Cliff Walk
GOOD FOR: Ages 0-4

Source:Outdoors with Kids Boston (AMC Books)
Address:Narragansett and Ochre Point Avenues, Newport, RI
Hours:Dawn to dusk daily
Fee: Free
Contact:; 401-845-5802

Bathrooms: None
Water/Snacks: None

USGS Newport;

Cliff Walk takes you by Newport's famous Gilded Age mansions and along the Atlantic Ocean.

Stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean reward visitors on Newport's Cliff Walk.
Photo by: Kim Foley MacKinnon

Newport’s famous 3.5-mile-long Cliff Walk along the eastern shore offers a glimpse into the past as well as stunning views. On one side, you have the Atlantic Ocean and on the other the amazing Newport mansions, built in the Gilded Age in the late 1800s. Several of them are open to the public for tours in summer and on holidays.

The official starting point of the trail is behind the Chanler Inn, but for this hike I’ve given directions to the best parking area on Narragansett Avenue. Parking can be tricky, so you might have to look around a bit, especially in summer. Visit during colder months for less crowds and to experience stunning views of the winter sun over the water. Most of the trail is easy enough to walk, but part of it goes over the rocky shoreline. If you have a stroller or small tots, you’ll go about 0.5 mile before you’ll have to turn back.

Just at the end of Naragansett Avenue, you’ll come to Forty Steps, a staircase that leads down to the rocky shoreline. During Newport’s heyday, the Forty Steps were a gathering place for servants and workers from the mansions. They would play music and dance. If you go to the right off the steps, the onetime summer “cottages” of the rich and famous come into view. Think Vanderbilts and The Great Gatsby for a mental image.

Remember: As tempting as it may be, don’t leave the trail! The walk is a public right-of-way over private property. Also, in some places, the drop is as much as 70 feet. Keep your dog on a leash and clean up after it.

Plan B:

Exploring Newport’s historic district on foot is a great way to get to know the City by the Sea, as it is called.

Where to Eat Nearby:

The historic district offers plenty of dining choices.



By: ampfamily
Posted: 06/19/2013 09:04

This is a beautiful scenic walk for all ages.  There is something inspiring about the expanse of the ocean and the "cottages" that sit along side it. .  It is possible to do a portion of it with a stroller but the path in places is narrow.  It  is popular place so it can be crowded at the beginning of the walk. It is also important to wear appropriate footwear due to the change in the construction of the path from paved to rocky (making it impassable with a stroller).  

As of June 2013 a section of the trail is closed off due to storm damage.  An easily navigated detour can be managed.  If you want a quieter walk it would be best to start from the Southern end of the walk. The total walk is 7 miles round trip. If you are planning to do the entire trip be sure to be prepared with food and water especially in the summer.  There are a few porto-johns at the Narragansette Ave entrance to the walk. Other than that it is important to keep in mind that the trail is a public right of way on private property.  


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