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Ocean View Loop – Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge, Rhode Island

Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge, a beautiful peninsula surrounded by the Sakonnet River, Sachuest Bay, Rhode Island Sound, and the Atlantic Ocean, provides the hiker with breathtaking coastal views, plentiful bird watching, and 3 miles of trails – you can combine the 1.2 mile Flint Point Trail with the 1.5 mile Ocean View Trail or hike them each on their own.

Begin your exploration of the 242-acre refuge with a stop in the modern and impressive Visitor Center – the center is open daily from 10-4, providing excellent displays, loaner binoculars, and friendly, informative park naturalists.

The Ocean View Loop Trailhead is located just steps from the Visitor Center – just head out the back door and set out along the wide dirt path to enjoy miles of tranquillity. The 1.5 mile hike has 6 marked shoreline access points, each with its own distinct character and views – adults and kids alike will love exploring the rocky coastline. Beaches transition from sand to boulders to rocky intertidal zones to rocky cliff headlands – watch your footing while exploring the boulders, the rocks can be very slippery. Sturdy footwear is also highly recommended, as flip-flops might not provide enough traction or secure footing – just ask Sookie who walked backwards right out of her sandals for a horizontal view of the Rhode Island sky and a not so soft boulder for a pillow. Disclaimer: No Sookie’s were majorly injured during filming – luckily, just a few scrapes and bruises resulted.

True to the trail name, ocean views prevail along almost the entire path – in the rate moments where the Atlantic isn’t the focus, you can enjoy the diversity found within the coastal dune habitat/shrubland and salt marsh. Watch for a variety of snails, butterflies, and birds - the refuge is located along the Atlantic Flyway and provides protected habitat for over 200 species.

After hiking 0.6 miles you will reach Sachuest Point – located at Shoreline Access #3, the sweeping views of the rocky Rhode Island coast proved to be our favorite.

Additionally, we really enjoyed the cobble stone beach at Shoreline Access #5 – Cam particularly liked attempting to stack the smooth rocks into cairns, and the tide pools were fun to explore.

Back on the main trail, continue hiking to the junction with the Flint Point Trail – at this point you can turn left to proceed to the end of the Ocean View Trail, or set out on the Flint Point Trail to add a few miles to your day of hiking.

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