August 21, 2008

Away From the Shore, Pulaski Fills the Bill

It may not have the sweeping bay views of Jamestown's scenic Beavertail State Park, but for a pristine slice of Rhode Island woods it's hard to beat the Pulaski Memorial Recreation Area in Glocester, just a stone's throw from the Connecticut border.

This rolling 100-acre tract of tall pines and oak -- part of the 4,000-acre George Washington Management Area -- is open year-round from sunrise to sunset and offers hiking, fishing, picnicking and swimming. There's also a playing field where you can toss a football around or play Frisbee. Horseshoe pits are located nearby.

The park, named for Casimir Pulaski, a Polish-born cavalry officer who lost his life in the Revolutionary War, is about 25 miles west of Providence on Route 44, on the Connecticut line. There's no camping, but there are scads of picnic tables and fireplaces scattered throughout the grounds, and a sandy beach where you can take a dip in a cordoned off area of 13-acre Peck Pond. A lifeguard is on duty from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

A covered pavilion next to the pond, with picnic tables and a large stone fireplace, can be rented for family get-togethers by the day for $35. Call (401) 568-2085 for reservations.

You can fish anywhere in the pond (it's stocked with trout) except from the beach or from a boat, said ranger Tom Doherty. Boats and flotation devices are prohibited.

Doherty said that picnic area 3, the first parking lot you come to when entering the park, is a favorite spot of family reunions and birthday parties because it's an open area away from the rest of the crowds.

Ten miles of groomed trails used for cross-country skiing in the winter months make for good summertime hiking..

There is no entry fee. And if you bring a dog, keep it on a leash. Also, no alcohol.

The pretty Bowdish Reservoir is next to the Pulaski Memorial Recreation Area in Glocester. THE PROVIDENCE JOURNAL / STEVE SZYDLOWSKI -- Channing Gray -- Channing Gray

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