Rhode Island has a number of trails with minimal obstacles. Some are very easy and others are wheelchair accessible. Here are just a few of them.
These links were found through Internet search. I would love to have some first-hand recommendations. With your help, we can share our knowledge with disabled people everywhere and also increase awareness of the need for more accessibility. Please e-mail me with your suggestions using the form to the right.
Ninigret National Wildlife Refuge 401-364-9124 Trail Map
Northern Section Kettle Pond & Northern Section Trail Map Kettle Pond Visitor Center Brochure All of these trails are described by Rhode Island Families in Nature as “very easy for children.”
Watchaug Pond Trail 0.5 mile “listen for the calls of the many migrating, resting and nesting songbirds.”
Toupoysett Pond Trail 0.25 mile “good views of a vernal pool, an important ecological feature and place of quiet beauty in all seasons.”
Ocean View Trail 0.5 mile “marked by ridges and depressions shaped by the great ice sheet. …. At the end of the trail, visitors are treated to a view of Ninigret Pond, the barrier beaches, and Block Island.”
Grassy Point Trail is 1.3 miles and described by Rhode Island Families in Nature as having “spectacular views of Ninigret Pond, the largest coastal salt pond in the state.” They say it is “very easy for children”.
Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge Map Trail Map 401-364-9124 Headquarters or 401-847-5511 Visitor Center
Be sure to call ahead to ascertain if the trails are suitable for your abilities.
? Flint Point trail is 1.2 miles in “terrain mild and barrier free”
? Ocean View Loop is 1.5 miles in “Mild terrain”
Visitors on Yelp and Trip Advisor describe the trails as “flat and easy walking” and having a “stone dust trail wide enough to walk side by side”. “trails can get muddy when it rains”
Arcadia Management Area 401-539-3094
Upper Roaring Brook Trail 0.5 mile “has a wooden walkway great for both strollers and wheelchairs along a pond and through wetlands.” Map Described on American Trails “The walkway runs between a pond and a hardwood swamp, allowing users to view different types of ecosystems.”
Dundery Brook Trail – Little Compton Map 401-331-7110 Rhode Island Families in Nature
Rhode Island Blueways
“Dundery Brook trail crosses from the Town’s Veteran’s Field property into the Conservancy’s 118-acre Bumblebee Preserve, across nearly 3,000 feet of boardwalk structure, which then connects with a grassy trail over an old cartpath of an additional 3,000 feet. A hike in and out easily exceeds two miles.” Created by the Nature Conservancy. “Forested wetlands, swamps, old fields and wet meadows surrounding Dundery Brook trail support a changing variety of creatures throughout the year”
Environmental Education Center at Bristol (401) 245-7500 Map
Thank you to Lawrence J.F. Taft of the Audubon Society of Rhode Island for suggesting this location.
“Situated on the 28-acre McIntosh Wildlife Refuge, the Environmental Education Center has walking trails with a ¼ mile boardwalk that winds through fresh and saltwater marshes to a majestic view of Narragansett Bay. The refuge is along the East Bay Bike Path allowing bikers and walkers access to the refuge’s natural beauty…..The Center is fully handicapped accessible, including the trails and boardwalk.”
Norman Bird Sanctuary (401) 846-2577
Universal Trail. Thank you to Natasha Harrison for the photographs and this information: “…we .. just completed our Universal Trail which goes all the way down to our pond (about .25 miles) where we have a viewing platform. We have been working hard to be as accessible as possible so that more people can enjoy nature.”
Accessible ri This remarkable “guide to accessibility for recreational venues in Rhode Island was originated at a Multiple Sclerosis support group in 2000.” You can browse their website for a wide scope of information by county or by subject such as Things To Do or Places to Stay. Here is their Parks & Recreation page.
General Hiking Guides –
Here are two guides to trails in Rhode Island and adjacent states.Trails & Walks in Rhode Island Auntie Beak’s Place They both have good descriptions and lots of photographs, but are not designed for people with any kind of handicap. If you want to know more about a specific trail, you could research it on these websites.
Hike New England This marvelous, searchable website lists hikes in Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island with information about difficulty, length, elevation gain, and features. There are maps and photos for many of the hikes. Using their Hike Finder, I did a search for Easy trails, 5 miles or less and came up with 51 trails! Be aware that Easy for them, might not be easy enough for you. Once you come up with a page for a sanctuary, park, forest, whatever, it would be wise to call for trail conditions.
The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy lists wheelchair accessible trails in Rhode Island.