Elizabeth Case

Black Point Trailhead

All day I thought this was called the Black Sand Point Trailhead, but anyways that would have been a misnomer – no sand here! The rocks haven’t yet been worn down by time and water yet, still the rocky, chunky, hard wholes that makes up much of the rugged and beloved Rhode Island coastline

I wasn’t initially going to include this in the weird walks since this trailhead gets a 4.8 star review on Google Maps accompanied by such praise as “Simply put…. Rhode Island at its best…”. Well Brett, we’ll have to agree to disagree on this one. It is most certainly a weird walk.

Follow the main trail fifty feet past the sign post and then veer left down an uninspiring path of bramble. Welcome to your walk! On your left, the sound of rushing…. cars, and on your right, a vague whirring that could be the ocean. But you won’t get more than a glimpse for a quarter of a mile or so, when, well past a breach in an old stone wall, the trail abruptly u-turns, taking you fifty feet closer as the crow flies to the water. But still, a tangle of brambles blocks your view of the shoreline, and you are left to contemplate slight movements that may be sparrows in the underbrush. All you get for another quarter mile is a glimpse of expansive blue, or the hard line of the horizon Why did they design the walk this way? Anyways, relish the living – before you see any of the water; can you feel it?

Soon, you’ll meet with the path you started on at a T. Continue straight on, it’s about to get good! To your left, a quick view point. Move along! There’s better views down the road.

The path itself is an ambling, grainy, muddy cut about the width of a car; plenty of room for pandemic etiquette (useful, given all the half-masked children). Soon, from behind the tangled, spike-studded vines, the primary attraction: a large sandy-colored boulder, gorgeously fronted by a flat reservoir of water, and framed by a wide rocky beach.

If you continue down the path, you’ll get a glimpse of Scarborough State Beach, and beyond, Point Judith, particularly beautiful when obscured by a late afternoon fog and a gentle setting sun.

Personally, I moved past the best of it and chose a seat on a large flat boulder maybe twenty feet up from the crashing ocean. Waves 2-6 feet tall crashed and foamed, throwing spray up loudly and joyously. To the right, glimpses of beach and civilization; to the left, Black Point. And in front, “the heart of the great ocean sends a thrilling pulse through me”^[Henry Wadsworth Longfellow].