Moonstone Beach Rd.

Tips for Birding

The parking area at the end of Moonstone Beach Road provides access to a barrier beach and three coastal ponds. The short trail from the parking area to the beach provides enough elevation to get clear views of the ocean and the fields of the Trustom Pond National Wildlife Refuge.

About Trustom Pond NWR

See all hotspots at Trustom Pond NWR

The last undeveloped coastal pond in Rhode Island is Trustom Pond, part of the 800 acres of Trustom Pond National Wildlife Refuge in South Kingstown. The refuge supports varied wildlife including many different species of waterfowl during the spring and fall migration, and a wide array of songbirds along with some nesting rare osprey and least terns.

Trustom Refuge includes Moonstone Beach, a 1.5-mile barrier beach closed from April 1 to September 15th to protect the nesting piping plover population. Herculean efforts by refuge staff and volunteers have been made to return the habitat to its natural state, especially the grasslands. The refuge is located on Schoolhouse Road off the Moonstone Brach Road exit on US-1 South in the town of South Kingstown.

This refuge is one of five national wildlife refuges in Rhode Island. In 1974, Mrs. Ann Kenyon Morse donated the first 365 acres of the refuge. In 1982, the Audubon Society of Rhode Island donated 151 acres. Today, the refuge includes 787 acres of various wildlife habitats including fields, shrublands, woodlands, fresh and saltwater ponds, and sandy beaches and dunes. Approximately 300 bird species, more than 40 mammal species, and 20 species of reptiles and amphibians call Trustom Pond refuge home during the year. Trustom Pond is the only undeveloped coastal salt pond in Rhode Island, making it even more valuable to wildlife. On the southern boundary is found a barrier beach which remains one of the few Rhode Island nesting sites for two species of concern, the least tern and piping plover.


  • Roadside viewing

  • Restrooms on site

  • Wheelchair accessible trail

  • Entrance fee

Content from Trustom Pond NWR Official Website

Last updated February 1, 2023