Many times you travel far away and either miss or just postpone to visit remarkable places that are close to home. This was the case for me with Block Island, one of the closest island off the tip of Long Island that somehow I never had time to hop on. And the island is probably one of the most beautiful and tranquil in the entire area. New Shoreham, its only town, is considered the smallest town in the smallest state, Rhode Island, of the USA. We stopped here for breakfast because we were told that we could not a coffee in any other place on the island.
In comparison with the other better known islands off the coast of Cape Cod, Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard, Block Island is quiet, quaint and full of farms that spread on the entire rest of the island outside the little town. You may see a large field with barn or a house, all surrounded by a fence made of several rows of boulders that delimits the property.
The car traffic is almost non existent in the island that make you feel that the roads may be built almost only for bikes. We bike the entire island and not even once we were passed by two cars coming from opposite directions in the same time that would squeeze us to the side of the road.The bike routes are all following the main roads passing nature protected areas that can be visited on long walks meandering through flower fields all the way to the ocean. The island is only 7 miles long by 3 miles wide in its bottom part and biking is the main way of transportation so almost everywhere there are bike racks that sometimes are so full that you have to look for a …bike parking spot.
Returning from the North lighthouse, whose deserted beach is packed only by gulls, you may pass by the new harbor, the place where is the dock for the Montauk, where you can take a break and enjoy a drink at Dead Eye’s Dick terrace by the harbor.
The road/bike pass continues to the spectacular tall bluffs where a steep staircase lets you get on the beach for a nice walk where you may encounter whales’ vertebras. (they are huge). Just down the beach is the South East light house.
The entire marked route bike trail, that consists actually of the totality of the paved roads of the island, is about 24 miles, way less than we biked the day before but for sure not as easy. The island is not hilly but the route is up and down and at the end of the day you feel exhausted by the effort in spite of biking only half of the Cape Cod Rail Trail.
Tired by biking the hilly road coming back into town we stopped at the Spring House Hotel, the oldest hotel in the island that hosted presidents, writers, personalities and a recent wedding of the Kennedys. We took a break and a much desired drink on the grass in front overlooking the ocean, just 5 minutes away from the old New Shoreham harbor where the last ferry would take us to Narraganset, RI.