Block Island, RI: Rodman's Hollow

Explore the unique glacial geology of Block Island and wander past Atlantic Ocean overlooks on this 3.5-mile amble through an idyllic nature preserve.
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Explore the unique glacial geology of Block Island and wander past Atlantic Ocean overlooks on this 3.5-mile amble through an idyllic nature preserve.

Just off the eastern tip of Long Island, a short ferry ride from Rhode Island proper, Block Island offers a great weekend escape for New Yorkers and New Englanders alike. Rodman's Hollow Nature Preserve (a short ride on a rental bike from the ferry landing), is an ideal way to explore the unique glacial geology of this small island.
Starting from the trailhead off Cooneymus Road, walk south down to the edge of the bluffs overlooking the Atlantic. Along the way, look for blackberry bushes (ripe in mid to late summer), but be very mindful of ticks. Keep an eye out for coastal wildlife, including the infamous Block Island Meadow Vole, a quirky critter indigenous to Block Island.
Down at the bluffs, visit an old conservancy cabin with great views up and down the bluffs before scrambling down to the beach for a walk along clay shores (you'll pass driftwood and idyllic Atlantic scenes). The return trip—just one alternative of many in Rodman's Hollow—bypasses another bluffside overlook of the Atlantic before looping back towards the trailhead.
-Mapped by Melissa Stolasz

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 5.6

Waypoints

RDH001

Location: 41.1599266, -71.5910786

This trailhead is the far west access point to Rodman's Hollow Nature Preserve along Cooneymus Road. A gate here can serve as a bike rack, but there is no designated car parking here. Parking is available at the Black Rock entrance to the Preserve further east. From here begin hiking south on Black Rock Road all the way down to the bluffs (Waypoint 3). In mid-to-late summer, keep an eye out for delicious blackberry bushes along the trail, but take care to wear high socks and check for ticks along the way.

RDH002

Location: 41.1490617, -71.5911987

Continue straight towards the bluffs at this 3-way crossroads junction.

RDH003

Location: 41.1476541, -71.591742

Reach the edge of the bluffs and turn left to hike east. Just ahead you'll turn up a road to an old cabin. After touring the beach, you'll return to this waypoint and continue west to walk along the top of the bluff.

RDH004

Location: 41.1477617, -71.590933

At this junction, bear left to continue on the road towards the old conservancy cabin. After touring this cabin, you'll return to this point and hike down the bluffs (a slight scramble) to walk east on the beach.

RDH005

Location: 41.1488498, -71.5900898

Turn right at this intersection onto Snake Hole Road. Just ahead, you'll turn right and hike the driveway of the old conservancy cabin.

RDH006

Location: 41.1477794, -71.5900254

Enjoy top-of-the-bluff views from the old conservancy cabin before backtracking to Waypoint 4. At that junction, continue straight to scramble down the bluffs.

RDH007

Location: 41.1474481, -71.5915328

At the bottom of the bluff, turn left to walk east along the beach.

RDH008

Location: 41.1483243, -71.5851404

When you've had your fill of the beach, U-turn back to the bluff and return to Waypoint 3. From there walk west along the top of the bluff to begin a counter-clockwise loop through the preserve.

RDH009

Location: 41.1472814, -71.593869

The trail comes to a top-of-the-bluff overlook with amazing views of the Atlantic. Soak it all in before continuing the loop back toward the junction with Black Rock Road at Waypoint 10.

RDH010

Location: 41.1501603, -71.590813

Turn left at 3-way junction and head north back to the trailhead and Cooneymus Road.

Atlantic Overlook

Location: 41.147226, -71.5936732

© Melissa Stolasz

Preserve Sign

Location: 41.15982, -71.5887594

© Melissa Stolasz

Gate

Location: 41.1597715, -71.5911305

A few feet in, there is a gate and a large rock to the right. © Melissa Stolasz

Trailhead

Location: 41.1592828, -71.5912539

© Melissa Stolasz

Blackberry Stash

Location: 41.152667, -71.5901059

In mid-to-late summer, keep an eye out along the trail for delicious blackberry caches, but watch for ticks. © Melissa Stolasz

Trail Split

Location: 41.1476541, -71.5916991

© Melissa Stolasz

The Cabin Driveway

Location: 41.1483368, -71.5894729

The old conservancy cabin in the distance. © Melissa Stolasz

Cabin View

Location: 41.1476865, -71.5899879

© Melissa Stolasz

Trail Intersection

Location: 41.147743, -71.5909052

The trail heading down the bluffs to the beach. © Melissa Stolasz

Down the Bluffs

Location: 41.1473875, -71.5915275

The climb down the bluff may require a bit of easy scrambling. © Melissa Stolasz

Beach Clay

Location: 41.1473633, -71.5902293

© Melissa Stolasz

Driftwood

Location: 41.1480339, -71.5881962

© Melissa Stolasz

Along the Beach

Location: 41.1482843, -71.585412

© Melissa Stolasz