Places We Protect

Clay Head Preserve

Rhode Island

A long view of blue ocean waters from atop a grassy bluff.
Clay Head Preserve Eleven miles offshore, Clay Head's high bluffs offer stunning views of the mainland and Rhode Island Sound. © Nat Rea

Clay Head Preserve offers some of the most spectacular scenery on the Eastern Seaboard.

Overview

Description

Located at the north end of Block Island, the Clay Head Preserve offers some of the most spectacular scenery on the Eastern Seaboard.  This privately-owned 190-acre preserve -- protected by conservation easements and open to the public -- is one of the best places to observe migratory songbirds in North America in the spring and fall. 

The trail runs east toward the ocean about 1/3 of a mile.  You will pass Clay Head Swamp on your right, with the scenic Littlefield Farm in the background.  Soon you will reach an intersection in the trail.  If you turn right, you will end up on the beach.  Turn left and the trail winds up above the clay bluffs for which this area was named.  At the top of the incline, follow the trail along the bluff.  Periodically you will see trails on your left heading away from the ocean, this part of Clay Head is known as the "maze".  These intertwining trails are unmarked and are perfect for hours of wandering.

Access

OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

Highlights

Hiking, birdwatching, ocean views

Size

190 acres

Explore our work in Rhode Island

What to See: Plants

Fruit-bearing shrubs that feed and shelter migrating birds.

What to See: Animals

Migrating songbirds, the state endangered yellow-crowned night heron, northern harrier, and barn owl.

Find More Places We Protect

The Nature Conservancy owns nearly 1,500 preserves covering more than 2.5 million acres across all 50 states. These lands protect wildlife and natural systems, serve as living laboratories for innovative science and connect people to the natural world.

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