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October 2021

Vol. 49, No. 5

A Guide to Birding Great Swamp Management Area, South Kingstown, Rhode Island

Patrick Felker

The Great Swamp Management Area in South Kingstown, Rhode Island, is a 3,349-acre preserve that is rich with diverse habitats, history, and birds. You can access the walking trails from the dirt parking lot at the end of Great Neck Road (41.4690987646978, -71.5795471982134). To get to Great Swamp from Interstate 95, take exit 3A and merge onto RI-138 eastbound. After driving eastbound on RI-138 for 8.8 miles, make a sharp right turn onto Liberty Lane. TLC Coffee Roasters is located at this intersection.

To get to Liberty Lane from US-1, turn onto RI-138 westbound at the traffic light at (41.49477, -71.45652). After 5.2 miles, make a slight left turn onto Liberty Lane at TLC Coffee Roasters. To get to Great Swamp from RI-4, take exit 3B onto RI-102 northbound toward Exeter. Once on RI-102, turn left onto RI-2 southbound in 0.7 mile. Continue driving south on RI-2 for 6.8 miles, and turn left at the traffic light onto RI-138 eastbound. After 1.4 miles, take a sharp right turn onto Liberty Lane at TLC Coffee Roasters.

After turning onto Liberty Lane, continue straight for 0.8 mile. Soon Liberty Lane curves to the left, runs parallel to the railroad, and becomes Great Neck Road, which is an unpaved road usually littered with potholes. In 0.5 mile, there will be a hunter check station and the Department of Environmental Management offices on the right; continue straight. Soon after entering the forest, continue past the gun range on the left. About 100 feet after the gun range turnoff, there will be a misleading sign posted to a tree that says “Authorized Vehicles Only.” This sign is not in reference to Great Neck Road but is in reference to a side “road” that is overgrown and unrecognizable. Keep driving on Great Neck Road for another 0.3 mile until you reach a large clearing, which is the parking lot for Great Swamp Management Area. The gate at the end of the parking lot is where the walk begins.


Map 1. Great Swamp Management Area.

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