WILLIAM C. O'NEILL SOUTH COUNTY BIKE PATH:
NARRAGANSETT-WEST KINGSTON, RHODE ISLAND
-BIKE IT OR HIKE IT-
Last Updated: June 27, 2021
Length: South County Bike Path; 7.2 miles
URI Kingston Campus Spur; 2 miles
Narragansett Scenic Loop; 3.2 miles
Difficulty: South County Bike Path; Easy. Flat, paved rail trail.
URI Kingston Campus Spur; Easy. Flat, paved trail.
Narragansett Scenic Loop; Moderate. On-road w/some hills.
To start from Kingston Station [Western End]; From I-95, take exit 3 to Route 138 east. After passing Route 2 in West Kingston, you'll cross over the railroad tracks via a bridge. Just after you cross this bridge, you'll see a sign for Kingston Station/Amtrak on your right. Pull in and park near the back of the parking lot.
To start from the Narragansett Community Center parking lot [Eastern End]; From Route 1 southbound take the Narragansett exit to Kingstown Rd and head left. Travel 0.6 miles and turn left on Mumford Rd. Turn right before the school and bear right to the Community Center. From Route 1 northbound take the Wakefield exit to Narragansett Ave and head right. Narragansett Ave turns into Mumford Rd. Just past the school turn left and bear right to the Community Center.
The William C. O'Neill South County Bike Path starts from the Kingston Train Station. This is an active rail line serving Amtrak. The Amtrak Acela train passes by this station, but does not stop, going 130 mph. Check inside the station for its schedule if you wish to watch it wiz by. There is also a restroom inside the station, as well as a RR Museum. The bike path was built on the former Narragansett Pier Railroad Line that traveled from Kingston Station to the Narragansett Pier Terminal, 8 ½ miles away. The station was built in 1875 and the rail line in 1876. For more information visit; BIKE RI or WILLIAM O'NEILL SOUTH COUNTY BIKE PATH .
William C. O'Neill South County Bike Path:
Starting from Kingston Station; The William C. O'Neill South County Bike Path starts alongside the train tracks at the back of the parking lot. A Map Board and informational sign are located here.
Note; Heading north from the train station if you travel underneath Route 138 you'll come to an old RR Signal Station on the right at after 0.3 miles.
You'll pass by the 0 mileage marker just 0.1 miles down the trail. Not sure why they don't start at the Map Board? These Mile Markers are placed every Mile along the trail. I refer to distances from this marker even though it's an extra 0.1 miles from the parking lot. Just past this marker, on your right, is another informational sign board explaining about the Narragansett Pier Railroad Turntable. Several more informational signs are also posted along the path. The trail heads away from the RR line and crosses Liberty Lane where it travels through wetland forest. The trail follows alongside the eastern edge of the Great Swamp Management Area. You'll cross over the Chipuxet River before coming to Ministerial Rd after 0.8 miles. Cross-walks, but use caution as traffic speeds are fast. Pass by a Spur trail on your left just before the 1 Mile Marker.
Note; This is the URI Kingston Campus Spur. This flat, open paved trail travels around turf fields, farm fields and pasture. Spot URI in the distance. Cross light over Route 138 at 1.1 miles where you enter the campus grounds. The trail winds past athletic fields and the Mackal Field House out to and across Keaney Rd. Travel past Resident Halls and past the South Gate into/out of Meade Stadium. Cross W Alumni Ave and continue straight (sign for Flagg Rd) past a rain garden and more Resident Halls to Flagg Rd after 2 miles. This is the north end of campus. Head right if you wish to tour the campus.
Next, you cross a wooden bridge over the White Horn Brook/Genesee Swamp after 1.3 miles. The trail has a slight upward grade as you pass by a covered bench before coming to a cross-walk over South Rd at 2.8 miles. You'll come to Curtis Corner Rd at 3.2 miles. The Curtis Corner Middle School is on your left. After crossing Asa Pond Rd you'll pass by the Tri-Pond Park hiking trail. Just past the 4 mile marker is Fagan Park, which contains a water fountain, playground and picnic tables. The trail now travels through residential area as it heads slightly downhill to a ramp out to Kingstown Rd. A cross-light gets you over this busy road where you'll travel past artwork & murals before coming back to Kingstown Rd in Peacedale at 4.5 miles. Map Board located here. Shops and eateries, as well as, the beautiful old brick and ironwork John Fagan building (1899) are located to your right. Another cross-light will take you over to Railroad St for a short on-road section (BIKE SHARROWS, very little traffic). Along this street is the old Peacedale Railroad Station; well preserved. You then cross over Church St after only 0.1 miles, where the paved trail picks up again and runs alongside the Riverside Cemetery to your left. Next, you cross a bridge over the Saugatucket River. Look right and you'll spot another pedestrian bridge crossing the river downstream. You then emerge at Main St in Wakefield at 5.4 miles. Old Wakefield Train Station here. Plenty of places to eat and shop.
Note; You may take a 0.6 mile Detour Loop from here by heading right down Main St. Just past an old red trolley car, now converted into the Little Red Trolley Gallery, turn right and travel over the river along the pedestrian bridge. This will bring you to the backside of Wakefield School. A pavilion overlooks the river here. Follow the paved path left past a Veterans Memorial and out to High St. Travel left down High St to Main St. Turn left again and pass by a dam a fish ladder on the Saugatucket River. A boardwalk on your left then takes you alongside the river to a paved path along the river and back to the pedestrian bridge where you can return to the Bike Path.
Use the cross-light over Main St where the trail continues through an urban trench and underneath Woodruff Ave. After two more street crossings the trail comes to Route 108 after 6 miles. Another Map Board located here. A cross-light will take you over Route 108 to an on-road section along MacArthur Blvd (BIKE SHARROWS, residential road). Follow this road for 0.2 miles to where the paved trail picks up again on the right. Travel underneath Route 1 where the town allows graffiti artists to work freely in the tunnel. You travel through open woods and a National Wildlife Refugee as you cross into Narragansett. Cross Mumford Rd after 6.8 miles. The trail now encircles Narragansett Elementary School bringing you to the Narragansett Community Center parking lot after 7.2 miles. Map Board here.
Future construction will extend the trail through Canonchet Farm (starting behind the school) out to Narragansett Beach. Scheduled to begin in 2025.
Note; An 0.8 mile on-road route from here will bring you out to Narragansett Beach. You can return back to here along Scenic Loop. See Below.
From the Narragansett Community Center parking lot; Head left past the center along the paved closed road past Sprague Memorial Field and a small pond. Continue straight through another parking lot past a playground and ball field out to Kingston Rd (Route 1A). Travel left on-road (wide shoulder or sidewalk available) and you'll come to the junction of Kingston Rd, Narragansett Ave and Strathmore Rd (leads to the SOUTH COUNTY MUSEUM). Continue straight on-road along Narragansett Ave (now Route 1A). This section has a lot of parked cars during the Summer so Caution is urged (sidewalk available). Come to Caswell St on your right. Head left along Narragansett Ave (Route 1A) out to Beach St. Lake Canonchet to your left. Use the cross-light over to the sea wall and head right, then a quick left and you'll come to a wide path that runs along the sea wall & beach after 0.9 miles. Great views of Narragansett Beach.
Note; During the Summer season this path becomes mobbed with pedestrians, so you'll need to cross back over and travel south on-road along Beach St & Ocean Rd.
Follow the paved path between the sea wall and Beach St south. Continue left as you pick up Ocean Rd. This brings you to the historic NARRAGANSETT TOWERS , followed by the old Coast Guard House. The Narragansett Towers were part of the Narragansett Pier Casino built in 1886. For more information visit; COAST GUARD HOUSE RESTAURANT . Continue following the seawall alongside Ocean Ave and you'll come Pier 5 at 1.7 miles. This is where the old Narragansett Pier RR ended its journey. Head right on-road up S Pier Rd to Gibson Ave & Boon St. Turn right along Boon St (commercial). When you reach Congdon St next to Congdon Park look left to spot the old Narragansett RR Station. Continue along Boon St past the old Fire Station with the stone tower to Central St at 2.3 miles. Turn left up Central Ave (residential). Homes from the 1800's and the beautiful St Peters stone church. Turn right at 5th Ave past the Town Hall and then left onto Kingston Road. This will bring you back to the junction of Kingston Rd, Strathmore Rd and Narragansett Ave. Head left along Kingston Rd back to Sprague Memorial Field, then right back to the Narragansett Community Center parking lot and William C. O'Neill South County Bike Path after a 3.2 mile Loop.
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BIKE IT OR HIKE IT