When my friends and I decided to go to Newport, Rhode Island for the weekend, the first thing I did, naturally, was Google “Things To Do in Newport, RI”. When the first ten articles that popped up suggested a hike called the Cliff Walk, there was no doubt we had to do it.
Newport Cliff Walk Guide
After about five seconds in, I could see why this 3.5-mile hike comes so recommended. The views of the deep blue water, rocky cliffs, and giant mansions certainly did not disappoint. After trying to figure out the logistics, we thought it would be best to park at the end of the hike and take a cab up to the trail head.
PSA: don’t do this. Seriously, don’t even try.
There is absolutely no parking and it’s very residential. Instead, learn from our mistake, avoid the detour, and head straight for the start of the hike. There’s tons of street parking and a beach access with a huge parking lot. You’ll have to pay, but spending $20 is way better than getting towed.
Once you finish the hike, you can either call a cab/Uber back to your car, or if you’re a super hiking enthusiast, you could backtrack and make it a 7-mile hike.
Even though this quote-unquote hike is called a walk, there are some places where it gets a little rocky. Literally. It’s nothing too crazy or steep, so if you’re in pretty good shape, you’ll be totally fine. The rest of it is fairly flat, other than some steps here and there.
The maps along the way tell you the difficulty of each area.
The great thing about this hike is that the beginning is the easiest; really flat, nicely paved, and hits a lot of the highlights. This part is about a mile from the start and you can leave the trail at The Forty Steps if you so choose. The Forty Steps is a point of interest along the trail that is – you guessed it – forty steps.
This was one of my favorite parts of the hike and we even ventured down past the steps and found a hidden waterfall.
There are also a ton of little trails off the main course that allow you to climb down onto the rocks – prime spot for an Instagram pic. A bit of advice though: don’t get too caught up with capturing the perfect picture. The views are just too amazing with the mansions on one side and the never-ending ocean on the other to worry about which filter you’re going to use. Sometimes you just gotta live in the moment, ya know?
And let’s be honest, that candid, “didn’t know someone was taking my picture” picture always turns out better than the posed.
This hike was the perfect kickoff to our Newport getaway. It’s amazingly picturesque and leaves you feeling on top of the world all day long. The only thing better than the hike itself was the hot, buttery lobster roll and vodka lemonade from The Lobster Bar that was quickly devoured immediately afterward.
If you’re traveling to Newport, the Cliff Walk is an absolute must!