State Street Pier
This is a site for launching boats from trailers. Boat ramps can normally be used to launch canoes and kayaks but please do your best to keep the boat ramp clear for boat trailers.
Description & Overview:
This boat ramp at the end of State Street in the center of Bristol provides access to Bristol Harbor for trailered boats. However, parking at the pier is limited to residents with a State Street Dock sticker. For vehicles without a trailer there is on-street parking nearby. The boat ramp at Independence Park, just a few blocks north of the State Street Pier, is another option for trailered boats and Independence Park is also a much better place to launch hand-carried boats.
Bristol Harbor is a busy harbor with much to look at, but also plenty of boat traffic to watch out for. The Prudence Island Ferry runs from a dock a bit south of the State Street Pier.
Heading out the east side of Bristol Harbor puts you under the Mount Hope Bridge, at the junction of Mount Hope Bay and the East Passage of Narragansett Bay, an area where there are likely to be lots of boats of all sizes, including freighters, tugboats and barges, as well as strong tidal currents and more wind and waves.
Heading out the west side of Bristol Harbor takes you around Poppasquash Point and then on to Colt State Park. The shoreline here is pretty, but be aware that large vessels use the shipping channel just offshore to get to the Port of Providence. The area around Poppasquash Point and on up to Colt State Park and beyond is often windy and rough.
Especially around the points and in narrow areas such as under the Mount Hope Bridge and around Poppasquash Point the tide can interact with the wind to create particularly rough conditions.
On most days the southwest wind fills in strongly throughout this area in the morning and blows through the afternoon, producing significant waves, so be prepared for this when planning your trip. Mornings are often calmer and less windy, and so are usually a better time to paddle.
This site provides access to the following water bodies: Bristol Harbor.
Nearest Town Center: Bristol
Driving Landmarks: From Route 114/Hope Street in downtown Bristol turn west, towards the harbor, on State Street and follow it one block to the end of the street.
Access & Waters:
Water 'Features' At Site: ocean/bay
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 ramp
ADA Accessible Boat Launch? no
Shoreline: concrete boat ramp
Float/Dock: high dock (over 1' above water)
Parking: on street
ADA Accessible Parking Spaces? no
Public Restrooms: There are no restrooms right at the boat ramp but at most times of day you can probably find a restroom at one of the nearby businesses in downtown Bristol.
The Boat Ramp
Photography by: Tom Richardson, New England Boating
Date of Photograph: May 21, 2010
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 March 12, 2015