What to do on February break? Explore Block Island.

Thu, 02/20/2020 - 5:15pm

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management is inviting Rhode Islanders to explore the outdoors during February school vacation week.

Outdoor activities listed on a recent DEM press release were targeted for communities on the mainland, with none planned for Block Island.

On Block Island, there are infinite opportunities in spending time outdoors, with countless trails, nature programs, and environmental events. Listed below are a few examples to help with getting outdoors during these cold months on Block Island:

The Block Island Nature Conservancy has been hosting a twice-monthly bird walk for birders and walkers, called Crazy as a Coot Walks, with the Naturalist for The Nature Conservancy Kim Gaffett. The next walk is scheduled for Tuesday, March 3 at 8:30 a.m. Locations vary based on prevailing wind and weather conditions. To learn more about this program, call TNC office at (401) 466-2129.

The Ocean View Pavilion, located behind the Post Office, provides shelter that overlooks Old Harbor. Be sure to check out the Pavilion’s bags at the beginning of the trail, designed by an island kindergartener each year.

Take a stroll through the Labyrinth on Corn Neck Road with a friend or in solitude, taking the time to follow through the set of circled rocks.

Nathan Mott Park, across from the Block Island Airport, offers a dense, diverse landscape, including woodlands, meadows, hills and trails. The trail connects to the Enchanted Forest and to the Turnip Farm.

Hike up to the North Light to view Sachem Pond, where seagulls, swans, egrets, swallows and other small birds are spotted resting, or be on the lookout for seals on the rocky beaches in the area. Surrounding the lighthouse, you can find the Block Island National Wildlife Refuge, a protected environment of nesting gulls, swallows and sparrows. Follow the trail through the dunes to Sandy Point, and one can see Montauk. Be careful going to the tip of the island: strong riptides are present where waters from both sides of the island meet.

Andy’s Way is a pristine spot for absorbing the quiet of Block island, especially this time of year. It’s a large crescent of sandy beach on the Great Salt Pond side. Keep on the lookout for egrets, black-crowned night heron, blue crabs, American oystercatchers, as well as other bird species that hide in the marsh.

Mohegan Bluffs has a magnificant view of the Atlantic Ocean and the Block Island Wind Farm.

Tidal pools can be found on the shore. The variety of seashells and rocks is astonishing, and you’ll also find the flotsam and jetsam that the ocean spills out onto the beach.

For a longer hike, stop by Rodman’s Hollow to see the coast from a new angle or to walk under the shad.

Clayhead Trail overlooks the coasts and bluffs on the northeast side of the island. Along the trail, there are various spots to stop and walk onto the beach, or continue along the trail to see the wild plants and birds that roam the area.

The DEM also announced a reminder in the current hunting season, and to wear proper clothing when outside: “Rhode Island's small game hunting season is now open. All users of state management areas and all hunters statewide are reminded to wear at least 200 square inches of solid daylight-fluorescent orange material through the end of the season, February 29. The fluorescent orange must be worn above the waist and must be visible from all directions.”