Sometimes, if I’m ever feeling jealous of the mountains up North or the canyons out West, I take myself to the beach. Aquidneck Island has some of the most beautiful spots in the world, in my opinion. Most days, I’m walking around saying to myself- wow, we live here.
As the weather warms and we begin spending more time outside, I’ve been compiling a list of my favorite outdoor spaces on Aquidneck Island. Weather you’re looking to hike (more like walk) or run, picnic or read, there are plenty of locations for your enjoyment.
The Norman Bird Sanctuary
I’ve written in posts before that when it comes to NBS, I’m terribly biased. I worked as a counselor on the property for three summer and fell in love with their 325 acres of trails. The views and walks are always beautiful and surprisingly peaceful, even in the summer (with 16 kindergarteners in tow). Hanging Rock Ridge and Red Fox are my top two suggested trails, however Shady Glade and the pond are two of my favorite spots. Put aside a couple of hours and go for a long hike. You’ll be glad you did.
Last winter Sachuest Point was frequented by many to see the island’s resident snowy owl. He, like the deer, didn’t seem to mind everyone milling around. Sachuest Point has trails that trace right along the shoreline. It’s a great place to go for a run or to watch the sun set out over the water. Depending on the loops you take, a fair mileage is possible, especially for the flat landscape.
Aquidneck Island Land Trust Trails
There are access points to the Aquidneck Island Land Trust trails all over the island. Whether you want to walk through forest scapes, corn fields, or grapevines, you can access their map here. I love that the island has come together to protect this land, and a BIG added bonus- the trails are totally dog friendly! Just make sure you stash a towel in your car when little paws get a bit muddy.
Brenton Point State Park
Growing up, my family used to visit Brenton Point to picnic and fly kites. The fields overlook the water and provide shoreline access for some rock walking and tide pool searching. The grounds will be fairly well occupied during the summer, but early morning and sunset are a little quieter. It’s enjoyable to sit and watch boats out in the channel, listening to the squawking seagulls as they pass overhead. Also, keep an eye out for days before heavy storms when the waves crash up over the seawall.
I had never visited Prescott Farm until a few years ago, but the grounds are lovely. They have a pond, a windmill, and an orchard right open to the public. On a warm, spring day, everything is green and in bloom and it feels like you’ve stepped into a secret garden somewhere. I think it’s a wonderful location if you just need a bit of time away or a quiet place to think.
The Cliff Walk
As a traditional Newport landmark, the Cliff Walk is fairly crowded on a summer day, but a great walk nonetheless. It’s wonderful to be right by the water and there is so much to look at on both sides. We always enjoy admiring Salve Regina’s ‘classrooms’ (see: mansions) and the daffodils that bloom in the early spring. There are also a few really wonderful cut-offs that bring you right down to the water so you can feel the salt spray as the waves crash.