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Compass Rose Beach

41° 35.174' N    71° 24.919' W   See this location in: Google Maps   Map Server   Acme Maps

Google Maps is the mapping system used on the new ExploreRI mapper and shows the access site located on a terrain view, a street map or an aerial photograph. Clicking on this link will take you to the full Google Maps website, which is not part of ExploreRI.
Map Server shows a topographic map of the area. The Map Server website is not part of
Acme Maps shows the access site located on a topographic map. The Acme Maps website is not part of

This is a site for launching hand-carried boats such as canoes or kayaks.

Description & Overview:

This is the old sea plane beach at Quonset Point. It is a popular place to launch small craft such as Hobie Cats and similar craft. The beach is exposed to the south so some surf is common, and once on the water there is no shelter so be prepared for wind and waves. Heading west takes you towards Wickford Harbor, which is 1.5 miles away, beyond a long breakwater. Heading east takes you into the port area of Quonset where large vessels may be encountered and the shoreline is often a tall bulkhead.

On most days the southwest wind fills in strongly in this area in the morning and blows briskly throughout the afternoon, producing strong waves, so be prepared for this when planning your trip.

This site provides access to the following water bodies: West Passage.


Alternate Site Name: Quonset Point

Town: North Kingstown

Driving Landmarks: From Route 4 take exit 7 to Route 402/403 (to Quonset Point) and continue on Route 403. After going over the new railroad overpass, stay on the expressway, (do not exit at West Davisville Road.) Follow the signs to Quonset Point which will put you on Roger Williams Way, which parallels the railroad tracks. About 2 miles after the exit for West Davisville Road, take a right on a dirt road to the submarine assembly area. The launch site is 150 yards south on this road.

Access & Waters:

Water 'Features' At Site: 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 shoreline is a broad, sandy beach.

Float/Dock: no

Approximate Length of Carry between Car Access and Water: 100 feet


Parking: yes: 100 spaces

ADA Accessible Parking Spaces? no

Nearby Amenities:

Public Restrooms: Restrooms may be available at the nearby high speed ferry terminal.

Other Amenities: Compass Rose Beach has a reputation as being "dog-friendly" but we have not been able to find an official policy. If you do bring your dog, please respect other users of the beach. Keep your dog under control and be especially careful to clean up after him.

Sources for More Information:

Other Guidebooks: Site 20 in Ed Mullen's book "Kayaking Narragansett Bay"

Website: Information about this access site on the "Sea Kayak Access Sites for Coastal Rhode Island" website

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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 July 21, 2015

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