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:
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
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
Hours of Operation: 24/7, year-round
Parking: parking lot, 50 spaces
ADA Accessible Parking Spaces? no
Public Restrooms: There are usually portable toilets here in the summer.
Sources for More Information:
Other Guidebooks: Salt Ponds Coalition Kayaker's Guide
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.
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