William C. O'Neill Bike Path

Rhode Island

31 Reviews

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William C. O'Neill Bike Path Facts

States: Rhode Island
Counties: Washington
Length: 7.2 miles
Trail end points: West Kingston Station at Railroad Ave & Kingstown Rd (West Kingston) and Mumford Rd & Riverside Dr (Narragansett)
Trail surfaces: Asphalt
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6017744

William C. O'Neill Bike Path Description

Imagine a wealthy 19th-century textile mill owner building an 8-mile railroad to get coal to his plant or products to market, and then adding accommodations to carry vacationers to beach resorts or voyagers to steamships: that’s the story of the short-line railroad that later became the William C. O’Neill Bike Path. At just over 7 miles, it runs from Amtrak’s West Kingston Station to within about a mile of its original destination in the town of Narragansett Pier.

The paved rail-trail in southern Rhode Island is named for the late senator who spearheaded development of the trail, previously known as the South County Bike Path. (Washington County is locally known as South County.) It follows the railbed of the Narragansett Pier Railroad, opened in 1876 by a man who owned mills in Wakefield and Peace Dale. In 1921, rail buses—actual buses adapted to ride the rails—replaced the passenger cars. Locals affectionately called these unique buses Micky Dinks after two of the drivers. Passenger service ended in 1952, though freight service continued for an-other 25-plus years. The first section of the rail-trail opened in 2000.

A good place to start is the Amtrak station in the West Kingston community. Built by the New York, Providence and Boston Railroad in 1874, the station was shared with the Narragansett Pier Railroad to transfer passengers heading to the beaches. You’ll head south on the trail under a dense canopy of trees. Although you won’t be able to see it from the pathway, the University of Rhode Island is nearby; as you approach your first mile on the trail, you will reach a connecting trail that travels 2.1 miles to the campus.

This wooded area fringes the Great Swamp Wildlife Management Area, where, particularly in the spring and fall, you’ll encounter flocks of migratory birds. Also in the woods is the Tefft Historical Park, where archaeological sites date from early Narragansett tribal occupation through Colonial settlements. At about mile 4, you’ll enter the Tri-Pond Park, where you’ll find ponds, streams, nature trails, and a nature center.

Emerging from the woods in Peace Dale (named for the railroad builder’s mother), the trail takes Railroad Street for 0.2 mile. About midway on the left sits the renovated train depot, now a business. Crossing Church Street, you return to the trail. In 0.7 mile, you cross Main Street in Wakefield and see a replica train station. Arriving at the commercial center on Kingstown Road, the trail follows MacArthur Boulevard for 0.2 mile, then veers right back onto the trail.

The trail ends at Mumford Road, but across the street is a developing new section that’s scheduled to open in late 2018 or early 2019. It will travel behind Narragansett Elementary School and end at the parking lot for the Narragansett Community Center. From here, another future segment will complete the journey to Narragansett Town Beach on the former right-of-way of Narragansett Pier Railroad’s main rival, the Sea View Railroad.

Parking and Trail Access

The West Kingston Station is an active stop on Amtrak's Northeast line between Boston and Washington, D.C. Rhode Island Public Transportation Authority (RIPTA) buses also serve the station.

For those driving, parking is available at a number of locations along the trail. View the TrailLink map for all options and detailed directions.

William C. O'Neill Bike Path Reviews

Lovely well managed trail

Great ride on a beautiful Saturday mid-June. However, all parking was taken at the Amtrak station area and even at the "Additional Parking" lot. On the other hand there was plenty of parking around the URI campus and the URI bike trail (2 Miles) connects with the O'Neill. The O'Neill trail is mostly shaded, in excellent shape and surprisingly not that crowded. There's numerous road crossings but cars were typically very accommodating to stop. At trails end we went another mile into Narragansett to check out the town and beach scene. All in all a very enjoyable afternoon.

Beautiful and Shaded

Gorgeous and very well kept trail. Very shady! We started at the Amtrak Station. Beautiful ride all the way to the end. Took the left at the end down to The Towers and Narragansett Beach. We had wonderful lunch at the Coast Guard House. Great view! Helps to have a reservation but we were able to get in.

Unfortunately encountered multiple disturbing incidents here

Though the trail itself is ok, there are elements of crowd that bike and frequent this path that made us never want to visit here again as a family, from a bicycling safety, child safety, and family safety stance.

Last time we went as a family, we were safely bicycling along just past that univ. of rhode island side where there is an outlying farm and we encountered several people who either did not give proper way to others or just sped along carelessly, but the terrifying part that jolted us into never wanting to visit again was: A guy, probably in his late 60's, grey beard, and wearing a Stedman's Bike Shop t-shirt came speeding along, probably 25mph, on his road bike and heading towards us and some walkers (though we were in the right lane), and he came head on, suddenly squealing his brakes in our faces and yelled at our child and my spouse, "What are you doin!!! What the hell are you doin'!!!" Making us feel like our slow riding and safe riding got in the way of his clear path to the rushing high of speed, speed, speed, the guy grunted through us and other walkers and shockingly, simply sprinted off. All we could think was just nasty and that the guy either runs the bike shop or is a shop team rider or who knows what and what a gross shop-rider sham of a partnership risking others' safety and peace of mind.

So we proceed on a bit and then head back with a gross feeling about the whole family bicycling experience here. I take a couple of weeks weeks off and then decide to visit the path again just with our child this time. We bicycle along up before that wakefield center and encounter two guys drunk and spewing violent cussing language out of their mouths. Had to call the police this time because we were afraid the guys would get violent on us as they occupied a part of the pathway directly in front of us. No thanks rhode island, for bicycling safety, family safety, and child safety. Children are impressionable and they, more than adults, retain indelible memories of such horrors, lifelong.

Great bike ride

Great 14 mile round trip bike ride from the train station. Beautiful scenery with bridges, water and lines with trees. Train station has a nice bathroom and cool inside - historic, has a water fountain and a bathroom.


A beauty!

From URI through the quaint village of Wakefield on to beach-scene in Narragansett, well kept and smooth. Absolutely delightful !

Absolutely beautiful but not inline skate friendly, lots of debris on the path.Would come back here for biking and walking!

Absolutely beautiful but not inline skate friendly, lots of debris on the path.Would come back here for biking and walking!

great ride

Relatively flat, beautiful scenery

Fun, easy ride to beach

Started at train station. Very scenic ride. Many people on trail - walkers and bikes. Trail is wide and no congestion on a Friday. Suspect heavy traffic on weekends. Side spur to URI is labeled and paved. Did not explore. At end of trail took left turn after town building which brings you out into another recreation area. From there rode sidewalks on side streets to beach. Plenty of options to sightsee . Also several neat places to stop for food on trail and at beach.

wonderful trail

We started this trail from the Narragansett side and on the way back we took a nice ride through the URI campus. Looks like a brand new path. Beautiful. It was 7 miles one-way, but with the URI trail, we added about 4 more miles. We ended with an 18.6 mile ride in about 2 hours. The path was in great shape!

Great ride!

Rolled in from CT to check this out and am glad we did! Super easy ride with minimal elevation changes and beautiful scenery. Missed the parking at the train station but eventually figured it out. Be sure to head east after the trail ends at Mumford St. to reach Narragansett Bay and the Towers. Spectacular sight!

beautifully maintained

Easy to ride, shaded, lined, only 7 miles

Great ride, Great shape, Much to do

My wife and I live this ride. It’s easy to do on our 7-speed cruiser and there is much to do on the trip. Pack a lunch and picnic in Fagan Park, enjoy the paved shaded path from the Kingston Train Station and don’t forget to stop at Brickley’s for some homemade ice cream! There are also well kept public restrooms right before RT 1A in Wakefield. Great ride in great shape.


As I am not from RI, and was not familiar with the roads in that area, I initially had a hard time finding this trail. When locating trails I use a Garmin Navigation System for directions. The listed address of "Railroad Ave" at the Amtrak trailhead didn't seem to come up in my Garmin's database. If using a GPS navigation system, search on "Kingston Station", or "Amtrak Kingston" instead.

Smooth ride, fun trail

I found this trail to be very easy and smooth. No bumps along the way. It’s got a few disconnects but nothing major. Hilly at times which gives you a work out. It would be awesome if it went all the way to the ocean! We parked at the train station which was crowded on a Sunday late morning.

The wife and I are getting back into biking and this trail is great for the beginner/novice. There are slight inclines which reminded us on why we are taking it slow to get back into shape for more challenging trails as the weather improves.

The wife and I are getting back into biking and this trail is great for the beginner/novice. There are slight inclines which reminded us on why we are taking it slow to get back into shape for more challenging trails as the weather improves.

Love at first ride!

I just road my beach curser down this trail yesterday and it was GREAT! Hardly any hills at all, which is great when you only have a one speed bike. The views were beautiful as well. Very nicely shaded. I didn't make it all the way down to the beach, but I plan on going back Thursday to make a day trip out of it!

Beautiful Forest Pond Ocean Trail!

This is our go to trail! Well maintained asphalt trail... The forest provides shade in summer, beautiful color in spring and autumn! The ponds provide nature stops for us nature nerds and children to see water birds, basking turtles, listen out for frogs and one year we found a snapping turtle nest! There are a few beautiful rest stops to sit and enjoy the fern under growth of forest! Occasionally we share the trail with grazing deer! Then there are the great coffee shop goodies or all the way to our amazing sea coast!!! Great parking with toilets at the train station! What's not to love!!! We need more of these well maintained very gentle sloping bike trails for our communities to enjoy!!!! Thank you Rhode Island for making this a reality!

1st Time Always the Best !!!

Can't Complain @ All !!! This 7.4 Mile, Very SMOOTHLY Paved Trail Was a Real Pleasure To Bike on June 29,2016 !! 1st Timers To This Trail, It Impressed Us Very Much !!! We Own E-Bikes SOOO The Inclines Were Barely Noticable & The Sites Along the Way We're Very Rural & Eye Candy To Us !! A Few Bugs Along Where the Swamp is But That's Expected...
We Continued Our Ride To The Narragansett Beach By Taking a Left Where Mumford Rd Meets Rt 1A in Narragansett. Stay On The Wide Sidewalk on The Left Side of the Road on Rt 1A & You'll Feel Safer For the .6 Miles To The Beach !! All Told, We Biked 18.1 Miles From The Kingston Train Depot All The Way to The Narragansett Pier & Back Again !! We Stopped @ Dunkin Doughnuts in Narragansett For a Great Cup of Joe Before Heading Back,...lol

My Favourite RI trail

This is my favourite RI trail for both walking and cycling. It has a 'rural' feel to much, but not all of the route, passes through some wetlands, some woods and at the eastern end suburban Wakefield--something for everybody and the BEST thing is that the local users seem to get that all dogs need to be leashed and controlled unlike so many other places where dog owners think that they own the trails and forget that for many of us pedestrians and cyclists the last thing we want to see anywhere is their dogs.
There are a few bugs at some times during the day in summer near the wetlands portions but, well, it's a wetland, so expect that. I really like the lengthy upgrade that starts just past the wetland as you head eastward towards the Wakefield portion of the trail--it is definitely not a hill but it's a nice place where one can push the bike a little bit, and since the trail is usually not busy when I am on it I can push it on the bike and not be rude to pedestrians.

Great Trail

I ride this trail regularly in the summer months and it is a great ride. Parking at the West Kingston train station trail head is often full. The new trail head in Narragansett Pier ends right near Sprague Field and about 1/2 mile from Narragansett Town Beach. There is plenty of parking at Sprague Field. You can combine this trail with a ride along the Ocean Road between the Pier and Pt. Judith Lighthouse to have great ocean views and a ~28 mile round trip.


They ended this bike path 500 feet from a town park.

New tunnel under Route 1

We rode this trail in July and after watching several bikers cross Rt. 108, we followed them and were very surprised to discover a tunnel under Rt. 1.

Here is part of a press release dated 7-27-11 from the RI DOT web site:
"The new 0.8-mile path connects to the existing bike path which RIDOT built in the late 1990s and early 2000s from Kingston Station off Route 138 in West Kingston to Route 108 opposite MacArthur Boulevard in Wakefield. The new segment will bring riders into Narragansett, ending at Mumford Road. The entire path is 7.8 miles long, and stands as the fourth-longest bike path in Rhode Island. "

"The new bike path includes 0.5 miles of off-road bikeway, resurfacing of 0.3 miles of MacArthur Boulevard (which carries the path from Route 108 to the off-road segment), a lighting system at the tunnel passing underneath Route 1 and reconstruction of a parking lot on Main Street at Robinson Street in Wakefield. The path also provides options for those traveling to the Narragansett shoreline by bike, as it bypasses the busy commercial corridors in Wakefield and the Dillon Rotary in Narragansett."

Nice ride

We tried this bike path for the 1st time today and enjoyed it immensely. They are working on the last leg of the trail and it should be finished by the summer. The only word of warning I would give is that if you begin from the train station the path is mostly down hill and makes for a difficult time on the way back. We plan to begin from the other end of the path so that the journey back is on the down hill.

Pleasant, well kept bike path

We biked on this path yesterday for the first time. The beginning starts at the Amtrack station in South Kingston. Parking is tight on weekends, as many train and bus riders use the parking lot too. The path hardtop is in excellent condition, it is well marked and well kept. Good scenic visuals. I can't wait until they finish the last two miles that will connect this to the oceanfront on the bay. An A+ bike path.

south county bike path

great path for roller-blading. Trail is flat, and very green. be advised, path goes through great swamp management area (mosquitos come out in force at sunset) Overall 8/10

First Trail

I am a new biker, and this is the first trail I road. What a beautiful trail, a path cut through nature. I hope to try many more trails. gerryk

What a rail trail should be

A beautiful ride that starts out at a Amtrak station and then takes you through some of the best scenery in RI. The bridge over Mink Brook is worth stopping to check out. As you progress further you end up in the village of Wakefield. A nice trail with a little bit of everything on it.

now longer

"Rode the Rail Trail yesterday
9-12-05. it now is 6 miles long and extends almost to Rt.1. Lots of road crossings and one small section on street, but the area thru Great swamp were great and I saw a deer crossing here. Lots of people enjoying the great weather and this trail."

Construction complete to Rt. 108

Construction is now complete to Route 108 for a total of 5.5 great miles from the Kingston train station!

Great Running Trail

I've been running this trail during my lunch hour for the past three years. This is a perfect trail for running and roller blading. The new addition currently under construction from Peace Dale to Narragansett will add a unique link to the Narragansett boardwalk along the ocean front.

There is plenty of wildlfe along this trail. It's a great place to go on weekends with family -- just park at the elementary school off Curtis Corner Trail Road or at the train station just off route 108 in Kingston. Many other small trails can be found off the main path.

Excellent Rail Trail

"This trail begins at the Kingston Amtrak Train Station and heads towards Narragansett Bay. The existing trail is only 3.5 miles long but is being expanded.

The trail offers something for everyone; it can be used for both recreation and commuting to the Amtrak Station. The trail is handicapped accessible and good for cyclists, roller-bladders, and people on foot.

There are quite a few road crossings; most are well marked and all seem to be safe.

The trail has a good mix of shaded and sunny areas. There are a number of hills. Since the path is constructed from an old rail line, the hills are not to bad – in fact; they add a good cardiovascular workout to your ride.

There are a number of places to rest along the trails – various civic groups have donated park benches. There is also a small park area adjacent to the trail with a basketball court and playground equipment.

One particularly interesting section is where the path cuts through the Great Swamp Wild Life Refuge. Bring your binoculars for great views of egrets and herons.

Restrooms are available in the train station.

All in all, this is an excellent trail and will no doubt get better as it is extended. "

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