Rhode Island Kayaking
If you have chosen the Lake House as your summer vacation rental in Rhode Island, you’re all set for kayaking! As you know, guests who vacation at the Lake House have four kayaks for their exclusive use on Indian Lake. However, for guests who also want to explore other bodies of water and for individuals who are staying elsewhere, the following is a brief guide to a few of the many Rhode Island kayaking opportunities. (Guests: Please note that the Lake House kayaks may not be removed from the property or Indian Lake.)
Whether you already have a kayak, or want to rent a kayak for a few hours, there are many great Rhode Island kayaking spots to explore. I’ve focused on recreational kayaking in protected waters. Narragansett Bay and Block Island sound offer fantastic sea kayaking opportunities, but sea kayaking can be more challenging and requires somewhat different skills and equipment. The following is not intended to be a complete list, but rather offer some suggestions as to the range of kayaking experiences available. Your limits depend only on your skill level and your equipment.
Caution: Always wear a personal flotation device (PFD) and have a signaling device and other safety equipment; kayak with other individuals, not alone; and respect your skill level and water and weather conditions. Also, it’s a good idea to put on plenty of sunscreen, bring plenty of water, and wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from glare
Rhode Island Kayaking Locations with Kayaks for Rent
Wickford Harbor. Just 8 miles north of the Lake House is the historic village of Wickford. In addition to many fine shops and restaurants, you’ll find the Kayak Centre—a full service kayak shop specializing in sales, rental, and instruction. At the Kayak Centre you can rent kayaks for a few hours and explore Wickford Harbor, see beautiful sailboats and motor boats, and paddle around small uninhabited islands. You can even kayak by Smith’s Castle—the location of one of the earliest settlements in RI and now restored as a museum open to the public. Roger Williams, the founder of Rhode Island, was a frequent visitor to this spot.
Narrow River – (Formally known as Pettaquamscutt River.) Rent a kayak from Narrow River Kayaks Middlebridge, Narragansett. Narrow River is part tidal. If you head south, you will come to Narragansett Bay and a sandy beach. There you can play in the surf and soak up the sun on the sand. If you plan your kayak trip right, you can take advantage of the tides coming and going! Or head north and kayak to the area known as Pettasquamscutt Lake. This whole area is filled with wildlife to see.
Block Island. In New Harbor you can rent kayaks to paddle around the harbor and Trims Pond. Please note, New Harbor is where the high speed ferry lands, not where InterState Navigation ferries land.
Newport. Behind the hotels on Thames Street is a small business that rents kayaks so that you can explore the harbor and see Newport from the water.
Green Hill Pond and Ninigret Pond. The Narragansett Kayak Company, located on Charlestown Beach Road between Green Hill Pond and Ninigret Pond rents kayaks for your use to explore these two large salt water ponds.
Rhode Island Kayaking Locations for those with their own kayaks.
If you have your own kayak or canoe there are many other Rhode Island kayaking spots to explore. Some stores that rent kayaks allow you to take them off premises, for example Narragansett Pier Dive Shop and Wildwood Outfitters in Wakefield.
Freshwater Lakes for Kayaking
Indian Lake – (I’ve included this information for non-guests.) A beautiful, 200 acre freshwater lake. There is a public ramp at the end of Indian Lake Trail. Motors over 10 hp are not allowed on Indian Lake so it’s perfect for kayaks and canoes. Wave to the guests staying in the Lake House as you paddle by!
Worden’s Pond—the largest natural freshwater lake in Rhode Island (about 5 times the size of Indian Lake). It’s big, but shallow. Averages 4 feet in depth and the maximum depth is only 7 feet. Boarders the Great Swamp Wildlife Management Area. Great Swamp was the site of a major conflict between colonists and Native Americans in 1676 during the King Philip’s War. You can learn more about this conflict by visiting Smith’s Castle in Wickford or the memorial in the Great Swamp.
Other freshwater lakes with public access for kayakers and boaters in the area include: Barber’s Pond (28 acres), Tucker’s Pond (101 acres).
Rivers for Kayaking
Chipuxet River in West Kingston, put in at Taylor’s Landing off Rt. 138
Pawcatuck River – ramps in Richmond
Salt Water Ponds
Salt Pond, (listed on maps as Point Judith Pond) between Narragansett and South Kingstown. If you followed the river downstream from Indian Lake (I’m not sure it’s navigable) to the Saugatucket River you would end up in Salt Pond. At the southern end of Salt Pond is a breachway into the ocean and the fishing village of Galilee Rhode Island. This is where the ferries leave to go to Block Island and to Long Island. Salt Pond is a long, but fairly protected body of salt water with several inhabited and uninhabited islands. There are two public ramps from which you can launch kayaks. One is near Galilee in the southern end of the pond, the other is in Wakefield at the very northern (quieter and calmer) end of the pond, referred to “the upper pond.”
Green Hill Pond
Ninigret Pond – borders the Ninigret Park and Conservation Area and also the National Wildlife Refuge in nearby Charlestown.
Quonnochotaug Pond- (just say Quonnie, it’s easier!), also in Charlestown.
For a list of public boat ramps in Rhode Island, click here.
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