A view of fall foliage trees.
Rodman's Hollow on Block Island, Rhode Island. © Nat Rea

Places We Protect

Block Island

Rhode Island

The Nature Conservancy works with many partners and the island community to protect this special place.

Just twelve miles off the coast of Rhode Island, Block Island is a wildlife hotspot, providing habitat for many plants and animals that disappeared from the rest of southern New England decades ago. Today, nearly half the island is permanently protected for people and nature. 

A Last Great Place

In 1991, The Nature Conservancy named Block Island one of 12 “Last Great Places” in the western hemisphere. This special designation highlights the island’s abundance of rare plants and animals and the community’s unique support for conservation. The Nature Conservancy set up a permanent field office on the island soon after, affirming our long-term commitment to protecting the nature of Block Island. The Block Island Program maintains over 2,000 acres of habitat, offers hands-on discovery programs, and supports groundbreaking scientific research in the Great Salt Pond.

For all of this, we thank our supporters and partners—many of whom have been with us since the very beginning—for their generosity, trust, and vision for Block Island.

The Nature Conservancy and the Block Island Conservancy co-sponsor free, guided nature programs on Block Island throughout the year. Together, we offer many different ways to connect to the fields, marshes, and beaches that make the island so exceptional.

From the open grasslands at Lewis-Dickens Farm Preserve, to the narrow paths atop the Clay Head bluffs, the Greenway Trails of Block Island will show you something new every time.  To be a good visitor and to help us protect this special place, we ask that you observe the following guidelines: 

• The best way to explore the Greenway Trails is on foot. 

• Please do not bike on the trails. The island’s many dirt roads offer excellent off-road biking opportunities.

• Please respect all signs marked “private.”

• Lyme disease is common on Block Island, unfortunately. Take precautions to avoid deer ticks.

• Staying on marked trails will help you avoid ticks and poison ivy.

• Dogs are permitted, but please keep them leashed.  They can disturb wildlife and other hikers.

• Take only photographs, leave only footprints. Please remember that the dunes and bluffs are very fragile. Please stay clear of them for your safety.  

Block Island Trails & Information: Full color map showing all 28 miles of walking trails. Available at our office on High Street and at the Tourist Information Building in Old Harbor. Price $2 

On This Island: The Block Island Trail and Nature Guide (2nd edition): Co-written by Keith Lang and Scott Comings, the book describes in detail the walking trails on the Island. The second edition features new maps, trail updates and spectacular photos. Learn about each trail’s length, degree of difficulty, and what you might see when you walk. Available at our office on High Street, Island Bound Bookstore, and other Island shops. Price $15.99 

Block Island Wildlife: An Introduction to Familiar Species: This is a laminated 12-panel full-color guide featuring 150 of Block Island’s plants and animals. Available at our office on High Street, Island Bound Bookstore, and other Island shops. Price $5.95

If you would like us to ship any of these items to you, please contact our office at 401-466-2129. Shipping charges will apply.

Support Conservation on Block Island

With your help we can continue to protect the natural character of Block Island.