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Watchaug Pond at Burlingame State Park

Watchaug Pond at Burlingame State Park. Photo: Juliancolton, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

With its scenic beauty and wide range of recreational activities, Burlingame State Park is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to experience the natural beauty of Rhode Island.

Covering more than 3,000 acres of spectacular rolling hills, forests, and wetlands, the park is a haven for those who enjoy fishing, boating, hiking and picnicking.

Much of these activities take place on or around Watchaug Pond, which also features a fabulous beach around its shoreline. This provides a wonderful destination in which to rest and unwind from the pressures of city life.

In addition to its recreational opportunities, Burlingame State Park is a popular destination for wildlife watching and birding.

As it is located less than an hour’s drive from Providence and Newport, many people choose to visit Burlingame State Park as a weekend or summer getaway.

For those wanting to stay overnight, the park offers a huge campground with well over 400 tent sites, RV sites and cabins in which to stay at.


Those who visit Burlingame State Park can enjoy a wide selection of outdoor leisure activities during their time there.

Reviewed below is an overview of some of the most fun things you can see and do whilst at the park.

Boating and paddling at Burlingame State Park

The sparkling waters of Watchaug Pond provides visitors with excellent opportunities for boating and paddling.

If you have your own boat or watercraft you can launch them from the convenient boat ramp that is located within the park. The surrounding views from the middle of the pond are breathtaking.

When you are on the water, you will need to ensure you adhere to the park’s safety rules and regulations. This includes having a lifejacket for every person on board your vessel.

Should you not have a boat or watercraft at your disposal, you can rent them out from the park.

Swimming at Burlingame State Park

You should bring your bathing suit with you to the park as there is a lovely beach you can go to which allows for safe swimming.

This beach is lifeguarded during the summer, so you will be able to enter the water with extra peace of mind.

Fishing at Burlingame State Park

Fishing is a popular activity at the park, with Watchaug Pond being a prime location for anglers.

The pond is home to a variety of fish species, including bass, perch, and pickerel, and provides a tranquil setting in which to cast a line.

Visitors must have a valid fishing license and follow both the park and the state’s guidelines regarding this practice. This includes practicing catch-and-release fishing and to use fishing gear that is appropriate for the species they are targeting.

You can choose to fish from the shore or from any of the fishing docks that are dotted around the lake. Alternatively if you have a boat you can cast a line from the middle of the water.

If you don’t have your own fishing gear you can rent them out at the park if needed.

Hiking at Burlingame State Park

For those into hiking, the park offers several trails that traverse through its wooded hills and wetlands.

These trails vary in degrees of difficulty and length, but they all provide visitors with a marvelous opportunity to explore the park’s natural beauty on foot.

The Watchaug Pond Trail, which circles the pond and provides scenic views of the water and surrounding countryside, is one of the park’s most popular trails. Another is the Burlingame Trail, which winds through the park’s wooded hills and offers scenic vistas of the surrounding area.

If undertaking a hike, visitors are encouraged to wear appropriate footwear, bring plenty of water, and be prepared for inclement and changing weather conditions.

Birding at Burlingame State Park

With a variety of habitats and species to be found throughout the park, Burlingame State Park is a terrific destination for bird watching.

The park’s diverse habitats, including woods, wetlands, and open fields, provide a home for a wide range of bird species. This includes woodpeckers, warblers, thrushes, orioles, and many species of waterfowl, such as ducks and geese.

Watchaug Pond is also home to several species of water birds, including great blue herons, green-backed herons, and egrets.

Your best chance to see all these birds is with binoculars. So make sure you bring them with you to the park.

Pets at Burlingame State Park

Pets are welcome at Burlingame State Park, and visitors who follow the rules and regulations regarding pets can enjoy a safe and enjoyable visit with them.

If you intend to bring your furry friends with you on your trip, it is worth familiarizing yourself with the park’s pet policy.

The best way to do this is to contact the main office, as they will give you more detailed clarification.

Camping at Burlingame State Park

Whether you’re looking for a quiet getaway in the great outdoors, or a family vacation filled with recreational activities, Burlingame State Park offers a great camping experience for everyone.

A popular destination for campers and outdoor enthusiasts, the large campground here accommodates over 400 campsites.

It is located in a wooded area that is surrounded by rolling hills and wetlands and provides visitors with a peaceful and scenic setting for their camping experience. Guests can choose to stay at tent or RV sites, as well as cabins.

Amenities at the campground include showers, restrooms, and laundry facilities.

When camping at Burlingame State Park, visitors are required to follow the rules and regulations of the park, including the need for a camping permit, fire restrictions, and quiet hours.

It’s also important to be aware of the park’s wildlife, including deer and other animals, and to properly store food and other items to prevent wildlife from entering the campground.

Park Location

Burlingame State Park
1 Burlingame State Park Rd
Charlestown, RI 02813
Phone: 401.322.8910

Park Website



Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at Burlingame State Park: