Osamequin Nature Sanctuary offers visitors a place to enjoy a diverse sample of Rhode Island's coastal plant and animal communities along the west shore of the Barrington River's Hundred Acre Cove, Rhode Island's most extensive and pristine inland estuarine system. This system has been noted by the US Fish and Wildlife Service to be one of the 50 most important coastal marshes between Long Island and Cape Code. The trail system on the preserve provides many views of the cove as well as the various habitats and environments within the preserve. The trails are all easy and flat and each habitat type is accessible to refuge visitors via the color coded trails which begin with the green trail at the park entrance. See the trail map for more details on the trail routes and colors. There are two parts to the preserve. What is being described here is the primary, "first bird," trail system. The second part, the "second bird" trail system, is about 0.7 mile north on Wampanoag Trail. See the separate listing for that "second bird" trail system.
As a result of sea level rise (seen here as higher high tides), the marsh plants and animals are migrating inland. As a result some trails have been relocated to higher ground. If you encounter flooded trails please use caution and when it doubt turn around and use a different trail. Please help the wildlife by staying on marked trails.
Osamequin is named in honor of the Massasoit or "Great Leader" of the Pokanoket Tribe of the Wampanoag Nation. All of Barrington was part of their homeland of Sowams. Massasoit Ousamequin prevented the failure of the Plymouth Colony and negotiated a peace treaty on March 22, 1621 that lasted over 50 years. For more information about the Pokanoket Tribe of the Wampanoag Nation visit the Pokanoket website.
Under the Green Acres program the Town of Barrington acquired the 42 acres of land that are Osamequin Nature Sanctuary and granted permission to the Barrington Garden Club to develop the area as a conservation area. Dedicated in May 1968, the management and maintenance by the Garden Club has continued ever since in cooperation with the Conservation Commission and the Department of Public Works.
There is something to offer in every season. Salt marsh islands in the cove are visible from the shoreline of the refuge - bring your binoculars for bird-watching. Horseshoe crabs lay eggs on the shoreline each spring. You might see a rare diamondback terrapin sunning upon a log or peeking up from the water. The only known nesting population of this terrapin in Rhode Island is at the Rayner Refuge across Hundred Acre Cove which also offers public hiking trails.
All efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information on this website, however it is subject to change. Information is updated in an ongoing manner in partnership with local tourism offices, individual businesses and organizations and via a direct feed from goprovidence.com, discovernewport.org, southcountyri.com and Yelp.com.
Fall - Spring 2023-2024 RHODE ISLAND DIGITAL VISITOR GUIDE