If you are not up to the best hikes in Rhode Island or want to take a stroll, enjoy this list of the best walking trails in Rhode Island. Some are through the woods, while others are along the beach, and all will provide the beauty and charm of why Rhode Island is such a perfect little state.
1. India Point Park, Providence
201 India Street
This park on the waterfront of Providence has sidewalks and a beautiful view of the broken-down piers, which I find pretty appealing. If you still play Pokemon, there are a lot of them here.
You will find 1.5 miles of paved paths through grassy areas and along the bay. Historical markers also tell about Providence’s history as a port city. You may see tugboats or large container ships.
There is a parking lot and street parking available at no charge.
2. Cliff Walk, Newport
Memorial Boulevard or Forty Steps
The views of both the ocean and majestic historic mansions make this one of Rhode Island’s best. Read my whole post about Newport’s Cliff Walk here.
3. Narragansett Waterfront
State Pier 5 on Ocean Road to Narragansett Town Beach on Boston Neck Rd
This paved 1-mile sidewalk travels along the water of the Atlantic Ocean. After finding street parking, you can start your day with lobster rolls at Monahan’s Clam Shack.
The walk will take you under the famous arches of the Coast Guard House, whose colossal stone towers were built in 1883 as part of the Narragansett Pier Casino, a resort for wealthy vacationers. You can end your walk at the Narragansett town beach, where you will see Rhode Islanders surfing.
If you want to continue walking, cross the street and walk the dirt path around Little Neck Pond.
4. Fort Wetherill, Jamestown
3 Fort Wetherill Rd
Fort Wetherill served as a coastal defense battery as far back as the American Revolution. It provides a stellar view of Narragansett Bay. Surrounded by natural beauty, It is now decaying and covered in graffiti, adding to its charm.
The walk up to Fort Wetherill is a short .9-mile hike up onto a 100-ft granite cliff overlooking Fort Adams across the Narragansett Bay, although it is on a dirt path and uneven at times.
There is ample parking for a fee (free outside of summer).
5. Rocky Point Park, Warwick
33 Rocky Point Ave
Rocky Point Park was an active amusement park with cottages for workers and numerous rides along the coast of Warwick, which functioned for over 100 years. After closing in the 1990s, it fell into disrepair when the owners went bankrupt. The town recently took over the land, building a mile-long paved path along the shore and through grasslands. Remnants of amusement rides are still around, as well as historical placards.
This walk has many unexpected treats, but you will likely have to walk from the parking lots to the trail.
6. Oakland Beach Nature Trail, Warwick
889 Oakland Beach Avenue
Although most people know Oakland Beach for its famous clam shack, Iggy’s, it is also a great place to take a walk. You can walk along the beach or seawall and explore the wetlands and more secluded beaches behind Iggy’s on the .6-mile round trip paved nature pathway. You can see both the Newport and Jamestown bridges from the peninsula’s tip.
There are parking lots, but they are costly unless you are a resident. You can also park in the surrounding neighborhoods and walk into the area.
7. Salter Memorial Grove Park, Warwick
Narragansett Parkway, north of Pawtuxet Village
It was hard for me to decide whether this should go into this post or the best hikes in Rhode Island. This is a flat walk on a stone pathway, then on a stone jetty on Narragansett Bay. It is about a mile long. Although the whole walk is flat, the ground is uneven since it is made of rocks and stones. Be sure to head out and back in low tide, or you will have to wade through the water to get back onto the jetty. The jetty is a popular spot for fishing and provides spectacular views of the port of Providence and Pawtuxet Village.
8. Fort Adams Bay Walk, Newport
80 Fort Adams Drive
This two-mile paved walk takes you along the peninsula on which Fort Adams sits and provides panoramic views of Newport and its famous bridge. It can be a bit confusing to follow. Walk through the parking lot to continue on the Bay Walk when you reach the Eisenhower House.
This walk is full of spectacular views and US history, and there is ample free parking. If you come during opening hours, you can also tour the fort. This fort was active from The War of 1812 through World War 2.
9. Napatree Point in Westerly, Rhode Island
At the end of Watch Hill Beach, which is also a fabulous walk, you will find Napatree Point. Climb up the sandy dunes through the beach roses while birds sing from the trees.
This is my favorite Rhode Island walk because of all the birds! You can also see the Watch Hill Lighthouse from the peak. Napatree Point extends 1.3 miles into Narragansett Bay, so this could be a long walk if you want it to be. Some of it is on dirt paths, but much of it is on the sandy beach, which can be more challenging.
10. Providence River Walk
The Providence and Moshoosuck Rivers run through downtown Providence, starting around the Providence Place Mall and ending in Narragansett Bay near Al Forno Restaurant on South Water Street. There are sidewalks and bridges along this 2.4-mile walk. You can enjoy the kayakers in the canal, sculpture gardens, and the Providence skyline. The best time to take this walk is on a Waterfire night, our fabulous free art installation.
You can find street parking along South Water or park in the mall’s lot.
11. Goddard Memorial Park, Warwick
1095 Ives Road, in Warwick, but near the East Greenwich town line.
Goddard Park is a wooded area with beaches on the midwestern Narragansett Bay. It has miles of dirt trails that are also used by horses. There are many trails to choose from, but they are all generally flat. Thank you to Crystal Hunter for reminding me of this treasure. If you have a kayak, you can paddle over from East Greenwich Harbor.
All of Rhode Island’s bike trails are also fabulous places to take a walk. Check out my list of Rhode Island’s best bike paths and greenways.
Enjoy your time outside in Rhode Island. Did I miss your favorite Rhode Island nature walk? Please let me know in the comments.