- General

The Weekapaug Breachway – An Awesome View of The Atlantic’s Treasures

The Weekapaug Breachway in Weekapaug, RI is a glistening, crystal-clear channel of water that connects Winnapaug Pond to the Atlantic Ocean. Every six hours, the breachway serves as the funnel through which millions of gallons of ocean water enter the pond to create high tide, filling the pond to the brim. Then six hours later, the breachway carries the water back out to sea creating low tide which leaves the pond with a series of sandbars and mudflats.

Huge, flat boulders create a 20-foot high wall of rock on either side of the breachway through which the water flows. One can walk atop this wall from the Weekapaug Bridge all the way to the end where the mouth of the breachway meets the ocean – a walk of about 300 yards.

As you stand on the rocks at the very end of the breachway there are several well-known points of interest to behold. The immediate west side of the breachway is bordered by Fenway Beach, a beach reserved for Westerly and Weekapaug ‘townies’. Beyond the beach are multi-million dollar ‘cottages’ atop the bluff overlooking the rugged Atlantic coast. This is Old Weekapaug. Old money. Exclusive. Private. The hoi polloi is welcome to bike or walk through the streets but is not invited to stay. The east side of the channel presents a very different world – The Dunes Beach – a public beach filled each day with thousands of day-trippers. Beyond Dunes Beach is a six-mile stretch of pristine sand and water. Those ambitious enough to make the entire walk will traverse through the Weekapaug Beach, the Westerly Town Beach, The Misquamicut State Beach and finally, historic Watch Hill with its multi-million dollar mansions and historic Coast Guard Light House whose foghorn to warn incoming vessels can be heard all the way back to Weekapaug.

Your visual tour from the end of the breachway is far from over! Looking out 11 miles into the ocean due south you will see Block Island, accessible only by ferry or airplane. A day trip to the island includes unique shops and restaurants, quaint beaches and the opportunity to moped one’s way through breathtaking Atlantic oceanside scenery. It is this island where presidents like Clinton and Obama chose as their summer vacation escape.

From your breachway vantage point, 15 miles to the southwest is the faint view of Montauk Point, Long Island, home of the toney Hamptons. In truth, however, Weekapaug and The Hamptons are separated by more than 15 miles of ocean. They are light years apart.

Had you been standing at the end of the breachway on the night of July 16, 1999, you might have unknowingly witnessed a piece of our country’s dark history. A small plane carrying three people took off from New York earlier that afternoon headed to Martha’s Vineyard. The plane brushed the coast of Westerly and Weekapaug and headed out over the open ocean. The plane’s last contact was made at 9:26pm. This would be the last contact the plane would ever make. John F. Kennedy, Jr., his wife and sister-in-law never made it to the Vineyard.