Nature Walk and Talk
We are immensely proud, if not in awe, of our forty-acre property. It sprawls down from the mansion-topped hill with its view of Newport Harbor and the Newport Bridge. The East Passage of Narragansett Bay flanks our western shore, and Castle Hill Cove cradles the peninsula to the east. Heading south you pass, and maybe pause, at the Castle Hill Lighthouse (1890) and continue down to our own sandy private beach facing the Atlantic. Because we really like to show it off, we have developed a nature walk to allow you to get up close and intimate with some of the lesser known facets of this magical place.
Kaitlin will be your guide; she honed her naturalist skills while working at Norman Bird Sanctuary – another wonder of Nature – in nearby Middletown. When not conducting the Nature Walk, she acts as assistant to Leita, our staff horticulturist (and author of our garden blog posts). Kaitlin is fiercely curious about nature. Do not be surprised if she jumps into a thicket because she spotted a snake or a mink and is compelled to get a closer look.
The Nature Walk focuses on the natural landscape; but, indeed, goes beyond: to the history of the site, the landmarks visible within our panoramic views, and even a little natural history. I won’t spoil this last part for you, because it is one of the most interesting anecdotes on Kaitlin’s tour, but I will say that it relates to this rock:
Kaitlin will escort you on a journey to the hinterlands of the property, and even though the restaurant isn’t near and room service is unavailable, you still get to sample some of nature’s bounty, as she delves into the realm of edible plants.
You’ll travel along a wooded path, through a bayside meadow and onto the rocks by the ocean, emerging atop the beach. The distance isn’t much longer than the driveway up to the mansion, yet you will feel miles away. The tour concludes with an up-close look at our gardens. After the forty-minute tour, you will feel like a real Castle Hill insider. Currently the Nature Tour takes place every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday at 11:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. weather permitting. The tour is open to anyone who would like to learn more about the environs of our magnificent forty-acre property.
– Shea C Nelson