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A Walk At Napatree Point, RI

Updated on February 14, 2018
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I like to get outdoors and walk, especially if my surroundings are beautiful. I enjoy sharing my favorite spots with others.

Walking Napatree Point
Walking Napatree Point | Source

Walking At Napatree Point, Rhode Island

Hiking at Napatree Point, Rhode Island is absolutely gorgeous. Napatree is located in South Western Rhode Island. On one side of Napatree Point is the Atlantic Ocean, the other side is Little Narragansett Bay.

As you walk along the Atlantic Ocean side you see rolling waves, smell clean salt air, and can listen to the sound of the surf. The sand along the water is packed down, especially at low tide. It makes for easy walking.

If you walk all the way to the end on the ocean side, it is about 1.5 miles to the point -- making the round trip 3 miles.

I would suggest this walk for after Labor Day or before Memorial Day. Parking is difficult to impossible during the summer months when people flock to the beautiful beach. Non-resident parking is never allowed on the side streets.

The beach is full of sunbathers and swimmers. It's pretty hot walking on the sand in the blazing sun of summer.

Beginning Of The Walk - The Path To The Bay Side.

Napatree Point Path
Napatree Point Path | Source

We took this walk on November 13, 2011. In November all the shops in the Watch Hill section of Westerly, RI were closed with the exception of two tee shirt shops. Therefore, we were able to park on the street. In season, these spaces are only 2 hour parking. Also, off season you can park in a small lot adjacent to the water. In season, you would have to pay for parking, if you could find a space.

The temperature here is pretty comfortable. The ocean water is still warm from summer. Even though there is a breeze, it is not cold. Dress in layers. It will probably be warmer than you think.

From the street, we walked across the parking lot, behind some cabanas and there we found the path to Napatree beach.

We started out on a path that took us to the bay side of Napatree point. (Shown in the photo)

Photos Along The Little Narragansett Bay Side

Click thumbnail to view full-size
The water on the bay side is calmer and the beach is narrower than the ocean side.This is a photo looking back at Watch Hill from a distance down the bay side.Another view toward Watch HillThis is the view out to the point, away from Watch HillWe found more shells on the bay side than the ocean side, but still, they were sparse.Many of the shells were damaged.   The bay side beach can be pebbly in places.
The water on the bay side is calmer and the beach is narrower than the ocean side.
The water on the bay side is calmer and the beach is narrower than the ocean side. | Source
This is a photo looking back at Watch Hill from a distance down the bay side.
This is a photo looking back at Watch Hill from a distance down the bay side. | Source
Another view toward Watch Hill
Another view toward Watch Hill | Source
This is the view out to the point, away from Watch Hill
This is the view out to the point, away from Watch Hill | Source
We found more shells on the bay side than the ocean side, but still, they were sparse.
We found more shells on the bay side than the ocean side, but still, they were sparse. | Source
Many of the shells were damaged.   The bay side beach can be pebbly in places.
Many of the shells were damaged. The bay side beach can be pebbly in places. | Source

On the Atlantic Ocean Side Of The Point

Ocean Side of Napatree Point, Rhode Island
Ocean Side of Napatree Point, Rhode Island

After walking halfway down the bay side, we take a path over to the ocean side. There are several opportunities to do this.

Off in the distance we spot someone windsurfing. A little while later we see two more young men in wetsuits coming down the beach with windsurfing equipment.

The sand is very smooth and hard packed to walk on.

Little sandpipers are along the shore. They are fun to watch. They scoot out as the waves go out and then run back in before the wave can hit them. There are four of them and they look as their marching is coordinated. They are so fast, I couldn't get a picture. They eat small invertebrates picked out of the sand.

We were hoping to find a path to the bunkers left over from Fort Mansfield. We found one path but it was so closed in with brambles, we would have needed a machete to get through.

Ocean Side At Napatree Point

Click thumbnail to view full-size
As we start out on the ocean side, a closer look at the windsurfer.There is a large tree here that wasn't here last time we hiked.   We wonder if it is as a result of hurricane Irene.Another view of the other end of the tree.   It is huge and it doesn't look as if it has been very weathered.Looking out toward the point.As you get to the point, it starts to get rockier.And........even rockier.  We look for the path to the bunker from Fort Mansfield.   But everything is overgrown.We start back toward Watch Hill.    At the very end of the row of buildings you can see the Watch Hill lighthouseAnother view of Watch Hill as we approach it.
As we start out on the ocean side, a closer look at the windsurfer.
As we start out on the ocean side, a closer look at the windsurfer. | Source
There is a large tree here that wasn't here last time we hiked.   We wonder if it is as a result of hurricane Irene.
There is a large tree here that wasn't here last time we hiked. We wonder if it is as a result of hurricane Irene. | Source
Another view of the other end of the tree.   It is huge and it doesn't look as if it has been very weathered.
Another view of the other end of the tree. It is huge and it doesn't look as if it has been very weathered. | Source
Looking out toward the point.
Looking out toward the point. | Source
As you get to the point, it starts to get rockier.
As you get to the point, it starts to get rockier. | Source
And........even rockier.  We look for the path to the bunker from Fort Mansfield.   But everything is overgrown.
And........even rockier. We look for the path to the bunker from Fort Mansfield. But everything is overgrown. | Source
We start back toward Watch Hill.    At the very end of the row of buildings you can see the Watch Hill lighthouse
We start back toward Watch Hill. At the very end of the row of buildings you can see the Watch Hill lighthouse | Source
Another view of Watch Hill as we approach it.
Another view of Watch Hill as we approach it. | Source

Here's a checklist for your walk

  1. The best time of year to walk is between Labor Day (first Monday September) and May 2. Parking is difficult to impossible at other times. There is no public beach parking, only metered street parking.
  2. Dogs are allowed on the beach from Labor Day to May 2. You will see a lot of retrievers frolicking in the water.
  3. Keep in mind - There are no bathroom facilities available at this time of the year.
  4. Dress in layers -- it's often warmer than you would think at Napatree.
  5. Bring sunglasses or you will have a hard time looking ahead in some places.
  6. If you intend to explore into the paths in the grasses, bring insect repellant with DEET. There are ticks in the grasses that carry Lyme disease, Ehrlichiosis and Babesiosis. Wear light clothing so you can see the ticks on you and tuck your pants into your socks.
  7. This walk is not wheelchair or handicapped accessible.

A
napatree point, rhode island:
Napatree Point Conservation Area, Westerly, RI 02891, USA

get directions

Here's a little more info on Napatree - The photographer couldn't find Fort Mansfield

In this video, the makers explore the rumors about Fort Mansfield being haunted.

They also have some beautiful moving pictures of the waves

© 2011 Ellen Gregory

working

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