RHODE ISLAND

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.

Federal
State
Local
Private
Miscellaneous

Federal

  • 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.”
    HikerwithcaneWatchaug Pond Trail 0.5 mile “listen for the calls of the many migrating, resting and nesting songbirds.”
    HikerwithcaneToupoysett Pond Trail 0.25 mile “good views of a vernal pool, an important ecological feature and place of quiet beauty in all seasons.”
    HikerwithcaneOcean  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.”
    Southern Section
    HikerwithcaneGrassy 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.
    Hikerwithcane?  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”

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State

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Local

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Private

  • Dundery Brook Trail – Little Compton  Map  401-331-7110 Rhode Island Families in Nature
    Rhode Island Blueways  
    Wheelchair Accessible  “
    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.
    Wheelchair Accessible“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 trail 2
    Universal Trail, Norman Bird Sanctuary, RI ©Norman Bird Sanctuary
    Pond
    Pond at Norman Bird Sanctuary, RI ©Norman Bird Sanctuary

     

     

     

     

     

     


    Norman Bird Sanctuary
      
    (401) 846-2577
    Wheelchair Accessible 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.”

     

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Miscellaneous

  • 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.

  • Rhode Island Families in Nature  “is a free group, open to families of all ages and abilities. We meet throughout the year in various parks and preserves throughout the state for kid-friendly hikes and activities.”   They post this list with descriptions of 11  accessible trails in Rhode Island.

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