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Quonochontaug Breachway

41° 20.219' N    71° 43.346' W   See this location in: Google Maps   Map Server   EarthNC   Acme Maps

Google Maps is the mapping system used on the new ExploreRI mapper and shows the access site located on a terrain view, a street map or an aerial photograph. Clicking on this link will take you to the full Google Maps website, which is not part of ExploreRI.
Map Server shows a topographic map of the area. The Map Server website is not part of ExploreRI.org.
EarthNC shows a nautical chart of the area (click the 'chart' button in the top right corner of the EarthNC map for a better view). EarthNC is not part of ExploreRI.org
Acme Maps shows the access site located on a topographic map. The Acme Maps website is not part of ExploreRI.org.

This is a site for launching boats from trailers. Boat ramps can normally be used to launch canoes and kayaks but please do your best to keep the boat ramp clear for boat trailers.

Description & Overview:

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The boat ramp at the inner end of the Quonochontaug Breachway provides access to both Quonochontaug Pond and Block Island Sound. The pond is a large salt pond with many coves and channels to explore in a kayak or other small boat. This boat launch is the only good access to this salt pond and sees heavy use from fisherman, boaters and day-trippers. Once beyond the launch area and on the salt pond it can be a blissful to paddle the salt pond with its expansive untouched barrier beach, classic Victorian summer cottages, extensive salt marshes and bird sanctuary.

The tide runs very hard through the breachway so caution is advised in and near the breachway, including crossing the inner end of the breachway. Be especially careful when launching and landing since the boat ramp is in the breachway channel. Use the nearby sandy area to launch hand-carried boats to avoid the current in the breachway channel (and leave the ramp clear for trailered boats). In sea kayaks or other small craft, only experts should attempt to head out the breachway and onto the open waters of Block Island Sound. Breachways such as this can easily be closed even to large boats by breakers as the wind picks up or even just as a result of a change in the tide, leaving no way to back shore.

On most days the southwest wind fills in across this area in the morning and blows throughout the afternoon, so be prepared for this when planning your trip.

This site provides access to the following water bodies: Quonochontaug Pond, Block Island Sound.


Alternate Site Name: Quonnie Pond

Town: Charlestown

Nearest Town Center: Quonochontaug

Driving Landmarks: From Route 1 south turn left onto West Beach Road, which is after East Beach Road. From Route 1 north turn right onto West Beach Road. Follow West Beach Road to the end of the road, bearing right at 1.4 miles and again half a mile later. This second right will put you on West End Road. The boat ramp is a half a mile ahead at the end of this road, the last part of which is a dirt road.

Access & Waters:

Water 'Features' At Site: estuary, ocean/bay

Note: Because one boat launch can access, say, both a lake and a river or both the upstream and downstream portions of a river, not all paddling trips at a given site will necessarily encounter all of the features listed.

Type of Access: Boat ramp

ADA Accessible Boat Launch? no

Shoreline: Boat ramp and adjacent sandy shoreline

Float/Dock: no

Hours of Operation: 24/7, year-round


Parking: parking lot, 50 spaces

ADA Accessible Parking Spaces? no

Nearby Amenities:

Public Restrooms: There are usually portable toilets here in the summer.

Sources for More Information:

Other Guidebooks: Salt Ponds Coalition Kayaker's Guide

Website: Salt Ponds Coalition Kayaker's Guide to the Salt Ponds of South County, Rhode Island


Quonochontaug Breachway Boat Ramp

Quonochontaug Breachway Boat Ramp

Photography by: Art Ganz and Bambi Poppick

Date of Photograph: September 6, 2006

The parking lot at Quonochontaug Breachway with the pond beyond. The boat ramp is on the left but the best place to launch hand-carried boats is on the right.


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The data on this website come from many sources, including volunteers and organizations across the state of Rhode Island and nearby parts of Massachusetts. We have done our best to make sure the data are accurate and up to date, but any information critical to the success of your trip should be confirmed before you start. The maps and information on this website should not be substituted for nautical charts, topographic maps, or other more detailed maps and guides. We welcome corrections and additions. To send a correction or provide other feedback, please use our feedback form (see link above).

This site report was last updated on June 5, 2011

Rhode Island Blueways Alliance • c/o WPWA • 203 Arcadia Road • Hope Valley, RI 02832