Kings Park in downtown Newport is the best launch point to get out into Newport Harbor. There are several different places to launch from; cement slabs made for launching boats from trailers and several small beaches that you can walk down to. It is on street parking and first come-first serve. Right after you have launched, the immediate area is protected and is a great place to regain some basic skills. The following are a list of paddle destinations from this launch site as well as tips and hints for the harbor in general.
Harbor at large:
Be very cautious when paddling in Newport Harbor. This area has an extremely large amount of boat traffic, and not everyone obeys the rules. As kayakers, we are the lowest on the totem pole. Take your time, look both ways before crossing the boat channel, and keep in mind when crossing the channel that boat traffic moves fast. Give yourself enough time for something to go wrong and play it safe. If you are nervous about crossing the channel, you can stay along the shoreline and docks. When paddling through the mooring fields keep an eye out for moving masts, this will be your first hint that a boat is underway. When paddling near the docks BE CAREFUL. A kayak is a very small craft and is hard to see in the harbor.
Brenton Cove Paddle:
Paddling out to the left from the landing site you will come quickly to Brenton Cove. This area has some amazing houses built along the shoreline, and is also home to Fort Adams. The best time of the year to paddle here is during one of the many music festivals held at Fort Adams. There is nothing like listening to some great jazz from a kayak with some friends near by. It is approximately 3/4 of a nautical mile to the base of Brenton Cove from the launching point.
Castle Hill Area:
If you are looking for a little more of an adventure continue paddling to the left from Brenton Cove. As you come around the point of Fort Adams the currents and waves will change dramatically. You are now passing from the calm waters of Newport Harbor to the mouth of Narragansett Bay. This area can be treacherous at times if there are large waves and opposing currents and winds. Paddling up the cliff line you will eventually come to an area where there is a natural harbor. This is known as Castle Hill and inside is the Castle Hill Coast Guard Station. This paddle is only for those with more experience as it can get dangerous along the cliff line. And, as always, there is plenty of boat traffic to toss up some good swells and chop even on the calmest of days. It is approximately 2 1/2 nautical miles to Castle Hill from the launch point.
Rose Island Light House:
Rose Island is a great place to go for a small day trip. As the crow flies it is approximately 1 1/2 nautical mile to the island from the Kings Park. There is some great history behind this island from civil war bunkers to the destruction of the boat house during a hurricane. The only catch is that you may have to pay a small landing fee depending on who is running the light house at the time. As long as you land below the high tide mark you are technically on public land, but please be considerate as this is not only a great historical site in RI but also a bird sanctuary. If you are interested you can actually stay overnight in the light house? http://www.roseislandlighthouse.org/.
From the launch site, paddle to the left until you can see the point of Goat Island across the way (North). Take your time here and cross the boat channel. From this point you will have the greatest view of boats entering and using the channel. Once across the channel, it is best to remain paddling along the Western Shoreline of Goat Island (facing Jamestown). Paddle along until you are next to the hotel, and from here cross over to Rose Island.
Again please be cautious of the boat traffic, this launch site is great for everyone from beginners to experts as long as you keep your head on straight and your eyes and ears open. One thing to look out for is sailboat races. There are multiple times when there will be small sail boat races held in this area. If there is a race occurring, do not cross.
From downtown Newport turn on to lower Thames Street. As you near the end of the shopping area you will see a road on your right hand side across from a gas station. Turn right here and Kings Park is on the right hand side starting with the ballpark and continuing to the boat ramp.
(a) Click Wiki Edit This Page to get placed in edit mode
(b) When finished, your update is available to view as draft (click wiki update pending in trail to see draft)
* note: editors are notified and must approve the change