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Ninigret National Wildlife Refuge

41° 21.842' N    71° 39.275' 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 site provides access to Ninigret Pond, Rhode Island's largest coastal salt pond. The area features stunning landscapes and abundant coves for paddle craft to explore. It is also a great place to view wildlife. The area near the Charlestown Breachway (the outlet to the ocean) is dangerous for paddle craft and should be avoided because of both strong currents and heavy boat traffic. Otherwise, the pond is usually a calm and easy place to paddle. 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.

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


Town: Charlestown

Driving Landmarks: From Route 1, follow the Ninigret Park (a town park) signs onto Route 1A and then into the main entrance to the park. The launch site is at the very end of the main access road. Follow the road (a bit of a serpentine drive) past the tennis courts, past the observatory, and then straight to the terminus of the road at the Grassy Point parking area in the US Fish and Wildlife Refuge. Once at the parking area, signs will direct paddlers to the access road to the put-in. Boats are dropped of at the launch site and then drivers return to the main parking areas with their cars. The distance from the parking area to the launch site is about 100 yards.

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: gravel "beach"

Float/Dock: no

Approximate Length of Carry between Car Access and Water: 50 feet

Hours of Operation: Sunrise to sunset


Parking: yes: 40 spaces, no overnight parking

ADA Accessible Parking Spaces? yes

Nearby Amenities:

Public Restrooms: There are usually portable toilets at the parking lot during the summer. Otherwise, there are restrooms available at the Kettle Pond Visitor Center across Route 1, when it is open, and at Little Nini Pond, the freshwater swimming beach in Ninigret Park, when the pond is open for swimming.

Sources for More Information:

Other Guidebooks: Salt Ponds Coalition Kayaker’s Guide

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

Ecological, Cultural & Recreational Attractions:

One of Rhode Island's five national wildlife refuge, Ninigret Pond National Wildlife Refuge sits next to Rhode Island's largest salt pond, Ninigret Pond, and includes a diverse range of habitats that attract a wide range of birds. For more information see the refuge's website.

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Private feedback goes to the Blueways Alliance/RI Land Trust Council. We'll use your information to make this website better or pass it along to the people who can deal with physical issues at this site. Public comments are posted here (once they've been reviewed and approved) for all to see.

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, 2013

© 2008-2020 Rhode Island Blueways Alliance, Rhode Island Land Trust Council