Sachuest Point NWR

Tips for Birding

The visitor's center has restrooms which are available from 6:30am-6:30pm. A couple of the observation platforms have free tower scopes for public use.

About this Location

Sachuest Point’s claim to fame is its wintering flock of Harlequin Ducks. A walk around the perimeter from mid-November through April will almost certainly be rewarded with views of these colorful birds.

Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge sits on the southeastern tip of Aquidneck Island which also includes Newport Rhode Island. The refuge has trails, a visitor center, and observation points.

There are about 250 acres of seaside wetland and upland habitats where you can see more than 200 species of birds including peregrine falcon, snowy owl, harlequin ducks, scoters, and eiders. Sachuest point is a popular spot with bird-watchers for spotting stopover and wintering migratory birds.

The Ocean View Loop Trail offers access to the shoreline access along Sachuest Bay, and safe views of Purgatory Chasm, a popular attraction on the peninsula. The refuge is located just a few miles east of Newport.

About Sachuest Point NWR

See all hotspots at Sachuest Point NWR

This refuge is one of five national wildlife refuges in Rhode Island. About 200 million years ago, when the supercontinent Pangaea split, Africa left traces of itself along the shores of Sachuest Point creating the Price Neck Formation. From the mid-1600s to the early 1900s, Sachuest Point was used for farming and sheep grazing. During World War II, the U.S. Navy used this site for a rifle range and communications center. In 1970, a 70-acre donation from the Audubon Society of Rhode Island led to the establishment of Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge. Today, with the land transfers from the Navy, the Refuge totals 242 acres that provide an important stopover and wintering area for migratory birds.


  • Restrooms on site

  • Entrance fee

  • Roadside viewing

Content from Sachuest Point NWR Official Website, Noah Henkenius, Rhode Island Bird website, and New England Bird House blog

Last updated April 21, 2023