The Smallest State Offers Big RVing Pleasures

Published: Monday, July 30, 2007

It is the smallest of all the American states having only a land distance of 48 miles and a width that extends only up to 37 miles while quietly resting on the southeastern end of New England. Yet, Rhode Island is no push-over when it comes to outdoor attractions. RV-boarded travelers visiting this tiny American state for the first time will be surprised to learn that its coastline actually covers 400 miles, with side attractions coming from its many sandy beaches, nature-filled state parks, and various landmarks carrying historical details. Indeed, RVers in search of a compact place carrying a wealth of RV-accessible attractions need not look far, for there is Rhode Island to head off to.

Taking A Look At The Regions Of The "Ocean State"

For an American state considered the smallest, the land referred to as the "Ocean State" surprisingly has seven different regions. These include the Blackstone Valley Region, the Block Island Region, the East Bay Region, the Newport Region, the Providence Region, the Warwick Region, and the South County Region.

The Blackstone Valley Region

Outdoor pursuits, generally water-based, are available here and RVers need only to see Blackstone Valley to realize the wealth of opportunities that one can take advantage of. The valley, after which the region was named, is filled with woodlands and rivers where interests like hiking and swimming can be pursued.

One regional lake, Echo, should be of great interest to many RVers since it allows freshwater swimming, fishing, and canoeing activities in its midst. Access to it is relatively easy as well since there is an RV campground situated nearby. The Echo Lake Campground in Burrillville provides quick lake access and, at the same time, allows the RV to settle in comfortably with its electric and water hook-ups.

The Block Island Region

A seaside resort stretching for eleven square miles, the Block Island region is composed of verdant hills highlighted by eye-catching headlands similar to those found in Ireland. The similarity ends there though as the island goes on to feature fabulous state beaches alongside 365 ponds that have naturally become its primary attractions. Additionally, the region also boasts of a trail system adorned with grassy meadows and serene woodlands that eventually lead to the island shore.

Needless to say, the place is a virtual island paradise for many interested RVers. However, access to Block Island is not easy as it can only be reached either by a ferry ride or aboard an airplane. RV riders, however, can opt to park the RV at Fishermen's State Park and Campground in Narragansett and from there, take a ferry ride at Block Island Ferry Dock situated about a mile away, after which they can begin exploring the region including its only known town, New Shoreham.

The East Bay Region

Being close to the sea, the region quite naturally offers many water-based outdoor activities and nowhere is this more evident than those available at Narragansett Bay situated in Providence, which is just several miles away. Other than that, RVers can easily go to Bristol where Colt State Park makes its home. Its western fringes is the access point to Narragansett Bay, but within the immediate vicinity of Colt State Park are areas of interests that should captivate many visiting RV riders. These include several walking paths for the hiking enthusiast, a newly-built fishing pier set on the northwest corner for fishing buffs, and the expanded East Bay Bicycle Path for bikers.

A significant feature of Colt State Park is its picnic shelters where interested RVers can engage in the traditional way of enjoying the great outdoors. Picnicking happens to be quite popular in these parts, and for RV-boarded travelers, this is the more relaxed way of experiencing outdoor pleasure.

The Newport Region

The single biggest attraction of this region is none other than Newport, the fabled city by the sea whose waters have played host for nearly a hundred years to the world-famous yacht race that is America's Cup. Quite naturally, the city has been hailed as the "Sailing Capital of America" and RVers who love to go sailing will find Newport a good training ground as there are various sailing lessons alongside yachting trips being held here on a regular basis.

When it comes to RV parks, though, nothing beats Middletown City with three RV parks falling under its care. One such campground, Paradise Park, should prove to be most apt for RVers who prefer beach-based activities since it is placed at least a mile away from the nearest Newport beaches.

The Providence Region

Providence is the dominant feature of this region and apart from holding the grand title of being the state capital, the city also boasts of numerous attractions of cultural and historic significance. These include the Rhode Island State House and the John Brown House, a tour of which should prove to be highly interesting to many RV-boarded tourists.

Still, for those who prefer action based on the outdoors, Providence offers Narragansett Bay whose 28-mile shore coverage makes it the second biggest estuary in the US east coast and affords the typical RV rider the opportunity to engage in such recreational pursuits as swimming, fishing, and beach surfing.

The Warwick Region

Just like the Providence Region where Providence City is dominant, the Warwick Region is likewise characterized by one city that best represents its chief attractions. Warwick City, home of two major Rhode Island malls, scores of specialty stores, and several shopping centers, has been generally referred to as the shopping central of the "Ocean State" and quite naturally is the place where RV-boarded travelers should head off to when the need for shopping arises.

However, Warwick offers more than just shopping for within its wide expanse lies several natural attractions that are the ideal venues for pursuing outdoor interests. A fine example of this is Goddard Memorial State Park with its wonderful beaches and excellent golf courses. RVers touring this particular state park will find many things to do since its vast 489 acres, variously classified into land and water areas, provide ample space for numerous recreational activities like swimming, boating, fishing, horseback riding, hiking, and ice skating. More significantly, they can hold camp here and engage in a favorite outdoor activity – picnicking – since the park has several picnic shelters complete with picnic tables set up in various areas.

Meanwhile, for even more enjoyment, RV-boarded travelers can check out Whippoorwill Hill Family Campground based in Foster town. Offering a diverse array of outdoor activities like swimming, fishing, and even golf games, Whippoorwill Hill Family Campground is also within traveling distance to several other regional attractions like the Plainfield Greyhound Park, the Mystic Seaport, and the Roger Williams Park and Zoo, among others.

The South County Region

The South County Region covers the coastal area of Rhode Island that for years has been the natural summer destination of many "Ocean State" visitors, including RVers. Specifically, the many beaches that line the Rhode Island coast has continuously been packed with swimmers, beachcombers, anglers, and whale-watchers, and this continues up to the present day. Meanwhile, just beyond the beach waters, RVers can heed the calls of the woodlands with its offerings of hiking trails and biking paths.

Needless to say, the South County Region is a virtual outdoor paradise for many RVers. However, if the regional beaches will be the main reference point, RV-boarded travelers would do well to check in at Charlestown Breachway Campground where the public beaches are within walking distance and where saltwater fishing is a common outdoor pursuit.

Cities in the Ocean

Rhode Island has been tagged the "Ocean State" owing to its vast shoreline that is said to extend to as long as 400 miles. Quite naturally, many of its cities are considered as seaside communities, and while they present exciting attractions to many visiting RV riders, some may not be readily accessible via RVs. Those visiting Rhode Island aboard their RVs should thus seek to identify the cities where their vehicles are generally welcomed.


Exeter, a town set in the rural district on the southern corner of Rhode Island, is one place that RVers will not want to miss once they start a tour of the "Ocean State". This is because the town features a rich collection of outdoor activities, one of which should easily appeal to even the most delicate of RVers. They can take their choice from the hiking paths of the Split Rock Trail to the only skiing terrain of Rhode Island along Yawgoo Valley Road. In between, they can try swinging a club at the 18-hole publicly-accessible golf course of the Exeter Country Club or think about bringing the family for a whole day of enjoyment at The Water Park where themed water pools are abundant.

As for RV parking questions, Peeper Pond Campground along Liberty Church Road should be able to take care of that with its 35 sites set upon 70 acres of forest trees. Additionally, the RV park offers a resident camp store to handle whatever immediate needs that RVers may suddenly have.


Set in the northwestern end of Rhode Island, Glocester is a town of largely rural setting with several lakes and peaks serving as its more popular natural attractions. Considered as among its more lasting distinction is its hosting of the highest peak in the "Ocean State", Durfee Hill, rising at a height of 804 feet.

Attractions-wise, Glocester has numerous historic homes, reflecting a deep and rich past although for visiting RVers, outdoor wonders naturally offer a more exciting prospect. For this, there is Bowdish Lake to head off to. Its waters are excellent fishing grounds although boating is fast catching up as a popular sport as well. Meanwhile, the sandy beaches nearby offer relaxation and fun both at the same time especially since there are picnic tables set up from afar along with hiking trails that await exploration.

Additionally, Bowdish Lake houses a campground called the Bowdish Lake Camping Area where RVs are ostensibly welcome since there are provisions for electric and water hook-ups. Playgrounds for children and tennis courts for adults are both available here for use.

George Washington Management Area

RVers out to explore Rhode Island need not go through the hassle of trying to choose a popular state attraction then consequently trying to find an RV park situated near it. At George Washington Management Area, these two basic RV concerns are easily addressed as the memorial park also houses a camping area that is about a hundred acres wide. The sites, numbering around 45, are shaded, well-spaced and have enough areas for RV parking.

The entire memorial park is encamped upon a land area that covers 4,000 acres. Obviously, innumerable outdoor activities can be pursued here especially since there are beaches, lakes, and trails scattered in its various districts. Thus far, the most common are fishing, swimming, hiking, and of course, camping, with overnight options available upon request.

Beavertail State Park

Jamestown plays host to this Rhode Island state park that offers a most wonderful view of the famous coastline that has endeared the "Ocean State" to many tourists, RV-boarded ones included. And while Beavertail State Park does not really boast of a towering peak or a majestic lake, its coastline scenery easily attracts sightseers because it can be enjoyed from three distinct fronts namely on foot, among the regional headlands, or on board a vehicle. The latter is particularly significant for RV-boarded travelers since it means that they can enjoy the view of the coast from the safety and comfort of their RVs.

Additionally, Beavertail State Park has several hiking paths to suit the needs of hiking enthusiasts. Meanwhile, anglers will likewise find the state park a good place to serve their interests as its resident lake offers good saltwater fishing ventures.

For concerns about where to settle in the RV, Fort Getty Recreation Area is a place worth considering. It offers electric and water hook-ups for RVs of various types alongside a dump station and several other RV amenities. More importantly, though, it happens to be the only RV campground found in Jamestown.

Choosing the Right Time to Visit the "Ocean State"

Since water practically covers the entire Rhode Island state, the weather in these part naturally tends to be mild. Yet, summer days do produce high humidity and unless beach surfing is a passion, it is best not to see Rhode Island during summer to avoid encountering heat waves which do occasionally occur.

Winter in Rhode Island is characterized by snow quickly transforming into rain before making a landfall and this could pose several problems, especially for those prone to catching a cold. Additionally, the season is characterized by windy days so for RVers planning a winter sojourn, it is best that the appropriate jacket be brought along.

Generally, the latter part of the summer season up to the early part of autumn are the most ideal times to see Rhode Island. The weather is comparatively milder during these times, making travel time generally pleasurable. The foliage that come with the onset of autumn is also particularly attractive, and this has caught the fancy of many tourists, and RVers would do well to see them as well although care should be taken that they do not get caught up in a virtual sea of humanity.

Holiday Acres Family Campground

Situated in North Scituate City, Holiday Acres Family Campground is a family-oriented RV park that has been in operation for over ten years now. Its amenities are fairly moderate and includes such accommodations as bathrooms, showers, a laundry room, and a game room. Of particular interest, especially for children, is the resident video arcade where popular games are available for play. The campground holds a policy that children playing in the video arcade be accompanied by adults and to encourage this, the area also boasts of an eight-inch pool table and several pinball machines designed to entice adults to come in and play a game alongside their children.

The RV campground strives to be unique among all Rhode Island camping areas, and towards this end, it holds special events during its annual seasonal operations. These include various workshops ranging from cooking demos to fun-filled beach games. Yet, it also tries to keep traditional events alive. Thus, every Friday nights, the all-time favorite bingo game is held at its recreation hall.

Oak Embers Family Campground

A forest-based family campground, Oak Embers is situated in West Greenwich and lies close to several New England attractions, the most notable of which is the Arcadia Wildlife Management Area. The latter is a vast tract of land that covers four major Rhode Island towns, namely, West Greenwich, Richmond, Hopkinton, and Exeter and features a wealth of outdoor attractions ranging from hiking to wildlife viewing. It may well be considered as the single largest outdoor wonder in the "Ocean State" and RV-boarded tourists who check in at Oak Embers Family Campground have the rare privilege of getting quick and direct access to it.

Wildlife is obviously the main feature of the Arcadia Wildlife Management Area and getting to see them is among the major activities regularly engaged in by Oak Ember visitors. Their main habitat, a forest area that encompasses 11,576 acres, is enveloped in trees of white pine and evergreens contrasted by various wetlands that include swamps and marshes.

Hiking trails, navigable rivers, and game areas are also abundant in the Arcadia, allowing Oak Ember Family Campground visitors to engage in a wide range of outdoor pursuits. Hiking in these parts is particularly exciting since the paths involve an extensive system that covers at least 30 miles. Several trails even feature certain amenities like toilet facilities, overnight shelters, picnic areas, and a camping site.

Of course, RV-boarded travelers have the Oak Embers Family Campground to come home to after exploring the rather expansive offerings of the Arcadia Wildlife Management Area, and they will not be really disappointed. The campground, after all, is filled with all the modern accommodations of a typical RV park, including pull-through areas, restrooms with showers, a basketball area, a swimming pool, and a laundry area. The resident camp store even sells milk apart from the traditional camping items like ice and firewood.
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