Lighthouses of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut

Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut
June 27-30, 2011


June 27, 2011

Left Buffalo, NY headed east on I-90. Drove into Massachusetts and took Route 146 south to I-295 once inside Rhode Island. From I-295, we followed State Route 37 east towards the airport and exited at Post Road. From there, we headed east on Airport Road which changes names to West Shore Road. We followed West Shore Road to the end, and then headed east on Point Ave to Conimicut Point Park. From here, we could easily see the Conimicut Point Lighthouse which sits in the middle of the Providence River and the Nayatt Point Lighthouse which sits on the opposite shore.

After visiting the two lighthouses, we grabbed some dinner at a local restaurant in town before heading back to I-95. This time, we were heading north towards Providence and then crossing the river on I-195. We exited just over the bridge at Veterans Memorial Parkway, and headed south. The road eventually changes to Pawtucket Ave and Bullocks Point Ave. Our first stop was at Crest Ave. It is here where you can see the Pomham Rocks Lighthouse, although the view isn't that great as there is a pollution control facility there. A better view is to continue on Bullocks Point Ave another block, and park at the East Bay Bicycle Path parking lot. From here, you can walk along the path a quarter of a mile for a better view.

After shooting several photos of the Pomham Rocks Lighthouse, we headed back over to Warwick and got a hotel room for the evening.

June 28

We woke up, ate some breakfast, and were then headed north on I-95 to go to the Roger Williams Park Zoo. We arrived right at opening time and spent several hours there. One bad thing about arriving early was that a lot of the animals weren't out. We ended up doubling back to several exhibits to see some of them. We left around 11:45am after eating some lunch at the zoo.

We headed south on I-95, and exited at State Route 117. We followed this east to Warwick Neck Ave. We then followed Warwick Neck Ave south to the end where we could view the Warwick Lighthouse. The station is closed to the public, but there are pretty good views right from the street.

From here, it was back to I-95 south to head towards the Rhode Island Bay Cruises dock which sits at the end of Route 403. We arrived early as the directions had suggested and waited to board the boat. Once aboard, we headed to the top deck where we could get good views of each of the lights that we would pass.

The first lighthouse we came to upon leaving port was the Poplar Point Lighthouse. The next lighthouse we came to was the Plum Beach Lighthouse which sits right next to the Jamestown Bridge. We then continued south and passed the Dutch Island Lighthouse.

We then continued south in Narragansett Bay towards the Atlantic Ocean. The next lighthouse we came to was the ruins of the old Whale Rock Lighthouse. This must have been a scary post as it sits unprotected from the fury of the Atlantic Ocean. From here, we set our sights on the southern tip of Conanicut Island and the Beavertail Lighthouse. We then started heading north up the other side of Conanicut Island and passed the Castle Hill Lighthouse.

After heading north some more, we passed Fort Adams and many sailing classes out in the bay to enter Newport Harbor. Upon immediately entering the harbor, one could spot the bright red hull of the Nantucket Lightship (WLV-612). The narrator of the cruise pointed out the diversity of the harbor by pointing out many America's Cup sailboats, several million dollar yachts, and even many smaller fishing vessels. The narrator also pointed out the Ida Lewis (Lime Rock) Lighthouse and to the north, the Newport Harbor (Goat Island) Lighthouse, after which, we left.

Heading north again in Narragansett Bay, we passed by the Rose Island Lighthouse on our way to the northern tip of Conanicut Island. From here, we passed the Conanicut Island Lighthouse and headed back to port.

After exiting the boat, we headed back to the truck and to I-95 north. We then headed east for about an hour on I-195 which took us into Massachusetts. We exited at Route 105 which took us south to Wareham Road and then back north to Point Road. We then followed Point Road south to Buzzards Bay and the Bird Island Lighthouse. Although the lighthouse sits on an island, and the area around the coast is private property, I was able to stand on the bumper of my truck and with the use of a telephoto lens get some decent photos of the lighthouse.

From here, it was Point Road back to US-6 which we followed to Mattapoisett. In Mattapoisett, US-6 is also called Marion Road, which we followed to Ned's Point Road. We then followed Ned'0s Point Road to the end which led us to a park and the Ned's Point Lighthouse. We left here about 6:30pm and found a little pizza place in town to have dinner.

We then headed west into New Bedford and attempted to see the Palmer Island Lighthouse. As we were traveling to it, a heavy fog was rolling in. By the time we arrived, it was impossible to see. We located a hotel and stayed overnight.

June 29, 2011

After getting up and having breakfast, we followed Rodney French Blvd. to the end and Fort Rodman. After looking for a place to park, and having to relent, we parked in one of the city owned lots which charged $20.00. I found this excessive and a poor way to appeal to tourists. I spoke with the parking attendant who apologized up and down and stated that many out of town people come in to use the beaches, and leave their trash and garbage all over town, which we witnessed.

From out parking spot, we were able to walk to the beach to view the Butler Flats Lighthouse in Buzzards Bay. From there, we were able to walk south and take photos of the Clark's Point Lighthouse which sits atop a wall of Fort Taber.

After leaving there, we headed north along East Rodney French Blvd. which changes into Cove Street. From here, we followed Harbor Street north to Gifford Street. We parked at the end of Gifford Street and accessed the hurricane wall to walk out to get pictures of the Palmer Island Lighthouse. The tide was low, and access to the island was possible, however, I chose to forgo it as the lighthouse sits at the northern end of the island and it was already very humid out. With my telephoto lens, I was able to get some pretty good close up views of the lighthouse.

After leaving New Bedford, we followed I-195 west into Fall River. We exited at Route 79/138 and followed that south to William Street. From William Street, we headed north on Almond Street to the Borden Light Marina. I was unsure if the marina was private property or not, so I parked at the corner of Ferry and Almond Streets and stood on the bumper of my truck to take several photos of the Borden Flats Lighthouse. After this, we stopped in town for some lunch.

After leaving Fall River, we followed Route 138 south to Tiverton where we picked up Route 77 which we followed south to Sakonett. From here, we were able to get pictures of the Sakonett Lighthouse which sits offshore at the confluence of the Sakonett River and Rhode Island Sound. After grabbing a few photos using the telephoto lens, we were heading back north on Route 77 to Tiverton.

At Tiverton, we headed west on Route 138/24 and exited at Boyds Lane to head towards the Mount Hope Bridge. After crossing the bridge, we took a quick turn at Old Ferry Road and followed that to the end. From here, the Bristol Ferry Lighthouse sits just underneath the Mount Hope Bridge. The lighthouse is private property, so please respect that and do not trespass.

Heading south on Bristol Ferry Road (Route 114), we turned on Miller Road. From the end of Miller Road, you can see the Hog Island Shoal out in Mount Hope Bay. After snapping a few photos, we continued south on Bristol Ferry Road (Route 114) heading towards Newport.

In Newport, we turned on Route 138 and took that across the Pell Bridge through Conanicut Island and over to North Kingston. From here, we continued south on Route 138 / US-1 to Wakefield. In Wakefield, we followed Route 108 / Point Judith Road all the way to the end, and then continued south on Ocean Road to the end.

We turned into the parking lot next to the Coast Guard Station. After parking and taking a few photos from there, I walked towards the station. At that point, a Coast Guard member was pulling into the station's parking lot, and told me that it was fine to walk the station's grounds to take pictures of the Point Judith Lighthouse. They block the lot off to keep people from parking in the station's lot.

After taking a bunch of photos, we were debating on heading over to Block Island. However, we would have had to stay overnight, and catch the ferry in the morning. We opted to forgo the island excursion and continue west along Route 1A / US-1.

In Westerly on Route 1A we followed Watch Hill Road until the turn off at Westerly Road. After a short distance, we turned on Bluff Ave which then turned into Larkin Road. From here, we spotted Lighthouse Road and a sign that said no through traffic, but pedestrians were free to walk the road to the lighthouse. So we found a place to park, and walked to the Watch Hill Lighthouse.

After spending some time at the tower, and then walking the shops in town, we were headed back north to Route 1A. At US-1, we headed east and drove to Mystic, Connecticut to get a hotel for the evening.

June 30, 2011

The next morning, we got up and had breakfast at the hotel. After getting into the truck, we plugged in the Garmin Nuvi 350 GPS; however, it wouldn't get a lock on the satellites. It was working fine the last few days. After doing some research using my iPhone, nothing was able to get it working. So with that, I started using my iPad for navigation.

Our first stop for the day was to swing by the Mystic Seaport. After looking at the prices to enter, we decided to just take some pictures from the opposite site of the river. In town, we took High Street to Starr Street, and then to Pearl Street. From here, we had a great view of the Mystic Seaport Lighthouse.

After spending some time in a parking lot trying to get the GPS to work, we decided that we would have to use paper maps and the iPad to navigate to the next lighthouse. We took US-1 (Stonington Westerly Road) south out of town.

In Stonington, we headed south on North Water Street. At Trumbull Ave, we headed over to Alpha Ave, which we followed south to Water Street. At the end of Water Street, we parked in the lot and walked the short distance back to the Stonington Lighthouse.

Upon leaving Stonington, we followed North Main Street north out of town towards I-95. We followed I-95 south towards Groton, Connecticut and exited at exit 87. From here we followed Route 349 to the University of Connecticut Groton Campus. Once on campus, we found a place to park and walked to the Avery Point Lighthouse. From here, we could also see the New London Harbor and the New London Ledge Lighthouse. It was at this point, that our GPS unit started to work. So we made sure not to turn it off.

After leaving the lighthouse, we headed into town and had some lunch. After that, it was back to I-95. On I-95, we saw signs for the Children's Museum of Southeastern Connecticut. Heading south, we exited at exit 74 which was East Lyme. We took Route 161 south to the end and turned right on Main Street to arrive at the museum.

After spending an hour or two at the museum, it was north back to I-95. On I-95 south, we exited at Old Saybrook (exit 67). We followed Elm Street to Main Street (Route 154). Route 154 changes names a few times. The first is Main Street, then College Street, and finally Maple Ave. We stopped on the side of the road just past Old Fenwick Road to get some pictures of the Saybrook Breakwater Lighthouse.

From here, we went back up Maple Ave and turned on Nibang Ave. From Nibang Ave, we turned on Fenwick Ave and then made a left on Agawam Ave. On Agawan Ave, just before Mohegan Ave, you can get a better view of the Saybrook Breakwater Lighthouse.

From here, we made a left on Mohegan Ave and then a right on Neponset Ave. It was on Neponset Ave that you can get a pretty clear view of the Old Saybrook Lighthouse. After this, it was around 3:30pm, and we started our ride back home. We took Route 9 north to Hartford. In Hartford we took I-91 north to I-90, which we followed west. It would be nearly midnight before we would arrive home in Buffalo.

Home ]