Rhode Island

…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.

The Nature Conservancy and Rhode Island Audubon Society own several properties that have hiking trails. Some of these properties are the best known and most used.

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.

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