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.


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