Kayaking is a great way to get outside and enjoy nature. It also gives you a unique perspective of the world around you. Most people who try kayaking end up hating it because they didn’t do enough research beforehand. They just jump in without knowing where to go.
There are the best places to kayak in Rhode Island, but not every business has the same amount of water activity. Some areas are only suitable for beginners, while others are perfect for advanced paddlers. I’ll tell you everything you need to know before you go so you can choose the right spot for you.
Can You Kayak in Rhode Island?
Yes, you can kayak in Rhode Island. One of the best places to go for kayaking is Newport, RI. You can rent kayaks in several places, such as Newport Harbor Waterfront Park, Fort Adams State Park, and Narragansett Bay. However, you should know that some areas require permits, including fees.
Best places to kayak in Rhode Island
1. Napatree Point, Rhode Island
Napa Point is one of the most secluded spots in Rhode Island, with no roads leading up to the beach. This picturesque spot is next to a quaint bay on Narraganset Bay. Napatree Point is located just north of Newport, Rhode Island. The water is crystal clear during the winter, so don’t worry about getting too wet!
Napatree Point is one of the most picturesque spots along the entire coast of Rhode Island. Located just south of Newport, this secluded spot is home to breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean. With no roads leading up to the area, you’ll find yourself alone with nature, enjoying the natural beauty of the ocean and surrounding forests. This place is unique and worth checking out if you’re looking for something different during your trip to RI.
2. Upper Wood River, Rhode Island
Kayaking in Rhode Island is one of our favorite things while we’re here. There are several rivers throughout the state where you can go out on the water and enjoy nature. One such place is the Upper Wood River, which flows through a pristine wooded area. This river provides plenty of opportunities to spot wildlife like deer, turtles, and bald eagles.
The Upper Wood River is a tributary of the Merrimack River in Rhode Island. It’s located just outside West Greenwich, RI, and is one of the best places for people to escape the city during the winter months.
The Upper Wood River is a gorgeous body of water located just off Route 95 in Rhode Island. This stretch of the river is known for being one of the most popular spots for kayakers. There are several points where people can launch their boats into the river, allowing them to enjoy the scenery while paddling around.
Suppose you’re looking for a great place to start learning how to kayak; head over to the Upper Wood River in Pennsylvania. Head further upstream to the Lower Wood River, where the current gets more robust and more profound.
3. Blackstone River, Rhode Island
The Blackstone River runs along the west coast of Rhode Island, starting near Providence and ending in Massachusetts. It is one of the state’s most famous rivers for paddling, fishing, boating, swimming, and tubing. There are multiple locations where you can rent boats and kayaks, and there are even spots to swim. There are six main river sections, all of which are protected under the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System.
4. Queen’s River, Rhode Island
The Queen’s River is a nice little place to spend a day paddling around. It’s located near Newport, Rhode Island, and there are several spots where you can pull over. You’ll want to ensure you bring enough food and drinks to keep yourself hydrated.
There are many types of wildlife along this river, including birds, fish, turtles, frogs, and snakes. You can rent kayaks here, too. They come with life jackets, and you can use them on the central part of the river or some tributaries.
The Queen’s River is an excellent place to kayak in Rhode Island. It’s one of those spots where you can spend hours exploring the area. You could easily paddle here during the day, but there are stops along the way that make it worth coming back later in the evening.
This makes it a perfect option for anyone interested in seeing wildlife while paddling around. Some consider it the most transparent river in New England, especially compared to the murky rivers of Connecticut and Massachusetts.
5. Olney Pond, Rhode Island
Olney Pond is a great spot to kayak for many different reasons. The pond itself is close enough to the busy streets of downtown that you won’t feel like you are getting lost during your paddle. There are also spots along the shoreline where you can set up camp and spend quality time alone.
Lincoln Woods State Park is located in the town of Providence, Rhode Island. The park includes a reservoir that provides drinking water for the city of Providence and several small islands. These islands offer excellent places to stop and rest, especially since they tend to be less populated than the main body of the lake.
Olney Pond is a great place to go kayaking in Rhode Island. It’s close to the city of Providence but far enough from it so as not to be too crowded with boats and people. The reservoir that makes up part of the Lincoln Woods State park forms the core of the state park, which covers nearly 650 acres.
6. Hundred Acre Cove, Rhode Island
Hundred Acre Cove is a beautiful little bay just off the East Bay Bike Trail in North Kingstown, Rhode Island. There are many different kinds of wildlife to see here, including birds and fish, and there are even opportunities to catch some fish yourself. If you want to learn about kayaking, there are plenty of places to rent kayaks and paddleboards.
Hundred Acre Cove is a small beach located within the town of West Kingston, Rhode Island. This dramatic little piece of land is home to various wildlife, such as seagulls, ducks, turtles, and even bald eagles. In addition to being a great place to go hiking, it’s also a popular spot for swimming.
7. Gorton Pond, Warwick
Three bodies of water within city limits are Gorton Pond, Lake Massabesic, and Lake Quannapowitt. Each one offers something unique, and each one requires a different approach to paddling. Here’s what you need to know about each body of water.
This is the most popular place to paddle in town because there are no bridges, and it’s close to downtown. Suppose you want to see wildlife, head over to the lake. The pond is located just off Route 2 near the intersection of Route 124. You can access it via a small path on the north side of the road.
Lake Massabesic is the second largest lake in Rhode Island. It’s located just outside the Warwick Neck neighborhood and is accessible. A bridge connects the lake to Longfellow Avenue. Take the trail up to the lake and enjoy some fishing.
Take Route 114 southbound onto North Main Street. Turn left on Waterman Road and continue until you see a sign indicating the entrance to the park. The third option is Lake Quannapowit, which is an artificial lake. It’s a little further away from the rest of Warwick but still easy to reach.
8. Greenwich Cove, East Greenwich
The picturesque waterfront of Greenwich Cove runs along the Rhode Island coast just south of East Greenwich. From here, you can see the stately mansions of Newport Harbor and sailboats bobbing in the harbor. There are many places to explore in this part of town, including the historic district, the East Greenwich Yacht Club, and the Goddard State Park.
The waters off Greenwich Cove are popular among boaters, fishermen, kayakers, and swimmers. Located between East Greenwich Marina and Goddard State Park, it offers miles of horse and bike paths, public restrooms, a small swimming beach, and picnic areas. Boating enthusiasts can rent boats, jet skis, paddleboards, kayaks, and bicycles here.
Mornings are usually calmer than later in the day because of the lower tide, but winds pick up around noon. When the wind picks up, waves become more extensive and rougher.
9. Goddard Park
The city of Lakewood, Ohio, has been working hard to make sure visitors know where to go to enjoy the water. They recently added signage to Goddard Park to help people find the best swimming spots, fish, paddleboard, and kayak. Three different areas within the park feature water access.
The city of San Diego’s Goddard Park offers kayak rentals and lessons. Three different types of kayaks are available for rent: sit-on-top kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, and inflatable kayaks. Tasks include paddling skills, safety training, and instruction on how to use the equipment. Kayakers can take advantage of the park’s public launch ramps and swim beaches.
10. Wickford Bay
The town of Wickford is located in Rhode Island, about 20 miles south of Newport. It is a quaint little seaside town with lots of history and charm. You will find many beautiful beaches, historic sites, and great restaurants here.
Wickford is a quaint little town on Rhode Island’s picturesque East Coast. With charming old homes and scenic views, it’s no wonder why people love coming here. But did you know there’s more to Wickford than meets the eye? This small town hides exciting secrets you might not expect to find.
11. Narrow River, Narragansett
The Narrow River begins in a small pond near Route 138 and Route 2A in North Kingstown. It flows northward along the western edge of Rhode Island Sound toward Narragansett Bay and Providence Harbor. It is about six miles long and drains an area of approximately 20 square miles.
Along its banks are protected marshlands, wooded houses, beaches, and the town of East Greenwich. Most paddling occurs in the lower part of the river, with less boat traffic and calm waters.
The Narrow River begins with a small pond situated among woods near the town of North Kingstown, Rhode Island. At high tide, the river is about six miles long; at low tide, it shrinks to less than half that distance. The river meets Narragansett Bay, where it empties into the bay.
Some of the land along the river is owned by the state, while others belong to local homeowners. The area is famous for kayaking, canoeing, fishing, bird watching, hiking, biking, horseback riding, and other activities.
12. Block Island, Rhode Island
At Pond and Beyond Kayaks, we offer kayak rentals, lessons, tours, and boat rentals. We’re located just steps away from the ferry landing and provide a shuttle service. The island has a coastline that offers calm waters for kayakers looking for some peace. Those looking for rougher waters can explore offshore.
Block Island is one of the smaller and least populated of Rhode Island’s seven main islands. Located just off the coast of Newport, Block Island is home to about 2,500 people and features some of the state’s most scenic landscapes. What it lacks in size, however, it makes up for in scenery.
There are many places to paddle around the island, including the salt bay, where you can enjoy calmer waters. If you’re looking for rougher conditions, head for the open ocean, where it’s more challenging to paddle out to sea.
If you want to kayak on Block Island, we recommend Pond & Beyond Kayak. We offer guided trips, rentals, lessons, and camps. Our guides know how to take care of beginners and experienced paddlers alike.
13. Ninigret Pond, Rhode Island
The pond is home to over 30 species of birds and more than 50 kinds of reptiles and insects. Ninigret Pond is the vastest freshwater body in Rhode Island. It is located in the town of West Greenwich and is about five miles long and three miles wide. This saltwater estuary is home to numerous wildlife species, including bald eagles, osprey, wood ducks, Canadian geese, and migratory songbirds.
14. Woonasquatucket River, Rhode Island
The Woonasquatuck River is one of Rhode Island’s most picturesque waterways. From the mouth of Pettaquamscutt Creek, the river flows northward into Narragansett Bay. The river provides recreational opportunities for boaters, swimmers, anglers, birdwatchers, hikers, and nature lovers.
One of the most popular activities along the river is kayaking. Kayakers can paddle upriver to explore the tidal estuary and see some of the local wildlife. Check the weather forecast before heading out if you plan to go kayaking. You don’t want to miss out on a nice day because of the rain. Also, bring plenty of sunscreens, bug spray, and drinking water.
15. Rhode Island, Bradford
The Pawcatuck River flows through the towns of North Smithfield, Bridgewater, and Westport. It is approximately 7 miles long and offers a pleasant paddle along wooded shores. The river corridor is well maintained and free of obstructions. The area is open to fishing, boating, swimming, kayaking, and canoeing.
The Rhode Island shoreline is one of the most beautiful in New England. This section of the Connecticut River is known for its scenic beauty and recreational opportunities. There are many great places to fish, swim, canoe, kayak, hike, picnic, camp, and boat.
You don’t have to carry a lot of gear if you want to do some fishing on the River Tummel. You can cast a bobber into the water and catch perch, bass, pickerel, eels, trout, sunfish, catfish, and bluegills. This area of the river offers some effortless paddling.
16. Massachusetts, Norton
A large body of water, Winnecunnet Pond, is one of five ponds within the town limits of Norton, Connecticut. This is a small lake with a diameter of about 0.5 miles, and there are no public access points to the lake.
The town of Norton is located in Massachusetts, about 20 miles northwest of Boston. This area is known for being home to many ponds and lakes. Winneconne Pond is fed by groundwater and surface runoff. The primary source of pollution is stormwater runoff. Storm drains flow directly into the lake without treatment.
Several different types of fish are found in this lake, including bluegill sunfish, largemouth bass, brown bullhead catfish, yellow perch, American eel, and black crappie. Even a small dam allows boats to travel up and down the river.
17. Rhode Island, Providence County
The Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council (CRCMC) offers free kayak rentals along the coast of Rhode Island. From May 28th to June 4th, kayaks are available for rent at four locations. The rental fee is $20 per day, plus tax. All equipment is included except life jackets.
The Quinebaug River is the longest free-flowing river in New England. The river begins in North Kingstown and flows into Narragansett Bay. It is home to many species of wildlife, including bald eagles, ospreys, otters, mink, raccoons, muskrats, turtles, frogs, snakes, fish, and even some rare plants.
18. Greenwich Cove
Greenwich Cove is one of the best places to kayak in Rhode Island. It’s also a popular spot for fishing, especially during the spring and fall when the bay is less crowded. There are plenty of docks and parking. The water is relatively shallow and is a great place for beginners to get their feet wet.
Rhode Island’s south-central region is home to less crowded beaches, and the semi-protected waters are great for kayaking. The site is also home to a historic fort built a century ago. If you’re an avid kayaker, Rhode Island has a few spots to suit all levels of experience.
It’s close to a vibrant downtown area with restaurants, interesting shops, and places to re-provision. Wickford is a charming colonial town in North Kingstown with a small harbor, islands, and marshes.
While the water is shallow, it is rich in wildlife, and you can watch Canada goose, wood duck, and gulls as you paddle. This pond is more prevalent in the western than the eastern end, where recreational boats are heavily used.
19. Brickyard Pond
Rhode Island is home to hundreds of miles of navigable waterways and ponds. From serene bays to exciting rapids, you’re sure to find the perfect place to go kayaking. Kayaking is a great way to explore Rhode Island’s coastal waters and natural beauty.
Brickyard Pond is 84 acres of water surrounded by marsh grasses and easily accessible via the East Bay Bike Path. The pond was formerly a clay quarry that was used to make bricks. The clay eventually flooded, and the pond was created. There are several small islands and coves throughout the pond.
The water quality is excellent for kayaking, and there is plenty of fish and wildlife to look out for. It’s also home to a picnic area with benches and tables.
Brickyard Pond, located in Veterans Memorial Park, is an excellent place to kayak. The pond contains several islands perfect for exploring or taking a break. You might encounter mute swans or Canadian geese. Other wildlife you may see include goldfinches, woodpeckers, and wood ducks.
If you’re new to kayaking, consider hiring a guide. A guide can teach you the basics and show you where to kayak in Rhode Island.
20. Pawtuxet River
Rhode Island’s Pawtuxet River is one of the best spots for kayaking in the country. The water is crystal clear and around 40 degrees, and it’s tidally protected from big commercial vessels. Paddlers can launch off Hope Furnance Rd in Coventry and paddle less than three miles to the Gainer Dam.
The Pawtuxet River is one of Rhode Island’s most beautiful spots for kayaking. The water is calm, makes for relaxing paddles, and is suitable for beginners. Paddleboards can be rented at the Rhode Island Kayak Center, which provides kayak classes.
The river’s public boat launch is at the end of Pollock Avenue, and there’s a beach on the other side of the river. There’s a rental kayak company in the park for people who want to dip in the water.
Rhode Island is an excellent place for kayakers to explore the wetlands and see the wildlife. One of the best places to kayak in Rhode Island is on the shoreline at Narragansett Bay, which is home to various waterfowl and rare plants. Ninigret Pond is a moderately developed pond that offers a tranquil kayaking environment.
21. Point Judith Pond
Rhode Island’s Point Judith Pond is the state’s largest saltwater pond. It’s a quiet, peaceful experience for novices and experienced paddlers alike. There are many species of birds in the area, and it’s a great place to unwind after a busy day.
You can access Point Judith Pond through several launch ramps. The pond is shallow, about 15 feet deep, and 150 feet wide. It’s ideal for kayaking and is also an excellent place for fishing. You’ll find a variety of wildlife in the pond, including sea worms, quahogs, and winter flounder.
There are many beautiful kayaking spots in Rhode Island. You’ll find the perfect location to meet your needs, from quiet bays to rapids and calm waters. From novices to experienced kayakers, there’s a place for you to paddle in Rhode Island.
Point Judith Pond’s beautiful landscape and its wildlife diversity are great reasons to head to this pond. The shores are lined with fern, granite boulders, and several species of trees. You can also spot deer and other birds in this pond – and it’s a great place to catch a glimpse of them!
22. Wilson Park
Rhode Island’s Wilson Park offers kayak rentals, tours, and classes. Visitors can also rent stand-up paddleboards. However, kayaking in Rhode Island is regulated due to Covid-19, so checking the park’s rules before heading out is essential.
Ninigret Pond is the largest saltwater pond in the state of Rhode Island. The pond is home to many species of waterfowl and a dune barrier beach. It is rated as an accessible kayaking destination, although strong winds and tidal currents can disrupt your kayaking experience.
The Blackstone River was designated an “American Heritage River” in 1998, which provides exceptional protection and promotes economic revitalization. The river has many ecosystems, including rocky rapids, deep pools, and calm stretches. It can be accessed via Route 146A and offers to park.
The park’s mud ramp is surrounded by a layer of seagrass, which helps keep the water clear. Anglers can also enjoy a day of fishing along the shore in the River Tummel at this popular attraction.
23. Rhode Island, Washington County
Wood River Paddlesports is open seven days a week and offers instruction for beginners through expert-level paddlers. Our friendly staff will help you find what type of paddle activity best suits your skill set. Whether you want to learn how to kayak or canoe, take a lesson in flatwater racing, or simply enjoy some peaceful river time, we’ve got something for everyone.
24. Connecticut, Windham County
Quaddick Reservoir is located in the northeastern part of Connecticut, near the town of New Hartford. This reservoir is surrounded by forested land, making it a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. There are several areas along the shoreline where you can enjoy nature, including picnic tables and hiking trails.
The most extensive section of the lake is known as the North Shore, while the middle section is called the South Shore Area. The West Side Area is home to a boat launch and offers beautiful views of the surrounding area.
Before heading out onto the waters, check out the rules and regulations regarding boating at Quaddick Reservoir. There are many ways to access the water, depending on what type of paddling activity you want to partake in. You can rent kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, or canoe rentals. If you prefer to use a motorboat, you can do so too.
25. Rhode Island, Barrington
The park is located in Barrington, Rhode Island, which is about 15 minutes away from Providence. This place is an excellent spot to go kayaking because it’s surrounded by water, but there aren’t many people around.
The town of Barrington, Rhode Island, is located about 20 miles northwest of Providence. This small town is home to many beautiful lakes, including Brickyard Pond. This pond is an artificial lake in the center of Veterans Memorial Park. Residential homes and businesses surround it.
This particular pond is very popular among locals because it provides an excellent way to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. Paddlers enjoy exploring the islands around the pond and enjoying the peaceful surroundings.
26. Massachusetts, Fall River
Cook Pond is the largest body of freshwater within Massachusetts borders. The lake’s shallow depth allows fish species such as largemouth bass, bluegill sunfish, pumpkinseed sunfish, and black crappie to thrive. The pond is fed primarily by groundwater recharge and surface runoff from nearby streams.
27. Massachusetts, North Attleboro
Falls Pond consists of two basins totaling 122 acres connected via a culvert beneath Reservoir street. The ponds are located in Attleboro falls section of North Attleborough. The Upper falls pond is situated north, and the lower pond is south.
Falls Pond consists of two basins totaling 122 acres connected via a culvert beneath Reservoir Street. The ponds are located in the Attleborough Falls section of North Attleboro, New Hampshire. The Upper falls pond is situated north of Reservoir Road, and the lower falls pond is to the south.
The town of North Attleboro owns the ponds. They are used primarily for recreational purposes such as fishing, boating, swimming, kayaking, canoeing, hiking, picnicking and bird watching.
Final Words About RI Kayaking Spots
Kayaking is one of those activities that people love to do alone, but there are some places where you might want to take someone along with you. If you’re planning to go out for a day trip, above are some tips for finding the perfect spot for kayaking.
In the small but captivating state of Rhode Island, the mingling of meandering rivers and a stunning seashore creates the perfect environment for kayak enthusiasts of all skill levels. Whether you desire a peaceful glide across placid waters or the thrill of a day-long voyage in the best day touring kayak, Rhode Island’s rich maritime tapestry welcomes all.
As the gateway to unrivaled landscapes, diverse fauna, and landmarks steeped in history, the “Ocean State” offers an inviting selection of spots for your kayaking exploration. This guide is designed to escort you through Rhode Island’s premier kayaking locations, giving you the tools to orchestrate an unforgettable aquatic escapade.