SACHUEST POINT NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE
Occupying a peninsula between the Sakonnet River and Rhode Island sound, the 242 acre Sachuest Point National Wildlife refuge is a very popular site for the over 65,000 annual visitors each year.
The refuge sports a newly renovated visitor center, over 2.5 miles of nature trails, viewing platforms, and a number of Refuge volunteers present to help visitors and to help in management of the refuge.
Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge is renowned for its fantastic saltwater fishing, and the presence of the largest winter population of harlequin ducks on the East Coast.
Once a horse racing area, then a Naval communications site, and now a National Wildlife Refuge, the are is steeped in history.
From saltmarsh and beach strand habitats to upland shrub dominated lands, the refuge supports over 200 bird species, with such notable occasional visitors such as the peregrine falcon, northern harrier, and the snowy owl.
Over 150 different bird species call Sachuest Point home, with thousands of other birds visiting during the fall migration. Located on the Atlantic flyway, the largest concentration of wintering harlequin ducks occurs here.
From the 1600's to the 1800's, Sachuest Point was used for farming and sheep grazing. During World War II, the Navy used the site as a rifle range and communications center. In 1970, beginning with a donation from the Audubon Society of Rhode Island, the Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge was established.