Rome Point and the John H. Chafee Nature Preserve Offer Hiking, Fishing, and Spectacular Views of Narragansett Bay

According to the Rhode Island Department of Tourism, there over 40 official state and town beaches in the Ocean State, with countless other nameless beaches spread out all of the state.  Hundreds of thousands of residents and tourists flock to Rhode Island beaches every year to enjoy the sun, the surf, and the gorgeous scenery our state beaches have to offer.  Every state beaches has policies on personal conduct – trash pickup, alcohol use, dogs, fires, etc.  Most have a staff of lifeguards or supervisors on hand to enforce the rules of the beach and to make sure everyone is enjoying and respecting the beach.  However, some of our RI beaches are hidden by a wooden area and require a bit of hiking to get to.  In my opinion, these types of beaches are extra special because the long walk creates a palpable build up of anticipation as you make your way down the path to the beach. I find it especially gratifying when I get to the end of the path and then see the beach, the water, the boats, the fisherman; the view is just incredible.

rome point5The beach I am most familiar with a long path and a breathtaking view is Rome Point here in North Kingstown.  It is also referred to as the John H. Chafee Nature Preserve with Rome Point being the area on the beach itself.  I have visited Rome Point with my family for years  and now take my dogs down to Rome Point, where they can explore the seaside and go into the ocean.  Dogs are welcome as well as on the hiking trails, so long as the dogs are leashed.  One of the signs entering the hiking trail states “Leash, curb, and clean up after your dog.  It is required by law.”   Visitors are also encouraged to pickup after themselves and remove all trash from the beach and hiking trail after their visit.  These signs are clearly posted and some are even translated into other languages so visitors who do not speak English can understand the park’s rules.

rome point signs


During a recent visit, I spoke with a gentleman who is very familiar with the area both on the state side (RI DEM managed) and the private section, which is owned by a number of landowners and is protected by a rock jetty.  The private section, to my knowledge, can not be accessed via motor vehicles and is otherwise accessed only by climbing over the rocks to get to the beach area or by boat/kayak/watercraft from the bay itself. This particular private beach area now has posted “Private Property” signs on the trees just behind the beach area.  The gentleman I spoke to mentioned that this area is in fact private property and that hikers, fisherman, and beach goers should stay on the state, RI DEM side of the beach.  He mentioned that far too many visitors have lit fires and not extinguished them properly, left trash, and have been generally disrespectful of the beach area; not only on the private side but also the state, DEM managed side.  He also told me that most people are respectful and hopes that the new posted signs will encourage everyone to be more respectful of the entire water front section.  You can see a section of private beach in the photo below:

rome point


The RI DEM managed state side section of the beach is in the photo below:

rome point


Upon entering the John H. Chafee Preserve, please refer to the various signs located at the start/end of the hiking trail towards the beach.  There is a map of the preserve as well as general rules of the beach and trail. I have included some additional photos of those signs.  I hope you will have the opportunity to bring your family, a friend or maybe a visitor from outside North Kingstown to Rome Point.  It is one of my favorite places to visit, any time of year.

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5 thoughts on “Rome Point and the John H. Chafee Nature Preserve Offer Hiking, Fishing, and Spectacular Views of Narragansett Bay

  1. A gem, as evidenced by all the cars in the lot and lined up on Boston Neck Road. How about some history? Were all those stone walls keeping animals in or left over from house lots long gone?

    1. If those stone walls could talk…I did find some historical information about Rome Point’s namesake, George Rome as well as its recent history with National Grid.

  2. We just visited Rome Point during our vacation in Saunderstown a couple of weeks ago. We left R.I. for D.C. 40 years ago when the preserve didn’t exist. Thanks to those who helped make it happen!

    1. Mark, thanks for the comments. The ones who frequent this beach and hiking trail are making a concerted effort to keep it safe, clean, and available for visitors of our state to enjoy.

  3. It s perfect for the whole family. Rome Point is a small peninsula located within the John H. Chafee Nature Preserve, a 230-acre state-owned conservation area along the West Passage shoreline in North Kingstown.

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