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Posted September 7, 2020

Trail Guide Highlights Eleven Points in Canonchet History

The Friends of Canonchet Farm has teamed up with the South County Museum to produce a history trail guide for Canonchet Farm highlighting eleven historically interesting features. The 1.3-mile Canonchet Farm History Trail starts near the Narragansett Community Center on Mumford Road and ends at the West Beach Parking Lot on Anne Hoxsie Lane across Boston Neck Road from the Narragansett Town Beach. There is also an entrance at the midpoint of the trail at South County Museum.

History Trail
One stop on the Canonchet Farm History Trail is the large opening
built into a stone wall to allow access for wagons
to collect salt marsh hay in the spring along Pettaquamscutt Cove.

Wooden posts along the trail mark features including:

  • Evidence of the Sea View Railroad
  • A stone bridge over Crooked Brook
  • Historic stone walls
  • A nineteenth century quarry
  • The ruins of Governor Sprague’s stable
  • The cemetery of the Robinson family, the 18th century owners of Canonchet Farm.

Descriptions of these locations are included in the guide, which also describes the rich history of Canonchet Farm.

Since its first printing in April 2020, over 500 copies of the guide have been distributed to interested trail walkers. You can find the Canonchet Farm History Trail Guide and other Canonchet Farm trail maps at the trailhead kiosks at the Narragansett Community Center and the Narragansett Beach West Parking. You can also view and download the trail guide here.

Canonchet Farm Trail

Canonchet Farm is a green space unlike any other in Rhode Island. Comprised of 175 acres of fresh and salt water 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 original open fields of farmland have, over the years, grown into a thick forest of native and invasive plants and trees.

Over the years various citizens groups such as the Narragansett Tree Society and the Boys Scouts developed over 1.5 miles of trails through the Farm, enabling visitors of all ages to experience up close the natural beauty of the farm and learn more about its unique history. Today the trails are maintained by the Friends of Canonchet Farm.

With easily accessed walking trails and proximity to the South County Museum, Canonchet Farm is a perfect venue for a day's outing. The trails are open to the public year round every day from sunrise to sunset. You may also want to join us on one of our popular guided walks, led by experts in the fields of nature, culture, and the sciences.

View a map of the Canonchet Farm Trail

Explore the Geology of Canonchet Farm

Step onto the Canonchet Geology Trail to explore the rich geologic history of the Pettaquamscutt Watershed, where glaciation deposited large boulders (glacial erratics) and carved a "Roche Moutonnée" and other features on Canonchet Farm. You will also see stone walls, stiles, a quarry and other evidence of early agricultural development.

The Geology Trail was developed by the Friends of Canonchet with the help of the late Jon Boothroyd (shown to right leading a walk on Canonchet in 2010), a noted field geologist and a Research Professor Emeritus in the Department of Geosciences at URI. The trail uses sections of the main walking trail and a spur that offers a spectacular view of Pettaquamscutt Cove. After Jon's death, a geology at URI developed a map and educations materials.

View a map of the Geology Trail

Download an Activities for Children on the Geology Trail.

View the Teacher's Guide to activities on the Geology Trail.

Maintaining and Improving
the Canonchet Farm Trail

In 2016, the Friends of Canonchet Farm took responsibility for maintenance and improvement of the trails through Canonchet Farm. In addition to regular maintenance activities such as mowing and removal of storm debris, volunteers are removing invasive vegetation on the trails and promoting the growth of native species, an extension of our work along Lake Canonchet and Little Neck Pond. With arrival of fall, invasive remediation sessions around the coastal ponds are over for this year and we turn our attention to Canonchet Farm Trail maintenance as soon as possible to get as much done before bad weather interferes.

The work sessions are typically scheduled for Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon from early October to April; (weather and holidays permitting). We meet in the parking lot of the South County Museum at the end of Strathmore Street in Narragansett to pick up tools, and go to the selected work area. We may be headed into new territory - new privet to extirpate, new strangler vines to cut out, more stone walls to uncover. Or maybe we will do a quick refresh of the work started last year.

Instruction, coffee, water, snacks, tools and gloves will be available. Hope to see you there!

Visit the Habitat Restoration page or call 401 783-3951 for more information.

URI Rowing is our new favorite Trail Crew

They usually start each day with a team practice at Middlebridge, on the water by 6:00 a.m. and off to class by 8:00. But on Sunday in November the URI Rowing Team put aside their oars, grabbed shovels and wheelbarrows, and spread 25 cubic yards of sand on sections of the Canonchet Farm Trail, making for a safer, more enjoyable trail for an autumn walk. And as they worked, the team spread smiles all along the trail. Click a thumbnail below to enlarge the picture. Many thanks to the volunteers. Go Rhody!

Watch a practice

More about URI Rowing.

Map of Canonchet Farm
Shows trail heads and points of interest
For more information about the Friends of Canonchet Farm,
email Tom Hoagland (tom.hoagland963@gmail.com).
Copyright © 2007-2024 Friends of Canonchet Farm
Last modified: May 13, 2024