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Newport Cliff Walk

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Newport Cliff Walk | Newport RI Attractions

The Newport Cliff Walk is a unique Rhode Island attraction. Located on the eastern shore of Aquidneck Island, the 3.5 miles (5.6km) Cliff Walk is one of Newport, RI’s best things to do at any time of year.


The east side of the Cliff Walk is on the Atlantic Ocean’s Easton Bay. The west side of the trail passes the backyards of some spectacular Newport mansions (including the Breakers and the famous Marble House Chinese Tea Room). Along the route there are endless vistas to enjoy.

Newport Cliff Walk Access Point | Newport RI Things To Do
Entrance | Newport Cliff Walk

The terrain of the trail varies ranging from flat tar to rocky coast. Some portions of the Cliff Walk are an easy trek; others require short spans of strenuous hiking. Our article will cover all of the information you need to plan your day.

Newport Cliff Walk At A Glance | Newport RI Attractions

For more information on traveling to Newport, Rhode Island, read our articles on:

Ochre Court | Newport Mansions | Newport Cliff Walk
Ochre Court

ENTRY AND HOURS

Entrance to the Cliff Walk is free. The trail is open daily from sunrise to sunset. In the inclement weather water, snow, and ice on the trail can make conditions slippery/treacherous.


CLIFF WALK POINTS OF ACCESS

The trail can be trekked in either direction. Most walkers begin the route at the west end of Easton Beach by Memorial Avenue (restrooms, parking, and paved trail). There are alternate entrance points at Narragansett Avenue, Webster Street, Sheppard Avenue, Ruggles Avenue, Marine Avenue, Ledge Road, and Bellevue Avenue at the east end of Bailey's Beach.

Cliff Walk Scenic Lookout | Newport RI Attractions
Scenic Lookout

PARKING & TROLLEY

Memorial Boulevard at Easton’s Beach: From May 1 – October 31st metered daily parking is in effect from 9am until 9pm. Cost is $2 per hour. From November 1 – April 30th there is no fee for parking at the meters, but there is a 3 hour limit until 6 pm daily.


Narragansett Avenue by Forty Steps: There is a pay-by-plate machine that allows up to 4 hours of parking. Cash and credit cards are accepted. Cost is $1.25 per hour with 3 hour limit.


The Newport RIPTA Trolley makes regular stops at Easton’s Beach (Cliff Walk west end) and Bailey’s Beach (Cliff Walk east end). The route runs about every 20 minutes in the summer. Stops are less frequent in the winter.

The Cliffs of Cliff Walk | Newport RI Things To Do
The Cliffs of Cliff Walk

RESTROOMS AND WATER

There are restrooms available at the Easton’s Beach and at the Forty Steps entrance (open seasonally). There is no food or drink for sale along the route. Tap water is available at rest rooms (open seasonally).


PETS

Leashed pets are allowed. Owners are expected to pick up after their pets.

Paved Portion of Newport Cliff Walk | Rhode Island
Paved Portion of Cliff Walk

ASSISTIVE DEVICES & BIKES

The best portion of the Cliff Walk for any type of assistive device (walkers, wheelchairs, canes) or strollers is the paved portion. This runs between Easton Beach (Marker 1) and Anglesea (Marker 8). Note: There are no steps between Memorial Boulevard and Narragansett Avenue (markers 2 and 3). Bicycles are not allowed on the trail.

Unpaved Portion of Cliff Walk | Newport RI Attractions
Unpaved Portion of Cliff Walk

TRAIL TERRAIN

There are 16 Point of Interest markers along the Cliff Walk. The trail is divided into 3 levels of difficulty and the markers can be used to navigate these terrains.

  • Easy: Paved portion of the path roughly between markers 1 – 8.

  • Moderate: Unpaved portion of path roughly between markers 8-12 (with a small portion of “difficult” trail between markers 8 and 9).

  • Difficult: Unpaved portion of path with rocks and boulders roughly between markers 12 and 15 (with moderate terrain between markers 15 and 16).

Angelsea Mansion Sunroom | Newport Cliff Walk
Angelsea Mansion Sunroom

SAFETY

There are steep cliffs along many sections of the trail. There are rocky portions of the trail, crumbling asphalt, and poison ivy trail-side. The Cliff Walk experiences high winds and temperature shifts with wet or icy surfaces. Extreme care should be taken when navigating the trail, especially with small children.

Scenic Vista Newport Cliff Walk | Rhode Island
Scenic Vista

SUGGESTED WALKING ROUTES

  • Easy Walk: Stroll along a paved portion of trail between Easton’s Beach (marker 1) and Ochre Point (around marker 8). The distance is about a 2 mile round trip. Plan for about a 45 minute walk.

  • Longer Walk: It is a lovely walk from Easton’s Beach to the Marble House Chinese Tea House if you are able to navigate the moderate terrain (unpaved path). This route is about a 5 mile round trip. Plan for about 2 hour walk.

  • Short, Scenic Route: For a short, scenic route on a relatively flat paved portion of the trail, park at Forty Steps (marker 3) and travel east on the trail until the Breakers (marker 7). It is approximately 1 mile. Plan for a .5 hour walk.

Newport RI Cliff Walk | Rhode Island Attractions

POINTS OF INTEREST

Ocean Views: There are stunning ocean views the entire length of the Newport Cliff Walk. It is the sole National Recreation Trail located inside a National Historic District!


Forty Steps: The area has a paved scenic lookout with benches and a staircase (40 steps) descending to the Atlantic Ocean below. At one time, the area was a gathering space for the servants who worked in the Gilded Age mansions. It was a space they could relax on their (limited) time off. Today, the steps allow visitors access to the water for fishing, swimming, and watching the waves crash against the rocks. Be warned, the rocks are often slippery.

Forty Steps | Newport Cliff Walk | Newport RI Things To Do
Forty Steps

Salve Regina University: About mid-way on the walk, visitors will pass the 80 acre oceanside campus of Salve Regina University. The school’s main administration building was once the Goelet family’s Ochre Court mansion, designed by Richard Morris Hunt.

Salve Regina University | Newport Cliff Walk
Salve Regina University

Cliff Walk Mansions: Situated along the Cliff Walk are many mansions including the Breakers, Angelsea, Rosecliff, Beechwood, and Marble House with the Chinese Tea House. It is fun to see the mansion’s “back yards” and gardens, but be aware there is no access from the Cliff Walk to the mansions. Do not trespass. Also, due to strategic landscaping, many of the properties on the walk are hidden from view while strolling the path.

The Breakers Mansion | Newport RI Cliff Walk | Newport Things To Do
The Breakers Mansion

Ochre Point Surfers: There is an area by Ochre Point where there are often surfers in the water.

Surfer | Newport Cliff Walk | Rhode Island Attractions
Surfer | Cliff Walk

Beaches: There are sandy beaches to walk at either end of the Cliff Walk (Easton’s Beach and Bailey’s Beach). In addition, along the route there are expanses of rocky beach that visitors can comb.

Cliff Walk Beach | Newport RI Gilded Age Mansions
Beach | Cliff Walk

Enjoy the east coast views, Laura and Randy

For more information on traveling to Newport, Rhode Island, read our articles on:

Entrance Newport RI Cliff Walk
Entrance Newport RI Cliff Walk


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