Spend An Afternoon Exploring at Great Swamp Management Area

Among the many great things to do in Narragansett, spending an afternoon at the Great Swamp Management Area is one of the best places to experience the region’s natural beauty. This is the perfect setting to spend an afternoon hiking and picnicking with the family!

About The Great Swamp Management Area

This protected area consists of more than three thousand acres of wetlands, woodlands, and meadows. The Great Swamp Management Area (WMA) primarily focuses on wildlife management, wildlife habitat management, and wildlife-dependent recreation. This area is particularly important for waterfowl during migratory seasons, who use it as a rest stop on their way North or South. In addition to waterfowl, the WMA is home to many other keystone species. 

Deer in Narragansett swamp

Things To Do At Great Swamp

Wildlife viewing is the most popular activity at the WMA, and it’s not hard to accomplish. The protected area is teeming with wildlife: birds, mammals, fish, reptiles, amphibians, and insects. Some are migratory species and can only be seen during spring or fall, while others permanently make the WMA their home. 

One of the best ways to view wildlife is hiking the loop trail around the large swamp in the center of the WMA. This 4-mile loop is one of the best nature trails in Narragansett. It is moderate to challenging terrain for children but entirely possible for families to hike together. Bring your furry friends along, as dogs are welcome! Don’t forget your bug spray and binoculars!

Fishing, hunting, and trapping are also popular activities within the WMA. However, these activities are strictly regulated, so you must do your research beforehand to ensure you are following seasonal rules and regulations. 

What Types of Animals Will You See

Beaver in Narragansett water

You’re likely to see black ducks, mallards, wood ducks, and Canada geese during migration season. Some of these birds even decide to stay, nest, and raise their young for the rest of the year. A wide variety of song and woodland birds also pass through the reserve. 

Apart from birds, you’re likely to spot white-tailed deer, wild turkey, and various species of turtles, snakes, frogs, and salamanders. Other mammal species include bobcats, foxes, coyotes, muskrat, mink, and beavers. Occasionally, guests are lucky enough to see moose and black bears!

Plan Your Next Visit!

After a memorable day exploring the WMA, return to the comfort of your Narragansett rental. Our properties are perfect for couples or families. We even offer Rhode Island beach vacation rentals, so you are never far from the shore. Start planning your Narragansett vacation today!

Hours & Directions

If you are interested in hiking around the central swamp, follow Route 95 and take exit 3A.  Follow Route 138 east for 9 miles before taking a sharp right onto Liberty Lane, where you will see a Great Swamp Management Area sign to guide you. Follow this road about a mile before taking a left onto a dirt road which will guide you to the DEM Fish and Wildlife area. 

The park is open from 8:30 AM – 4 PM Monday through Friday, so there are plenty of opportunities to visit this wonderful area during your stay in a Narragansett waterfront vacation rental!