Little Compton, RI

Construction of the Sakonnet Lighthouse at Sakonnet Point in Little Compton began in 1883. An iron pier was placed on Little Cormorant Rock, about 800 yards offshore, and then filled with concrete. The lighthouse was completed in October 1884 and served as Rhode Island’s easternmost beacon.

The Hurricane of ’38 destroyed many houses and took 13 lives at Sakonnet Point. The lighthouse survived but was left with a large crack in its base. After Hurricane Carol in 1954 caused additional damage, the U.S. Coast Guard decided to decommission and abandon the lighthouse. In 1985 the structure was donated to The Friends of Sakonnet Point Lighthouse, Inc., who raised $100,000 for its restoration.

On March 22, 1997, Sakonnet Point Light was relit after 43 years, flashing a red signal that is visible for seven nautical miles. Although Sakonnet Point Light can be seen from the shore of Little Compton, a boat is needed for a closer look.

Fig: Town WayLC1. Town Way

At the western end of Town Way, off West Main and Old Main roads, there is room for about 10 cars to park and a short path down to a cobble beach on the Sakonnet River. At low tide, it is possible to walk along the cobble beach to the mouth of Almy’s Creek, and from there, partway into Donovan’s Marsh, a well-preserved tidal creek and unditched salt marsh. From the beach, there is a nice view of the Sakonnet River and Sachuest Point. A sign is posted indicating that this is not a public swimming beach and there are no lifeguards.

  • CRMC ROW#: W-2
  • Wildlife observation, trash receptacles

LC2. Taylor's Lane

This site is a right-of-way at the end of Taylor’s Lane, off West Main Road. At the end of this road there is parking for about 10 cars and a dirt path about 10 yards long leading down to a small sand and cobble beach on the Church Bay portion of the Sakonnet River. It is possible to walk out to Church Point by scrambling along boulders at the tide line. There is a nice view of the mouth of the Sakonnet River, Sachuest Point, and the Atlantic Ocean.

  • CRMC ROW#: W-1
  • Trash receptacles

LC3. Sakonnet Harbor

At the end of Bluffhead Road, off Sakonnet Point Road, at the mouth of the Sakonnet River, there is a breakwater that forms the entrance to Sakonnet Harbor. The breakwater is good for walking, fishing, watching fishing boats, or just checking out the view across the river, into the harbor, or out to sea. There is no public ramp here, only private docks. On-site parking is available.

  • Trash receptacles

Fig: Sakonnet HarborLC4. Sakonnet Harbor Fishing Access

Located off Sakonnet Point Road at the southern end of Route 77, this site has two cement plank ramps across a beach into Sakonnet Harbor and a sheltered basin with access to the Sakonnet River and the Atlantic Ocean. There is a parking area for trailers across the road and a nice view of the Haffenreffer Wildlife Refuge. Parking is limited to 48 hours.

  • CRMC ROW#: W-3

LC5. South Shore Beach

Located at the end of South Shore Road, this is a long, sandy beach on the Atlantic Ocean, with a large dirt parking lot, portable toilets, and lifeguards. There is a parking fee for nonresidents during the summer; weekly and seasonal passes are available. There is a beautiful view of the Atlantic with Cuttyhunk and the Elizabeth Islands in the distance, a picturesque salt pond (Tunipus Pond), and a farm located behind the parking lot. One can walk east along the beach across a shallow tidal creek to Goosewing Beach, a wildlife refuge, which is now owned by The Nature Conservancy. There are some restrictions here to protect nesting piping plovers. Parking for fishing is available in the evening and off-season.

  • Trash receptacles