South Kingstown, Rhode Island 02879Trustom Pond NWR Official Website
Cards Pond is a coastal lagoon in South Kingstown, Washington County. It is one of nine coastal lagoons (often referred to as “salt ponds”) in southern Rhode Island. According to the Rhode Island Sea Grant program, “its breach way is only intermittently open to the sea”, and it receives large quantities of freshwater from Moonstone Stream; only two other salt ponds, Point Judith and Greenhill, have significant streams flowing into them. It is partially within the Trustom Pond National Wildlife Refuge, which is inhabited by over 360 species of animals.
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The last undeveloped coastal pond in Rhode Island is Trustom Pond, part of the 800 acres of Trustom Pond National Wildlife Refuge in South Kingstown. The refuge supports varied wildlife including many different species of waterfowl during the spring and fall migration, and a wide array of songbirds along with some nesting rare osprey and least terns.
Trustom Refuge includes Moonstone Beach, a 1.5-mile barrier beach closed from April 1 to September 15th to protect the nesting piping plover population. Herculean efforts by refuge staff and volunteers have been made to return the habitat to its natural state, especially the grasslands. The refuge is located on Schoolhouse Road off the Moonstone Brach Road exit on US-1 South in the town of South Kingstown.
This refuge is one of five national wildlife refuges in Rhode Island. In 1974, Mrs. Ann Kenyon Morse donated the first 365 acres of the refuge. In 1982, the Audubon Society of Rhode Island donated 151 acres. Today, the refuge includes 787 acres of various wildlife habitats including fields, shrublands, woodlands, fresh and saltwater ponds, and sandy beaches and dunes. Approximately 300 bird species, more than 40 mammal species, and 20 species of reptiles and amphibians call Trustom Pond refuge home during the year. Trustom Pond is the only undeveloped coastal salt pond in Rhode Island, making it even more valuable to wildlife. On the southern boundary is found a barrier beach which remains one of the few Rhode Island nesting sites for two species of concern, the least tern and piping plover.
Restrooms on site
Wheelchair accessible trail
Last updated February 1, 2023