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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Bike the East Bay Bicycle Path, Rhode Island

All it takes is several miles on a paved path to leave a highly industrialized section of Providence and reach the sheltered coastline of Narragansett Bay. No wonder, locals would rather bike to the beach than deal with car traffic. The 14.5-mile long East Bay Bicycle Path, originally part of the Providence/Worcester line, heads southeast from Providence along the scenic shores of the Bay to the town of Bristol. Less than two miles into the ride, fishing trawlers and sailboats start to appear on the right and small inlets and wetlands can be seen on the left. In the warmer months, you’re likely to see locals clamming for littlenecks in the shallow waters along the route. That’s quite a contrast from the view of the Providence skyline that lurks behind you. 

Soon the trail becomes more scenic as cliffs line the bayside, home to pelicans, egrets, and the occasional swan. South of Riverside, East Bay feels more secluded as you head through forest. Prior to mile 6, you reach Haines Park, your first choice of beaches along the route. The trail then swerves inland through the town of Barrington and crosses two wooden bridges before reaching Warren. Just past the 10-mile mark, Warren is the best place to stock up on food and drink. South of Warren, the trail hugs the shoreline of Narragansett once again as the bay widens before reaching the ocean waters. Soon you’ll reach Colt State Park and Bristol Town Beach, the finest spot for sunbathing along the route. The trail ends in Bristol at Independence Park, near a handful of seafood restaurant choices that sell those freshly caught littleneck clams.
 


Posted by Steve Jermanok on 06/23/11 at 01:00 PM
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Longtime Boston Globe travel writer, Steve Jermanok, dishes out his favorite travel locales and provides topical travel information that comes across his desk.

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