Rhode Island’s Best Freshwater Swimming Spots

This summer, hold the salt and splash around in fresh ponds with the family.

Children at Spring Lake. Photo from Mount Pleasant Academy Facebook Page.

Little Nini Pond

Where: Inside Ninigret Park, Park Lane, Route 1A, Charlestown. Next to the playground and New Pavilion.

Good For: Families with kiddos. The spring-fed pond is shallow with warm, clean water. Park benches and picnic tables are available for relaxing and, of course, picnics! Free parking and admission.

Nearby Amenities: Frisbee golf at Ninigret Park, Frosty Drew Observatory, restrooms, tennis courts, playground, saltwater swimming and clamming at Ninigret Pond.


Watchaug Pond

Where: Burlingame State Park, Sanctuary Road, Charlestown.

Good For: Distance swimmers, as the pond itself covers 573 acres and boasts plenty of space to work on your backstroke.

Nearby Amenities: Picnicking area, restrooms and Dave’s Coffee.


Peck Pond

Where: George Washington Management Area’s Pulaski Recreation Area, 151 Pulaski Rd., Chepachet.

Good For: Hikers. Work up a sweat on the many trails, then cool off in the thirteen-acre freshwater pond. Free parking and admission.

Nearby Amenities: Fishing and picnicking area.


Spring Lake

Where: Spring Lake Beach Facility, 50 Old Hillside Dr., Glendale.

Good For: Beach bums. For a nominal fee, beach-goers can hang in the sun all day and swim in a warm, calm, eighty-acre lake. It’s just like our oceanside beaches — outdoor showers, lifeguards, even slides for the little ones! — but without all the salt. Burrillville residents $3, non-residents $6, children younger than three free; cash only.

Nearby Amenities: Penny arcade, concession stands, paddle boat rentals and restrooms.


Johnson’s Pond

Where: Zeke’s Bridge Fishing Access, Harkney Hill Rd., Coventry.

Good For: Fishing, jet skiing and swimming (duh!).

Nearby Amenities: Wildlife observing and hiking at the Audubon Society and the Woods Tavern.