Best Kayaking in Rhode Island

Kayakers passing a rock outcropping in Rhode Island.
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Rhode Island, often referred to as the Ocean State, boasts a kayaking paradise like no other. With its diverse range of coastal and inland waterways, this charming New England state offers some of the best kayaking experiences in the region. From tranquil rivers and scenic ponds to rugged coastal landscapes, Rhode Island beckons kayakers to discover its hidden gems and natural wonders. Join us as we embark on a journey to uncover the top kayaking destinations that make Rhode Island a dream come true for paddlers of all levels.



Ninigret Pond

Ninigret Pond, located in Charlestown, Rhode Island, is a hidden gem for kayaking enthusiasts. This saltwater lagoon, nestled amidst pristine natural surroundings, offers a kayaking experience like no other. Its calm and sheltered waters make it an ideal destination for kayakers of all skill levels. Whether you’re a beginner looking for a peaceful paddle or an experienced kayaker seeking a serene escape, the pond caters to all.

Reasons to Kayak in Ninigret Pond:

  • Avian Oasis: Ninigret Pond is an avian paradise, offering kayakers the chance to observe a diverse range of bird species, including ospreys, herons, and egrets. It’s a birdwatcher’s dream destination with an ever-changing aerial show.
  • Bountiful Clamming: The shallow waters are perfect for clamming trips, allowing you to harvest your own clams and savor the freshest seafood. Digging for clams while surrounded by serene nature makes for a memorable and delicious adventure.
  • Secluded Sandy Beaches: Discover hidden sandy coves and beaches accessible only by kayak, providing a private oasis for relaxation. These secluded spots offer a tranquil escape from the crowds, making it a kayaker’s paradise.
  • Angler’s Haven: With abundant striped bass and bluefish, it’s a prime spot for saltwater fishing, combining kayaking with a rewarding catch. Drop your line from the kayak and reel in a memorable fishing experience.
  • Sunset Serenity: Experience mesmerizing sunsets over calm waters, creating unforgettable moments and photo opportunities. Paddling on the pond during the golden hour adds a touch of magic to your kayaking adventure.

Recommended Gear: PFD, Paddle Holder, Dry Bag, Waterproof Phone Case, Sunscreen, Water Bottle, Snacks


Block Island Sound

Block Island Sound, located off the coast of Rhode Island, is a mesmerizing playground for kayaking enthusiasts. With its rugged coastline, unique island-hopping opportunities, and abundant wildlife, Block Island Sound offers an extraordinary kayaking experience that beckons adventurers to explore its coastal wonders. One of the most distinctive features of kayaking in Block Island Sound is the opportunity for island-hopping. Paddle between Block Island and the mainland, immersing yourself in the distinct charm of both destinations. It’s a kayaker’s dream to explore these contrasting worlds from the water.

Reasons to Kayak in Block Island Sound:

  • Island Hopping Adventure: Kayak between Block Island and the mainland for a unique island-hopping adventure, exploring the distinct charm of both destinations. The journey offers a sense of exploration and a chance to discover hidden gems.
  • Seal Sanctuary: Witness seals up close as they bask on rocky outcrops, offering a thrilling wildlife encounter you won’t forget. Observing these marine mammals in their natural habitat is a unique and educational experience.
  • Aquatic Wonders: Crystal-clear waters make it ideal for snorkeling and discovering vibrant marine life. Your kayak doubles as a platform for aquatic exploration, revealing a world of aquatic beauty.
  • Coastal Geology Exploration: Study the fascinating coastal geology and rock formations along this beautiful stretch of Rhode Island’s coast, enhancing your kayaking experience. Paddle along cliffs, sea caves, and rocky shores, admiring the intricate details of the coastline.
  • Scenic Photography: Capture stunning photographs of the dramatic landscapes and coastal scenery while kayaking, creating lasting memories. The ever-changing coastal backdrop provides ample opportunities for captivating photos.

Recommended Gear: PFD, Binoculars, Waterproof Phone Case, First Aid Kit, Insect Repellent, Navigation Map, Bilge Pump


Colt State Park

Kayaking in Colt State Park offers a unique opportunity to paddle through the tranquil waters of Narragansett Bay while surrounded by picturesque natural beauty. The park features lush greenery, serene ponds, and stunning views of the bay, making it a paradise for nature enthusiasts. As you glide through the bay, you’ll have the chance to explore historical landmarks within the park, including stone bridges, old estates, and remnants of Rhode Island’s past.

Reasons to Kayak in Colt State Park:

  • Natural Beauty Immersion: Paddle through Narragansett Bay’s peaceful waters and immerse yourself in the park’s natural beauty, featuring scenic vistas and abundant wildlife. Kayaking offers a unique perspective to appreciate the park’s rich biodiversity.
  • Historical Journey: Explore historical landmarks within the park, including stone bridges and old estates, all while enjoying a leisurely kayaking experience. This historical immersion adds depth and interest to your outdoor adventure.
  • Tidepool Discovery: Discover hidden tidepools and marine life along the coastline, adding an element of exploration to your kayaking adventure. Exploring these tidal wonders from your kayak offers an intimate connection with the marine ecosystem.
  • Picnic on the Water: Pack a picnic and enjoy a meal while anchored in one of the bay’s picturesque spots, creating a unique dining experience. A floating picnic provides relaxation and nourishment in the heart of nature.
  • Seasonal Foliage: Witness the changing seasons from the water, with vibrant fall foliage and blooming springtime landscapes enhancing your kayaking trip. Each season brings a fresh perspective and a burst of color to your outdoor activities.

Recommended Gear: Extra Water, Waterproof Headlamp, Towel, Emergency Flares, Dry Change of Clothes, Kayak Repair Kit, Snacks


Pettaquamscutt Cove

Pettaquamscutt Cove, nestled in the heart of South Kingstown, Rhode Island, beckons kayaking enthusiasts to embark on a captivating journey through its pristine tidal inlet. This unique and picturesque destination offers a kayaking experience that seamlessly blends tranquility, adventure, and natural beauty. For those with an appetite for culinary delights, the cove presents an opportunity to engage in shellfish harvesting. Its nutrient-rich waters are home to various shellfish species, allowing kayakers to gather their own clams and mussels for a delectable meal.

Reasons to Kayak in Pettaquamscutt Cove:

  • Tidal Inlet Tranquility: Experience the unique tranquility of a tidal inlet as you paddle through Pettaquamscutt Cove, surrounded by picturesque marshes and coastal scenery. The gentle ebb and flow of the tide create a soothing and immersive kayaking experience.
  • Shellfish Harvesting: Engage in shellfish harvesting in the cove’s nutrient-rich waters, where you can gather your own clams and mussels for a delectable meal. The cove’s abundance of shellfish makes it a rewarding destination for culinary enthusiasts.
  • Wildlife Watching: Spot a variety of coastal wildlife, from playful seals to herons and ospreys, providing constant wildlife entertainment during your kayaking journey. Observing these animals in their natural habitat adds excitement and a sense of connection to nature.
  • Photographer’s Paradise: Capture stunning nature and wildlife photographs in this serene environment, making it a haven for photography enthusiasts. The calm waters and diverse wildlife offer numerous opportunities for captivating shots.
  • Low Tide Explorations: Explore the ever-changing landscape of the cove at low tide, uncovering hidden channels, sandbars, and unique formations that add intrigue to your kayaking experience. Low tide reveals a different side of the cove, perfect for adventurous exploration.

Recommended Gear: Sunglasses, Sunscreen, Paddle Holder, Dry Bag, Water Shoes, Bilge Pump, Sun Hat


Brenton Point State Park

Kayaking in Brenton Point State Park provides a unique vantage point to discover the rugged beauty of Newport’s coastline. Paddle along the shoreline and be awed by the stunning ocean views, dramatic cliffs, and crashing waves that define this enchanting coastal region.For those seeking a touch of excitement, Brenton Point State Park provides opportunities for exploring its rocky shoreline and nearby salt ponds. Navigating through the natural rock formations adds an element of thrill to your kayaking journey, perfect for adventurous souls.

Reasons to Kayak in Brenton Point State Park:

  • Coastal Majesty: Discover the rugged beauty of Newport’s coastline from your kayak at Brenton Point State Park, offering breathtaking ocean views and striking cliffs. Kayaking along this coastline provides a unique perspective of its natural grandeur.
  • Historical Landmarks: Paddle past historical landmarks, including the iconic Brenton Point State Park Castle, and soak in the rich history of the area. Kayaking offers a leisurely way to explore the cultural heritage of the region.
  • Rocky Shoreline Adventure: Explore the rocky shoreline and nearby salt ponds in Narragansett, providing an exciting and dynamic kayaking experience. Navigating through the rock formations adds an element of thrill to your journey.
  • Picturesque Views: Capture picturesque views of the coastline and ocean as you paddle near Scarborough State Beach, a favorite spot for both locals and visitors. The constantly changing vistas provide a backdrop for stunning photos.
  • Sunset Serenity: Experience mesmerizing sunsets over calm waters, creating unforgettable moments and photo opportunities. Paddling along the coast during the golden hour adds a touch of magic to your kayaking adventure.

Recommended Gear: Sun Hat, Insect Spray, Cup Holder, Water Bottle, Paddle Holder, Water Shoe, Snorkel


Indian Lake

Indian Lake, situated in South Kingstown, Rhode Island, beckons kayaking enthusiasts to embark on a tranquil journey through its serene waters. This freshwater gem offers a kayaking experience unlike any other, with its peaceful surroundings, scenic woodlands, and a range of activities suitable for nature lovers and families alike.

Reasons to Kayak in Indian Lake:

  • Peaceful Freshwater: Enjoy leisurely paddling on the calm waters of Indian Lake in South Kingstown, offering a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The lake’s tranquil setting provides a peaceful retreat for kayakers.
  • Scenic Wooded Surroundings: Surround yourself with scenic wooded surroundings as you kayak on this tranquil freshwater lake, perfect for nature lovers. The lush greenery and wildlife sightings enhance the sense of immersion in nature.
  • Family Friendly Fun: Indian Lake is a family-friendly destination, ideal for introducing children to kayaking with its calm waters and safe environment. It’s a place where families can bond while enjoying outdoor activities.
  • Fishing Opportunities: Cast your line from your kayak and try some fishing, with the lake known for its bass, trout, and other fish species. Combining kayaking with fishing makes for an enjoyable angling experience.
  • Year Round Enjoyment: Indian Lake offers year-round kayaking opportunities, from peaceful summer paddles to serene winter outings amidst snow-covered landscapes. Its accessibility throughout the seasons makes it an alluring destination for kayakers.

Recommended Gear: PFD, Paddle Holder, Dry Bag, Waterproof Phone Case, Sunscreen, Water Bottle, Snacks


Pawcatuck River

The Pawcatuck River caters to kayakers seeking a diverse experience. Its waters offer a unique blend of tranquility, with peaceful stretches that provide paddlers with a sense of serenity, and adventure, with mild rapids that add a thrilling dimension to the journey. As you navigate the river’s meandering path, you’ll have the chance to explore its diverse ecosystem. Lush forests, thriving wildlife, and the gentle ebb and flow of the tide create a soothing and immersive kayaking experience that connects you with nature.

Reasons to Kayak in the Pawcatuck River:

  • Mix of Tranquility and Adventure: The Pawcatuck River provides a kayaking experience that combines calm waters with mild rapids, suitable for both beginners and experienced paddlers. It offers the best of both worlds, with moments of serenity and exhilaration.
  • Rich Ecosystem: Explore the river’s diverse ecosystem, from lush forests to thriving wildlife, all while navigating its meandering path. The river’s natural diversity adds depth to your kayaking journey.
  • Historical Discoveries: Paddle past historical sites along the riverbanks, uncovering remnants of Rhode Island’s past, including old mills and bridges. Kayaking provides a unique way to connect with the region’s history.
  • Waterfront Dining: Stop at riverside restaurants or picnicking spots for a waterfront dining experience during your kayaking trip. It’s a delightful way to refuel and enjoy a meal with scenic views.
  • Moonlit Paddles: Experience the river’s enchanting beauty by the moonlight during nighttime paddles, offering a different perspective of the waterway and its surroundings.

Recommended Gear: Kayak Wheels, Waterproof Headlamp, Towel, Emergency Flares, Dry Change of Clothes, Kayak Repair Kit, Snacks


Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge

Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge is a photographer’s dream. Its diverse landscapes, including salt marshes, rocky shores, and sandy beaches, offer countless opportunities for capturing stunning photographs. Whether you’re an amateur or professional, the refuge’s ever-changing scenery provides endless inspiration. Kayaking through the refuge is not just an outdoor adventure; it’s also an educational journey. Learn about the local flora and fauna, gain insights into the coastal ecosystem, and deepen your understanding of the delicate balance of nature.

Reasons to Kayak in Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge:

  • Birdwatcher’s Paradise: Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge is a haven for birdwatchers, with numerous bird species to spot while kayaking along its serene waters. It’s a prime spot for bird enthusiasts to observe migratory and local species.
  • Serene Wildlife Observation: Enjoy peaceful wildlife observation as you kayak through the refuge’s protected waters, encountering various animals in their natural habitat. From seals basking on rocks to coastal critters, there’s always something to see.
  • Scenic Photography: Capture stunning photographs of the refuge’s diverse landscapes, including salt marshes, rocky shores, and sandy beaches, while kayaking. The refuge’s ever-changing scenery provides endless opportunities for captivating photos.
  • Educational Exploration: Learn about the local flora and fauna as you kayak through the refuge, enhancing your understanding of the coastal ecosystem. It’s an educational adventure for nature enthusiasts of all ages.
  • Ocean Breezes: Feel the refreshing ocean breezes as you kayak along the refuge’s shoreline, providing a natural cooling effect on warm days and enhancing your overall kayaking experience.

Recommended Gear: Sunglasses, Sunscreen, Paddle Holder, Dry Bag, Water Shoes, Bilge Pump, Sun Hat


Napatree Point

Napatree Point, located on the southwestern tip of Watch Hill in Westerly, Rhode Island, invites kayaking enthusiasts to embark on an extraordinary journey along its sandy spit. This remarkable coastal destination offers a kayaking experience that combines coastal exploration with serene moments of tranquility. Keep a keen eye out for diverse wildlife as you paddle along the coastline. From shorebirds and crabs to the occasional seal or sea turtle, Napatree Point provides constant wildlife encounters that add an exciting dimension to your kayaking journey.

Reasons to Kayak in Napatree Point:

  • Coastal Exploration: Navigate around the sandy spit at Napatree Point, offering a unique coastal exploration experience with ever-changing landscapes. The constantly shifting sands and dynamic coastal features make every kayak outing an adventure.
  • Beachcombing Adventures: Embark on beachcombing adventures and collect seashells, driftwood, and treasures while enjoying the coastal beauty from your kayak. Napatree Point is a treasure trove of natural finds waiting to be discovered.
  • Wildlife Encounters: Keep an eye out for diverse wildlife such as shorebirds, crabs, and even the occasional seal or sea turtle as you paddle along the coastline. The opportunity for wildlife encounters adds excitement to your kayaking excursions.
  • Historical Significance: Explore the historical significance of Napatree Point, once the site of a thriving fishing village and now a place where history meets nature. Paddle past remnants of the past, such as old pilings and foundations.
  • Sunset Serenity: Witness breathtaking sunsets over the tranquil waters surrounding Napatree Point, creating a serene and romantic atmosphere for your kayaking adventures. The coastal sunsets here are nothing short of spectacular.

Recommended Gear: PFD, Binoculars, Waterproof Phone Case, First Aid Kit, Insect Repellent, Navigation Map, Bilge Pump


Scarborough State Beach

Scarborough State Beach, situated in Narragansett, Rhode Island, invites kayaking enthusiasts to embark on an unforgettable adventure along its pristine coastline. This beloved coastal destination offers a kayaking experience that combines rugged shorelines, picturesque vistas, and a deep connection to the ocean’s allure. Capture stunning views of the Rhode Island coastline as you paddle near Scarborough State Beach. The ever-changing vistas, from sandy beaches to dramatic rock formations, provide a breathtaking backdrop for your kayaking journey, making it a paradise for photographers.

Reasons to Kayak in Scarborough State Beach:

  • Rocky Shoreline Adventure: Explore the rocky shoreline and nearby salt ponds in Narragansett, providing an exciting and dynamic kayaking experience. Navigating through the rock formations adds an element of thrill to your journey.
  • Picturesque Views: Capture picturesque views of the coastline and ocean as you paddle near Scarborough State Beach, a favorite spot for both locals and visitors. The constantly changing vistas provide a backdrop for stunning photos.
  • Sunken Treasure Hunting: The waters near Scarborough State Beach are known for hidden shipwrecks and underwater treasures. Kayakers with an adventurous spirit can explore these historical remnants beneath the surface.
  • Beachfront Dining: Paddle to nearby beachfront restaurants and enjoy a meal while soaking in the ocean views, making it a unique dining experience during your kayaking trip.
  • Accessible Year Round: Scarborough State Beach offers year-round kayaking opportunities, from summer adventures in the sun to peaceful winter outings amidst snow-covered landscapes. Its accessibility throughout the seasons makes it a versatile and enjoyable destination for kayakers.

Recommended Gear: Spray Skirt, Waterproof Headlamp, Towel, Emergency Flares, Dry Change of Clothes, Kayak Repair Kit, Snacks


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