Best Places To Kayak In Rhode Island

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Kayakers often overlook the state of Rhode Island, but those who live in the Ocean State claim that there is some excellent kayaking to be experienced in this unique place. Are out-of-state kayakers right to say that there is nothing of interest in Rhode Island, or are the locals telling the truth? Let’s talk about kayaking in Rhode Island.

Kayaking in Rhode Island is a unique experience. Inland waterways, city canals, nature reserves, lagoons, bays, and the Atlantic Ocean are all available for kayakers in Rhode Island. There is something for every paddler here, but kayaking in the winter is to be avoided.

Kayaking in Rhode Island is like nothing else. There is so much in this state that every kayaker can enjoy, from the weekend warrior to the hardcore kayaking champ; Rhode Island has something for everyone. Let’s look more closely at Kayaking in Rhode Island and explore some of the best addling locations that the Ocean State has to offer.

Kayaking In Rhode Island

Kayaking in Rhode Island is unlike another location. The Ocean State offers hundreds of miles of waterways for kayaking, as well as open-water ocean kayaking for those who prefer waves to rivers.

The inland waterways in Rhode Island offer unique kayaking experiences, as there is a wide variety of routes that can be explored, regardless of your kayaking skill level. These waterways, rivers, and canals are so unique because of the diverse areas that they allow kayakers to explore.

Rhode Island waterways cut through the very heart of major cities such as Providence, and they also wind their way through beautiful areas of untouched landscape. This means that kayakers in Rhode Island can explore the city as well as nature while paddling in Rhode Island.

There are several locations along the Rhode Island shore that are open for kayakers to enjoy the Atlantic Ocean. Some of these areas are for more advanced kayakers only, but there are some areas that are protected from rough waters, such as bays and watersheds, that are ideal for those who want to try saltwater kayaking the first time.

No licenses are required for kayaking in this state, which means that most of the waterways and off-shore recreation zones are open for kayakers to use at their leisure. 

The unique kayaking experiences in Rhode Island are best explored during the summer months. The weather in Rhode Island is only moderately warm in the summer, which is perfect for kayaking, but winter in this state is particularly cold with significant rain.

Cold weather and rain are not ideal kayaking conditions for most paddlers, but if you are looking for cold water, cold weather kayaking challenge, winter in Rhode Island is the place for you.

At the end of it, kayaking in Rhode Island is very beautiful with a wide variety of scenery, including cityscapes, wild areas of untouched nature, stunning shorelines, and beautiful bays. There are kayaking locations suited for all skill levels, and there are several locations with rental kayaks available.

If you live in Rhode Island or are visiting the state, kayaking is one of the best ways to explore and experience the area in a very affordable way. Kayaking in Rhode Island is not to be missed!

The Best Kayaking Locations In Rhode Island

Rhode Island is home to a variety of remarkable kayaking locations, including rivers, waterways, bays, shorelines, and even canals. There is something for every paddler here, regardless of skill level.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the best kayaking locations in the Ocean State and explore some of the more stand-out features of these locations. 

The Wood River

The Wood River is a very diverse kayaking location. The paddling section of this river spans about fifteen miles and has sections that are ideal for beginner, intermediate, and advanced paddlers. 

The most popular sections of this river are located in the upper Wood River, which hosts two kayaking water trails. The long trail is 5.5 miles, and the short trail is about 3 miles long. 

These upper Wood river sections are ideal for beginner and intermediate paddlers and will provide a small challenge for kayakers of these skill levels. The lower sections of the river are for advanced kayakers only, as it is only accessible by traversing the river, and there are a number of dams that can be challenging to paddle.

The Wood River is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including muskrats, beavers, blue herons, and even turtles. There is much to see along this river, including the ruins of two old mills that are particularly beautiful to see. This water trail is ideal for the kayaker who enjoys nature, birding, and beautiful green scenery.

Woonasquatucket River

This is one of the most special kayaking spots that you may ever find. Most kayaking water trails are those that wind through the wilderness, offers great camping sites, and get the paddler out of the city.

The Woonasquatucket River is the opposite, but it is something special. Kayaking along this river allows the paddler to travel directly through the city of Providence. This offers views and exploration of the city that is not possible any other way.

Kayaking in this river is a unique experience and is one of the best ways to view the city. This river flows through the very center of the WaterFire art exhibition location. The route is not open for paddlers during the exhibition, but when outside of the exhibition, this route is free to use.

This river is very well managed and well kept, which means that it is clean and safe to paddle in. the water is not very fast flowing, but it is smooth and easy to kayak, making this an ideal river to paddle on for beginners and intermediate kayakers. Advanced paddlers will enjoy this river simply due to its stunning views and unique experience.

Ninigret Pond

Ninigret Pond is located within The Ninigret National Wildlife Refuge. The name suggests a pond, but this location is rather a very large saltwater lagoon. 

Kayaking in Ninigret Pond is ideal for kayakers of all skill levels. This location is perfect for kayaking fishermen, as there is an abundant supply of a wide variety of fish to catch in the lagoon.

This location offers stunning scenery, calm waters, and a very large area to explore. There are calm water sections for beginners, but there are also more challenging areas of the lagoon for more advanced kayakers. 

Some areas of the lagoon are open to sea access as well, which may be exciting for advanced paddlers who are looking to get out into open water from the tranquil lagoon.

This location has something for everyone. The lagoon is a good day out for the whole family as there are beautiful swimming beaches along the shore, the water is large enough for serious kayak training, fish are in abundant supply, and advanced paddlers can access the ocean from within the lagoon.

There is nothing like kayaking in Ninigret Pond, and it is a must-do for all kayakers who live in or visit Rhode Island.


Kayaking in Rhode Island is not to be missed by kayakers of any skill level. It is easy to overlook this state as a kayaking destination, but one trip to the various waterways, lagoons, bays, rivers, and canals in the Ocean State will have any kayaker coming back for more.

Kayaking in the Rhode Island summer offers the widest range of kayaking variety around. Kakayers can view the city, the ocean, and the nature surrounding inland waterways all in one day. If you love kayaking in interesting places, Rhode Island is the place for you!