We have learned over the years to read skeptically on-line reports of where bike paths are located, and how to find parking. The best way to really understand what is available is to get out and see for ourselves. We found some delightful surprises along these two trails, the Quonset and Calf Pasture bike paths in North Kingstown, RI, including the discovery that they are in essence one continual bike path with two names.
The first challenge was locating parking, since Newcombe Road in North Kingstown, RI offers no parking, making access to the clearly visible bike path puzzling. We figured out that the Shoppes at Quonset Point, just north of Rt. 403 on Rt. 1, offered plenty of parking next to Homegoods, near the start of the path.
Once on the bike trail, we just kept on pedaling–no roads cross the 2.5 mile trail as it goes alongside Newcombe Road out toward Calf Pasture Nature Area and Allen Harbor. Bunnies and groundhogs seemed plentiful alongside the trail, finding lots of grass and flowers to munch on.
The Quonset Bike trail ends at Marine Road. But a simple left turn onto Marine Road took us immediately to another parking area at the edge of Calf Pasture Nature area, (with a porta-potty next to the parking!)
and a walking/biking paved trail that soon offers views of Allen Harbor.
Pedal a little farther and a wide fire road leads out to the north side of Allen’s Harbor. It also allows for access to a half mile beach walk out to Calf Pasture Point and finally Calf Pasture beach. Beware, however, that this walk along the shore floods at high tide.
We pedaled along the fire road out to Allen’s Harbor, but did not try to walk our tandem bike along the shore to Calf Pasture point. Instead, we kept to the paved bike trail and soon reached the private beach area, which offered nice views of Narragansett bay.
This small beach area is only accessible by neighbors who live right next to Narragansett Bay, or those who walk or pedal along the bike trail. No public parking is available at this beach access.
On our next trip we plan to bring a picnic lunch and enjoy some quiet time at the shore. But this trip was an explore, what we’ve come to learn is often required to figure out what is really available, and how we can best make use of the great public resource that these bike trails have become. And this is surely on our “Let’s come back here,” list. We never know what we’ll find. But my hope is that this gives you a little more information, and encouragement to get out to explore yourself. And don’t forget to pack your lunch! You might even want to wear your swimsuit.
(PS: and while we were down this way, we stopped at nearby Wickford Harbor–and spied three baby otters–such a treat!
Marjorie Turner Hollman is a personal historian who loves the outdoors, and is the author of Easy Walks in Massachusetts, 2nd edition, More Easy Walks in Massachusetts, 2nd edition, and editor of Easy Walks and Paddles in the Ten Mile River Watershed. Just out is her latest book, Finding Easy Walks Wherever You Are.
She has been a freelance writer for numerous local, regional, and national publications for the past 20+ years, has helped numerous families to save their stories, and has recorded multiple veterans oral histories, now housed at the Library of Congress.