Places We Protect

Block Island

Rhode Island

A long view across a pastoral landscape, with twisting shadbush trees in the foreground.
Block Island When Rodman's Hollow was threatened by development in the 1970s, it catalyzed an enduring, community-based conservation movement on Block Island. © Nat Rea

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

Overview

Description

Why you should visit

Just twelve miles off the  south 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. 

Why TNC selected this site

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 its long-term commitment to the community. The Block Island Program manages over 2,000 acres of wildlife 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.

What TNC has done/is doing

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.

Access

OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

Highlights

Hiking, birdwatching, stone walls, ocean views, nature programs

Explore our work in Rhode Island

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. 

Block Island Trails & Information: Full color map showing all 28 miles of walking trails. Available at our office on High Street, at a drop box near the shed. Also available at the Tourist Information Building in Old Harbor. Price $2.00 

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 also help you avoid 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.  

Support Conservation on Block Island

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