Oakhill Rd, North Kingstown
Ryan Park, once an abandoned dump, may be one of Rhode Island’s best kept secrets. The 350-acre park includes athletic fields, boat-ramp access to Belleville Pond (no motors allowed), a playground, picnic tables, and about four miles of trails.
Ryan Park is great at any time of year, but autumn is our favorite season to visit. We prefer the loop that circles the smaller portion of Belleville Pond. It has many great features, including the “rainbow bridge” (so named by little ones on a RIFIN hike because of its shape). The parking lot is a bit tricky to find, so be sure to follow our directions below.
Length: 1 mile
Difficulty: easy for kids
Map: RyanParkTrailMap (start just south of the Dam & Fish Ladder, keeping the pond to your left)
Dogs: are welcome, so long as they are leashed and you clean up after them
You might want to bring: binoculars, canoe or kayak
Note: Ryan Park allows waterfowl hunting which is exempt from fluorescent orange requirements but why not wear it anyway? (learn more)
Click here for an extensive list of guidelines for hiking with kids.
Get directions or follow ours: From Route 4 North, take a right turn at the second light onto Oak Hill Rd. From Route 4 South, it is a left turn at the first light. Drive about 1 mile, and turn left into the second and main entrance of Ryan Park. Bear left and pass the basketball court on your right. When the road starts to curve right, take the gravel road directly in front of you to the first parking area on your right. Start your hike beyond the metal gate on the left.