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Newport Cliff WalkSource: Google Maps
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*DISCLAIMER* – If you’re traveling during COVID lockdown – be sure to check the state and local guidelines for travel requirements during COVID-19. 

Best Hiking Trails in Rhode Island

Rhode Island may be the smallest state, but in my years of living here it’s had a lot to offer. The Ocean State has a rich outdoor experience a plenty to offer for the traveling adventurer and has a lot more to do than just things to do in Providence. 

The state isn’t usually a destination for the avid hiker as it’s generally flat. In fact, the highest elevation in the state is a mere 812 feet. Needless to say, hiking in Rhode Island probably won’t leave you breathless. 

Regardless, with hikes consisting of peaceful wildlife and ocean views, there is still plenty to appreciate. You’ll find some trails taking you down the seaside. Splashing waves and roaring seagulls aren’t the usual tunes of nature you hear on a hike, which is one of the things that makes hiking in the Ocean State so special. 

preparing for a hike
Photo Credit: Pixabay

Preparing for a Hike

Before leaving for any hike, there are a few steps to take to properly prepare. Being safe and adequately prepared are a must during any outdoor adventure! So, here are some tips to preparing for your hike!

Navigation

Have any required navigation tools to ensure you always know where you are and where you’re going. Most hikes on this list will be small trails and having a phone with GPS will suffice. But, it always helps to have a map and compass if necessary. 

Water & Food

Many people underestimate just how dehydrated a simple hike can make you. So, ensure you drink plenty of water prior to your hike and have some with you in your preferred container. Don’t forget about carrying snacks and a meal if you plan on hiking all day!

Weather Protection

Be prepared for whatever the weather may bring. Being on a peaceful hike only to be interrupted by a downpour is horrible. Look up the weather for the area in advance and ensure you have the proper clothing for the temperature, waterproof gear for rain, and sun protection for those extra sunny days. 

Safety Gear

This includes a First-Aid kit, emergency radio, and any other gear suggested by local wildlife professionals or park postings. Look up any possible wildlife concerns or other suggested items for the trial you plan on visiting!

Hiking Backpack

You’ll need something to carry all of these items in! Depending on the length of your hike, a simple daypack might be all you need. If you’re planning a camping trip then a larger bag may be needed to fit everything. 

*If you’re planning on doing some hiking around a camping trip, be sure to check out our camping for beginners guide to help prepare!*

Newport Cliff Walk
Source: Google Maps

Newport Cliff Walk

What some will call of peaceful stroll, the Newport Cliff Walk spans the Newport coastline and is fairly accessible. While it’s not very strenuous, there is a section of rock scrambling. Don’t expect intense bouldering, but you should still be careful!

On top of the wonderful hike down the coast, the Cliff Walk goes past the notorious Newport Mansions. Depending on when you go, your short hike may turn into a tour of some of Newport’s best architecture. 

clayhead trail
Photo Credit: Nature.org

Clay Head Trail

Block Island is a common tourist destination for those visiting Rhode Island and locals. In addition to the numerous things you can do on Block Island, hiking is a great way to spend a sunny day here. Block Island is a mere 7 miles long and the trail crisscrosses throughout the island offering a look at some of it’s most breathtaking views. 

The trail extends 3.5 miles and is dog friendly as long as they’re on a leash. There’s more to do than just bird watching and experiencing nature on this trail, Block Island recently started the Glass Float Project, a constant scavenger hunt for glass floats around the island.

Watchaug Pond Trail 

A lengthy 11 mile long trail, expect to spend the day enjoying the beautiful pond and chirping birds. This is another hike that allows dogs as long as they’re on a leash, so bring your furry friend along!

As a disclaimer, some people have stated they got lost or misdirected when hiking along the trial. While the trail is marked fairly well, always be sure that you’re on a designated hiking area. 

Jerimoth_Hill_Summit
Photo Credit: Wikipedia.org

Jerimoth Hill

A simple 0.3 mile hike that you probably won’t even break a sweat completing. But, it’s not there to be a workout, this hike takes you to Rhode Island’s highest point at an astounding 812 feet (I know, riveting). 

This trail is meant to be a short outing to enjoy nature and mark another trial off your list.

Rocky Point Walking Trail

An easily paved trail that extends a short 1.6 miles. The Rocky Point Trail is fairly easy and more of a leisurely stroll along the Narragansett Bay than an intense hike. 

The trail borders the once great Rocky Point Amusement Park. If you want a little more difficulty and adventure, simply veer off the trail to explore the now abandoned park.

sachuest point national wildlife
Photo Credit: Google Maps

Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge Trail

A beautiful hike with a view of the ocean from almost every spot. The 2.4 mile loop offers an easy hike and isn’t talked about enough. You may be wondering what you’ll see here as it’s a wildlife refuge. There are numerous spotting’s of deer in the area and you’re almost certain to encounter them depending on the time of year. There is also a reported coyote pack that is monitored in the area.  

If you’re looking for a great place to rest or have a picnic, venturing off the trail will usually yield a secluded beach to relax on.

Weetamoo Woods Trail, Weetamoo Woods

An easy to moderate hike that extends 4.7 miles. The Weetamoo Woods themselves have a rich history and were once home to the Pocasset people who fished and farmed in the neighboring areas. The trail offers some bridges and low spots may become muddy, it’s recommended to have some form of waterproof hiking gear and boots.

This isn’t the only trail in the woods and there is plenty to explore. Check here for a detailed map of the area and trails to choose from. 

Beavertail Trail, Beavertail State Park

A relaxing hike made to enjoy the oceans views of the Narragansett Bay. The Beavertail Trail is a short 2.3 mile hike frequented by locals and has benches scattered along the trail, making it easy to stop and take in the scenery. 

Carrs Pond Trail
Photo Credit: Google Maps

Carr’s Pond And Tarbox Pond Trail

A 4 mile loop wrapping around Carr’s Pond and extending to Tarbox Pond, the trail is fairly easy but can be muddy depending on the weather. This is a great hike to experience the nature of Rhode Island and is fairly peaceful to traverse. While the trail isn’t very difficult, some people have reported issues with navigation as the trail markings might not be the easiest to spot. 

Long Pond Woods Trail

Located in Hope Valley Rhode Island, this trail takes you past a pond and through some small scrambles that may be challenging if you have knee or leg problems. Long Pond Woods Trail is a common hike for bird watchers and hikers just looking to experience the outdoors without going on a strenuous adventure, but still want a slight challenge. This is a personal account, but the trail is still rated moderate. While it may only be slightly challenging for me, for those with cardiac conditions or leg problems, it may be more challenging. 

The entire trail is 4.5 miles long. It’s not the longest hike, but like I said, that distance can take quite a toll if you’re not prepared for it. 

More Hikes in Rhode Island

These are what I consider to be the best hikes in Rhode Island, it doesn’t mean there aren’t more! For a full list of hiking trails in the Ocean State, check out this resource!

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