The Story of the Yawgoog Trails


Notice to the General Public and Driving Directions

Limited Access

Yawgoog Scout Reservation is posted private property, owned by the Rhode Island Boy Scouts (RIBS) and operated by Narragansett Council, Boy Scouts of America® (BSA®). The property includes all of Yawgoog Pond, Hidden Lake and Grassy Pond. Non-campers enter Yawgoog Scout Reservation at their own risk.

Hikers who are not officially camping at Camp Yawgoog ("non-campers") are welcome to hike on marked trails in the undeveloped western and northern areas of the Reservation during daylight hours. These areas include the Green Trail, as well as limited portions of Yawgoog's Yellow, Red, Blue/Freeman, and White (Pickerel Cove area and Hidden Lake loop only) trails. The unrestricted areas include portions, on private property, of the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) Narragansett and Tippecansett trails.

Non-campers are not allowed in the developed eastern and southern areas of the Reservation (including the entire Orange Trail), except on the eight Sundays (Visitor's Days) while summer camp is in session -- usually the first eight Sundays in July and August. Otherwise, prior permission to enter the restricted areas must be obtained from the Reservation (links are included in Appendix D). The Reservation is used year-round by the Scouting community.

Trail access for non-campers is for the purpose of hiking only. Prohibited activities by non-campers include, but are not limited to, swimming, wading, boating, fishing, camping, geocaching, letterboxing and using fires. Littering, hunting, horses and alcohol are prohibited completely. Due to the abundance of rock formations, mountain biking is not recommended; the Pachaug State Forest and the Arcadia Wildlife Management Area should be considered, instead.

No Public Camping

While there is no public camping at Yawgoog, nearby public facilities include (in alphabetic order):

Green Fall Pond in the Pachaug State Forest offers public boating and swimming at a designated area (no lifeguard, swim at own risk).

Wincheck Pond

There is no public access, boating, fishing, wading or swimming on Wincheck Pond as all the land around it is privately owned, including the dam.

Duplicate Trail Markers

Yawgoog's Red and Yellow trails overlap part of the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) Narragansett Trail in Rhode Island. Yawgoog's Blue/Freeman Trail overlaps part of the AMC Narragansett Trail in Connecticut. Yawgoog's Blue/Freeman Trail also overlaps a section of the AMC Tippecansett Trail in Rhode Island, marked in yellow. AMC trails are marked in yellow in Rhode Island and in blue in Connecticut. Hikers should be aware that portions of the overlapping sections of the trails are marked in two colors.


Hikers are strongly encouraged to travel in groups and bring insect repellent and plenty of drinking water, as pond/stream water requires proper treatment before consumption. People who have allergic reactions to insect stings must carry their antidotes with them. Black bears have been seen in Connecticut and Rhode Island; please review the safety tips from The American Bear Association. Cellular telephone service may be limited in some areas. Non-campers enter Yawgoog Scout Reservation at their own risk. Problems with trail conditions on Yawgoog property, such as overgrowth, should be reported to Narragansett Council.

Driving Directions to Yawgoog Scout Reservation

From Interstate 95 in Rhode Island: Take Exit 3B (to be renumbered to Exit 7B) and travel west on Route 138. After about 0.6 mile (1 kilometer), veer left where Routes 138 and 3 merge (Main Street). Proceed southwest 0.9 mile (1.4 kilometers) until Route 138 turns right, leaving Route 3 at a fire station. Travel northwest on Route 138 (Spring Street) 3.1 miles (5 kilometers) until the Yawgoog Scout Reservation sign is seen on the left at Camp Yawgoog Road. The T. Dawson Brown Gateway will be reached after travelling 0.6 mile (1 kilometer) southwest on Camp Yawgoog Road.

From Routes 49, 138 and 165 in Connecticut: From Voluntown center, proceed east on the merged Routes 138 and 165 (Beach Pond Road) until they diverge. Bear right on Route 138 (Rockville Road) and proceed southeast for 2.9 miles (4.7 kilometers) to the state border. Continue on Route 138 (Spring Street in Rhode Island) for another 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) until the Yawgoog Scout Reservation sign is seen on the right at Camp Yawgoog Road. The T. Dawson Brown Gateway will be reached after travelling 0.6 mile (1 kilometer) southwest on Camp Yawgoog Road.

To reach the Yellow and White Trails, avoid the gate and turn right (north), proceeding 1 mile (1.5 kilometers) on the dirt road, under posted speed; the road bends to the left (west) near the Sandy Beach dining hall. The White Trail will be seen following a roped off road to Hidden Lake on the right (north); the White Trail also leads south from the other side of Camp Yawgoog Road toward Pickerel Cove. The Yellow Trail, which overlaps the AMC Narragansett Trail, also heads south from the same side of the road. The Blue Trail (which overlaps the AMC Narragansett and Tippecansett Trails) can be reached by travelling west to the Rhode Island-Connecticut border, which is 0.2 mile (0.3 kilometer) further on Camp Yawgoog Road.

Very limited parking on Camp Yawgoog Road is available for non-campers at:

  • The juncture of the White and Yellow trails near Hidden Lake, and
  • The Rhode Island/Connecticut border, at the beginning of Yawgoog's Blue Trail.

Additional parking is available in designated areas on Visitor's Days after 10:00 am. Parking is always prohibited on Anthony Road, which leads south from Camp Yawgoog Road to the staff cabins at Rocky Point; the road is used year-round.

This edition of The Story of the Yawgoog Trails is not an official publication of Narragansett Council, BSA®. This document is independently published by the author, David R. Brierley.


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