Block Island National Wildlife Refuge
Northeast Region

Visitor Opportunities

Hours of Operation:

The refuge is open from dawn until dusk for wildlife observation, photography and seasonal fishing. The Beane Pointe facility is open during the summer months for environmental education and special events. Please call 401-364-9124 for hours and dates of operation.

Environmental Education:

At Beane Point we have a newly renovated contact station. Our volunteer/caretakers are making use of this facility to provide educational opportunities for residents and visitors alike. We present several significant public programs each year that are often use Beane Point as a base of operations, but usually branch out into other areas of the refuge. These events include a popular annual open house, and summer camps with sein-netting activities for children of all ages.

Environmental Education - EarthCache

An EarthCache involves using a GPS unit to go to a certain location. Before going to the location the user needs to research the EarthCache and perform the educational lesson at the site. Visitors to the refuge EarthCaches will discover unique land features, geological processes, and a treasured landscape.

Approximately 20,000 years ago the last ice age ended. The geography and landscape of Rhode Island and New England is a direct outcome of glacial retreat. Go to the EarthCache page for more information and a quiz.


White-tailed deer hunting will be offered on the Block Island NWR located in New Shoreham, RI.   Permits to hunt will be administered through a lottery system.

Hunters will be able to apply for the lottery on-line and pay applicable application and permit fees (7 days a week, 24 hours a day) at:  Hunters also have the option of filling out a paper copy of the application and mailing it to: Kinsail Corporation, P.O. Box 7087, Arlington, VA 22207, (703) 994-4194. Successful applicants will also be required to complete an on-line Big Game Harvest Report at regardless of whether or not they hunted or were successful.

2013-2014 Hunting opportunities

Species: White-tailed Deer

Seasons: Firearms and Archery – January 2, 2013 - February 28, 2014, excluding weekends

Application period for Block Island NWR Deer Hunt is Saturday October 26 - Friday November 22 at 11:49 AM EST. 


The unique habitats on and around Block Island support some of the best sport-fishing in New England. With over 300 fresh-water ponds, and the surrounding Atlantic Ocean, almost any type of fishing is available depending on the season. Typically the peak season is from early spring until late fall. Many fishermen come to the shoreline of our refuge to enjoy the tranquility and to catch striped-bass and other species. Picture of grasses along a pebbley beach in the foreground, a large white lighthouse with a red roof in the background, framing a fisherman in waders standing in waist deep water while holding fishing rod and looking intently out to sea.  Photo Credit: Bruce Larson, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Wildlife Observation and Photography:

Refuge lands on Block Island are most notable for the large concentration (over 70 species) of migratory songbirds which visit the area each fall. Located in the Atlantic flyway, many young, inexperienced songbirds "overfly" the mainland and stopover on Block Island before continuing their migration. The result is a cornucopia of young migratory songbirds from a variety of different species. Block Island is internationally recognized as one of the most important migratory bird habitats on the east Coast, attracting hundreds of "birders" to the Island each fall. However, great birding and photography opportunities occur almost any time of year because of the rare habitat that exists on the Island.

Two birders walking along the shoreline and within a few feet of two shore birds in the shallow water ahead.  Photo Credit: Bruce Larson, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Last updated: October 28, 2013