rose island - an unforgettable eco-exploration!
rose island lighthouse is located on an 18 acre island off the new england coast, set a mile into narragansett bay, rhode island. built in 1869, it is a working lighthouse just minutes away from the quaint colonial town of newport.
beyond the reach of utility
lines and services, the lighthouse stands as
an independent, energy-efficient building that was home
to keepers and their families for over a hundred years.
after the pell newport bridge was built the light station was
abandoned. for the next 14 years it fell victim to scavengers,
vandals and the weather. in 1984 volunteers of the newly formed non profit, the rose
island lighthouse foundation, cleaned out and restored
it to its 1912 appearance, installing environmentally sensitive,
utilities for electricity,
water, sewer, and heat.
on august 7, 1993, after the funds had been raised to
pay all the restoration bills, the beacon was joyously
relit. rose island light is once again listed on today's
charts as a private aid to navigation. it is one of only
a few operating lighthouses maintained by working vacationers
who sign on for a week at a time as part of our environmental
education program. the lighthouse is also listed in the
national register of historic places.
our tour guides will greet you when you arrive. they will provide you with a fascinating introduction, rich in romance and history, in exchange for a small landing or admission fee $5 adults; $4 children ages 6-12 and seniors 65 and older. free for rilf members and children 5 yrs. and under. enjoy a $1 discount if you arrive on the jamestown newport ferry. ask about special rates for group tours and educational programs.
tour the lighthouse museum where each room is fully restored just as if keepers of old still lived there. running off wind-powered electricity and a rainwater collection system the lighthouse offers an unforgettable view into another century!
when can i visit and how do i get there?
july 1 - labor day
the lighthouse museum, meeting and picnic areas are open to the public july 1 to labor day between the hours of 10:00 am and 4:00 pm daily. our wildlife refuge is open the same hours after august 14. see visitor guidelines
overnight and weeklong stays
lighthouse and harbor tour – perfect for 1- 6 passengers
how do i get there?
ferry schedule -
map & driving directions to ferry landings
on your own boat
there is no dock space available for visitor tie-ups. from july 1 to labor day between the hours of 10:00 am and 4:00 pm, you are welcome to drop off and pick up at our dock, then anchor and come ashore by tender or swim ashore. small sailing craft, skiffs, canoes or kayaks are welcome to land on the beaches near the lighthouse. click here for a map showing you where to land.
landing or admission fee - $5 adults; $4 children ages 6-12 and seniors 65 and older. free for rilf members and children 5 yrs. and under.
want to visit rose island after labor day? just call our office to make arrangements. there are many ways to visit the lighthouse. we offer:
overnight and weeklong stays
group tourlighthouse and harbor tour – perfect for 1- 6 passengers
what do i do once i'm there?
1. take a tour of the historic lighthouse and fort hamilton barracks. guides are available during the summer months.
2. walk around and enjoy the gardens, natural flora and fauna including birds and crustacea. click here for a visitor's map.
3. comb the beaches. check out the tidal pools.
4. fish off the rocks, or collect mussels if the tide is low ( tide charts)
5. eat the picnic lunch you brought (remember to "pack it in & pack it out.")
6. relax. imagine it's 1912 and you're the keeper. it's a quiet afternoon, and all your chores are done. . .