This preserve is 423.7 acres in size and was acquired in several different parcels from the years 1999-2010 from numerous individuals, families and organizations including Mary Panciera, the Westerly Hospital, the Crandall Family and the Celico Family. Crandall Family Preserve is situated within Crandall Swamp (Aguntaug Swamp) and this area has been identified as an environmentally important ecosystem.
The preserve is at the center of Rhode Island’s largest Atlantic white cedar swamp, consisting of a wide variety of wetlands, including fen and bog as well as wooded wetlands. The excellent water quality and its location from heavily developed areas have made the Crandall Swamp an important habitat for resident and migratory birds and other wildlife. Some rare or endangered plants and animal such as the bog-haunter dragonfly have been reported here. There are also areas of upland forest containing lovely stands of mountain laurel and American holly.
Trails: Due to the nature of their environment, most of the Crandall Preserve parcels are not accessible to the public. Periodically, the Westerly Land Trust will lead special guided tours through the preserve. However, as of 2016, there is a handicapped accessible trail that is open to the public and is located across from 75 Pound Road.
The flat, gravel trail begins at the gate next to the handicapped parking sign and travels along the dirt portion of Pound Road which is closed to vehicular traffic. The trail passes through beautiful wetland areas and ends at an observation deck over the water where beaver activity can be seen. On the observation deck you will find three educational signs where you can learn more about the beavers, wetland ecosystems, and the history behind the Crandall Family Preserve.
Location: The end of Pound Road. Please park only in designated areas.