Block Island (New Shoreham), Rhode Island
Built in 1829
The lighthouse sits on Sandy Point, off Corn Neck Road, at the north end of Block Island.
|Latitude: 41° 13' 40" N
||Longitude: 71° 34' 33" W|
Block Island is a popular vacation spot known affectionately with tourists as the "Bermuda of the North," for its beaches and recreation.
It is known by mariners for its hazardous shoals and frequent fog, especially along half mile long reef named Sandy Point that extends northward from the tip of Block Island. Within roughly a 20-year stretch between 1819 and 1838, 59 vessels were wrecked on or near the island.
Block Island North Light lighthouse was established in 1829 to warn mariners away from the dangerous Sandy Point. Sometimes shipwrecks still occurred even after the lighthouse was built. In 1831, the schooner Warrior was wrecked at Sandy Point in a storm causing 21 people to perish. Seven of the victims were buried on Block Island
The light was automated in 1955, and was later closed in 1973, replaced with a skeleton tower nearby. The town of New Shoreham acquired the lighthouse in 1984, and after years of gathering funds and restoring needed parts of the lighthouse, the Block Island North lighthouse was relit in August of 1989.
Places to Visit Nearby:
Visitors may find most of this island seems stuck in the 19th and early 20th centuries with its Victorian hotels, inns and B&B’s. The Empire Theater, built originally in 1882 as a roller skating rink, stands as one of the very few classic movie theaters remaining in the United States. Recently it has acquired the funds for digital projection, as the movie industry has moved beyond 35mm film, so visitors can see current movies in a classic building. For those who want a traditional old fashioned shopping experience, you can find tiny shops, and explore artisan’s personal homes for hand crafted gifts, photography, and jewelry.
Block Island provides many activities for sporting enthusiasts and for those that just want to relax within its 17 miles of beaches.
You'll find most of this island seems stuck in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The two-mile Crescent beach provides picturesque biking trails, and is part of the Greenway network system consisting of 30 miles of trails.
|If you want more seclusion, just a few minutes bike ride away are deserted beaches. With miles of open beaches you can fish from the beach, or take a Charter boat leaving from New Harbor for bluefish, striped bass and flounder. The best ways to get around the island, are first to leave your car at the ferry dock on the mainland, take a taxi, rent a moped, rent a horse, or just bike of hike your way around the island.|
Bring plenty of water, as Block Island North lighthouse is not near any service areas. The views of the beaches with their jutting expansive cliffs are worth the hike if you’re up for the 4-mile trek along the shoreline. You can also bike or rent motor vehicles to get there as well. Enjoy the natural wonders of the 127-acre Block Island National Wildlife Refuge near the lighthouse. The shoreline area runs from Settler’s Rock to Sandy Point and out to Block Island North Light, and then on to Great Salt Pond. This is an ideal area for walking, bird watching, and breathtaking views. Setter's Rock marks the landing point of European settlers of Block Island in 1661.
- Block Island is accessible by taking the Block Island Ferry from Point Judith, RI.
- Take Sandhill Cove Road from Point Judith lighthouse, to Galilee ferry landing.
- The lighthouse is a 4-mile walk from the ferry terminal. You can also take a taxi, or bike there as well.
- From the ferry dock on Block Island at Old Harbor, take Water Street to Dodge Street.
- When you see a Post Office on the corner of Corn Neck Road, take a right and continue on Corn Neck Road to the end.
- The lighthouse is a half-mile walk from there.
Block Island North Light Association
P. O. Box 1662
Block Island, RI 02807
Block Island Ferries and Charter Service
Block Island Ferry
Block Island is accessible by ferry from Point Judith, RI.
Take Sandhill Cove Road from Point Judith lighthouse, to Galilee ferry landing.
Ferry service to Block Island is also available from Montauk Point, NY and New London, CT.
Block Island Express
Out of New London, CT
Out of Montauk, NY
Offers specific lighthouse tours around Narragansett Bay and to Block Island in addition to other adventure tours.
22 Colvintown Rd.
Coventry, RI 02816
Home (401) 821-7373
Boat/Cell (401) 487-9044
Air Services To and From Block Island
My book, Lighthouses and Coastal Attractions of Southern New England: Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts, provides special human interest stories from each of the 92 lighthouses, along with plenty of indoor and outdoor coastal attractions and tours you can explore.