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Discovering Block Island - Mohegan Bluffs

by Will / February, 12 2014 01:30

Block Island's Mohegan Bluffs

Ever since I first visited Block Island years ago, the bluffs have been one of my favorite spots. They are truly majestic and it's not just the bluffs but also the beach below. Here at Block Island Organics we think it's important to highlight the beauty of this little slice of paradise and this is the first in a series of posts dedicated to doing just that. So let's start with Mohegan Bluffs and don't forget your sunscreen!

Making Your Way There

The bluffs are located just past the Southeast Lighthouse (more on it for another post) and interestingly got their name from a battle in which the native Niantic Indians drove the invading Mohegan Indians off the cliff to their death. All in the past...

Pulling up to the bluffs you'll find a small dirt parking lot that is often filled to capacity. Not to worry, Block Island is an informal place where you'll also find cars lining the road. So just pull over and grab yourself a spot. Or even better - ride your bike, moped, or, if you're really ambitious, walk your way out there from town.

Once there the views are spectacular. Standing about 150 feet above the beach the view over the ocean is quite something to behold. You used to be able to walk right up to the edge of the bluffs but with erosion and public safety as it is, there is now a weather worn wooden fence marking as far as you can go. Still, you're probably only 10 feet from the edge.

The Trip Down

Off to the right you'll find the stairs that drop straight to the beach below. I've never counted, but I've been told there are 140 or so steps. From them you'll see a consistent stream of people emerging. Usually panting, maybe doubled over but certainly with a broad smile. Now it's your turn to take the trip.

The way down isn't so difficult. Every 15 or 20 steps there's a landing where you can stop and look if you like or just power on down. The hardest thing will be watching out for all the kids scurrying up and down. You may have to make yourself skinny as they charge on by.

There is one interesting thing about the way down which is that the steps don't actually go all the way. Nope, you'll get to the bottom of the steps and the beach is another 20 or so feet below. Don't worry, just chalk it up to the experience. You'll have to go carefully and may be tempted to slide down or ask for a helping hand.  Do whatever works for you and scramble on down to the beach.

On the Beach

The beach itself is quite impressive but before you go further, take a quick look back up the stairs to admire how far you've come. Turning back to the beach you'll see a few large rocks in the water with waves crashing over. Note that this beach has no lifeguards if that's a concern for you. You'll also find less folks sun bathing and picnicking here than you will on the other island beaches. This is due it being farther from town and the difficulty in carrying beach paraphernalia up and down the steps.

The beach at Block Island's Mohegan Bluffs

Look to the right where the crescent swath of sand seems to end as a bed of rocks just into the ocean. If you're feeling up to a bit more of a scramble, head over to the rocks and keep making your way. You'll quickly learn that the beach opens up once again with a width swath of sand laid out before you. From time to time I've encountered barbecues, family gatherings and a volleyball game or two down this way.

If you've come to the bluffs for more than a quick look, it's easy enough to grab an open plot of sand, stretch out your towel and dive into a good book. Bring a picnic with you too if you like and if it's a hot day, a quick dip feels great.

Regardless of why you came to Mohegan Bluffs, at some point you'll have to make your way back up the stairs.  It can be a little tiring and I advise stopping on the landings as you go. In the end though, it's a journey well worth taking.

More Block Island Discoveries

Want to know more about Block Island? Check out our series of Discovering Block Island posts here. It's where we got our start with sunblock and all our other skin care products.

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