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Charlestown (Town Beach)

41° 21.821' N    71° 37.607' 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.
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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 site is on the channel connecting Ninigret Pond and Green Hill Pond. Head west under the bridge to get to Green Hill Pond. Head the other way to get to Ninigret Pond. Both ponds offer lots of possibilities for exploration in a small boat and this is a great area for wildlife viewing, but the wind, tides and motor boat traffic mean it is not a place for novice paddlers without a guide or more experienced paddler to lead the trip. On most days the southwest wind fills in across this area in the morning and blows throughout the afternoon, so be prepared for this when planning your trip.

There is a gravel parking lot at this put-in and the natural gravel shoreline can be used as a boat ramp. Due to this site's proximity to The Kayak Centre it is a hub of kayak activity.

This site provides access to the following water bodies in the Coastal Watersheds (West Bay) watershed: Ninigret Pond, Green Hill Pond.


Town: Charlestown

Nearest Town Center: Charlestown Beach

Driving Landmarks: From Route 1 north (if you are on Route 1 south go past the exit and reverse direction) take the Charlestown Beach/Breachway Exit onto Narrow Lane. Go 0.9 miles on Narrow Lane and take a left at the second stop sign onto Matunuck School House Road. 0.2 miles later take a right onto Charlestown Beach Road. Follow this winding road for 1.4 miles. After you cross the bridge bear right onto the access road for the town beach parking lot. Look for an immediate right turn onto a road leading back towards the salt pond. The boat ramp is at the end of this road. Parking here is for boat launching only. Otherwise park at the much larger town beach parking lot. Directions adapted from "Kayaking Narragansett Bay" by Ed Mullen.

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 ramp

ADA Accessible Boat Launch? no

Shoreline: Sand and gravel

Float/Dock: no

Fees: Yes, during beach season


Parking: yes: 25 spaces

ADA Accessible Parking Spaces? no

Nearby Amenities:

Public Restrooms: Yes, at the town beach parking lot.

Outfitter: The Kayak Centre's Charlestown store is across the street. This store is only open from Memorial Day to Labor Day. For more details visit their website: . Breachway Bait and Tackle is nearby on Charlestown Beach Road. For more information phone 401-364-6407.

Sources for More Information:

AMC Quiet Water Canoe Guide: 2nd Edition, page 208

Other Guidebooks: Site 37 in Ed Mullen's book "Kayaking Narragansett Bay", also Salt Ponds Coalition Kayaker’s Guide

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

Website: Salt Ponds Coalition Kayaker’s Guide to the Coastal Salt Ponds of South County, RI


Charlestown Town Beach Boat Ramp

Charlestown Town Beach Boat Ramp

Photography by: Art Ganz and Bambi Poppick

Date of Photograph: September 6, 2006


Kayakers please stay to the right under bridge when going to Green Hill side

Submitted by: Anonymous; July 4, 2017; 9:48 am

Motor boats can only go under the bridge on the side that the kayak rental store is on. The other side is too shallow and rocky. Kayakers and paddle boarders should always enter Green Hill on the right side when going under the bridge, and the same side on the way back to avoid collisions. The currents get very strong under the bridge and boats entering from Green Hill cannot see what is coming through until they are already entering the tunnel. Also, please do no hang out in front of either side of the opening or in the channels. If a boat is coming towards you, that is because they have limited options on where they can go depending on the depth of the water. For non-motorized activities, your best bet is just to stay away from the areas where there are channel markers (little green and red poles) and you'll be fine!



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This site report was last updated on June 5, 2011

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