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With spectacular maritime views and an abundance of coastal wildlife, the East Bay Bike Path offers a spectacular New England experience. Inducted into the Rail-Trail Hall of Fame in 2009, the route is one of the most popular multiuse trails in Rhode Island. The paved pathway travels just over 14 miles between Providence and Bristol, visiting eight parks as it skirts the historical water-fronts that played roles in local shipbuilding, transoceanic trade, and manufacturing.
The rail-trail follows a railbed whose various owners helped shape East Coast railroads over a century. The Providence, Warren and Bristol Railroad completed the line in 1855. The Old Colony Railroad leased it beginning in 1891, but it soon came under control of the New York, New Haven and Hart-ford Railroad (the New Haven). Penn Central acquired the New Haven in 1969 and discontinued the Bristol-Providence line in 1973. The state built most of the bike trail between 1987 and 1992.
India Point Park is a good place to embark on a journey on the East Bay Bike Path. The trail follows a ramp up to a pedestrian bridge named George Redman Linear Park, memorializing a local bike advocate. The bridge reopened in 2015 after serving since the 1930s as the eastbound span of the Washington Bridge.
Arriving in East Providence, you’ll head south on First Street for two blocks before regaining the trail, which is separated from Victory Parkway by a split rail fence for the next 1.1 miles. You’ll drop down a steep embankment to the old railroad corridor spanning Watchemoket Cove on a causeway, where the railroad was double-tracked and the other set of tracks is often visible. You’ll have unobstructed views of the Providence skyline and shipping facilities from here and up ahead at Squantum Woods Park, where some 90 bird species have been recorded.
The next mile is wooded before you reach the Riverside community. You’ll recognize an old railroad station just before Lincoln Avenue, and in another mile you’ll cross Crescent View Avenue. Here you can turn right on a 0.5-mile side trip to the Crescent Park Looff Carousel, an 1895 amusement ride that features 62 carved figures and four chariots. It’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The trail veers away from the bay for 6 miles as it passes through Barrington; the bridges crossing Barrington and Palmer Rivers are popular fishing spots. Commercial districts in Riverside, Barrington, and up ahead in Warren and Bristol all offer opportunities for snacks and refreshments. The trail ends along Bristol Harbor, just past the entrance to Colt State Park.
The stature of the East Bay Bike Path, one of the longest trails in the state, will grow with a connection to the developing Blackstone River Greenway, which extends into Massachusetts. The bike path is also a part of the East Coast Greenway, a growing trail network between Maine and Florida.
To reach the Providence trailhead, take I-95 to Exit 19 and merge onto I-195 E. Take Exit 2 for India St. to Gano St. Turn left into India Point Park. The trailhead is on the right; ramps lead up to the bridge where the path begins as a separated corridor alongside traffic.
There are many other places to park along the trail. The closest parking lots to the northern terminus are on Veterans Memorial Pkwy. in East Providence. Traveling east on I-195 from Providence, take Exit 4 to Riverside. Merge onto Veterans Memorial Pkwy., and in 0.3 mile, near Mercer St., you’ll find two parking lots on the right.
To reach the Colt State Park trailhead in Bristol, take I-195 E into Massachusetts and take Exit 2. Follow MA 136 S 1.2 miles to Rhode Island, and continue on RI 136 S another 2.5 miles. Turn right onto Vernon St. in Warren, and then in 0.6 mile, turn left onto RI 114 S and go 2.3 miles toward Bristol. In Bristol, turn right onto Asylum Road and go 0.5 mile.
Hands down so far the best one I have been on. From beautiful Bristol and all the shops to Warren Barrington Riverside east Providence and Fox point providence. The views are second to none. I have ridden many times for a quick ride or spend the day always worth it.
This trail is pretty and super well-maintained. Thanks, RI. You got this so right and lots of folks are out enjoying it!
No cracks in the pavement. Just a smooth ride with plenty of roadside stops along the way, and great food options in Bristol.
We started in Providence at India Point Park. It was a beautiful blue bird day in the high 70's with little to no wind. A perfect day for a bike ride. However, after riding the entire length of the trail from Providence to Bristol and back, we feel this is another Hall of Fame Trail that is so over hyped it is almost criminal. First, there are no facilities anywhere on the trail. Be prepared to buy lunch somewhere if you need to go to the bathroom. The trail surface is paved and in excellent condition with lane markers dividing the trail. It is probably the best trail surface we've ever ridden on. It is very flat, but it is also very narrow. You will have to watch out for walkers and runners, ALL of whom ignore the trail signs and walk against the flow of bike traffic. Be prepared to do a lot of weaving in and out of traffic. When it comes to scenery, the bridge that you cross when leaving India Point Park from the Providence trail head is beautiful. Then there is one small section of trail about a half a mile long where the trees form a very pretty tunnel you ride through. As you get into Bristol, you get some views of the bay, (which are for the most part obscured by chain link fencing). However, for the most of the trails length, there is nothing to see except the small trees and scrub brush that lines both sides of the trail. There really isn't anything to see. For as much as this trail is hyped as a Hall of Fame Trail, we expected much more, and to be honest, were thoroughly disappointed, and left wishing we had just ridden one of our local trails instead.
New asphalt, lane markers and mile markers. Our tax dollars at work
The trail has such beautiful views.. Water ,woods & residential..We parked around Mercer st...There is a bunch of parking..Next time I would go to the parking lot a little further down the road. There is a slight hill there,u go down. Coming back u go up. We were tired rode 27 miles & that was the last leg...we managed to get up the hill...lol.. Really the trail is pretty flat .. It is a narrow trail & can get very busy,so u have to pay attention. But most people were great...There r plenty of places to get off & grab something to eat,drink.. Bathrooms didn't see.. Bristol was a nice town..
Or ice cream, from one of the vendors you can visit along the way.
Dateline: Monday June 25, 2018.
Beautiful sunny day, temps in the upper 80's
I came for 3 days of biking in Rhode Island just for this trail and it did not let me down. Do it. It's worth a long drive (3.5 hours for me) and repeat visits. I used a municipal parking lot in Bristol for the round trip, which was about a quarter mile down the same street as the endpoint of the trail. Every other parking area was too busy.
Caution. After visiting many bike trails thanks to TrailLink, my only complaint is that some of the parking areas need to be reviewed more carefully. In this case the first parking area in East Providence did not encourage me to leave my car there for 3 hours. Always take the address/directions/GPS to more than one parking lot and visit the TrailLink site just before departing for any updates. I drove 2.5 hours to Windsor Locks, CT to find out the entire trail was closed temporarly, and my only parking lot address closed for the entire year. But I will go back, because the trails themselves have not let me down.
We skated the trail from the North on July 4. Lots of people in Bristol for the local parade, and the restaurants at that end were a bit busy. No problem though, because the trail has finally been repaved! The surface is fantastic!
True, the wood bridges are still rough and waiting to be rebuilt, but the rest is perfect. Thanks to the powers that made it happen!
I started at the East Providence parking area and rode to Colt State park. It's actually a very nice ride from EP to about the beginning of Barrington. That's when the large bumps start and also a lot more intersections. So hold on and go slow because you will be rewarded ending at Colt. And for a little added mileage, coming from EP, take a right at the sign for Crescent Park. It's only about 1/2 mile from the bike trail. Worth the stop. Take a break and take a ride on the Carousel if it's open.
Beautiful, mostly flat trail along the Seekonk River and Narragansett Bay that ends at a small town with wonderful restaurants for lunch. If you are only looking for a snack, a coffee shop (with restrooms) situated in a refurbished station house is 1/3rd of the way. The trail boasts the best in bird sightings including Osprey, Egret, Swan, and American Goldfinch. Many small side trails deviate from East Bay in case you want to go exploring. Parking located at two possible places off of I-195 in Providence. The first exit, which is a little confusing and limited near India Point Park (Gano Street) requires bicycles to negotiate a quiet neighborhood after crossing the Seekonk, which can be confusing. There is another parking lot off Riverside (2nd exit). Either way, it is worth the trip.
Rode 30 miles today (including some trails in colt state park). Coming from Pennsylvania where the Rail Trail in our town is a poorly maintained gravel trail...this was wonderful. I have honestly never ridden a nicer trail. Yes there are cracks and bumps along the way, but with my hybrid bike with front shocks it was a very pleasant ride. Sure it is all in your perspective and what your use is for the trail, but from my perspective this trail was an absolutely wonderful experience.
jonbower & rectrike summarize my concerns exactly. We rode this on 8/6 and there was only one section that had the root bumps marked (orange cone & paint). There were several bumps that warranted similar treatment.
And, it was pretty busy late AM, several times had to slow down to a stop in order to let traffic clear.
On the plus side, it's still got some great views (hadn't ridden this in ~10 years. The Del's stand is a great spot to stop.
We parked in Colt Park which was really convenient and went to Quito's in Bristol for lunch (and ice cream across the street).
The East Bay Bike Path would be perfect for inline skating, if, it was maintained. As it is, it ranges from sublime to dangerous. The Northernmost mile is meh, mostly traveling next to the highway over a bridge, and then through an old industrial neighborhood. We skip that. The three miles from the parking lot on Veteran's Memorial Parkway heading South is sublime with great pavement, beautiful views and moderate wind from the South. Then, begins a very mixed 8-9 miles with lovely views and woods, but period root bumps that are dangerous to skate over. The two wood bridges are a bit worn, but, fine. Street crossings are pretty well designed.
The last few miles into Bristol are lovely, winding though a seaside neighborhood and through parks. The beer and food at a number of restaurants at the Southern end refresh for the trip back.
The takeaway: we'll still use the trail, but, not often until it gets some much needed TLC.
When it's crowded the traffic patterns are crazy because RI has this crazy rule about walkers on the the left and bikes on the ride. That would be just perfect if the paths were one-way, which they aren't. So the oncoming walkers are coming at you in your lane if you are biking, and when you are passing you are cycling coming up on walkers from their backsides and some cyclists have to go 25 mph no matter how crowded, and throw into the mix bikers and walkers going in the opposite direction and then to add to the confusion about a 1/3 of the trail users don't follow the rule and you can't really be sure if they do or don't...CHAOS!!
But I love RI bike trails anyway!
I found the path to be quite nice. It is relatively flat with lots of shade throughout. The 3 miles or so closest to the Woods Hole end were quite bumpy with frost heave remnants. Otherwise, the trail was in very good condition.
Rode the trail from Haines Park to the end point at Bristol. Nice trail with some good shore views. However, the trail maintenance is somewhat lacking. At places, the heaving cracks were so bad that the jarring could almost shake you fillings out. Constantly weaving in and out to try to avoid the washboard effect. Even an unpaved hard packed surface would be more preferable. Wouldn't ride it again until the numerous cracks are fixed.
I ran on this trail twice while visiting Providence. The trail was well-kept and roomy enough for bikers, runners and walkers. It was a really nice way to explore areas I would have otherwise never visited.
I just rode on it a few days ago from India Point Park to the center of Riverside and it was good in some places, like crossing the bays. But in many places like nearby the oil shipment area, it just felt out of place on this kind of trail. And before I turned around I saw a bunch of crossings ahead. I do enjoy the fact there was a pizza restaurant nearby. So if you're looking just to bike/commute, this is perfectly fine, but if you're looking for scenery, it is spotty in the northern section of the trail.
We did this trail in 2 days because we went in July of 2016 and it was very hot. We started in Riverside both days. The first day we went south to Bristol. The path is pretty much flat. Not a lot of scenery on this end, mostly through the woods, but we didn't mind because of the heat. There were a lot of places to eat in Bristol. Also the frozen lemonade stand along the way was great. This part of the trail was 10.5 miles. The second day we went north. It was much more picturesque. There are a couple of hills when you hit Providence. This part was just a little over 4 miles. We did not bike around Providence much since there is a lot of traffic. Indian Head Park is nice.
I took our 11 year old son and his friend on this trail with our bikes. Very nice - only 2 hills. We started at Indian Point Park; the trails signs here were a little confusing.
Also found the mile markers not well marked so we did not know how far we went until we referred to map when we got back. We did wind up going 22 miles round trip!
Overall beautiful trail the boys loved it and can't wait to go back! I especially loved the smell of the salt air from the ocean!
We love this trail. Beautiful scenery. Nice length. Fun towns to stop and eat lunch or grab an ice cream.
We loved this trail. There is ample parking at multiple locations along the trail. We chose to park at India Park which is at the northern end of the trail. From there my friend, who had never ridden longer than 12 miles, and I rode to the southern end and back. My friend had no trouble doing the 28 mile round trip, it is that easy. Along the way we found wonderful and varied scenery, friendly people both on and off the trail and enjoyable places to stop for a picnic lunch, ice cream or, had we wanted it, a restaurant lunch. The trail was smooth and easy and very well maintained. We liked it so much we came back to ride it again two days later.
I rode the length of the trail out and back today and it is lovely. Very quiet on a weekday. As to the pavement, yes there are some frost heaves and tree roots scattered about, but this is after all New England. The defects have all be loviningly treated with sealer. I would rate it Very Good but not excellent.
If you're worried about your bike, you need to slow down a bit, this is a multi-use trail. For those trying to set a land speed record, perhaps this type of trail should be avoided. Respectfully, sorry.
If you want to get off the road and rise on a 14 mile trail through urban as well as scenic this is it. Take a detour at Colt State Park in Bristol and ride along Narragansett Bay and the historical Coggleshall Museum. Also in Bristol , Warren or Barrington great restaurants and places for ice Cream or Del's lemonade. from Indian Point you can even make your way into Probidence n. Scenery is just wonderful. Saw a deer on the trail today in Bristol.
Trail is beautiful but showing serious signs of age. The approx 2 mile stretch between the 2 crossings of Rt 114 (in Barrington and Warren) are riddled with these inexplicable deep fissures that will wreck your bike and rattle your bones. Some as much as 4 inches wide, 1 to 2 inches deep.
A wonderful paved, smooth ride with varied scenery. I'm glad I travelled from Virginia to ride it
This trail is fantastic! Wonderfully maintained, great views for most of the trail. We started at the East Providence end and traveled all the way to Bristol. It was a Saturday, so the trail was a bit busy, but we still had a great time. Plenty of places to stop and enjoy the view! I would highly recommend this trail.
Started in Providence and rode down to Bristol and back. Very scenic , many nature areas on either side, easy flat riding.
I rode from Woonsocket to Bristol, starting on the East Bay bike path from the Providence bridge. The ride is very nice. Scenic. It was a beautiful day, and the trail had a good amount of people on it but manageable. There is a good number of intersections. Cars were eager to let you pass. There is a ice cream place in EP, and a Dels in Warren. Plenty of restaurants in Bristol. (I stopped at Del's to resupply on water, and filled water bottle with frozen lemonade. :-)
If you are looking to get a PR on avg time, this isn't for you. If you are looking to log some safe miles and enjoy the ride, it is perfect.
I visited this trail coming from Connecticut and it was worth my almost 2 hour ride to get here. Awesome trail and people were friendly.
My friend and I rode this mostly flat trail from Bristol to Providence roundtrip. We rode on a beautiful summer evening and there were very few people on the trail. The scenery is beautiful. Much of the trail goes along the water and through marshes. There's even a lighthouse. We saw several different animals and birds along the way. There are many street crossings; however, only a handful of them are at busy streets. There are also quite a few bumpy spots. This trail is a must-ride if you're in the area.
Great way to get into downtown Providence without having to drive. Nice and flat the whole way, and yummy ice cream and lemonade stops on the path for the way back out to Bristol.
Love this trail, that's is my favorite, easy to ride with a beautiful view.. I can't wait for spring.
We parked at the state park which is just about the middle of the trail. First day we headed north towards Providence. Views were amazing and there are plenty of "spots" to stop and get pictures or climb out on the rocks in the bay. You've got a lighthouse, views of Providence, sailboats etc. The path is asphalt, mainly flat, and about as safe as you can get. The bike path over the river is under construction so we took a detour and went north along the river, over the first bridge, and had lunch/explored at Brown University. The following day we headed south towards Bristol and were amazed that the views heading south were even more spectacular. Park your bike and walk out on the wood walkway the Audubon Society built or explore Colt Park. Heck, we got a lemon ice and chilled on a bench overlooking the bay. There is also a Carousel that people were talking about but I didn't see it although I really wasn't interested. This is a great day trip but don't try to do the whole trail in one day with kids as round trip is quite far. We stayed in Providence overnight and made two days out of it. Enjoy!!!!!
capejohn is a Rails to Trails supporter and a regular reviewer of rails to trails routes and the Sojourn tours.
Riding in New England is always a visual treat. Riding New England in the Autumn offers spectacular scenery. Bursts of color that are so bright and diverse that many travel from near and far to witness nature’s change of season. On a quiet still day, those of us on bikes or walking can also be part of the sounds of New England in the fall. Click the link below for the full story.
Our family enjoyed this path. Children aged 9,10 and 14.
Easy, mostly flat path. Nice views and neighborhoods.
There are quite a few stops but most of these stops don't experience a high volume of automobile traffic.
Eat lunch or grab a snack at the end of the course.
The site does have various starting points. For my family, a 15-mile ride was good. Not too much, not too little.
We began at Colt State park after fleeing the Washington Secondary Path (reviewing that one next), and began by riding about 5 miles one way and back.
Enjoy the ride!
Great ride. Get there earlier and beat the crowds
My husband and I went on this trail. There are a lot of stop signs but it's still a lovely place to ride.
Mostly flat, well-maintained trail; plenty of places to park and enter the trail at different points. Good directions for walkers vs. bikers that most people follow. Nice stretches along the Narragansett Bay toward the Riverside portion of the trail. Then through the towns of Barrington and Warren - over some tidal bridges. At end of trail in Bristol have a bite to eat at The Beehive restaurant.
My husband & I rode this bike path on Saturday, July 26, 2014. We were a little apprehensive about trying it given the previous bad reviews but decided to give it a shot. We were very glad we did; we had a great ride. Yes, there are many intersections, approximately 30, but the majority of them are at minor roads that access the houses along the bay, so we did not have to stop at them. At the intersections where we did stop the motorists were all courteous and stopped for the riders.
There were a lot of people using the path that day, both riders and walkers, but every was able to move along at their own pace and there was no problem passing people when needed.
Having places to get drinks along the way was nice and having rest rooms in several places was a great plus!
The scenery was very nice especially along the northern half of the route. Most of the path is shaded, which is nice on a hot and sunny summer day.
I would not recommend this path for families with small children riding bikes because of the intersections but if they stay to the northern half, from Providence to Barrington, they should be fine.
We will definitely ride this bike path again.
Traveled from Bullocks Road parking lot (adjacent to ice cream store) in Riverside to Bristol RI. Saw a deer, a young osprey who had left the nest within the hour (and had an audience), rabbit, and many birds. The scenery of the shoreline, boats and ocean was great. Bicycling over the wood bridges with the tide rushing in was enjoyable. I took in some valuable history of the area reading the posted signs along the bicycle path. Spoke to several new people who were all very nice. There were many very minor road crossings (to dead-ends), but everyone had a swale alerting the bicycler and stop signs; there were only three road crossing requiring a Walk signal. And mother nature let it all happen in very nice weather. We're going back for sure.
started at india pt and was on city streets in about 1 minute. construction and poorly marked,cant give it any stars at all.
It had been 20 years since I had been on a bike when friends suggested we go on a ride. They were kind to me and suggested this trail. It was a beautiful day so the path was a bit crowded, but it was great seeing so many families out spending time together. The views were beautiful and the path was clean.
My son and I did the trail from Colt State Park in Bristol to the I-195 bridge in East Providence on 8 July. After all the glowing reviews I expected a much better ride. While the scenery was fairly good there were too many urban road crossings to begin to count. Making a real stop at each crossing would have made the trip unbearable. The trail is poorly marked in East Providence. For riders visiting the area I would recommend the O'Neill path from Narragansett to West Kingston over the East Bay Trail.
Went with 9 riders from my Dive Club South Shore
Neptune's.We had a great time .WE all loved the
path .We stopped at a Del's Lemonade stand to have
lunch in Warren RI .The trail is flat except for the last mile or first mile at east Providence.Lots
of Birds singing down the entire trail.A great
Audubon wildlife education center along the path.
One of the best Trail in New England I have done.
My wife and I enjoyed this trail, plenty long with many views of the ocean, and smells ;-), and has lots of shaded areas along the way. It was a Sunday and very crowded so we were dodging people and other bikes coming and going down the trail. A couple of rough/bumpy (tree roots) spots but that didn't take away from the ride. Parking in E Providence was a problem, so get there early!
The views are as good as it gets. Trails go through interesting part of town, really easy access.
When the breeze is the head wind, you have to tough it out, but while doing it, you can see the interesting scenery while doing it.
I absolutely love the wood bridge sections of this trail.
This is our favorite blading trail. But for a few areas of frost heaves and soft patches, it runs care free for 13+ miles from East Providence to Bristol (the section from India Point isn't ready yet). Our thing is to skate south, stop for lunch in Bristol (many options) and ride the prevailing wind back in the afternoon.
This trail was one of the best rides I have ever done. The scenery is fantastic with minimal stops along the way. Roads are very smooth and trail is mostly flat the entire way through. If you end in Bristol it is a great place to stop by for some lunch to power yourself through the 14 miles it takes to get back to other end. Overall it was a pretty great experience and I can't wait to go back.
We rode this trail 9/29/13. What a ride! This was spectacular. We started in East Providence and went to Bristol, along the way stopping to see the sights. Plenty of places to rest. You have to take a slight turn off the trail and go to Colt Park. Great place for a picnic and watch the sail boats go up the bay. Warren has beautiful bridges. When you get to Bristol watch out for the clam shells. Gulls bring them up on the path to break them open. The end of the trail has a nice spot to sit and relax or get a bite to eat before your trip back.
My wife and I rode on this bike path sept. 6th 2013. I really do feel this bike path was very well planned out and constructed, there are plenty of parking lots in various areas along the way, do check out the carousel along the way off the path about 100 yards, scenery is wonderful.
This is the perfect rail trail and the one which I use as a benchmark to compare others. It has the right mix of sun and shade. The scenery is beautiful with vistas of bays and marinas. There are services along the way such as place to stop of ice cream, lemonade, etc. There are even a few bicycles shops in case you need something. The trails ends by a bay by Agave restaurant with outdoor seating overlooking a marina. The trails has access to Colt State park, where one could hang out, read a book and enjoy the scenery. Catch the smell of blooming honeysuckle along the route.
There are bridges and tunnels. Amazing how at the intersections the local drivers all stop and yield to the bikes. Yep, this is the perfect trail. Love it.
The heavy-handed patch job done about two years ago in the section between Bristol, RI and the traffic light in Warren has made this a high-risk area for inline skaters. An example of a solution that caused more problems by far than it solved. It's still soft after all these years. Ouch! Michael.
Despite what you may have heard this trail REALLY starts in East Providence at Bold Point. The access from India Point was always very poor. The trail over the bridge is currently closed and will be until Summer of 2014. Access from India Point should be much better once the bridge is redone. Leave this MULTI use path to the multi-users during peak season. Cyclists looking for a fast ride or brisk workout should look elsewhere. There are lots of great places for road cycling in the area.
I was in Newport for the weekend and decided to try the EBBP. The starting point in Bristol was only about 15 minutes from our hotel. It took me a little while to get used to the walkers and joggers being on the left and the bikers being on the right. This way seems to make more sense and appears to be safer for everyone. I rode all 14 miles from Bristol to East Providence. At the end of the path there was a sign that said the path continued on the streets but after trying three different streets and not seeing any more signs i decided to turn around and head back to Bristol. A great path (very flat) with views of the water, a nice view of the Providence skyline and quite a few fisherman along the way.
My wife and I rode the trail on Sunday, Sept 9th from Bristol to Providence. It was a somewhat overcast day and little or no wind. We had planned to catch the bus with our bikes to Providence and ride back, but as we were unloading the bike from the rack on our van, the bus went by. We then decided to ride the trail and catch the bus back. Our biggest complain was that the information on Traillink said the trail terminated or started in India Point Park and it was 14 miles. It is further than 14 miles and it was difficult to find the way via the streets to that trail head. Mainly from the parking along Hwy 114 and Independence Park to the US 1 bridge. We had to ask several local bikers for directions. A few simple signs with arrows would be great.
This bike path is very nice, mostly flat. Nice views. But.... very few bikers, including the ones who think they are Lance, have no manners. I lost count on how many people zoomed by me without letting me know they were comming. I have found this to be a R.I. thing. Someday someone is going to get hurt.
This path is spectacular, and it deserves its reputation as one of the premier bike paths of New England. I do have some suggestions that will help you enjoy your ride even more. (1) If you are an inexperienced rider, check weather dot com to get a forecast of the wind. A substantial ride requires a headwind going out, a tailwind coming back. As you are near Narragansett Bay all the time, winds can be strong. Look for a SE wind if you start in the north; NW wind if you start in the south. (2) Do NOT start your trip from India Point Park, especially if you are a beginner or have children with you. Listed as the northern end, it requires finding the far-from-obvious ramp up to the I-195 bridge (it’s on the other side of the Wyndam Garden), pedaling across a very narrow catwalk, and a short ride through a seedy part of East Providence. You will enjoy your trip more if you drive to Veteran’s Memorial Parkway in East Providence and parking at one of the two free lots next to the path. (Mapquest #73 on that street.) I would guess these lots will be full on nice weekends. But do visit India Point park later; it is very nice. (3) Pedestrians are required to walk on the left. This is helpful for them, but hard to get used to. Oncoming bikers will swing into your lane to get around them, forcing you to stop or go onto the grass, even though they have the blocked route. This happened to me three times on one trip. On the other hand, drivers on the cross streets are amazingly cordial. (4) There is a very nice restaurant (Quito’s) at the far end of the park when you arrive in Bristol. Eating possibilities are not obvious at the northern end. Enjoy your ride!
This was my first time on this trail. I started at the India Park end as it was a half hour closer for me. I would not do that again. It is not very nice there. Suggest starting on the Bristol side.
My wife and I rode this trail on Columbus Day weekend 2011. The weather was perfect and so is this trail. Starting out at Colts neck state park and heading north to Providence, the views were beautiful. Colts park is a must to ride around in. As you ride all around the park you are surrounded by water and nice farm land. This ride all around added about 5.5 miles to the ride. Well worth the energy. The entire trail is very easy to follow with very little auto traffic intersections. Many places to stop along the way for snacks or a nice lunch. Bring your own food and stop any where along the way to enjoy the scenery. When we got to India Point we continued over the bridge and into town for a nice lunch at many of the eateries in town. Simple food,too the gourmet restaurants are all along the street, many places to choose from. Riding back to Colts park, we continued into the town of Bristol and discovered many good places to dine right along the waters edge. This trail was by far one of our best trails and quickly became a favorite of ours. We are all ready planning next years date. This entire area of Rhode Island is great! Newport, Providence and a bike ride on Block Island made for a spectacular weekend. It’s a must on your list of trails.
Ride a trail….write a review!!
My wife and I rode this trail for the first time last weekend. It's a great trail. Wasn't too crowded for a Saturday. Beautiful views along the harbor, and audubon society.
We stopped for a great lunch at Agave in Bristol. Overlooks the harbor. Nice sandwiches.
We only rode half the trail, but I'm looking forward to doing the entire trail next time.
My wife and I biked the trail Columbus day weekend. We started in Bristol and and headed north to South Providence. This is an absolutely beautiful trail with a mix of scenery from riding along the water, marshes and wooded areas. There were plenty of places to stop, so you can grab a bite to eat, cold drink or ice cream. It's a perfect way to spend the day getting a little exercise, fresh air and exploring quintessential New England towns.
What a gem for RI and outdoors enthusiasts.
I love bicycling the entire length of this trail on my annual pilgrimmage back to Porvidence and running sections too. (East Providence Cycle is a premier store for renting a bike if needed).
Some other highlights along the trail are lunch in Bristol with a waterfront view, and a stop at the Audubon in Bristol to observe birds, frogs and turtles.
Thank God, persistence prevailed over the NIBY's to bring this path to frution almost 20 years ago!
Placques on the path and/ or highlights of points of interest (Powham light) on the downloadable maps from traillink.com would be a plus.
formerly from Riverside, RI
The East Bay Trail is both scenic and action filled! Trail is in great shape and has so much diversity......from peaceful forests to beatiful water and wildlife views, to parks and busy intersections that offer many food and beverage options.
Be aware that this is a busy trail with many intersections, walkers, rollarbladers, and other bicycles.....and to get to a Parking Area you have to deal with the Providence traffic & construction projects.
This trail is a must ride however, and worth the trip!
Today my cousin and I went on the beautiful East Bay Bike Path. Even though it was a very hot day in August, it was a wonderful ride. It was incredibly smooth and flat and the scenery, as we drove along Narragansett Bay, was awesome.
We started out at Haines Memorial State Park and drove south to Bristol, which was enjoyable with its shops, restaurants and shaded parks. Along the way we past an Audubon center and admired the profusion of wildflowers in the meadow. We then saw a blue heron in a tree by the water.
The trip was a total of 18 miles, and along with some Dell’s lemonade, it was a great day.
The EBBP is practically in my back yard, and I have little incentive to go elsewhere. It's a beautiful and long (14-mile) trail. You can make a short trip of it by starting at any number of places. There are lots of amenities, bathrooms, and food stops along the way.
See my Flickr set of EBBP photos:
After reading about this trail for the past couple of years the timing was right today to finally give it a try. WOW!!! I can't say enough great things about it. It is well maintained and the scenery is beautiful. There were a lot of people also enjoying the path today, but everyone is courteous and alerts if they are passing or allows others to pass. A perfect day and a great path!!!
"This is a wonderful trail. One thing to note is; on the north end of the trail you cannot park by exit 3,Gano st., and cross the bridge. The bridge is under construction and the pedestrian bridge is closed. You have to go to the next exit on rt.195, exit 4, and start the trail there. I highly recommend this trail though. It's beautiful and very easy riding. Almost as nice as the ones on the Cape."
"This trail has everything. Salt water marshes, views of the bay, woodlands, an Audobon Sanctuary, quaint towns and parks. Great birdwatching. We saw Cormorants, Swans, Larks, Catbirds and Purple Martins to name a few. Parked in E. Providence. Very level after the first big hill. Reward yourself with a seafood dinner at the end in Bristol. Wear sunscreen. Restrooms in the middle in the park. "
"Several weeks ago, I traveled from Newington, CT to East Providence to explore the East Bay Bicycle Path, a trail that had been recommended to me by a resident of Block Island, actually!
It was easy to find, directly over the bridge to East Providence. There were many spots to park along the trail. Except for a fairly long downgrade when you begin the trail, which brings you to water level, the trail is relatively flat, and there are plenty of places to stop and get a cold drink or an ice cream along the way.
I road 28 miles that day - it was a recent record for me - I highly recommend it, for the majority of the ride, you have water adjacent to you. Great ride on a beautiful summer day!"
"This is one of the best rail trails my wife and I have ridden in 29 states. Like another reviewer, we also had trouble finding the trail in Bristol. We went about a mile north of the trail's southern end and parked in an ample trail parking lot near the entrance to Colt State Park. From Newport, follow highway 114 up through Bristol to the Colt SP entrance. Although it was a large lot, it was full when we got back from our Saturday morning ride. The other parking symbols shown on the website map don't help very much in actually locating parking. The instructions for parking at the north end of the trail are exactly on, so use them if arriving from the north.
This trail has excellent views of the bay, pleasant woodland stretches, small town and big city views. The superb asphalt trail is well marked with mile and 1/2 mile markers the entire distance. The narrow I-195 bridge crossing is an adventure, but worth the trip. The only downside to the trail is the lack of sanitary facilities. The only ones we saw were at about mile seven, so plan ahead. Overall, this trail rates a 10."
"Monday, Sept. 5, was a beautiful day to break in my new bike on the East Bay Path. Great views, nice wooded areas. I accessed the trail at Independence Park off Route 114 in Bristol, and it took a bit of effort to locate the park. The TrailLink access directions are for starting in East Providence, not Bristol."
"It should be noted that it is possible to enjoy a one-way ride on the 14.5 milr East Bay Bike Path by using the RI Public Transit Authority's ""Rack and Ride"" bike racks. Take Bus route #60 (Providence-Newport, which has about 40 trips per weekday each way, $1.25 including bike) from Kennedy Plaza in Providence to downtown Bristol where the path begins. It is about 16 miles back to the Plaza. For the last stretch, after coming over the I-195 bridge when the offical bike path ends, it is possible to wind thru India Point Park at the head of the Bay, cross under the highway and then follow the east bank of the Providence River back. This makes a very pleasant ride."
"Very scenic, great ride! Not as crowded as the Minute Man.
This trail is not to missed. Beautiful views of the bay and salt marshes. Passes through several state parks. Easy paved trail with many places to stop and snack. Nice going Rhode Island!
"I love this trail. One end stops at a major park and the park is on the ocean. The path also goes into a cute historic section of Rhode Island. There are restaurants on the trail and the prices are reasonable. Also, there are bike shops along the trail for repairs or rentals. You can take a side trip off the trail, perhaps 1/4 mile away, to Carousel Park. I like the view. It's mainly flat so you don't have to be a serious cyclist."
My friends and I skated the whole trail back and forth. We all thought it was wonderful. We're very happy that they keep this trail in such good shape.
"I drove down from Maine to ride the trail; it's very impressive. The asphalt surface is very smooth and, unlike an earlier review, it wasn't crowded. This is a very fine and unique Rail-Trail, right next to the ocean, with fine views of the Providence skyline. Outstanding."
"Bring you own water, or some money. I only found one drinking fountain in the nine miles if this trail I covered. There are plenty of places to stop and BUY water (or pop, ice cream, etc.) Some great views: Providence, a lighthouse, swans, and other wildlife. This trail can be difficult for in-line skating. I do NOT recommend crossing the Washington bridge. I didn't make it all the way to Bristol. There were at least three points on the trail where I nearly fell, due to bumps (I never fall). The parking lots were over-full on this Labor Day Sunday."
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