Newport, RI 02840
To your back, some of Newport’s most impressive and historic mansions stand tall; below you, surf pounds against the rock-strewn shore; in front, three and a half miles of one of the country’s most famous and memorable paths—Newport’s Cliff Walk—unfurl. In 1975 this public-access way was the first in New England to be designated a National Recreation Trail. Much of it is easy, but make no mistake, here and there are tricky spots with steep drop-offs. Beware—and look out for poison ivy hugging the borders.
–Yankee Magazine, May/June 2010
New England’s oldest National Recreation Trail is an exquisite 3.5-mile stretch of ocean views that skirts behind some of Newport’s grandest mansions. Begins at the western end of Easton’s Beach (a.k.a. First Beach).
–Yankee Magazine, May/June 2012
Newport has a reputation for being pricey, but one of its best attractions is free. The Cliff Walk is a 3.5-mile walking path—partly paved, partly not—connecting Easton’s Beach with East Bailey’s Beach and passing by the back gates of some of the city’s famous mansions, including The Breakers and Astors’ Beechwood. Last year, a multimillion-dollar restoration project was completed, making New England’s oldest National Recreation Trail safer and more attractive. The easiest part is at the north end, reached from Memorial Boulevard. It’s more of a hike to walk the southern end, accessible from Ledge Road. Parking can be difficult, so we recommend you take a trolley from the Gateway Visitor Center at 23 America’s Cup Avenue. 800-326-6030, 401-849-8048 (Newport County Convention & Visitor’s Bureau).
The 3.5-mile-long Cliff Walk is a great way to inbibe the spirit of Newport, with the ocean crashing onto craggy rocks on one side and the backyards of the famed mansions on the other. Start at either end: off Memorial Boulevard just before Easton’s Beach, or East Bailey’s Beach near Bellevue Avenue. Although a recent renovation project means a smoother trip than the walk of yesteryear, some parts remain unpaved. (Newport County Convention & Visitors Bureau).