The East Bay Bike Path in Rhode Island is a 14.5 mile, 10 ft. wide paved recreational trail that provides an unobstructed and exceptionally scenic cycling opportunity along the northeast shore of Narragansett Bay (see bike path update below). The bicycle path takes cyclists through the towns of Warren, Barrington and Riverside, past the McIntosh Wildlife Refuge, the historic Pomham Rocks Lighthouse, coves and marshes and over bridges.
Bicycle to the beach. The East Bay Bike bicycle route connects eight Rhode Island State and County Waterfront Parks including India Point Park at the confluence of the Seekonk and Providence Rivers in Providence, Bold Point and Squantum Woods in East Providence, Haines and Veteran's Memorial Park in Barrington, Burr Hill Park in Warren, and Colt State and Independence Parks in Bristol. The views of the waterways are gorgeous. At the southern end, the bike path will eventually link up with the Blackstone River Bikeway to create a continuous 31.9-mile recreational trail.
For 4 miles, between Providence and Riverside, there are picnic tables and benches. Just north of Riverside, cyclists are treated to views of the Pomham Rocks Lighthouse standing sentinenel on a small rocky island on the east side of the Providence River. The bike path continues through forest, residential neighborhoods and small commercial districts where there are ice cream shops at frequent intervals. The trail then crosses the narrow bridge to Warren and winds down in historic Bristol where eighteenth and nineteenth century homes border tree-lined streets. The important role of sailing and shipbuilding is apparent along the Bristol waterfront. Stop to relax and dine in one of the restaurants, relax on the beach or sit on a bench to admire the harbor views.
From Bristol, the bike path enters nearby 460-acre Colt State Park where you can experience an additional 4 miles of scenic cycling on paths along the Narragansett Bay, among acres of fruit trees, flowering bushes and along a salt water marsh. The western border of the park offers panoramic views of Narragansett Bay. This is the ideal spot for lunch outdoors with six picnic groves containing 400+ picnic tables. Other park amenities include restrooms (open seasonally), 2 miles of bridle paths, a jogging warm up station, parking and easy access to the East Bay Bike Path.
Other East Bay Bike Path highlights include:
Independence Park: Located on historic Bristol harbor, this waterfront park features a boardwalk with benches and walkways. It is the trailhead for the East Bay Bike Path, which connects to Warren, Barrington, and Providence.
Bristol Town Beach & Sports Complex: The Bristol Town Beach features a public beach, saltwater swimming, a newly renovated playground, skateboard park, picnic area, restrooms, rollerskating, soccer field, tennis court, bike trail, hiking trail, jogging trail and volleyball courts.
Rockwell Park: Located on historic Thames Street ( 2 hour parking available), just north of the Prudence Island ferry dock on Bristol Harbor. Marked with a CRMC coastal access sign, this waterfront park features a small playground, benches, a boardwalk and a dock which extends out into the water for nice views of the harbor and boats.
Audubon Society of Rhode Island Environmental Education Center
Located on the 28-acre McIntosh Wildlife Refuge, the center is both a natural history museum and aquarium. Situated along the East Bay Bike Path, it allows cyclists and walkers easy access to the refuge. Besides walking trails, there is a .25 mile boardwalk that takes you through wetlands and saltwater marshes to a stunning view of Narragansett Bay. Interactive exhibits and family programs offer fun ways to explore and learn about Narragansett Bay 's marine life. Discover life in a tide pool, visit a rare blue lobster and even take a look inside a 33-foot life size Right Whale.
401 Hope Street (Rte 114)
East Bay Bike Path Update: RIDOT periodically closes the old walkway on the Washington Bridge as development progresses on the building of a Linear Pedestrian and Bicycle Park on part of the old Washington Bridge. For more information and work arounds: see www.dot.state.ri.us/bikeri/
The East Bay Bike Path follows an abandoned rail bed running along Narragansett Bay and is Rhode Islands's oldest and the first bike path project undertaken by the State of Rhode Island. Work began on the East Bay Bike Path in 1987 and development continued over a period of 4 phases and was completed in 1992. The Department of Environmental Management, Division of Parks and Recreation patrols and maintains the trail.
For more information:
Colt State Park
Phone: (401) 253-7482