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Block Island Beaches

Crescent Beach (encompasses Mansion Beach, Scotch Beach, Fred Benson Town Beach and Kid Beach). Crescent Beach is the long stretch of dunes and sandy beaches the eastern expanses of the island.  To access these beaches, you can take your dinghy to the beach at the far eastern end of Great Salt Pond (Mosquito Beach) where the road comes closest to the pond.  Anchor your dinghy to the shore and lock up your dinghy and engine for security.  Walk across the boardwalk, cross the road, and you’re at the beach.  Cross the dunes at designated paths so as not to disturb the natural inhabitants. 

Dinghy landing on Great Salt Pond by boardwalk leading to beaches. Be sure to secure your dinghy!
Scotch Beach is where the young summer staff of Block Island spend their days off.  It can get a little boisterous. There is a small parking lot off Corn Neck Road.  It’s pretty much right across from where the dinghy landing area is. 

Fred Benson Town Beach is where the main public facilities are in a fully equipped pavilion that offers snack bar, changing rooms, coin operated showers, beach rentals, and lockers.  It is one of two beaches with lifeguards.  Getting there is fairly easy and there is plenty of parking space as well as bike racks.  From the dinghy landing area, walk to the right about 1/8 mile until you see the path across the dunes. Then you can walk along the beach to the pavilion. 

Kid Beach is a well sheltered area at the south end of Crescent Beach.  It’s a good place for kids to play in shallow water.  It’s the closest beach to town so it can get more crowded. 

Mansion Beach is the northernmost of the eastern coast beaches at the end of a dirt road and good stop-off along the way to North Light (there is no swimming at Sandy Point by North Light due to strong rip currents).  Although the Mansion is long gone, it’s a lovely beach that’s best accessed by bike.  There are no facilities here.

Ballard’s Beach (in town) is a great place for teens to hang out and play beach volleyball, and have access to the restaurant and facilities at Ballard’s.  Drinks are served by beachcombing waitstaff, there’s music on the patio, and lifeguards are on duty.

Charlestown Beach is the beach near the end of Champlin Road . It’s the beach you see to starboard when transiting the channel into the Great Salt Pond.  It’s popular with the fishermen, especially along the jetty at the northern end.  It’s fun to watch the procession of boats entering the harbor on a busy summer day.  There is limited parking at the former Coast Guard facility, now owned by the town.

Cooneymus Beach is a rocky point on the Southwest corner offering spectacular sunset views of Long Island.  It’s a rocky one mile hike to the point, and the swimming here requires caution. 

Rock sculptures and rough surf make this a hazardous but beautiful beach.
Black Rock Beach is named after the rock in 20 feet of water that has been the demise of many ships.  It’s at the base of bluffs that you come upon at the end of a hike through Rodman’s hollow.  The surf can be very rough so it’s not a great “beaching” destination.
Vaill Beach is at the bottom of Snake Hollow.  The beach is in the midst of Rocky terrain that is not easy to maneuver.  The surf here can be very rough and there are rocks in the water so extreme caution is justified when swimming.  It is accessible via a trail that winds its way to the southern shore from the first bend in Black Rock Road . 
Stairs leading down to Vaill Beach. It's a long way back up! Worth every step.

Vaill is adjacent to the area below Mohegan bluffs, which is accessible by wooden stairs that go a long way down to the base of the bluffs.  If you are fit and can handle it, heading east (left) from the base of the stairs is a true find of Robinson Crusoe proportions that will delight adults and children alike.  Proceed cautiously as the rocky terrain is challenging and the walk back up the steps can be daunting.  Take a break at Southeast Light.  A spectacular location with interesting perspective on a lighthouse that had to be moved to be saved from falling off the cliffs.

A beach "scupture" started by a local artist has had flotsam and jetsam added by every visitor. It's now a multiple story structure Robinson Crusoe would have loved. Bring something of yours to leave behind!
West Beach doesn’t get much traffic as it’s not on any of the main tourist routes.  Yet it has perhaps the island’s best beach walk along with calm surf.  Dunes lead the way to North Light  while Beane point to the south is a bird sanctuary (dogs not allowed).   In fact, with the exception of the beach, the preserve is off limits to hikers because of its extreme importance to migratory birds.  There’s a parking lot at the end of West Beach Road past the transfer station.

Spindrift Beach rentals 401-466-2596 have boogie boards, skim boards, beach chairs, umbrellas, coolers for rent if you need them.

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