When you think of wild places, Rhode Island probably doesn’t come to mind. But even the smallest state has its fair share of wooded havens, many protected by The Nature Conservancy.
Here are a few photos from a hike at the Beaver River Preserve, which I was lucky enough to visit in the company of one of TNC’s intrepid volunteers, Dale Higgs. This is an important place to protect: The Beaver River is a tributary of the Pawcatuck watershed, which serves as the sole source of drinking water for more than 60,000 people.
Along the 2-mile loop, Dale showed me a terminal glacial moraine (a bunch of big boulders left behind by the retreat of the last ice age), a beaver dam, and a termite-exploded tree, as well as his efforts to maintain the trail through all seasons and Hurricane Sandy. Not bad for a short hike in the smallest state!