Charlestown Land Trust

Preserve and Protect What You Love

Join CLT in our mission to preserve Charlestown’s open space and natural character for the lasting benefit of our community. The land trust preserves and protects the distinctive character of our local area through acquisition and management of open space.

Charlestown Land Trust

Land We Protect

CLT Owned Properties

Below is a list of properties that the Charlestown Land Trust owns in fee. Together they total 177.81 acres! While we invite you to visit any of the properties owned by CLT, please note that Mill Pond Preserve is currently the only property that has an official trail system.

Charlestown Beach09-36
Charlestown Breachway09-61-2
Cross Mills12-129-1
Gavitt Family1-89
Geoffrey Smith03-17
Hathaway Preserve01-101
Mill Pond Preserve (4 parcels)20-96, 20-131, 20-126-1, and 20-95
Quonnie Beach Lot (2 parcels)01-22 and 01-23
Quonnie Island01-134
Shelter Cove Island09-95
South Farm Link27-84

We now have a full sized, detailed map showing ALL the properties under CLT’s conservation umbrella. Click on the image to view the map and download the PDF version below.

“Mill Pond at Morning” courtesy of Bill McCusker

Mill Pond Preserve was originally part of The American Fish Culture (AFC) business and was called the Cross’ Mill Hatchery. AFC was based 10 minutes north of Cross’ Mills in Carolina, RI. Between 1900 and 1950, the business expanded to include the Carolina Hatchery, Tanner Trout Farm, Perryville Hatchery and a Berkshire-based hatchery. The Cross’ Mills Hatchery was their last acquisition added about 1950. Cross’ Mills drew water from Mill Pond which has springs that are up to forty feet deep and ten feet wide. These springs produce 200 gallons per minute at a steady temperature of 48 degrees year-round, perfect for raising rainbow trout. During the 1940’s-1950’s, AFC was New England’s largest private hatchery, shipping two hundred thousand pounds of trout to fishing clubs region wide and to the Fulton Street Fish Market in NYC.

Over time there was a steady decline in private hatchery business so that in 1995 AFC was ready to sell. According to Oliver Hazard, the then President of AFC, the property was within an “eyelash” of being sold to the Suntory Group of Japan. With 6 hours to go, the Nature Conservancy stepped in and the land was saved. Ultimately, the land was transferred to CLT and was opened to the public on Earth Day 2005. Mill Pond Preserve is located on Route 2 (Charlestown, RI), just north of the Route 1 intersection. Going north it is the first driveway on the right after the entrance to Simple Pleasures. Look for signs. Visitors should wear sturdy shoes and are encouraged to bring binoculars. No restroom facilities on site. You can find a trail map of Mill Pond Preserve here.

Our trails and properties are all managed by volunteers. If you would like to be notified of property cleanup days and trail maintenance opportunities, please email [email protected].

If you are looking to visit any of our properties, we ask that you plan your visit between dawn and dusk and pack out whatever you pack in. Leashed pets are allowed. Fires, camping, hunting, and wheeled vehicles are prohibited.

Interested in making a difference and donating your land? Contact us at [email protected].

Conservation Easements

The Charlestown Land Trust holds conservation easements on some privately owned parcels — that is, land still owned by individual landowners. A conservation easement enables the landowner to protect the land in perpetuity while retaining ownership by placing restrictions on the property that legally bind the present and future landowner. The land trust is responsible for monitoring the property and upholding the terms of the easement and the conservation values. The beauty of conservation easements is that they prohibit some activities in order to protect the habitat, flora, or fauna found on the land and prevent the destruction of natural resources or open space by setting limitations on the use of land. Conservation easements have become one of the most commonly used land conservation tools in the country. The Land Trust Alliance is a great resource for better understanding conservation easements and the role that land trusts play in protecting local land. Read more on conservation easements here.

2021 botany walk at Sprague Forest Preserve

Below is a list of properties on which the Charlestown Land Trust currently holds conservation easements. Together they total 470.67 protected acres! As a reminder, you cannot visit these properties as they are privately owned. The exception is the Patricia Sprague Forest Preserve, which is owned by the town of Charlestown with a conservation easement held by the Charlestown Land Trust. There is a lovely trail that traverses an old farm road, continues through forest, and even leads to the Pawcatuck River. You can find a trail map here here.

The Amos Green Farm is a perfect example of what a conservation easement can accomplish. This easement protects, in perpetuity, a large part of the 1750 Amos Green Farm for conservation, open space, agriculture, and passive recreational purposes. With help from the Town of Charlestown, the RI Agricultural Land Preservation Commission, the Nature Conservancy, and generous donations from the Fenner and Ricci families we have created a green connection from the 800-acre Carter Preserve, across the Carolina Back Road to Sand Plain Road. Our annual trail run starts on this beautiful property.

Interested in making a difference and placing a conservation easement on your property? Contact us at [email protected].

Amos Green Farm (6 parcels)

28 & part of 4-6, 28 & part of 7, and 28 & part of 6,7 &4

Bradford Sportsmen Club14-45-2
Fenner Farm (3 parcels)28-2-3, 28-1, and 25-95
Rowe (2 parcels)29-50 and 21-62 3/4
Sprague Forest Preserve28-84
Sprague Forest Preserve Plant List  Trail Map