Located in the center of Narragansett Bay, large and lonely Prudence Island is a nature-lover’s dream. Farmed until the 1900s, the island has slowly reverted back to a habitat of forest and salt-marsh home to the densest white-tailed deer herd in New England, as well as wading birds including great blue herons.
Much of Prudence Island is part of the Narragansett Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (401/683-6780, www.nbnerr.org ), which is full of hiking trails and beaches perfect for combing. A mile’s walk from the boat docks is the 25-foot-high Prudence Island Light (www.lighthouse.cc/prudence ), which stands sentinel on the island’s east side.
Transportation to the island is through the Prudence Ferry Company (Church Street Wharf, 401/253-9808), which runs several boats between sunrise and sunset. Unfortunately, camping is not permitted.