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Rights-Of-Way and Public Access

ArcGIS LogoArcGIS Online map of all CRMC-designated rights-of-way to the shore

The R.I. Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC) in spring of 2014 introduced an online mapping tool with information on each of the CRMC-designated rights-of-way to the shore (ROW).

Created by CRMC staff intern Emily Robinson, the Arc GIS (Geographic Information Systems) database includes a map that identifies the location of each ROW with an icon. A click on any of these icons will open a menu that includes that ROW’s name, its designation number, the type of access it provides, the coastal feature present, and other information. A link to the ROW’s CRMC designation file is also included and accessible by clicking on the term, “More info.”

In another great example of the collaboration between the CRMC and its partner non-governmental organizations, Save The Bay, with the cooperation of the CRMC, updated the CRMC’s ArcGIS Online map of all 222 rights-of-way. The CRMC has completed photography of all CRMC ROWs – which will provide users multiple views of each ROW – and the photos will be used to update the map. Unlike other Arc GIS applications, there is no log-in required for using this ROW database.

“This specialized tool is a great resource for members of the public, as well as for cities and towns in which the rights-of-way are situated,” said CRMC’s Marine Resources Specialist Kevin Cute. “It provides an online database for all of the state’s public rights-of-way, including other useful information like current conditions, photos from different viewpoints, and historical information about the access point. In the 21st century, when just about everything is accessible with a swipe of a smartphone or tablet, the CRMC is proud to offer information like this to all users. We look forward to adding more information to this mapping tool as we move forward.”

Cover Guide to Public Access to the RI Coast (PDF)

Brochure: Public Access – Your Rights to the Coastal Lands and Waters of Rhode Island (PDF)

Coastal Briefing: Public Right of Ways, CRMC's Designation Process (PDF)

A Citizen’s Guide to Assisting in the Right-Of-Way Designation Process (PDF)

Guide to CRMC–Designated Rights-of-Way to Greenwich Bay (PDF)

Section 335 Shoreline Signs, A Guidance Document (PDF)

ROW Annual Reports

ROW Projects

East Bay

East Bay Narragansett Ave. (40 Steps)
Located at the eastern end of Narragansett Avenue, this site provides access to the mid-point of Cliff Walk. It has been restored as a beautiful National Historic Landmark. Forty granite steps lead sharply down the face of the rocky bluffs above the ocean. Some parking is available.
East Bay Nayatt/Daunis Road
This public right-of-way consists of a path along Mussachuck Creek that leads to a cobble beach on Narragansett Bay. Parking is limited to about five cars. CRMC’s 1st Adopt-An-Access site (in partnership with the RI Salt Water Angler’s Association and the Town of Barrington), with designated off-street parking for two vehicles indicated by a sign at the entrance of the ROW.

West Bay

West Bay East Greenwich Town Overlook
Situated off Water Street, next to the municipal transfer station, the municipal overlook and boat ramp offers both visual access and boating access to Greenwich Bay. The boat ramp is in good condition. Parking is available at the overlook, where you can reach the water's edge by a flight of stairs or at the boat ramp.
West Bay Oakland Beach
At the southern end of Oakland Beach Avenue, off Route 117 East, is a popular wide, sandy, municipal beach on Greenwich Bay. The beach extends about 900 feet along the shore and provides a safe, shallow, swimming area with lifeguards on duty in the summer. The shoreline is engineered, as evidenced by the rock groins, and designed to contain sand and prevent erosion. These structures provide the visitor with an added opportunity to walk along the rocks, to look for intertidal creatures, or to cast a rod and reel for fish. There is also a grassy commons area, a ball field, nearby concessions, and toilets available in the summer. Parking is sufficient for approximately 175 vehicles. There is a nominal parking fee during the summer.

South Shore

South Shore Napatree Point Conservation Area
At the southwestern tip of Rhode Island, a long sandy spit separates Little Narragansett Bay from the ocean. Napatree Point is owned, maintained, and managed primarily by the Rhode Island Audubon Society and the Watch Hill Fire District. It offers a mile-long walk along the sandy spit either on the beach face or on the nature trails. The area also offers excellent fishing from the rocky shore near the ruined fort at the far end of the point. Napatree Point is accessible from two paved parking lots on Bay Street.
South Shore Charlestown Breachway
This state-managed parcel consists of approximately two acres. It is located off the west end of Charlestown Beach Road and borders Ninigret Pond on the north and Block Island Sound on the south. The area consists of a wide sandy beach on the ocean, a rock jetty that is a popular fishing site at the east arm of the Breachway, and a wetland area bordering Ninigret Pond. This is a great family spot due to its guarded beach and close fishing opportunities. A boat ramp, in good condition, is located at the north end of the Breachway, on the pond. Activities include fishing, swimming, beach-walking, windsurfing, and camping for RVs. Ninety parking spaces are available on site and there is an entrance fee during the summer season.

Upper Bay

Upper Bay Bold Point Park
This city park on the east side of the Providence River has a good boat ramp and a sturdy dock. The 2.1-acre park is nicely landscaped and has a great view of the Providence waterfront. Plenty of on-site parking is available. Located on Pier Road, just south off exit 4 of I-95. Fishing is prohibited.
Upper Bay India Point Park
This city park offers a view of downtown Providence and the city's working waterfront. A bulkhead provides protection for asphalt paths and grassy areas for jogging, walking, and playing ball. India Point Park is a pleasant place to bring your lunch and enjoy a view of the Providence River from one of the many wooden benches or picnic tables. The dock for the Block Island Ferry is also located here. Take Exit 2 off Interstate 195 East and follow South Main Street southward to India Street, or follow the signs for the Block Island Ferry from downtown. Street side parking only.

Block Island

Block Island Charleston Beach
Located on the west side of the island, this right-of-way consists of a path extending from Coast Guard Road to Block Island Sound. This site is one of the few places in Rhode Island that one can see the sun set over the water.
Block Island Mohegan Bluffs
Off Southeast Light Road, Mohegan bluffs drop 150 feet to the sandy beach and crashing surf below. A short trail from the parking area leads to a vantage point at the edge of the bluffs. A long wooden stairway leads down to the beach. This state-managed site is well known for its excellent view of the island’s dramatic southern coastline and of historic Southeast Lighthouse.

State of Rhode Island Web Site
RI Coat of Arms
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