Hiking Block Island
Hiking is a great way to really see Block Island. Since almost half of this paradise is preserved, there are a lot of great places to walk that are available to the public. Starting with the Greenway Trails, there are approximately 25 miles of trails that provide easy to moderate treks around the island.
Since Block Island was formed by glaciers a gazillion years ago, its shrub land, beaches and open grassland are now habitat to many species, some endangered. This place is a haven for birdwatching.
The island is great for hiking. Getting around this way is a fun family activity. There are no difficult hikes on Block Island. You can get a good map at the Chamber of Commerce. (located at the Block Island Ferry parking lot) The Nature Conservancy on High Street has maps with the Greenway Trails marked.
Use the corresponding Map below to find your way.
Located in the northeast part of Block Island, the Clay Head Preserve covers the Clayhead Bluffs and the northeastern end of Block Island. (What you see when you arrive on the ferry are these Clay Head Bluffs.) The trail runs east toward the ocean for about After you pass Clay Head Swamp, there's an intersection. Turn right to visit the beach, or left to get up to the bluffs and into what is referred to as "the Maze." You could wander these unmarked trails for hours, getting lost and unlost. Spectacular in May, there are thousands of Daffodils in the fields surrounding these trails.
Directions: Travel up Corn Neck Road about 2.6 miles until you come to a post marker on the right-hand side. Turn right onto a dirt road and go straight about .3 miles until you reach a parking area, where you will see the Clay Head sign.Fresh Swamp Preserve
In the middle of the southern part of the island is The Fresh Swamp. This is an aquifer recharge area and the site of the Town of New Shoreham well fields. Fields and shrub meadow make up the area surrounding the pond. There are knolls that boast some pretty nice views to this innermost part of the island.
Directions: Go north on Lakeside Drive for .75 miles, trailhead is on right marked by a stone engraved with "Greenway".
Hodge Family Preserve
These 25 acres off the west side of Corn Neck Road connects to the Block Island National Wildlife Refuge at the Northern most portion of the island. Wander dirt trails and meadows, home to many bird species. Near this area you will also find the Labyrinth, located off Corn Neck Road and marked by a wooden stairway. This special place has the most spectacular views of the northwest side of the island. Make a wish or ask for guidance on any subject, walk the labryinth for fun or as a serious meditation.
Directions: Travel north on Corn Neck Road 2.9 miles; on your left you will see a sign and parking area for the Hodge Family Wildlife Preserve.
This 230 acre basin is a natural anomaly of on the island. Carved by glacial outwash, this preserved land was once in danger of being developed. Enjoy it's rolling hills and vistas as you hike the long or short loop leading to the Ocean. Hiking in the spring you may see the dazzling Shad Bloom.
Directions: Walk down off of Cooneymus Road, just after the big Rodman's Hollow sign on the left. About .25 miles down on your left, you will see a wooden gate and turnstile marking the trail entrance. There's a long or short loop to take. The trail soon splits. Bear left to traverse the bottom of the Hollow (you can also access a trail that leads over to Fresh Pond); or bear right to the top of a knoll with panoramic views. The trails intersect again to return to the Road. If you turn left and continue down the road, you can access the beach via a trail down the bluff.
Nathan Mott Park & Turnip Farm
Good Hike, hilly and great views to the west and south. Some of the highest ground on the island and home to many wildflowers, this area is very colorful in the spring and summer.
Directions: For Nathan Mott Park take Center Road for .2 miles west of the entrance to the Block Island State Airport, the trailhead is on the right. For Turnip Farm take Old Mill Road going west for .4 miles, enter the trail on the right.
Elizabeth Dickens Trail
This trail is sort of hidden or more hidden than the others. Once you find it you're in for a. A beautiful hike on the southwest most corner, this island gem is dedicated to the memory of the Block Island's eldest bird enthusiast, Elizabeth Dickens. You may walk to run the fields and meadows here before arriving at a steep trail that takes you down to the beach.
Block Island's Beaches
You may walk the perimeter of the island in any direction. Some families who vacation here every year have made it a tradition to walk the entire perimeter of the island, swimming its Coast Guard Channel at the Great Salt Pond. Walking the whole perimeter usually is done in more than one day so a bit of planning is required.
If you are looking for a guide, the Ocean View Foundation organizes walks around the island. Join in on any of their many free day and evening programs.
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