm is a green space unlike any other in Rhode Island. Comprised of 175 acres of fresh and saltwater wetlands, forests,brooks, and ponds abutting Pettaquamscutt Cove on Narrow River, the land is habitat for a wide variety of birds, plants, animals, and insects. The John H. Chafee National Wildlife Refuge owns ten acres of the land, while the remaining 165 acres belong to the Town of Narragansett. The original open fields of farmland have, over the years, grown into a thick forest of native and invasive plants and trees. Visitors and members will enjoy learning about the area on our popular guided walks, led by experts in the fields of nature, culture, and the sciences. With 1.5 miles of walking trails and proximity to the South County Museum, Canonchet Farm is a perfect venue for a day's outing.


Canonchet Farm's earliest inhabitants were the Narragansett Indians, followed by the first colonial settlers and farmers of the area. In 1865 Governor William Sprague and his wife, Kate Chase Sprague, purchased the property and constructed a sprawling sixty-eight-room mansion. They called the farm"Canonchet" after the renowned sachem of the Narragansett tribe. In 1909 the mansion burned to the ground. Now,only the stone framework remains from the original stable, which burned in 1960's.


With the ongoing habitat restoration program, made possible by the support of donations and volunteers, the ponds are becoming visible from Boston Neck Road. A proposed linear park along the shores of both ponds with a landscape design of native plants begins to take shape. We also plan to install educational signage, offer programs for children, and hold courses in forestry management.


Whether your interest is a quiet walk through the forest or the hands-on experience of preserving the environment, we invite you to join Friends of Canonchet Farm, and help support the natural development of this unique place in Rhode Island.

photo by Bill Krul

Photos by Bill Krul

The mission of the Friends of Canonchet Farm
is to improve, manage and preserve Canonchet Farm
in partnership with the public for the enjoyment
of present and future generations.

Glacial Erratic

Map of Canonchet Farm
Shows trail heads and points of interest
Send e-mail to FriendsCanonchet@aol.com with questions or comments about this web site.
Copyright © 2007-2023 Friends of Canonchet Farm
Last modified: May 15, 2023