This is a site for launching hand-carried boats such as canoes or kayaks.
Description & Overview:
PLEASE NOTE: The parking lot at this site is privately owned by the Gilbert Stuart Museum and is for the daily visitors to the museum. Non-museum visitors, including canoeists and kayakers who wish to park in the museum lot, must first obtain permission from the museum office.
This is the northernmost access site on the Pettaquamscutt River, locally known almost universally as the Narrow River despite the fact that it is wide and lake-like in many areas. At the northern end of the river there is no real current on the river, so you can easily paddle round-trip up and down the river or just go one way to one of the other access points on the river. However, as you get closer to the mouth the tidal currents become strong so the tides need to be part of your planning.
The wide parts of the Narrow River and open enough for wind and waves to be a potentially serious issue for paddlers. Watch the forecast and watch the weather once you are on the water.
There is no boat ramp at this site but the shoreline is good for launching hand-carried boats. The river looks very narrow at the put-in but it quickly gets wider. If the water is low the first few hundred feet may have to be walked. Once in the upper pond stay to the left to find the narrow passage to the second pond. From the put-in it is 3.75 miles to the Indian Lake Shores boat ramp and 5 miles to the Sprague Bridge where Route 1A crosses the outlet to the ocean.
Where the Narrow River flows into the ocean heavy surf often develops. Very experienced kayakers sometimes play in this surf, but all less experienced paddlers should avoid this area.
Anadromous fish regulations apply.
This site provides access to the following water bodies: Pettaquamscutt (Narrow) River.
Alternate Site Name: Narrow River, Pettaquamscutt River
Town: North Kingstown
Driving Landmarks: This site is on Gilbert Stuart Road, at the Gilbert Stuart Museum, a mile east of where Gilbert Stuart Road takes off from Route 1.
If you are heading north on Route 1, simply look for the right turn onto Gilbert Stuart Road 1.9 miles north of the tower at Bridgetown Road (Route 138).
If you are driving south on Route 1 you will have to pass Gilbert Stuart Road and go another 1 1/4 miles south on Route 1 to where there is place to reverse direction. Then follow the directions above.
Access & Waters:
Water 'Features' At Site: flatwater/slow moving river, estuary
Note: Because one boat launch can access, say, both a lake and a river or both the upstream and downstream portions of a river, not all paddling trips at a given site will necessarily encounter all of the features listed.
Type of Access: Boat launch for hand carried boats
ADA Accessible Boat Launch? no
Shoreline: The best access to the river is at the back of the lower parking lot, where there is a short path to a spot on the river with a nice low bank good for launching canoes and kayaks.
Approximate Length of Carry between Car Access and Water: 25 feet
Hours of Operation: The parking lot may be closed with a cable in the off season
Parking: parking lot, 12 spaces
ADA Accessible Parking Spaces? no
Sources for More Information:
AMC River Guide: 4th Edition, page 143-144
Ecological, Cultural & Recreational Attractions:
The Gilbert Stuart Museum is the birthplace of the famous 18th century portrait painter Gilbert Stuart and is a good place both to learn about Gilbert Stuart and see some interesting artifacts from those days, including the first snuff mill in America. There is also a fish ladder at the site that is used heavily by herring during the spring run.
The data on this website come from many sources, including volunteers and organizations across the state of Rhode Island and nearby parts of Massachusetts. We have done our best to make sure the data are accurate and up to date, but any information critical to the success of your trip should be confirmed before you start. The maps and information on this website should not be substituted for nautical charts, topographic maps, or other more detailed maps and guides. We welcome corrections and additions. To send a correction or provide other feedback, please use our feedback form (see link above).
This site report was last updated on August 17, 2015