Kid-Friendly Hikes in Rhode Island
Four local area trails that are easy to navigate with kids in tow.
When I start to feel guilty about my kids’ screen time, I realize there’s nothing a walk in the woods can’t cure. Load up the bug spray and stay on the trails — these local refuges and sanctuaries are worth exploring. And if kids really can’t kick the tech, try downloading a geocaching app and find hidden caches along the way on some trails. Just bring a pen so they can sign their name to any scrolls they discover. Even homebodies at heart will gain a new appreciation for the great outdoors. geocaching.com
This 4.7-mile loop trail is color-coded and well marked to help hikers get from point a to point b without getting lost. Pick a color: We recommend yellow to blue to red and back for a nice three-mile jaunt that includes a stop at an old mill with a stream running through it.
Where to Park: Lots at the East Road and Lake Road trailheads.
Detour: Tiverton Four Corners, including Gray’s Ice Cream and Groundswell Cafe and Bakery, for post-hike treats.
Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge
This 2.4-mile flat, sandy trail with ocean views is easily navigable with a jogging stroller. Kids can observe beach roses and wildflowers growing along the ocean with plenty of butterflies fluttering through the air and maybe a few deer bounding through the fields. Pick a lookout spot and use the binoculars to search rocky outcroppings for birds and other wildlife.
Where to Park: 769 Sachuest Point Rd., Middletown. Lot parking.
Detour: Sweet Berry Farm isn’t far. Tack on a visit for berry picking or stop by the farm stand for ice cream or a sweet snack.
Rocky Point State Park
While more like a flat, paved walk than a hike, this trail is good for those with the littlest legs. The 1.6-mile loop leads to markers noting popular spots in the former Rocky Point amusement park. Adults will reminisce about childhood while kids will see remnants from the past like the Circle Swing ride tower, supports from the Skyliner gondola ride and the arch by the entrance.
Where to Park: 1 Rocky Point Ave., Warwick.
Detour: Reminisce about Rocky Point with clam cakes and chowder at Iggy’s in Warwick.
Wolf Hill Forest Preserve
There are all kinds of cool things to see along this trail that includes a former Boy Scouts camp and a WWII memorial that pays tribute to three airmen who perished on the site when their plane crashed there in 1943. Look for color-coded markings on trees to find your way, and focus on yellow to explore the World War II Memorial Trail.
Where to Park: 5 Waterview Dr., Smithfield. Park near the trailhead.
Detour: You’re only fifteen minutes away from one of the best bakeries in Rhode Island, Wright’s Dairy Farm.