P.T. Marvell Preserve

Discover a coastal ecosystem rich with native plants, birds, and butterflies from the meadows and observation platform at P.T. Marvell Preserve in Little Compton. In addition to being a beautiful place to explore, this property helps safeguard the beaches and salt ponds of one of Rhode Island’s most scenic coastal ecosystems. P.T. Marvell is jointly protected by the Little Compton Agricultural Conservancy Trust, the Sakonnet Preservation Association, and The Nature Conservancy.


Man taking a photo from the observation platform at P.T. Marvell Preserve in Little Compton.

Look out for birds or take in lovely views of coastal scrub and a distant salt pond from the the observation platform at P.T. Marvell Preserve.

Easy-to-explore paths loop through meadows and woodland at P.T Marvell Preserve. This small, scenic preserve borders Tunipus Pond and is just across the street from South Shore Beach; as you walk the trails, you can hear the crash of waves hitting the nearby shoreline. Just down the trail from the parking area, a tall observation platform elevates you above the surrounding coastal, providing great birding opportunities and views of a small salt pond glimmering in the distance. In the winter, when leaves drop from the surrounding trees, you can see even further to the deep blue of Buzzards Bay.

P.T. Marvell is part of a complex of conservation lands that help safeguard the delicate coastal ecosystems of this region, which includes protected lands along Quicksand Pond at South Shore Beach and Goosewing Beach Preserve.


The paths at P.T. Marvell make a series of interconnecting loops of about 0.6 miles. These trails are mostly flat, mowed meadow, making them a great place for a refreshing walk, cross-country ski, or a few loops of trail running. While most of the path runs through open meadows, the trail loops into a small woodland in the property’s northeast corner.

Habitats & Wildlife

A walk through P.T Marvell provides a feast for the senses. In the warm months, you’ll smell wildflowers and the sweet scent of wild grape from vines looping through the thicket. The hum of waves on the coast layers with the sound of calling birds and the buzz of bees. As the seasons change, these fields provide an ever-changing color pallet: a rainbow of wildflowers in the spring and summer; the red, orange, and yellow of changing leaves in the fall; and the contrast of deep green scrub pine and holly trees against golden fields in the winter.

This preserve serves as a buffer that keeps pollution out of Tunipus Pond, one of the region’s unique coastal salt ponds. Its proximity to the pond and to the wild shore of outer Buzzards Bay makes P.T. Marvell a popular spot to look for birds, from migratory shorebirds to waterfowl and songbirds. The preserve also attracts numerous butterflies, especially in late summer and early fall, when migrating monarchs flock to its fragrant fields of goldenrod and Joe Pye weed.

Size: 11.5 acres
Hours: Dawn to dusk
Parking: Small unpaved parking area (space for 5-6 cars) on South Shore Rd.
Trail Difficulty: Easy
Dogs: No
Facilities: None
ADA Accessible: No

Please follow all posted rules and regulations at this property.

Address & Contact Information
90 South Shore Rd.
Little Compton, RI 02837
41.493061, -71.140511
Sakonnet Preservation Association: (401) 635-8800
Email: spa@sakonnetpreservation.org

Please follow all posted rules and regulations at this property.

P.T. Marvell Preserve
Little Compton, RI
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