If you appreciate great scenery, this is one of the island’s best bets, with pretty coastal views and the historic North Light. Located where Corn Neck Road ends, the area includes Settler’s Rock, which you’ll encounter right next to the parking lot – it’s a monument inscribed with the names of the original English families who settled on the island in 1661. Leave your car or bike in the small lot near the Rock, and you can hike about half a mile across the shoreline to the pretty lighthouse you’ll see in the distance; North Light is an iconic granite and iron lighthouse that dates from 1867. (The lighthouse is home to a museum that is open weekends from Memorial Day to Columbus Day, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and daily from late June to mid-September, weather permitting. Call (401) 466-3213 for more information and to confirm hours.)
Beyond the lighthouse is the Sachem Pond Wildlife Refuge, a haven for gulls, swallows, sparrows and more. With its calm waters, the pond itself is a serene counterpoint to the crashing waves of the Atlantic Ocean beyond. Speaking of the ocean, because the shoreline is rocky and the waters from both sides of the island meet, creating strong riptides, this is not a place for swimming. Be careful where you walk in the North Light area, too; the beach is a nesting area for many rare birds.