Block Island NWR--Lighthouse

About this Location

The lighthouse is accessible from a small trail approximately half a mile away from the parking lot on Corn Neck Road.

About Block Island NWR

See all hotspots at Block Island NWR

The 127 acre refuge encompasses the northern tip of Block Island (Sandy Point) and includes the historic North Lighthouse. The shoreline of the refuge consists of a cobble beach that extends from the Settler’s Rock parking area to Sandy Point, and a sandy/cobble beach that extends several miles along the west side from Sandy Point to Great Salt Pond. The uplands of vegetated dunes provide a rookery for seagulls, and Sachem Pond is a feeding area for a wide variety of waterfowl. This is an ideal area for walking, bird watching, and enjoying the view in all directions. Four-wheel-drive vehicles with permits may drive out to Sandy Point, where fishing is a popular activity. This is an environmentally sensitive area—stay off vegetation and out of the dunes. Do not swim at Sandy Point, as it has dangerous tidal currents. Parking is available.

Refuge lands on Block Island are most notable for the large concentration (over 70 species) of migratory songbirds which visit the area each fall. Located in the Atlantic flyway, many young, inexperienced songbirds “overfly” the mainland and stopover on Block Island before continuing their migration. The result is a cornucopia of young migratory songbirds from a variety of different species. Block Island is internationally recognized as one of the most important migratory bird habitats on the east coast, attracting hundreds of “birders” to the Island each fall. The refuge is also home to the largest gull colony in Rhode Island.


  • Restrooms on site

  • Wheelchair accessible trail

  • Entrance fee

  • Roadside viewing

Content from Block Island NWR Official Website, Rhode Island Coastal Access Guide, and New England Bird House blog

Last updated July 22, 2023