Explore Beavertail State Park

Beavertail State Park

Secluded cove beaches. Cliff climbing opportunities. Beautiful New England coastal views. Great sunrise and sunset spot.

Rhode Island isn't exactly on everyone's map, I've even met strangers in other parts of the U.S. who have no idea where the tiniest state in the country is. It's usually lumped in with Connecticut and Massachusetts, but for us locals from little Rhody, Rhode Island is it's own world of adventure spots, and Beavertail is one of the best.

Beavertail State Park is on the island of Jamestown, which is connected to mainland RI by the route 138 bridge. To get to the state park, follow 138 to the last exit before the Newport Pell-Claiborne Bridge (there is a sign that says "Last exit before toll.") Follow Conanicus Ave. off the exit through Jamestown's center. After roughly 1 mile, turn right onto Narragansett Avenue. Follow Narragansett Avenue until you see a church on the lefthand side and an intersection onto Southwest Avenue. Turn left onto Southwest Avenue and follow this road until it turns into Beavertail road, which brings you right into the park.

Once you're in the parking lot, there is a short network of dirt trails that hug the coast. You can follow these trails and keep an eye out for the openings where they descend down the cliffs. Some of the trails are easier than others, but they're all usually pretty slippery even on dry days, so it's a good idea to wear shoes with some grip. If you continue on the main trail path for about 1/4 mile, you'll see plenty of coves that can be accessed fairly easily. Some have actual sand beaches and are awesome alternatives to crowded beaches on a hot summer day in RI, others are rocky coves. Another perk is that Beavertail is free to park at, unlike the rest of RI's beaches. One of my favorite coves is just a short walk from the parking lot, you'll see an opening with a small bench and a dirt path down the cliff. The path ends at the top of some cliffs, which are easy to climb down to the beach. Beavertail is a great place to explore and wander, I've lived in RI my entire life and each time I go here I find some new spot I never noticed before.

Swimmers and cliff jumpers (especially) should use extreme caution in these coves. The waves come in fast and the rocks are very jagged and covered in barnacles and seaweed. The ocean has carved out openings and caves into many of the cliffs, and one danger is getting sucked into these and injured on the rocks. No matter how strong of a swimmer you might be, a concussion will void that out, so it's best to use caution and swim with friends. Stay safe and have fun!

At the end of the island, there is the Beavertail Light, which now also houses a small aquarium and museum. On your way out of the park, stop at Spinnaker's for some traditional New England fare!

Pack List

  • Bathing suit
  • Water shoes
  • Sunblock
  • Bug spray
  • Water
  • Camera
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Activities Chillin, Photography, Swimming, Rock Climbing
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Features
Beach
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Picnic Area
Romantic
Scenic
Wildflowers
Cliff Jumping

Reviews

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Beavertail State Park

Really awesome place! You can explore and climb along the rocks and check out the lighthouse there as well. The water was surprisingly super blue and pretty clear when I went. I got some INCREDIBLE shots here so I definitely recommend bringing a camera.


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