Join Cheryl Wiitala, preserves manager for The Nature Conservancy, at the Aust Family Preserve at Lime Rock in Lincoln. The Preserve is laced with trails through a variety of distinctive New England habitats including woodlands, forested swamps, streams, a small reservoir and calcareous ledges. These ledges of dolomitic marble produce a special calcareous soil that once nurtured as many as 30 rare plant species.
Though some of these species have disappeared over time, the Preserve remains a delight to visit, especially in spring. Our sightings should include red columbine (Aquilegia canadensis), Canadian lousewort (Pedicularis canadensis), marsh-marigold (Calthus palustris), nodding trillium (Trillium cernuum) and many species of ferns.
The 2-mile loop trail offers relatively easy walking with some stairs, hills and rock outcroppings at the beginning of the walk.
Location: 96 Wilbur Road, Lincoln. Directions below
This walk is a part of our First Thursday Botanizing Walk Series. See our Botanizing Walks home page for important details about these walks.
-From I-95 North in Providence, use the two right lanes to take Exit 23 for RI-146 North toward Lincoln/Woonsocket.
-After 4.9 miles, take the exit for RI-123 Breakneck Hill Road. Turn left at the end of the ramp onto Breakneck Hill Road.
-After .2 miles, turn right at the light onto RI-246.
-Continue 1.7 miles and turn left onto Wilbur Road.
-Roughly .5 miles on the right will be the entrance to the Aust Family Lime Rock Preserve and a small parking lot. If that lot is full, you may park on the side of the road, but pull off as much as possible.
From the north
-From RI-146 South, take the exit toward RI-246 South. Upon exiting, stay left and then straight onto RI-246 South.
-After .7 miles, turn right onto Wilbur Road.
-Follow the the above directions to reach the Preserve.
We will meet at the Preserve entrance near the parking lot at 10 am.