Goosewing Beach Preserve & Quicksand Pond

Goosewing Beach Preserve & Quicksand Pond

The Nature Conservancy Little Compton, Rhode Island 02837

Official Website

Birds of Interest

Goosewing Beach is a narrow wave-washed beach and a primary nesting site for piping plovers and least terns, two of the state’s most threatened birds. Since 1984, several pairs of piping plovers have nested in the sandy areas bordering the breachway of Goosewing Beach. The muddy flats of the adjacent salt pond provide an important food source for the plovers as well as a safe brood-rearing area. Least terns have been found nesting on the upper reaches of the beach, often nesting alongside the piping plover.

About this Location

The Goosewing Beach Preserve is a magnificent system of pristine coastal pond, beach, and dune environments. This is one of Rhode Island’s most scenic spots and a favorite among visitors. Purchased in 1989 by The Nature Conservancy and partners, the 75-acre Goosewing Beach Preserve is an historic landmark. Conservancy staff has been actively managing breeding populations of globally-rare Piping Plover and state-threatened Least Tern for the last two decades. With the help of an extremely generous donor, The Nature Conservancy of Rhode Island opened the doors of a newly constructed environmental education center in June 2010. The Benjamin Family Environmental Center is ideally situated to offer visitors a view of the many types of habitats that make up this coastal pond/barrier beach ecosystem and offers seasonal nature walks and special events.

During the summer months, the Town of Little Compton manages recreational use of the beach through an agreement with The Nature Conservancy. Access to the preserve is through South Shore Beach. There is a fee for the town beach parking area during the summer months only. For the 2022 season, the parking fee is $18/day on weekdays and $23/day on the weekends.  The fee is charged from 8:00 am until 4:00 pm daily and from, approximately, Memorial Day until Labor Day. Please leave your pets at home, and do not enter fenced areas marked off by enclosures. No dogs are allowed on the preserve from April 1st until September 1st.


  • Restrooms on site

  • Entrance fee

  • Wheelchair accessible trail

  • Roadside viewing

Content from Official Website

Last updated March 27, 2023