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RI Coastal Resources Management Council

...to preserve, protect, develop, and restore coastal resources for all Rhode Islanders

Beach Vehicle Permits and the East Beach Sand Trail

During the summer beach season (Memorial Day to Labor Day), daytime off-road driving is restricted at the majority of locally-controlled public beaches in Rhode Island due to the sheer volume of beachgoers and the safety issues that presents.

The exception to this is the East Beach Sand Trail in Charlestown, RI, which is only accessible through the RI Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM) East Beach Parks and Recreation site in Charlestown and is regulated and managed by the RIDEM Division of Parks and Recreation. Due to the congestion and crowding issues occurring during this summer season, RIDEM Parks and Recreation strictly enforces a 40-car parking limitation on the East Beach Sand Trail.

Therefore purchasing a Beach Vehicle Permit does not guarantee access to the East Beach Sand Trail.

We understand that this causes frustration; however, RIDEM is managing this activity for safety purposes. After the busy Labor Day holiday weekend, most of these locally-controlled public beach areas remain open for use, but also re-open to the traditional use for which a beach vehicle permit was designed: fishing.

  • Vehicles are prohibited on dunes or within 75 feet of the dune crest except on trails marked expressly for vehicle use. Prohibited areas may or may not be vegetated.
  • Vehicles are prohibited in vegetated areas anywhere on the barrier.
  • Vehicle access to the Salt Pond is prohibited. Access to the pond shall be by foot only.
  • Vehicle access to the beach shall only be through authorized trails.


Stedman Government Center
Suite 116, 4808 Tower Hill Road, Wakefield, RI 02879-1900
Voice 401-783-3370 • Fax 401-783-3767 • E-Mail cstaff1@crmc.ri.gov

RI SealRI.gov
An Official Rhode Island State Website