Cliff Walk Trail In Rhode Island

Here is everything you need to know about the Cliff Walk Trail:

  • Trail System: National Recreation Trail
  • State: Rhode Island
  • Length: 3.5 miles.
  • Type: Hiking
  • Surface: boardwalk
  • Managed By: Newport Restoration Foundation
  • Permit Required?: Yes
  • Website:

The Cliff Walk Trail, located in Newport, Rhode Island, is a historic pathway that stretches along the eastern shore of the city. The trail offers breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean and winds its way through stunning landscapes, including rugged cliffs, rocky shores, and beautiful mansions. The history of the Cliff Walk Trail dates back to the late 19th century when it was first established as a public access route.

The trail was initially created as a way for the public to enjoy the natural beauty of the coastline while also providing access to the opulent mansions that were being built by wealthy industrialists during the Gilded Age. Construction of the trail began in 1888 and was completed in 1896, making it one of the oldest public access trails in the United States.

The Cliff Walk Trail gained popularity among both locals and tourists, who were drawn to its scenic vistas and the opportunity to catch a glimpse of the extravagant mansions that lined the shoreline. Over the years, the trail has undergone several renovations and improvements to ensure its preservation and accessibility. Today, it remains a beloved attraction, offering visitors a unique blend of natural beauty and architectural grandeur, while also serving as a testament to Newport’s rich history and heritage.

While On The Trail

Access Points

1. Easton’s Beach (First Beach) – This is the starting point of the Cliff Walk Trail, located at Memorial Boulevard and Easton’s Beach Road in Newport, Rhode Island.

2. Forty Steps – Located near Easton’s Beach, this access point is a set of historic stone steps that lead down to the Cliff Walk Trail.

3. Marine Avenue – This access point is located at the intersection of Marine Avenue and Narragansett Avenue, providing easy entry to the Cliff Walk Trail.

4. Ruggles Avenue – Situated at the intersection of Ruggles Avenue and Bellevue Avenue, this access point allows visitors to join the Cliff Walk Trail.

5. Ochre Point Avenue – Located at the intersection of Ochre Point Avenue and Bellevue Avenue, this access point provides entry to the Cliff Walk Trail.

6. Salve Regina University – The Cliff Walk Trail passes through the campus of Salve Regina University, offering an access point for visitors.

7. Sheppard Avenue – Situated at the intersection of Sheppard Avenue and Bellevue Avenue, this access point allows hikers to join the Cliff Walk Trail.

8. Ledge Road – Located at the intersection of Ledge Road and Bellevue Avenue, this access point provides entry to the Cliff Walk Trail.

9. Webster Street – Situated at the intersection of Webster Street and Bellevue Avenue, this access point allows visitors to join the Cliff Walk Trail.

10. Narragansett Avenue – Located at the intersection of Narragansett Avenue and Bellevue Avenue, this access point provides entry to the Cliff Walk Trail.

11. Memorial Boulevard – This access point is located at the intersection of Memorial Boulevard and Bellevue Avenue, allowing hikers to join the Cliff Walk Trail.

12. Bailey’s Beach – Situated near the end of the Cliff Walk Trail, Bailey’s Beach offers an access point for visitors.

Please note that these access points are approximate and may vary slightly based on the specific trailhead markers or signage in the area.

Transportation Available

1. Cliff Walk Trolley – A convenient trolley service that takes you along the Cliff Walk Trail, offering scenic views and stops at major attractions.
2. Bike Rentals – Rent a bike and explore the Cliff Walk Trail at your own pace, enjoying the coastal breeze and stunning vistas.
3. Local Bus – Hop on the local bus to reach the Cliff Walk Trail, providing an affordable and eco-friendly transportation option.
4. Taxi Service – Book a taxi to easily access the Cliff Walk Trail, ensuring a comfortable and hassle-free journey.
5. Ride-Sharing Apps – Utilize popular ride-sharing apps to get to the Cliff Walk Trail, with the convenience of choosing your preferred vehicle type.
6. Car Rental – Rent a car and drive to the Cliff Walk Trail, giving you the flexibility to explore nearby attractions as well.
7. Walking – If you’re staying nearby, take a leisurely walk to the Cliff Walk Trail and enjoy the scenic beauty along the way.


The amenities available at the Cliff Walk Trail may vary depending on the specific location and management. However, here are some common amenities that can be found at many Cliff Walk Trail locations:

1. Restrooms: Some sections of the trail may have public restrooms or portable toilets available for visitors.

2. Parking: Many Cliff Walk Trail locations offer designated parking areas or parking lots for visitors to park their vehicles.

3. Camping Sites: Some Cliff Walk Trails may have designated camping areas or nearby campgrounds where visitors can set up tents or camp overnight.

4. Picnic Areas: There may be designated picnic areas along the trail where visitors can enjoy a meal or snacks while taking in the scenic views.

5. Benches and Seating: Throughout the trail, you may find benches or seating areas where visitors can rest and enjoy the surroundings.

6. Information Boards: Information boards or signs may be placed along the trail to provide visitors with details about the trail, its history, and any specific rules or regulations.

7. Trash Receptacles: To maintain cleanliness, you may find trash receptacles along the trail where visitors can dispose of their waste.

8. Drinking Water Stations: Some sections of the trail may have drinking water stations or fountains where visitors can refill their water bottles.

9. Interpretive Signs: Interpretive signs may be placed along the trail to provide information about the local flora, fauna, geology, or historical significance.

10. Accessibility Features: Depending on the location, the trail may have accessibility features such as ramps, handrails, or paved paths to accommodate individuals with disabilities.

It is recommended to check with the specific Cliff Walk Trail location or local authorities for the most accurate and up-to-date information on available amenities.

Nearby Services

1. The Chanler at Cliff Walk – Luxury hotel offering oceanfront accommodations.
2. Cliffside Inn – Charming bed and breakfast located near the trail.
3. Forty 1° North – Upscale waterfront hotel with dining options.
4. The Viking Hotel – Historic hotel offering comfortable rooms and a restaurant.
5. The Black Pearl – Popular seafood restaurant with a lively atmosphere.
6. The Mooring – Waterfront restaurant serving fresh seafood and cocktails.
7. Newport Creamery – Casual eatery known for its ice cream and comfort food.
8. Newport Hospital – Local hospital providing emergency medical services.

Cliff Walk Trail Difficulty Notes

The Cliff Walk Trail is known for its moderate difficulty level, offering a challenging yet rewarding hiking experience. The trail spans along the rugged coastline, providing breathtaking views of the ocean and rocky cliffs. While the path is well-maintained, it includes some steep sections and uneven terrain, requiring hikers to be cautious and have a reasonable level of fitness. The trail also features narrow pathways and occasional obstacles, adding an element of adventure to the journey. Overall, the Cliff Walk Trail offers a satisfying challenge for outdoor enthusiasts seeking a memorable and invigorating hiking experience.

Features And Attractions

The Cliff Walk Trail in Newport, Rhode Island offers stunning scenic views, historical sites, and natural landmarks. Here are some notable attractions along the trail:

1. The Breakers: This magnificent mansion was built by the Vanderbilt family and is one of the most famous Gilded Age mansions in Newport.

2. Marble House: Another Vanderbilt mansion, Marble House is known for its opulent architecture and beautiful gardens.

3. Rough Point: This historic house was once the summer residence of tobacco heiress Doris Duke and offers a glimpse into her extravagant lifestyle.

4. Ochre Court: Originally built as a summer residence for the Ogden Goelet family, this French-style chateau is now part of Salve Regina University.

5. Forty Steps: These stone steps lead down to a rocky beach and provide a great vantage point to enjoy the crashing waves and scenic views.

6. The Spouting Rock: Also known as the “Champagne Rock,” this natural landmark features a small blowhole that shoots water high into the air during high tide.

7. The Easton’s Beach Rotunda: This historic bathhouse and pavilion is a charming spot to take a break and enjoy the beach views.

8. The Salve Regina University Campus: As you walk along the trail, you’ll pass through the beautiful campus of Salve Regina University, which features stunning architecture and well-manicured gardens.

9. The Newport Cliff Walk Memorial Plaque: This plaque commemorates the completion of the Cliff Walk Trail and provides information about its history and significance.

10. Stunning Ocean Views: Throughout the trail, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean, with crashing waves against the rocky shoreline.

These are just a few of the many attractions and landmarks you can experience while walking the Cliff Walk Trail in Newport.

Usage Guidelines

1. No pets allowed on the Cliff Walk Trail.
2. The trail is open year-round, but certain sections may be closed during winter months due to icy conditions or maintenance work.
3. Visitors are advised to stay on designated paths and not venture off-trail to protect the natural environment.
4. Bicycles, skateboards, and motorized vehicles are not permitted on the trail.
5. Camping or overnight stays are not allowed on the Cliff Walk Trail.
6. Littering is strictly prohibited. Visitors are expected to carry out any trash they bring in.
7. Open fires or barbecues are not allowed on the trail.
8. Visitors are encouraged to respect the privacy of nearby residents and avoid excessive noise.
9. Swimming or diving from the cliffs is dangerous and strictly prohibited.
10. Visitors should be cautious and stay away from the cliff edges, as they can be unstable and pose a risk of falling.
11. It is recommended to wear appropriate footwear and clothing for hiking, as the trail can be rugged and uneven in some areas.
12. Visitors are encouraged to bring drinking water and snacks, as there are limited facilities along the trail.
13. The use of drones or other aerial devices is not permitted on the Cliff Walk Trail without prior authorization.
14. Visitors should be aware of their own physical limitations and hike at their own risk.

Seasonal Information

The Cliff Walk Trail, located in Newport, Rhode Island, is a stunning coastal path that offers breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean and the magnificent mansions that line the shoreline. While the trail is open year-round, there are certain times of the year that are considered the best for visiting.

One of the most popular times to visit the Cliff Walk Trail is during the spring and fall seasons. In the spring, the trail comes alive with vibrant colors as flowers bloom and the surrounding landscape awakens from its winter slumber. The weather during this time is generally mild, making it perfect for leisurely walks along the trail. Similarly, the fall season offers a picturesque setting with the foliage turning into a beautiful array of red, orange, and yellow hues. The cooler temperatures and the crisp air make it an ideal time for hiking and enjoying the scenic beauty of the trail.

It is important to note that there are seasonal closures on certain sections of the Cliff Walk Trail. Due to the harsh winter conditions and the potential danger of icy paths, some portions of the trail may be closed from December through March. These closures are implemented to ensure the safety of visitors and to protect the natural environment. It is advisable to check the official website or contact the local authorities before planning a visit during the winter months to ensure that the trail is open and accessible.

Overall, the best times to visit the Cliff Walk Trail are during the spring and fall seasons when the weather is pleasant, and the scenery is at its most vibrant. However, regardless of the season, the trail offers a unique and awe-inspiring experience for nature enthusiasts and history buffs alike. Whether you choose to visit during the blooming of spring flowers or the colorful foliage of autumn, the Cliff Walk Trail promises to leave you with unforgettable memories of its natural beauty and captivating views.


1. Wheelchair Accessible Entrances: The Cliff Walk Trail offers wheelchair accessible entrances at designated points, allowing easy access for individuals with mobility challenges.
2. Paved Pathways: The trail features paved pathways, ensuring a smooth and accessible surface for wheelchair users.
3. Handrails: Handrails are installed along certain sections of the trail, providing additional support and stability for individuals with mobility impairments.
4. Benches and Rest Areas: The trail includes benches and rest areas at regular intervals, allowing individuals to take breaks and rest if needed.
5. Accessible Parking: Accessible parking spaces are available near the trail entrances, ensuring convenient access for individuals with disabilities.
6. Accessible Restrooms: Accessible restrooms are located near the trail, providing facilities that meet ADA standards for individuals with disabilities.
7. Signage and Wayfinding: Clear signage and wayfinding markers are placed along the trail, ensuring easy navigation for individuals with visual impairments.
8. Assistance Animals: Service animals are permitted on the trail to assist individuals with disabilities.
9. Accessible Information: Information about the trail, including maps and brochures, is available in accessible formats such as braille or large print.
10. Accessibility Guidelines: The Cliff Walk Trail adheres to ADA accessibility guidelines, ensuring that individuals with disabilities can enjoy the trail to the fullest extent possible.

Safety Information

1. Wear appropriate footwear: Sturdy shoes with good traction are essential for navigating the uneven terrain of the Cliff Walk Trail.
2. Stay on designated paths: Stick to the marked trail to avoid potential hazards and protect the fragile ecosystem.
3. Be cautious of steep drops: Exercise caution near the cliff edges and avoid getting too close to prevent accidents.
4. Watch out for slippery surfaces: Be mindful of wet or moss-covered areas that can make the trail slippery, especially after rain.
5. Stay hydrated: Carry enough water to stay hydrated during your hike, as there are limited water sources along the trail.
6. Use sunscreen and wear a hat: Protect yourself from the sun’s harmful rays by applying sunscreen and wearing a hat.
7. Check weather conditions: Before embarking on the trail, check the weather forecast to avoid hazardous conditions such as high winds or storms.
8. Hike with a buddy: It’s always safer to hike with a companion, especially on more remote sections of the trail.
9. Carry a cell phone: Keep a fully charged cell phone with you for emergencies or to report any incidents.
10. Respect wildlife and vegetation: Avoid disturbing or feeding wildlife, and stay on the trail to minimize damage to the surrounding vegetation.
11. Pack a first aid kit: Carry a basic first aid kit with essentials like band-aids, antiseptic, and pain relievers in case of minor injuries.
12. Inform someone of your plans: Let a friend or family member know your hiking plans, including your expected return time.
13. Be aware of tides: Check the tide schedule if you plan to explore sections of the trail close to the water, as high tides can make some areas inaccessible.
14. Stay away from unstable cliffs: Avoid areas with signs of erosion or loose rocks, as they can pose a significant danger.
15. Follow all posted signs and regulations: Observe and adhere to any posted signs, rules, or regulations along the trail for your safety and the preservation of the area.

Conservation Notes

The Cliff Walk Trail is a renowned coastal path located in Newport, Rhode Island. In terms of conservation status, this trail is considered to be of significant ecological importance. It traverses a fragile and sensitive coastal ecosystem, characterized by diverse flora and fauna, as well as unique geological formations. Due to its ecological significance, the Cliff Walk Trail has been designated as a National Recreation Trail and is protected under various conservation measures.

The conservation status of the Cliff Walk Trail is primarily focused on preserving its natural features and maintaining the delicate balance of its ecosystem. Efforts have been made to minimize human impact on the trail, ensuring that it remains a sustainable and ecologically viable recreational resource. Conservation initiatives include regular monitoring of the trail’s condition, erosion control measures, and the implementation of strict regulations to protect the surrounding environment.

To safeguard the biodiversity along the trail, conservationists have also undertaken habitat restoration projects. These efforts aim to enhance the natural habitats and promote the growth of native plant species, which in turn support a diverse range of wildlife. Additionally, educational programs and interpretive signage have been implemented to raise awareness among visitors about the importance of conservation and responsible trail use.

Overall, the conservation status of the Cliff Walk Trail reflects a commitment to preserving its unique ecological features and ensuring its long-term sustainability. Through ongoing conservation efforts, this iconic trail continues to provide a scenic and educational experience while protecting the fragile coastal ecosystem it traverses.

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