Bring the whole family along to Wilbour Woods (also known as Wilbur’s Woods) for an adventure open to all ages. This peaceful stretch of forest and winding steam packs a lot of natural beauty into a relatively small space. The flat, easy-to-navigate trail is never more than few feet from the tumbling waters of Dundery Brook, providing continuous water views. This is a great spot for nature photography year-round! Young explorers will find plenty of places to wade in the shallows on the brook’s edge and search for river wildlife.
After your woodland exploration, relax beneath the trees with a picnic. Three sites along the river at Wilbour Woods offer stone picnic tables and brick grills where you can cook up an outdoor meal— just be sure to bring some firewood along.
Wilbour Wood’s roughly 1.6 miles of trail are arranged in a loop. This loop connects on both sides to the dirt road parallel to Dundery Brook. For a shorter walk or quick access to the largest picnic area, start your walk at the northwest end of the dirt road. After crossing a small wooden bridge, you’ll only have to walk about a tenth of a mile before reaching the picnic area. (Download trail map)
For a longer exploration, start your walk on the southeast end of the dirt road. The trail begins on the other side of the wood and stone bridge. This trail meanders along the edge of the stream and small freshwater wetlands before reaching a fork. The right fork will take you to the large picnic area and a serene pond, while the left crosses back over the stream to connect with the dirt road.
If you only a short time to spare, you don’t have to walk the trail at Wilbour Woods to grab some streamside serenity. A small path begins next to the large stone marker dedicated to the Sakonnet Queen Awashonks, who had her winter camp on this site. The path follows a bend in the brook, where you’ll find old stone benches perfect for a few minutes spent by the water.
Habitats & Wildlife
Wilbour Woods is a prime example of a maritime oak-holly forest, a rare habitat that only grows in the right conditions in southern New England. The holly trees at Wilbour Woods provide a splash of dark green leaves that persist year round, and are dotted with bright red berries in the winter. Above, you’ll hear the assorted chirps, squawks, caws and songs of the many birds that live in the forest canopy. If you stop by near dusk, you may even hear a barred owl hooting out its unusual “who cooks for you?” call.
Perch along the edge of Dundery Brook to look for small fish swimming in these crystal clear waters. This stream is a critical source of clean fresh water for the coastal lagoons found downstream at Briggs Marsh.