John H. Chafee Nature Preserve
Boston Neck Road (Route 1A), North Kingstown
Known to many as Rome Point, the Chafee Nature Preserve is one of the few natural spaces in RI that may be more popular in winter than any other season because harbor seals migrate into this area in October and stay through the spring. Pick a calm, clear day, and arrive as close to low tide as possible. Take the path from the parking lot straight towards the beach. You can continue to the end of the trail, turn left and walk along the shoreline to reach Rome Point. However, I prefer to take the last path on the left before reaching the shoreline, just after the power lines. You’ll enjoy a less rocky and slippery route to the same spot. Turn right at the intersection to get to the point. Look for the seals on the rocks jutting out of the water. To return to the parking lot, simply retrace your steps.
Length: 2.5 miles
Difficulty: challenging for children
Map: not available
Dogs: are welcome, so long as they are leashed and you clean up after them
Accessible by Public Transportation: within 0.2 mile
You might want to bring: spotting scope (or binoculars), extra warm clothing, hot cocoa
Get directions or follow ours: From Route 1, take the exit for Route 138 East toward Jamestown/Newport. Take the exit for Route 1A toward Narragansett/Wickford. At the end of the exit ramp, take a left onto Route 1A. The parking lot will be on your right about 1 mile up. If you reach Gilbert Stuart Road, you’ve gone too far.