Please use the pull down menus to access the hikes and other features. For all hikes please look under CATEGORY to the right for a specific location to hike.
(if you can not see the list to the right, scroll all the way down and click VIEW FULL SITE)
The hikes that are currently listed are the ones I have done so far…
NEWS & INFORMATION ABOUT TRAILS
3/1/2017 – TRAILS AND WALKS IN RHODE ISLAND is teaming up with the BLACKSTONE HERITAGE CORRIDOR/NATIONAL PARK SERVICE for a series of hikes this year. Click here to see the list of planned hikes.
1/19/2017 – TURNER RESERVOIR LOOP TRAIL IN EAST PROVIDENCE – Construction is expected to commence on Newman Avenue in 2017 and into 2018, at times during construction Newman Avenue will be closed and the loop will not be able to be completed. It is advised to drive by Newman Avenue first before embarking on the loop trail. All other sections of the trail will be open during this time.
…is the smallest of the States but offers a wide array of places to hike, walk, or bike. Rhode Island also has some tremendously beautiful sites whether it be by the ocean, in the rolling hills, or in the middle of the city.
Providence, Newport, and Block Island are the primary tourist destinations in Rhode Island.
Providence offers a rich history and some spectacular architecture. It is a very walk friendly city. From the downtown area one could walk one or all of the walks.
Newport, thirty five miles to the south, is a seaport city at the entrance of Narragansett Bay. It is also a very walk friendly city.
14 miles south of the mainland is Block Island. This summer tourist attraction offers about 25 miles of trails. Block Island is unique being that over 40% of the island has been permanently conserved.
Rhode Island is also home to some of the best beaches along the East Coast. Although only 37 miles wide and 48 miles long, the state has over 400 miles of coast. The south facing Atlantic beaches are haven in the summer months.
Rhode Island also has one of the largest bays on the east coast. Narragansett Bay stretches from the ocean to the capital city of Providence. There are several places to access the shores of the bay for views of the water.
Rhode Island has no mountains, in fact the highest point in only 812 feet above sea level. There are however several hikes that offer scenic views at lookouts.
Furthermore, Rhode Island has several small rivers and streams. In the industrial days of mills many dams were built. There are also some natural waterfalls. Many of these waterfalls and dams are accessible via hiking trails.
For the bicyclists, Rhode Island offers several bike paths, including several rails to trails, totaling nearly 60 miles.
Rhode Island is also home to five National Wildlife Refuges. They are all in the southern end of the state (including Block Island) and some have trails open to the public. They all offer views of the ocean or salt ponds.
The northern end of the state falls within the Blackstone River Valley National Historic Park. There are several hikes available within its boundaries. Furthermore, in the East Bay area is the (currently proposed) Sowams Heritage District.
The crown jewel in Rhode Island for hiking are the State Management Areas. There are hundreds of miles of trails within these areas.
If you are looking for a long distance hike, Rhode Island has the 78 mile North South Trail that passes through several State Management Areas as it traverses through nine towns. Many of the properties that the North South Trail passes through can be hiked individually.
For those of you looking walking paths, Rhode Island has plenty of small parks in its cities and towns. These spots are good for beginners, general exercise, and/or strollers.
I’ve also included hikes and walks that are in nearby Massachusetts and Connecticut. The towns I’ve choose to include in these states are the ones that directly border Rhode Island and the ones that are in the easily accessible via the highway corridors of Interstate 95, Interstate 195, and Route 146.
I’ve researched many books and websites to compile an ever-growing list of nearly 500 walks and I have been adding them to the blog site as I complete them.
I hope you find these blogs useful. I’ve included nature hikes, beach walks, urban walks, city parks, state parks, and bike paths as well, varying in lengths of less than a mile to over 10 miles.
Distances are measured by using phone apps such as Alltrails, EveryTrail, and Map My Hike and are approximate only.
With each blog entry I have added links to trail maps (when available) and photos that I have taken on the hikes. I’ve also added coordinates for the trail-heads or parking areas with a link for directions and I give a short description of the hike that I took.
Please note that the descriptions that I have blogged are the routes that I have chosen. I have used many sources for maps and trail descriptions prior to hiking most sites. The maps that I have linked do not always show the trails that I have used and should be used with caution and at your own risk. I have listed all of my sources below. Also note that several sites are open to hunting. I do try to note this in the blogs. Be sure to check if the site you plan on hiking is in fact a hunting area and be sure to follow the rules of the hunting regulations which I also listed below.
Some Useful Links:
Hiking in Rhode Island, as with anywhere else in the world, does present its fair share of hazards that you should be aware of. In Rhode Island, hunting season starts in mid September and continues well into the spring. Hunting is allowed in all state management areas and several Nature Conservancy and local Land Trust properties throughout the state. Wearing the proper attire while hiking is not only suggested, but mandatory in these areas. Please click the link below for more information.
Please note sections 10.6 and 11.6 of the RI hunting regulation on requiring the use of orange vests and hats on State management properties and other properties where hunting is allowed.
10.6 All users of State Management Areas and undeveloped State Parks are required to wear solid daylight fluorescent orange during appropriate seasons.
11.6 Fluorescent Orange Requirement: Fluorescent orange safety clothing is required during the hunting season statewide for all hunters. To meet this requirement, safety clothing must be solid daylight fluorescent orange. Fluorescent camouflage does not meet this requirement. The hunter orange must be worn above the waist and be visible in all directions. Examples that meet the orange requirements are a hat that covers 200 square inches or combination of hat and vest covering 500 square inches. The following orange requirements apply:
11.6.5 Five hundred (500) square inches by all hunters and other users (including archers) during shotgun deer seasons.
11.6.8 All other users of State Management areas and designated undeveloped State Parks, including but not limited to: hikers, bikers, and horseback riders, are required to wear two hundred (200) square inches of solid daylight fluorescent orange from the second Saturday in September to the last day of February, and the third Saturday in April to the last day in May, annually.
In recent years the wildlife population has been making a resurrection in Rhode Island. Animals like bears, mountain lions, and bob cats have been reported throughout the state. Coyotes and foxes have been common as well. Most wild animals are harmless to hikers in Rhode Island. They are in fact just afraid of you as you are of them. However, an animal protecting its young or food source may become aggressive. The animal may also become aggressive if it is rabid or feels cornered. It is best to avoid wild animals altogether when hiking.
Insects can also pose a threat to hikers. Ticks carry Lyme disease and ticks are very common in Rhode Island. Be sure to check yourself (and your pets) thoroughly after any hike. In the late summer into the fall mosquitoes can carry diseases as well. West Nile Virus and EEE are the two most prevalent diseases that mosquitoes in this area carry. Avoid hiking near dusk when the threat of these diseases have been confirmed in mosquitoes. Bug spray is suggested for both ticks and mosquitoes.
Leaves of Three, Let Them Be… another hazard in the area is poison ivy and poison oak. These annoying plants will leave you scratching if you come in contact with them. The best way to avoid it is to stay on the trails and avoid touching plants.
ON THE TRAIL
When venturing out into the woods be sure to be prepared. Bring plenty of water especially on hotter days or longer hikes. Be sure to wear good and sturdy shoes and layered clothing. Maps and GPS devices are always suggested especially in areas that are large and sprawling. Bug spray and sunscreen are always suggested as well. Cell reception is relatively good in almost all parts of Rhode Island. Always keep a cell phone on you in case of an emergency. 9-1-1 is used statewide if you need to call the authorities for an emergency. Understanding maps and trail blazes is recommended.
New England is also quite famous for its weather. One day it could be 60 degrees and the next could be snowing. Spring tends to be damp with rain and showers occasionally. The trails in areas will tend to be muddy. Summers have been hot and dry as of late. An occasional thunderstorm will disrupt an afternoon hike. Fall makes New England famous. The leaves turn bright reds and oranges in mid October into early November making for some unbelievably beautiful hiking. Winter varies from year to year. Some winters have been very mild with only a few snow storms and others have been relentless with northeasters and blizzards. Snowshoes are sometimes required in the winter months. Be sure to always check the weather before departing into the woods.
Books used to find hikes:
Twenty Five Walks In Rhode Island (Ken Weber – 1978)
Fifty Hikes In Connecticut (Gerry and Sue Hardy – 1978)
Walks and Rambles in Rhode Island – 1st Edition (Ken Weber – 1986)
Bird Walks In Rhode Island (Adam J. Fray – 1992)
More Walks and Rambles in Rhode Island (Ken Weber – 1992)
Walks and Rambles In Rhode Island-2nd Edition (Ken Weber – 1993)
Sixty Selected Short Nature Walks In Connecticut (Eugene Keyarts – 1994)
Massachusetts and Rhode Island Trail Guide (Appalachian Mountain Club – 1995)
A Guide To Rhode Island’s Natural Places (Rhode Island Sea Grant – 1995)
Walks In The Watershed (Charles Hickox & Elly Heyder – 1997)
Nature Walks In Eastern Massachusetts (Michael Tougias – 1998)
More Nature Walks In Eastern Massachusetts (Michael Tougias – 1998)
Walks and Rambles in Rhode Island-3rd Edition (Ken Weber – 1999)
The Official Rails To Trails Conservancy Guidebook (Cynthia Mascott – 2000)
The North South Trail (Cliff Vanover – 2002)
Discover Rhode Island (Christie Matheson – 2004)
Massachusetts Trail Guide-8th Edition (Appalachian Mountain Club – 2004)
Nature Walks In Connecticut-2nd Edition (Charles W.G. Smith and Rene Laubach – 2004)
Weekend Walks In Rhode Island (Ken Weber – 2005)
On This Island (Keith H. Lang and Scott B. Comings – 2006)
Doggin’ Rhode Island – 25 Best Places to Hike With Your Dog (Doug Gelbert – 2006)
AMC’s Best Day Hikes In Connecticut (Appalachian Mountain Club – 2007)
Walks in The Watershed (Charles F. Hickox and Elly Heyder – 2010)
New England Hiking Guide (Jacqueline Tourville – 2010)
Best Easy Day Hikes Rhode Island (Steve Mirsky – 2010)
Best Day Hikes Near Boston (Appalachian Mountain Club – 2011)
Hiking Connecticut And Rhode Island (Rhonda And George Ostertag – 2013)
Quiet Water – Massachusetts, Connecticut, And Rhode Island (Appalachian Mountain Club – 2014)
Easy Walks In Massachusetts (Marjorie Turner Hollman – 2014)
More Easy Walks In Massachusetts (Marjorie Turner Hollman – 2015)
The Rhode Island Family Hiking Guide (Jeanine Silversmith – 2015)
Maps used for hiking:
Great Swamp Press has published a series of maps for some of the Wildlife Management Areas in Rhode Island and nearby Connecticut. They include the Arcadia Wildlife Management Area, Carolina & Burlingame Wildlife Management Areas, Big River Management Area, & Pachaug State Forest. It is advisable to carry a copy of these maps if you are not overly familiar with the trails in these areas. Several local stores sell these maps.
Websites used to find hikes include:
Audubon Society of Rhode Island, Mass Audubon, The Nature Conservancy, The Trustees Of Reservations – Massachusetts, The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, The Rhode Island Department of Transportation, The Massachusetts Department Of Conservation & Recreation, The Rhode Island Land Trust Council and ExploreRI.org, various municipal land trust sites, as well as many Facebook community pages including Hiking in Rhode Island, Providence County Hiking Club, and other blogs including the very useful Auntie Beak’s Hike Finder.
Some local hiking groups:
Thank you friends, family, and groups who I have walked and hiked with.
Questions or Comments:
Thank You to:
Jen McCaffery, Sarah Mead, and the rest of the crew at Rhode Island Monthly Magazine for voting Trails and Walks in Rhode Island as the Best Hiking Website – 2014.