Prior to the colonial settlement of Warwick, the land was occupied by the Cowesett, Shawomet, and Pawtuxet tribes, all members of the larger Narragansett Indian tribe. The Narragansetts traveled seasonally in the area, taking advantage of the rich natural resources of the Bay in the summer and upland resources in the winter. Samuel Gorton purchased Warwick from the Narragansetts, and the land was cleared for farms.
Warwick is a particularly rich area for studying the prehistoric people of southern New England. In the 1950s, several sites near Apponaug Cove in Warwick were excavated. Evidence of the people who settled there dates back 2,100 years. Prehistoric quahog shells and deer bones serve as evidence for the Narragansetts' hunting and gathering lifestyle.
1. Potowomut Neck
Several rights-of-way run from Ives Road to Greenwich Bay. Located in a very quiet residential neighborhood, these sites are generally footpaths situated between private homes, offering no parking. Sandy Point Beach is located at the end of Ives Road, where there are approximately 12 parking spaces. Another alternative for the runner, bicyclist, or walker would be to park in Goddard State Park (about three miles away) before going to the area. Potowomut Neck offers many scenic vistas of Greenwich and Narragansett bays and the head of the Potowomut River. The rights-of-way located in this area are: Bradford Avenue, Elkins Avenue, Charlotte Drive and Sidney Avenue intersection, Charlotte Drive and Robert Avenue boat ramp, Charlotte Drive and Collins Avenue intersection, Charlotte Drive and Hopkins Avenue intersection, Beachwood Drive, Ives Road end, and Beachwood Drive and Baycliff Drive intersection.
2. Goddard State Park
Located on Ives Road, off Forge Road, this year-round facility is a wonderful park to escape to in the summer for swimming, in the fall for hiking/walking the trails, horseback riding, and observing the changing leaves, and in the winter for cross-country skiing. Situated on Greenwich Bay, the facility offers a number of activities. There is a public boat launch ramp (high tide only) and a fishing area with plenty of parking for trailered vehicles at the west end of the park, a public golf course, an equestrian park and trails, ball fields, a popular swimming beach, rest-rooms, and many picnic areas. There is also a concrete walk, extending the length of the beach, that is handicap accessible and includes benches and small gazebos providing shade from the sun. Special events, such as summer concert series, are offered at the park's performing arts center. Ample on-site parking is available.
Wildlife observation, dock, trash receptacles
10. Chepiwanoxet Island
Though called Chepiwanoxet Island, this site is actually a peninsula located on the western shore of Greenwich Bay, halfway between Greenwich Cove and Apponaug Cove. Access to this 10-acre parcel, purchased by the city with help from the Champlin Foundation and The Nature Conservancy, is via Alger Road. The site is unimproved and offers sweeping views of Greenwich Bay proper. Parking is available.
11. Masthead Drive
One block east of Post Road, this interesting area has a shipyard, marinas, restaurants, marine retail shops, and a scenic waterfront walk along Greenwich Bay. There is a small gravel path in front of one of the restaurants overlooking the marina, with a large picnic table available for picnickers who want to observe the activities of the marina and shipyard. On the south side of the marina, a rock jetty offers some protection from the waves and a good spot for rod-and-reel fishing. Plenty of parking is available.
CRMC ROW#: J-37
Handicap access, dock, toilets, trash receptacles
12. Arnold's Neck Park
This site is a nice area for picnics and for observing the hawks, geese, and ducks in the fringing marsh across the cove. Parking is available for approximately 60 cars and trailers. There are picnic tables, a municipal dock, and a restaurant nearby.
Handicap access, trash receptacles
13. Ray's Bait
Ray's Bait & Tackle owns this boat ramp on Arnold's Neck Drive, located off Route 1 and next to the bait shop. Parking is available. Fee.
Dock, trash receptacles
14. Apponaug Cove
This is a well-protected cove located east of Post Road and east of the railroad track, in the northwestern part of Greenwich Bay. One of the town boat ramps is located here. The cove is busy with recreational and commercial boats, fishing boats, and sailboats. The waterfront has private and public docking facilities. Public docks and parking are located along the western side of the cove.
Picnicking, wildlife observation, trash receptacles
15. Nausauket Road
This public access site, located at the southerly end of Nausauket Road, provides views from the northwest corner of Greenwich Bay. Parking is prohibited.
CRMC ROW#: J-24
16. Sylvia Drive
This right-of-way is a 200-foot grassy path down a gradual slope to a sandy beach on Greenwich Bay. It is a great place to take a walk on the beach.
CRMC ROW#: J-9
17. Warwick City Park
Located on Long Street, off West Shore Road (Route 117) about one-half mile east of Apponaug, this large city facility has much to offer, from basketball, tennis, and ball playing to secluded nature walks, a beach, and playgrounds. This is an excellent facility for the handicapped and those with bikes or strollers because there are benches and a boardwalk extending the length of the beach along Brush Neck Cove. The wetland areas at the ends of the beach are ideally suited for observing shore birds and other coastal wildlife. There are also many miles of trails for hiking/walking, running, or bicycling. There is a nominal entrance fee to the waterfront in the summer. Parking is available.
Swimming, fishing, historic interest, toilets, trash receptacles
18. Seaview Beach
This site is located at the west end of Suburban Parkway, off Oakland Beach Avenue, across Brush Neck Cove from City Park and adjacent to the tidal channel. Although this site is not well maintained, it is a popular local spot for soft-shell clam digging. Swimming is not advised because there are no lifeguards on duty and there are strong currents in this area. On-site parking is available behind the beach.
Fishing, trash receptacles
19. Oakland Beach
At the southern end of Oakland Beach Avenue, off Route 117 East, is a wide, sandy municipal beach on Greenwich Bay. The beach extends about 900 feet along the shore and provides a shallow swimming area with lifeguards on duty in the summer. The shoreline is engineered, as evidenced by the rock groins, and designed to contain sand and prevent erosion. These structures provide the visitor with an added opportunity to walk along the rocks, to look for intertidal creatures, or to cast a line for fish. There are also a grassy commons area, a ball field, nearby concessions, and toilets available in the summer. Two concrete boat ramps and a handicapped-accessible dock are available. There is a nominal parking fee during the summer.
Picnic tables/benches, trash receptacles
20. One Bay Avenue Restaurant
One Bay Avenue Restaurant offers a boat ramp and dock and is located on Suburban Parkway. Parking is available. Fee.
21. Wharf Marina
Wharf Marina is located on Wharf Road in Warwick Cove and offers a boat ramp in excellent condition. Parking is available. Fee.
Dock, toilets, trash receptacles
22. Narragansett Bay Avenue
The road/right-of-way on the western end of Narragansett Bay Avenue runs approximately 500 feet from the corner of Crawford Avenue to the shore of Greenwich Bay. Parking is prohibited.
CRMC ROW#: J-28
23. Ogden Avenue Extension
Located in a quiet residential neighborhood between two private homes, at the intersection of Ogden Avenue and Burnett Drive, this site has a steep boat ramp best suited for launching smaller boats at high tide. There are "No Parking" signs posted on-site.
CRMC ROW#: J-38
24. Longmeadow Fishing Area
At the end of Samuel Gorton Avenue, this long, rocky beach is a good area for walking. There is a boat ramp in poor condition. Limited parking is available.
25. Bayside Beach
Located at the end of Pender Avenue, between Conimicut Point and Long-meadow Beach, Bayside Beach is situated in a quiet residential area. This site is best suited for beach walking along the cobbles and rocky shore and observing the Warwick Lighthouse in the distance.
26. Conimicut Point Recreation Area
This multipurpose recreation area has boat access (Shawomet Boat Ramp), fishing spots, picnic areas, several rights-of-way, and wonderful views of Narragansett Bay. The city park is located at the tip of Point Avenue and is well identified with directional signs. The point extends as a sandy spit jutting out into Narra-gansett Bay towards Conimicut Lighthouse. On the north side of the point are the Shawomet Avenue rights-of-way and the Bellman Avenue right-of-way. On the south side of the point, a bit more isolated and protected from boat wakes, is a sandy beach ideal for sunbathing. The rotary at the point provides limited parking close to the beach and there is also an unmarked ramp for handicap access to the paved walk around the rotary, the beach, and the grassy picnic area. Restrooms and ample additional parking are about 200 yards from here. The park is closed between sunset and sunrise. Shellfishing north of the park on the point is prohibited due to pollution.
Picnic tables/benches, swimming, trash receptacles
27. Shawomet Boat Ramp
At the end of Shawomet Avenue, off Stokes Street and adjacent to Conimicut Point Recreation Area on upper Narragansett Bay, this sandy boat ramp is suitable for hand-carried boats or for trailered boats with four-wheel-drive vehicles. There is parking available for approximately 15 trailered vehicles.
29. Gaspee Point Drive
This right-of-way at the end of Gaspee Point Drive provides a concrete slab boat ramp and access to Narragansett Bay. Parking is available for eight trailered vehicles.
CRMC ROW#: J-22
30. George B. Salter Grove
Off the scenic Narragansett Parkway, at the end of Landon Road, this state park overlooks Narragansett Bay and has several grassy knolls ideally suited for picnicking. There is a dirt ramp leading to a well-protected cove, best suited to launching small boats at high tide. The park has picnic tables and plenty of parking. This site is unsafe for swimming due to poor water quality.
Fishing, hiking/walking, trash receptacles
Buckeye Brook Marsh and Pine Tree Preserve
This is a good place to look at a large salt marsh. Fresh water from Buckeye Brook empties into the southwestern end of Mill Cove, and here, fresh water mixes with salt water, giving rise to a salt marsh habitat rich with life. In addition to the herring that spawn in the brook, the mute swan nests in the marsh, and herons have been spotted. A portion of the salt marsh is bordered by a pine preserve.
For more information, contact City of Warwick, Parks and Recreation, (401) 738-2000, ext. 6805.
Take I-95 to Rte. 117 East exit. Follow 117 (West Shore Road) for about 5 miles to Draper Avenue on right; marsh is down Draper Avenue. Continue east on West Shore Road to Tidewater Drive for additional salt marsh viewing.
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