Lime Rock
Lincoln, Rhode Island

Lime Rock is also called “The Aust Family Preserve.” Most of it is owned by Nature Conservancy. It’s rather small (157 acres), so the trails are rather short. There are limestone deposits (hence the name Lime Rock), but these aren’t apparent to the layman; it’s said that there’s a large outcropping of marble, but I didn’t see it. A business called Conklin Limestone is located nearby; limestone has been quarried in the area since the 1650s. Lime Rock is known for its diverse flora; even in winter, you’ll see lots of ferns. Below is a 2-mile route.

The west side of the above route is straight because it follows an old railroad. At times, the railroad is elevated above the surrounding land, not unlike an esker, but straighter than an esker.

On other sections of the trail, the terrain is rather hilly; perhaps we should call it a “moraine landscape.” The Moshassuck River, which originates just west of Lime Rock, has cut a deep ravine east of the pond. The river has been dammed to create the pond, which is called Manton Pond.

I saw several large boulders, probably erratics such as glaciers leave behind. There are also smooth outcroppings, such as glaciers create in their progress. The photo below shows an outcropping in the left foreground, an outcropping that looks like a glacier went over it, and boulders in the background that were probably dropped by the glacier; the boulders seem to be a different type of rock than the outcropping. (The photo was taken near the parking area, on a hill just east of the railroad; I marked the spot on the map above. I also marked a spot, northeast of the pond, that seems to have several erratics.)

Ken Weber is a fan of Lime Rock, and discusses it in More Walks and Rambles in Rhode Island. “This is a jewel among Rhode Island public places,” Weber writes.