This Island Sanctuary In Rhode Island Is A Hiker's Hidden Paradise
In an age where tourism is at its highest ever, not often will you find an island oasis preserved in its natural state. The Norman Bird Sanctuary in Rhode Island is one such place. Luckily this island sanctuary isn’t off limits or surrounded by unfriendly no trespassing signs, in fact, exactly the opposite is true! This protected treasure welcomes visitors to tour every inch of its unspoiled beauty. Get ready to explore this amazing hiker’s paradise.
Norman Bird Sanctuary encompasses more than 325 acres of varied habitats on Aquidneck Island. This wildlife sanctuary and environmental education center has seven miles of extraordinary trails to explore.
Choose from 10 unique trails. They vary in length and ability so you can pick the perfect path each time. There is even a universally accessible trail that is friendly for those who use wheelchairs and mobility aids, so everyone can enjoy this vast natural treasure.
Take a short easy breezy hike or decide to opt for something longer and more challenging. One thing is for sure, you'll want to return again and again until you've taken every single option.
Want to be on top of the world? Take the 1-mile Hanging Rock Trail. Cross uneven terrain at an elevation gain of 70 feet to take in unrivaled water views in many directions of the ocean, Sakonnet River, and Gardiner Pond.
Looking for a lower-key journey? Try the Universal Trail. A packed stone trail that changes into a boardwalk through the forest leads to a viewing platform with wonderful views of Red Maple Pond.
The Woodland Trail is another gem at just over a mile following an old bridle path for a portion of the hike. This peaceful path is a wonderful place for a quiet walk.
The 1.2-mile Red Fox Trail passes over a stony ridge that hold the only igneous rocks in the entire sanctuary. Drink in the lovely views on this unique trail.
Explore the Quarry Trail for a step back in time. The spring-fed pond here used to be a slate quarry back in the good old days. The .4-mile path also passes through field and forest for a hike with a little bit of everything.
Other trail options include but aren't limited to the Woodcock Trail that leads to an old cemetery and also the Gardiner Pond Trail which leads to Hanging Rock via a much easier route.
Whichever trail you choose, keep your eyes open at all times. You'll certainly spot some of the many species of birds that call this island oasis their home.
Take the opportunity to stop and look in the water features at the sanctuary. Spot frogs, salamanders, and other critters waiting to be discovered.
Of course no island sanctuary would be complete without its own beach. Enjoy a stroll along the sandy shore for just one more kind of scenery.
Not only is the sanctuary a hiker's paradise, it is a photographer's dream. There is secret scenery around every corner just waiting to be captured.
The Norman Bird Sanctuary is open daily from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. with the exception of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Harvest Fair Weekend. The unspoiled natural beauty is calling your name, what are you waiting for?
The Norman Bird Sanctuary can be found at 583 Third Beach Rd., Middletown, RI 02842. There is a small fee for trail use which is $7 for adults, $6 for seniors and military, $3 for students and children ages 3 - 18. Children under 3 are admitted for free. Learn more about this incredible sanctuary by visiting their
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