It has only been three days, but positive things have been happening in my family. Without so many external commitments, we are sitting at the table EVERY NIGHT having a home-cooked meal. We have gotten outside each day to take a hike together. We have actually have spent less time on screens! Through trying times can come positive results. The struggle with Covid19 and the resulting restrictions in social interactions are an excellent excuse to spend quality time with our immediate families and get outside- of course, staying 6 feet away from other people.
To help Rhode Islanders plan for two weeks of social isolation, I am suggesting 14 of the easiest and best hiking trails in Rhode Island. One is right over the border into Massachusetts. So you don’t end up with a case of Corona with Lyme, please remember to spray yourself with tick spray. Also, be sure to take enough water to keep yourself hydrated for these hikes. I always have my Contigo water bottle with me. (These are Amazon links which earn me a commission to support this website.)
Table of Contents
- 1 The Best Hikes in Rhode Island
- 1.1 1. Carr’s Pond, West Greenwich
- 1.2 2. Fisherbrook Brook Wildlife Refuge, Exeter
- 1.3 3. Norman Bird Sanctuary, Middletown
- 1.4 4. Purgatory Chasm, Middletown
- 1.5 5. Stepping Stone Falls, Exeter
- 1.6 6. Canonchet Farm, Narragansett
- 1.7 7. John H. Chaffee Wildlife Refuge
- 1.8 8. Ninigrit Wildlife Refuge, Charlestown
- 1.9 9. Beavertail State Park, Jamestown
- 1.10 10. Castle Hill Lighthouse
- 1.11 11. Purgatory Chasm, Sutton, Massachusetts
- 1.12 12. Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge, Middletown
- 1.13 Related
The Best Hikes in Rhode Island
1. Carr’s Pond, West Greenwich
Multiple entrance points on Carr’s Pond Road and Hopkins Hill Road
We love this hike because the well-maintained dirt trail is easily accessible, and there are many options for easy walks or a long hike around the pond. The whole loop is 4 miles and also brings you to Tarbox Pond. My sons also love the many rocks around to climb. Leashed dogs are allowed on this trail. It is open year-round. You can read about its intriguing history here.
2. Fisherbrook Brook Wildlife Refuge, Exeter
99 Pardon Joslin Road
Birds, wildlife, streams, a historic graveyard, and cedar swamps can be found in this Audubon property.
3. Norman Bird Sanctuary, Middletown
583 Third Beach Rd
Covering 325 acres with 7 miles of diverse trails, we love Norman Bird Sanctuary because it starts with flat walks around ponds, but leads to an overlook of Third Beach.
4. Purgatory Chasm, Middletown
Tuckerman Avenue, Middletown, RI
Although it is not a long walk, it is a trickier one if you want actually to look down the chasm, adjacent to Second Beach. If you only want to view the chasm, you can see if, after a short hike to a wooden bridge.
5. Stepping Stone Falls, Exeter
143-165 Falls River Road
There are two ways to take this hike. You can hike the 1.5 mile Ben Utter Trail to get here or go to the address above off of Escoag Road to start at the falls and hike as your leisure farther in. Either way, the star of the hike is the series of cascading short waterfalls.
6. Canonchet Farm, Narragansett
82-77 Strathmore Road
This 175 refuge, named after a Native American chief, has a pond, swamps, and a glacial erratic. There is also a hidden decorated Christmas tree. Can you find it?
7. John H. Chaffee Wildlife Refuge
1344 Boston Neck Rd
The stars of this hike are a view of the Jamestown Bridge and seals in the winter. Read all about it here.
8. Ninigrit Wildlife Refuge, Charlestown
5 Park Ln
Four miles of hiking trails set in 858 acres of swamps, grassy fields, and the largest saltwater pond in Rhode Island, Ninigrit Pond. There is even an old airfield. It is a little confusing when you enter the park where to find the hiking trails. I suggest continuing along the road until it ends in a parking lot.
9. Beavertail State Park, Jamestown
I will end my list with two lighthouses, something I love. Beavertail provides one of the best sunset views in Rhode Island. It is at the end of Jamestown Island, so you get a panoramic water view. The hiking trails bring you into forests, or you can scramble along the boulder-covered shoreline. There is also a massive lighthouse.
10. Castle Hill Lighthouse
800-870 Ocean Ave
This short dirt hiking trail starts in the parking lot of the Castle Hill Inn at the end of Ocean Road. This is also a great place to watch the sunset.
11. Purgatory Chasm, Sutton, Massachusetts
198 Purgatory Rd.
I had to include this one, since it has long been my boys’ favorite, due to all the bouldering they can do. Read all about it here. It is only about 15 minutes into Massachusetts from Rhode Island
12. Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge, Middletown
769 Sachuest Point Rd.
This is my new favorite Rhode Island hike, which I just found because of the extra time to hike. If you follow multiple paths you can hike over two and a half miles on this peninsula between the Sachuest Bay and the Sakonnet River. The grasses host many species of birds and animals and there are many vantage points. Across the bay, you will see the Sakonnet River.
I hope everyone stays safe and remembers that small kindnesses can go a long way. Enjoy the time with your family and reach out to those who are alone.
Continue on for more ways to get outdoors in Rhode Island with One Week of Nature Walks in Rhode Island.
What are your favorite hikes in Rhode Island? Any that I missed? Please let me know in the comments.
For more spots with pretty views in Rhode Island, read The Most Instagram Worthy Spots in Rhode Island, The Best Picnic Spots in Connecticut and Rhode Island and The Best Family Hikes in New England.