Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge’s 242 acres have something for everyone. Sachuest Point was farmland before its strategic location made it desirable to the US military. It housed weapons to defend the US against German U-Boats in World War I and then served as a rifle range and communications center for the US Navy during World War II. These days, the refuge boasts the largest winter population of harlequin ducks on the east coast, and is an important stopover for migratory birds. (Thank you, Wikipedia and RI Fish and Wildlife Services for this information!) As for what the Refuge offers humans: The two loop trails are wheelchair accessible, there is an awesome little nature center with interactive exhibits, it’s heaven for saltwater anglers, and the views are spectacular. Plus there are numerous beach/rocky shore access points where kids can scramble over rocks, check out tidal pools, fish, and build cairns. Sachuest Point is also near the pristine beaches and entertainment/food/drink options that Newport provides. This is one of our favorite spots, and we’re sure it will become one of your family’s as well!
HOW TO GET THERE
762 Sachuest Point Rd.
Middletown, RI 02842
TRAIL DESCRIPTION & MAP
Enter the trails (either loop), from the parking lot. We took the Flint Loop for an easy 1.5 mile loop in the hot sun. The trails are very well marked–you can’t get lost.
Rated on a scale of 1 (difficult/not good) to 5 (easy/awesome!)
P – Parking & Access – 5 (There is a large lot that houses about 50 cars. It fills up, though…)
I – Interest Level – 4 (The kids say if they had gone fishing, it would have earned a 5…)
N – Navigation – 5 (The trails are well marked–you can’t get lost.)
T – Terrain – 5 (The loop trails are wheelchair friendly, although the shore access points are not.)
The P.I.N.T. Score represents our opinions of this trail. It reflects our experience, perception, and physical health. Therefore, the scores are not intended to be expert advice, nor will they be accurate for everyone: we cannot judge what may or may not be appropriate for each individual’s different abilities. Consult a physician or medical expert before attempting any new physical activity. Hiking contains inherent hazards, so hike at your own risk. You should always make your own decisions about what level of physical activity is appropriate for you and your family. Weather and other factors may affect trail conditions. Remember, trail conditions may change suddenly and drastically at any time.
POINTS OF INTEREST
- The Nature Center. This is located right by the parking lot. The staff is friendly and helpful and will suggest a route for you–we chose the Flint Loop this time, but if it had been cooler, we’d have done both loops. They are each about 1.5 miles long. There are also very clean bathrooms here.
2. The shoreline access points–each one is slightly different–you never know what you’ll find!
3. The telescope and the outcropping of rocks with birds
4. The lookout point at Flint Point
There is SO MUCH in this area. We decided that downtown Newport deserved its own day, so we simply backtracked and headed back towards home. Along the way, on route 138, are two gems that we love. The first is Newport Vineyards and Tap Root Brewing Co. Both of these are housed within Newport Vineyards, but we love that both wine and beer drinkers can indulge themselves and do tastings. The gift shop here is pricey, but adorable. You can purchase wine and beer (including mixed four-packs of beer–choose just what you like!) and other merch here. The restaurant patio is beautiful, offering amazing views of the vineyards. There are comfy adirondack chairs scattered around the vineyard, so you can take your drink in a plastic cup and wander around the premises. Our kids love the big soft pretzel and the quahog chowder was amazing.
Just down the street on the left is Anna D’s Cafe. They have a million and one (give or take a few) flavors of ice cream that all sound delicious. They also sell gourmet sandwiches and panini, delicious coffee, and pastries. And–get this–they have a bar inside the cafe. It’s kind of a strange mix, but, once again, there is something for everyone here!