Best Snowshoeing in Rhode Island

The state of Rhode Island is not as well known as a winter destination compared to some of its northern New England neighbors, but still offers plenty of snowshoeing and other winter activities.

These hiking trails or public recreational areas offer some of the best winter hiking and snowshoeing opportunities in the state of Rhode Island.

Arcadia Management Area from Genevieve Belcher

Best Snowshoeing Trails in Rhode Island

Arcadia Management Area – Exeter, RI

At nearly 14,000 acres, Arcadia Management Area is the largest nature preserves in the state of Rhode Island. This preservation is comanaged by the state’s Division of Forest Environment along with Fish & Wildlife. Recreational activities are highly encouraged in all seasons, especially hiking through the miles of marked trails.

Pulaski State Park and Recreational Area – Chepachet, RI

The Pulaski Recreational Area is a part of the broader George Washington Wildlife Management Area that features several miles of accessible trails during the winter. There are designated snowshoeing areas alongside the narrow foot paths separate from cross-country ski trails, as winter hikers are prohibited the groomed Nordic trails.

Colt State Park – Bristol, RI

Colt State Park is a multi-use path with shoreline access along Narragansett Bay. This area is one of Rhode Island’s State Parks and the forest terrain that opens up to oceanfront views make a spectacular winter destination.

Goddard Memorial State Park – Warwick, RI

Goddard Memorial State Park offers 490 acres of land to explore in Warwick, Rhode Island. There are more than 18 miles of bridle trails – but encountering horses in deep snow would be a rare sight indeed!

Lincoln Woods State Park – Lincoln, RI

One of the closest snowshoeing areas to Providence is Lincoln Woods State Park. There are separate areas within the state park for equestrian use and hiking/biking use. Lincoln Woods also has a scenic covered wooden bridge at the entrance to start your snowshoeing adventure.

Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge – Middletown, RI

With nearly 3 miles of trails to explore, the Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge in Middletown, Rhode Island is a great place for snowshoeing in Rhode Island for beginners. This area is managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Wolf Hill Forest Preserve – Smithfield, RI

Protected by the Smithfield Land Trust, Wolf Hill Forest Preserve contains more than 300 acres of protected conservation land. Snowshoers can use the hiking trails that were originally built as old farm roads. Wolf Hill also offers skyline views of Providence from Mercer Outlook along the southern border.

Big River Management Area – West Greenwich, RI

Big River Management Area offers more than 8300 acres of forest land, wetlands, rivers, and agricultural areas. Several multi use trails can be utilized in winter for fat biking or snowshoeing.

Clay Head Nature Preserve – New Shoreham, RI

Wintertime is a perfect time to explore Block Island, and Clay Head Nature Preserve is an ideal to go snowshoeing. Protected by the Nature Conservancy, Clay Head offers 190 acres of pristine nature including a system of connected, unmarked trails known as “The Maze”. Migratory songbirds are one of the unique aspects of this area.

Rodman’s Hollow – New Shoreham, RI

Rodman’s Hollow is another area managed by the Nature Conservancy in Block Island that is a great location to hike year round. The total size includes 230 acres and offers the chance to see unique protected wildlife such as the northern harrier.

Weetamoo Woods & Pardon Gray Reserve – Tiverton, RI

Weetamoo Woods is a dog-friendly preservation area that offers 7 miles of gentle hiking trails, with another 2 miles of trails within the Pardon Gray Reserve. Nestled between oak and holly forest, this area makes a great winter outing in Tiverton.

Snowshoe Rentals in Rhode Island

If you don’t own a set of snowshoes, there are some sporting goods shops and outfitters that provide snowshoe rentals in Rhode Island. While there are many shops that offer ski and snowboard rentals, finding snowshoe rentals can be more difficult, so be sure to call ahead to check availability.

Kayak Centre – North Kingstown, RI

Kayak Centre in North Kingstown, RI offers daily snowshoe rentals during the winter months. Poles can also be rented separately and require a reservation over the phone. The rate for renting snowshoes in 2022 began at $20 a day, and snowshoes are also available for purchase.

REI – Cranston, RI

REI rents snowshoes starting at $18 per night. Call ahead or check online to confirm if the Cranston REI location offers snowshoe rentals in advance.

Other Resources for Snowshoeing in Rhode Island

Tips for Snowshoeing in Rhode Island

Hunting is a popular winter activity in Rhode Island that is practiced on many public land areas, so be sure to wear safety orange per state regulation if hunting is allowed.

Cross-country skiing is another popular winter sport in the state, and snowshoers should follow basic rules such as avoiding hiking over ski tacks.

Rhode Island State Parks Winter Safety Tips

When planning any outdoor winter reactional activity, consulting the Rhode Island State Park’s Winter Safety Guide should be followed to ensure a safe and fun outing.

Audubon Society of Rhode Island

The Audubon Society of Rhode Island is a great organization dedicated to the preservation of nature and wildlife. In the past, they have even led guided snowshoe tours.