Fort Nature Refuge
1445 Providence Pike (Route 5), North Smithfield
With its variety of trails, beautiful ponds, and diverse wildlife, Fort Nature Refuge is wonderful any time of year. The Fort family donated these 235-acres to the Audubon and the trails are wide and well marked.
From the parking lot, start on the blue trail. Very soon you will reach a fork; take the blue trail to your right. Follow to the Pond Overlook sign and make a right. You can turn around here, or extend your hike by continuing around the blue trail loop. There are also two other trails for a much longer hike (see map). **Please note that the yellow and red trails are temporarily closed due to work along the power lines by National Grid.**
Length: 1 mile to overlook and back; 1.5 miles if you extend your hike all the way around the blue loop; 3.8 miles if you include the yellow and red trails
Difficulty: easy for children
Dogs: to protect the fragile ecology of the refuge, please leave your dogs at home
You might want to bring: binoculars to view the beaver dam across the pond
Get directions or follow ours: From Route 295, take exit 8B for Route 7 north. Follow Route 7 north for about 2.3 miles. Bear right onto Branch Pike/Providence Pike and travel 2.3 miles. The entrance to the refuge will be on your left just after the fire station (on the right).