Fall Guide

Scenic Drives Around Rhode Island (MAPS)

Rhode Island may be small, but it has plenty of natural beauty... why not explore by car?

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A BLOCK ISLAND DRIVE
Take in Block Island’s magnificent natural beauty any time of year with a serene drive up Corn Neck Road. Offering ocean views on one side and Harbor Pond and the Great Salt Pond on the other, Corn Neck Road starts in town and goes all the way to the northernmost tip of the island. Stop along the way to walk around and check out the Block Island National Wildlife Refuge, Sachem Pond and Middle Pond. Bird watchers rejoice; Block Island is home to over 70 species of migratory songbirds that are easy to catch a glimpse of all over the island. Get lost in your thoughts in the Sacred Labyrinth or look out over the hills at Whitman Park. Leave your car at the lot at Grove’s Point and wander out to the tip of the island to see North Lighthouse.

In town, grab a bite at Winfield’s or Poor People’s Pub before or after your day of exploring. Visit the scenic 1661 Inn as well, with breathtaking views from the porch and home to Justin’s Farm, a menagerie and petting zoo that’s open year round, showing exotic animals ranging from llamas and goats to emus and kangaroos. Stroll around town a bit before catching the ferry home to squeeze in as much island time as you can. Block Island has so many beautiful spots and places, but try to hit as many as you can in a day with a drive up Corn Neck Road.

CUMBERLAND'S DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH
Witness the colorful leaves over the picturesque Diamond Hill Reservoir this fall. Drive along Diamond Hill Road or Route 114 to get the most out of this wonderful stretch of Cumberland. Turn off onto Reservoir Road to take a swing around both Diamond Hill Reservoir and neighboring Arnold Mills Reservoir and to cross over the dam. Wander through or stop for a picnic at Diamond Hill Park. Thrill-seekers have even more to look forward to with a trip to the park – it’s also home to Haunted Hill, the scariest-rated trail in southern New England. It runs on weekends throughout the fall, offering both family friendly events and totally scary stuff for the grownups. The park also offers camps, evening yoga classes and a variety of other fitness courses.

There are also of plenty of pleasant stops for food and shopping along 114. Phantom Farm has 14 acres beautiful farmland and offers apple picking through October. Pop into Diamond Hill Vineyards for an afternoon wine tasting or just to look over their gorgeous property. You can also find a charming addition to your home at the quaint Diamond Hill Country Store. Grab a cone at the Ice Cream Machine Co., which lies on the edge of Diamond Hill Park. Whatever your fancy, there’s plenty to do and see in this enchanting area.

CHASING DOWN SMITHFIELD'S GHOSTS
A drive down 116 in Smithfield offers something truly special – Rhode Island’s famous ghost town, Hanton City. Also called the Lost City, this colonial era settlement is located just off 116 and has spooky abandoned and overgrown stone foundations, a burial site, dam and stonewalls. There are many theories surrounding what happened to the residents of this settlement but no one knows for sure; you’ll have to investigate it for yourself.

Visit the North Central Conservation Area in the Lincoln part of 116 for some lovely walking or hiking. Relax for a bit at the George Washington Picnic Grove, where you’re welcome to bring along some beer or wine to your picnic. Turn off 116 and onto 104 to drive along the Stillwater Reservoir. For more scenic views, drive down a little further southeast to Georgiaville Pond.

Grab a bite to eat at Blackie’s Bull Dog Tavern or, for views of the reservoir while you eat, The Last Resort Pub and Grill. The Last Resort also has an outdoor pool and tiki hut and offers live music for a fun and funky experience. You can also make a visit to Bryant University’s campus, which is just beyond the George Washington Picnic Grove. Tour the campus or go for a game at Bulldog Stadium.

FEELING ROYAL IN KINGSTON
Route 138 through Kingston is teeming with natural beauty. Speckled with various golf courses and ponds, this street is just waiting for you to explore all it has to offer. Nature enthusiasts should certainly stop by for a look at the Grass Pond Preserve. The wetlands, ponds and wooded uplands provide a habitat for a number of unusual dragonfly and damselfly species as well as other forms of wildlife. Take a walk through the trails and see for yourself.

Nearby is the over 3000-acre Great Swamp Wildlife Reservation that borders Worden Pond. Turn off 138 onto 110 to reach this incredible site that offers trails for walking, hiking and mountain biking. The Worden Pond campground (Worden Pond pictured below) sports great fishing, beaches and camping sites. You can also visit one of the many other bodies of water that surround 138 – including Indian Lake, Larkin Pond, Thirty Acre Pond, Hundred Acre Pond and Yawgoo Pond. You can also simply drive by or stop for a visit on the University of Rhode Island’s 1200-acre campus. Head behind campus for a stroll in North Woods. This stretch of road is also home to Kenyon’s Grist Mill, a Rhode Island feature since 1696. Stop by for a tour of the mill, views of the Glen Rock Reservoir and take home some of their johnny cake mix. Pick up some delicious coffee or stay for a meal at Taylor’s Landing Coffee Roasters and Country Store. Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, bring your kayak and put it in across the street after you’re caffeinated up.