To get to Goosewing Preserve, you must first drive through South Shore Beach in Little Compton, RI. Parking can reach up to $20.00 in the summer, and the lot fills up early on the weekends. But if you can swing it – I’d say the hassle is worth it. Goosewing Preserve is one of my favorite beaches in the state, maybe because it feels like one of the wildest, or maybe because it was a beach I grew up visiting.
You are surrounded on all sides by gorgeous open space, whether it be farm, meadow, sand dune, tidal marsh, or ocean – with only the occasional New England-style beach house interrupting the natural landscape. We have the Nature Conservancy to thank for all of this wildness, they’ve protected the land since 1989. In 2010, a small environmental education center was built on the property and in the summers the staff offers guided nature walks and special events. Dogs are prohibited allowed April 1st to September 1st, because the Preserve is home to the endangered piping plover.
Another part of what makes this beach so special is the gorgeous drive there. I must have done it hundreds of times in my life so far, but I never get tired of it. Some of my finest summer memories occurred on those country roads. When we were little, my friends and our parents would all meet for a cookout at the beach. Us kids would swim until dark and then would be wrapped up in beach towels and warm, dry hoodies. I remember hearing Van Morrison’s Moondance album playing in the car while we returned home late at night, the windows would be down and all the stars would be out. We’d have that tired but exhilarated feeling that only a day spent out in nature can give you.