You can now read 10 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

The Boston Globe

Travel

Walks and Wanders

Rhode Island’s unforgotten forest

PORTSMOUTH — Our good friend Tom Willett, a local resident, turned us on to this sweet little walk through Oakland Forest. The preserved, 20-acre sanctuary on Aquidneck Island, just minutes from bustling downtown Newport, was a former Vanderbilt-owned estate. Remnants of the picturesque summer farm, including the signature Vanderbilt gates and towering rhododendron hedges that once lined a carriage road, can still be seen. But the real draw is the old-growth forest, including a rare stand of 200- to 300-year-old American beech trees.

If you looked at an aerial map of the area, you’d see the small green patch of the forest surrounded by development; condos and houses crowd its edge and fan out from the preserve. The forest was on its way to being cleared, too, needed as a septic field for more condo development, until local arborist Matt Largesse announced that some of the trees on the site were centuries old and should be saved.

Loading comments...

You have reached the limit of 10 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week