Roger Williams established a temporary trading post in the Wickford area in 1637, and four years later, Richard Smith built a trading post there as well, on land he acquired from the Narragansetts. He later occupied the building, known as Smith's Castle, with his family. It was burned during King Philip's War, and later rebuilt and expanded as a plantation. Today, Smith's Castle is owned by the Cocumscussoc Association and is open to the public. It serves as an example of the type of plantation house and grounds that existed along the Rhode Island shore, from Wickford to Westerly, in the 18th century.
24. Walmsley Lane
Located at the end of Walmsley Lane off Tower Hill Road/Route 1, this mostly wooded 5-acre parcel provides limited access to the Narrow River as well as access to the adjacent URI boat house. Access to this area is off a primitive dirt road with limited on-road parking. The primary use of this area is for the launching of kayaks, canoes, and other small, non-motorized watercraft. It also provides a unique opportunity to enjoy the scenic beauty of the Narrow River and its abundant wildlife.
25. Gilbert Stuart Birthplace
Located at the head of the tidal Narrow River on Gilbert Stuart Road, off Route 1A, this site is an operating 18th-century snuff mill, the first in America with a waterwheel. In early spring, herring swim up the Narrow River from the sea past the mill and into Carr Pond to spawn. Limited on-site parking is available. Open seasonally. Fee.
Picnic tables/benches, wildlife observation, trash receptacles
26. Chafee Nature Preserve
Located off Boston Neck Road, the Chafee Nature Preserve, commonly referred to as Rome Point, consists of 230 acres of state-owned land traversed by a series of trails leading to Narragansett Bay. The town of North Kingstown holds a conservation easement over the land. The preserve is often host to harbor seals, who haul out on rocks in the water during winter months. There are also several archaeological and historic resources throughout the site. There is a fee for special group tours of the site (contact RIDEM). Parking is available.
27. Bissel Cove
Located at the end of Worsley Avenue, this site allows users the opportunity to access Bissel Cove and Narragansett Bay by foot, bicycle, or boat. Navigation is difficult here because of the rocks close to shore. Otherwise, this is a quiet area offering a great location for canoeing, kayaking, and birding. Shellfishing on shore is prohibited. No parking is available.
28. North Kingstown Town Beach
Located at the end of Beach Street, this is a pleasant place to picnic, to walk on the beach, or to swim in the roped-off area in the Bay. The sandy beach is long and narrow and backed by a 3-foot-high bulkhead. Just behind the beach is a large grassy area shaded by tall trees, with picnic tables, grills, and playground equipment. Across the street are the North Kingstown Senior Center, the Cold Spring Community Center, and the Wickford Art Association. During the summer, daytime parking is restricted to town residents.
Handicap access, concessions, fishing, toilets, trash receptacles
29. Wickford Municipal Wharf
At the end of historic Main Street from Brown and West Main streets, this municipal wharf is situated among other commercial piers and hosts both commercial fishing and recreational boats. It is a pleasant place to park and watch the activity of Wickford Harbor. There are also recreational fishing opportunities. There is no public launching facility here.
Handicap access, picnic tables/benches, toilets, trash receptacles
30. Wickford Municipal Dock
This site is located off Brown Street along the shoreline adjacent to the municipal parking lot. The town maintains 160 feet of transient docking facilities. A ramp leads from the waterfront park to the docks. A waterfront walkway parallels the shoreline and offers a great opportunity to enjoy the panorama of an active harbor.
31. Pleasant Street
This site is located at the end of Pleasant Street, off Main Street. The right-of-way is situated between two privately owned establishments, Wickford Yacht Club and Pleasant Street Wharf. It is possible to launch small boats from this site. Limited parking is available.
32. Wilson Park
This town-owned park on West Main Street in Wickford contains a boat ramp, sports fields, basketball and tennis courts, a playground, and a short recreational path that winds around Mill Cove. Parking for trailered vehicles is available at the boat ramp at the end of Intrepid Drive.
Dock, picnic tables/benches, wildlife observation, trash receptacles
33. Compass Rose Beach
Located off Roger Williams Way in the Quonset-Davisville Port and Commerce Park, this area consists of an 800-linear-foot sandy beach owned by the R.I. Department of Transportation, leased by the R.I. Airport Corporation, and managed by the R.I. Economic Development Corporation. While only beach launches are allowed, the site is frequently utilized to launch small watercraft. In the summer, Compass Rose Beach is host to several races and other marine-related recreational activities. Parking is available.
Swimming, fishing, hiking/walking
34. Allen Harbor Complex
Within the Quonset Point Industrial Park, Allen Harbor is a well-protected harbor and an ideal site for boaters. Many public amenities are offered at the town marina, including plenty of parking, bathrooms, and picnic benches. There is a concrete boat ramp available for a small entry fee. Parking is available.
Dock, trash receptacles
Silver Spring Lake
Purchased in the 1950s as part of the Federal Sportfish Restoration Program, Silver Spring Lake is managed by R.I. DEM, Division of Fish, Wildlife, and Estuarine Resources as a public fishing area. The lake is routinely stocked with trout, making angling rewarding. Canoeing and boating are allowed, but boats are restricted to electric motors only. A dock provides access for the handicapped. In addition to good fishing, this site shows the transition of freshwater pond habitatsfrom freshwater marsh to semi-bog habitat.
For more information, contact R. I. DEM, Division of Fish, Wildlife, and Estuarine Resources, (401) 222-3075.
Take Rte. 4 south into North Kingstown. Turn right off Rte. 4 into picnic area 0.5 mile past intersection with Allenton Rd. This site is also accessible farther south. Continue on Rte. 4 south until it merges with Rte. 1. At first street (Silver Spring Rd.), turn right. Fishing pier is located there.
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