For the weekend warriors among us looking for an all-day fitness adventure within driving distance of the Northeast, Block Island is a spot to hit up. Located in the Atlantic Ocean 13 miles south of Rhode Island and 14 miles east of Long Island, NY, Block Island gives you that “exotic getaway” experience without spending the “exotic getaway” price, and although a popular summer destination for tourists, doesn’t ever get frustratingly crowded even during the peak of the season. You won’t have to fight through crowds, and many times in many places, you will find yourself in solitude.
The trip to and from BI is a special experience in itself. Unless you own a boat, you have to take the Block Island Ferry from Point Judith, RI, or New London, CT. For an hour, you can reenergize and reflect as you ride the ferry across the big blue waters of Block Island Sound. Catch it early and stay until the last return ride for optimal fitness experience–and to complete ALL 7 of these activities while you are there:
Power-Walk (or Jog) to Southeast Lighthouse
Make sure you have on a pair of running shoes because you begin your adventure as soon as you get off the ferry with a power-walk (or jog, if you’re looking for a little more of a challenge) to Southeast Lighthouse. Starting from Old Harbor (where the ferry drops you off), get on Spring Street going south for about 2 miles until you reach the Southeast Lighthouse.
You can’t miss it; there is a big sign. Spring Street is a pavement of rolling hills–pretty much the whole island is rolling hills–that wraps along the coast so your power-walk (or jog) will consist of beautiful views of the Atlantic Ocean. Southeast Lighthouse is located on the cliffs of Mohegan Bluffs.
Surf the Waves at Corn Cove
After spending some time enjoying the spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean from the top of Mohegan Bluffs to catch your breath, make your way back onto Spring Street southwest towards Mohegan Trail. Off Mohegan Trail is a path leading you to the wooden stairs which take you down to the beach of Mohegan Bluffs, also known at Corn Cove, probably one of the most serene beaches I’ve seen in the Northeast.
The steps are steep and narrow and at the bottom is a hill with rocks you’ll have to maneuver around, so take extra precaution especially if you’re hauling a surfboard. There is a rope that you can use to rappel down or climb up if you need it. The swells at Corn Cove are quick and large so it’s a great place to catch some waves. If not, taking a dip is fun too!
SUP on the Water of Crescent Beach / Fred Benson Town Beach
Back into town, walk a little over a mile up north on Corn Neck Road which leads you to Crescent Beach / Fred Benson Town Beach. This connecting sand beach has been recognized as one of the 21 “Most Beautiful” beaches in the nation, and is a great place for some paddling because the water, for the most part, is flat. Bring your own or rent at Ocean Adventures BI ($30 for 1-hour, $90 half-day, $110 full day). For a mid-afternoon booster post-SUPing, take a power-nap on the beach before heading off to your next fitness activity.
Kayak on the Great Salt Pond
Pick up a kayak at Pond and Beyond ($23 for 1-hour, $43 half-day, $60 full-day) located on the corner of Ocean Avenue and West Side Road to explore and discover the marine ecosystem of the Great Salt Pond. This large body of saltwater is almost entirely enclosed, separating the north and south regions of the island. There is a man-made waterway that was dug out back in the day to set up a harbor in the pond, so you can kayak out into the ocean if you dare go beyond the pond.
Bike Ride to the North Lighthouse
You can see the whole island in one day by bike! But if your time is limited, only bike-ride to the North Lighthouse starting from Old Harbor (where the ferry drops you off), making your way onto Corn Neck Road and heading north. The distance is a little over 4 miles so depending on how fast you go, how many stops you make and how much time you spend at each stops, it will take you 30-60 minutes to get there.
Also, remember the roads are rolling hills which makes biking a bit more challenging. Use your own or rent it at Island Moped Rentals—rates range from $20-45 per bike and fluctuates depending on duration and season, so your best bet is to call (401)741-2329 the day before or morning of to find out costs. Once you reach North Lighthouse, hangout and explore the beach (also known as Cow Cove).
Walk the Clayhead Nature Trail
At the North Lighthouse is the entrance to Clayhead Nature Trail known to have the best views of BI with unmarked pathways to encourage you to wander and get lost in nature. This trail is only a little over a mile long, so leave your bike at the rack located at the trail entrance and make it a round-trip.
Run the “15K Run Around The Block”
If your fitness adventure brings you to Block Island in early September, challenge your endurance skills by participating in the Annual “Run Around The Block 15K” Race. Remember the power-walk/jog you did on rolling hills to Southeast Lighthouse in the beginning of the day? Well, imagine running that, but on a 9.3 miles loop inland. Registration is only $25 per runner and proceeds benefit the Michael & Daniel Batchelder Memorial Scholarship Fund. The next race is September 12th.
Ever been to Block Island and did a fitness activity during your adventure we forgot to mention? SHARE THE LOVE and let us know by commenting below.