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Rhode Island running

Posted Jul 17 2012 8:00am
Welcome to the state where I grew up!
Today's post is a long-overdue addition to the running travel guide series .
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The tiny state of Rhode Island, which is the smallest state with the longest name,* is a runner's paradise with miles of bike path and hiking trails. (I suspect the state has more miles of bike path per capita than any other state, but I'm still digging up the data to verify my hunch.)

Here are just a few of my favorite places to run in Lil Rhody.

Coastal Communities
  • Barrington, Bristol:
    • The East Bay Bike Path is a 14.5 mile route that hugs the coast between Providence to Bristol. The route is flat, with plenty of views out over the water, but is less shady than other bike paths in the state.
    • Colt State Park is another local running favorite.
  • Kingston, North Kingstown, South Kingstown:
    • One of my favorite places to run in the southern part of Rhode Island is the William C. O'Neill Bike Path (known to locals as the "South County Bike Path"). The route is shady and flat, with plenty of varied scenery (from woods to marshes and through tiny, quaint New England towns).
  • Narragansett:
    • No run in Narragansett would be complete without a run along the sea wall, past the Coast Guard House and under The Towers. The local newspaper, the Narragansett Patch, offers several suggestions for specific running routes .
    • Narragansett Towers seen in the distance from Narragansett Beach
  • Newport:
Inland
  • Cranston, Warwick:
    • The Tuesday Night Turtles meet every week for a run, starting from Pawtuxet Park. The group also hosts weekly Sunday runs.
  • Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket:
    • The Blackstone River Bikeway is my go-to spot for running in northern Rhode Island. Nearly 50 miles in length, the path offers flat and shaded out-and-back run options of any distance.Bridge over the Blackstone River
      Blackstone River
    • The 2.5 mile route around Olney Pond in Lincoln Woods is another local favorite and offers a hillier workout.
  • Providence:

Other Rhode Island Running Resources:
  • The Rhode Island Road Runners organize weekly workouts in Smithfield and Johnston, and host a series of races throughout the year.
  • You can find a detailed list of Rhode Island running clubs from Running in the USA

*The official name of the state is " State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations ." And while we're talking about names and trivia... No matter what they tell you on Family Guy, there is  no town of Quahog  (but there are plenty of similarities between the cartoon and real-life places).
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Are you involved in a Rhode Island running group, or do you have a favorite running route that is not listed here? Send me the info and I'll add it to the list.

For more reviews of running routes and other travel information, see Places I've Run .


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