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statue of Samuel P. Colt at Colt State Park

Situated just a 5 minute drive from Bristol and a 30 minute drive from its state capital Providence, Colt State Park is a lovely, coastal, public recreational space in Rhode Island.

Covering approximately 464 acres, it provides visitors with an excellent outdoor playground to enjoy a range of recreational opportunities.

Arguably the key features of Colt State Park is its extensive hiking trail network. This gives visitors the chance to explore the park’s rolling hills, scenic vistas, and a diverse range of natural habitats. Boating and paddling are also popular activities too, with several launch sites located throughout it.

In addition, Colt State Park is home to several historic structures and monuments, including a World War I memorial, which provides a rich cultural experience for visitors. There are also several picnic areas and pavilions that are available for rent and that offer scenic views of the park and Narragansett Bay.

Given how close it is from Bristol and Providence, most visitors come to this state park on a day trip. However, for those who want to stay a night or two there is a modern campground onsite that offers RV and tent sites.

Activities

Visitors to this Rhode Island state park can enjoy its stunning landscape in several different ways.

Outlined below is a selection of some of the most popular activities you can take part in while at Colt State Park.

Boating at Colt State Park

The park is home to several bodies of water, including the Palmer River, which offers a variety of boating and paddling opportunities.

If you would like to take to the water you will find several launch sites. However, visitors should be aware that the river can be shallow in some areas, and that boating conditions can change rapidly due to factors such as wind and currents.

While on the water, you will have to adhere to all the park’s boating laws and regulations. This involves having a life jacket for each person on board, not swimming in or near boats, and not operating boats under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Fishing at Colt State Park

Just as boating and paddling are popular activities on its waterways, so is fishing.

The Palmer River houses several species including largemouth bass, bluegill and catfish, which can be caught either on a boat in the middle of the water or from the shoreline.

If you would like to cast a line there, you will need a valid fishing license and to follow all state fishing laws and regulations.

You should also be aware of any restrictions on the types of fishing gear that are allowed in the park, as well as any catch limits that may be in place.

Hiking at Colt State Park

Throughout the park there are several miles of trails that wind through its scenic forests, meadows, and wetlands.

These trails offer visitors the opportunity to explore the park’s diverse ecosystems and natural beauty, while also providing a great cardio workout!

Some of the most popular hiking trails at Colt State Park include the Greenway Trail, the Panoramic View Trail, and the Park Loop Trail.

The Greenway Trail is a gentle, paved path that is perfect for an easy walk or bike ride, while the Panoramic View Trail offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside. The Park Loop Trail is a longer, more strenuous hike that takes you through the heart of the park and past many of its most scenic attractions.

Visitors who are interested in hiking at Colt State Park should be sure to wear appropriate footwear and carry plenty of water, as well as any other essentials such as insect repellent or sunscreen.

Picnicking at Colt State Park

Many people come to the park to enjoy a picnic in its beautiful natural scenery.

Throughout the park there are several picnic areas, including covered picnic shelters, that are available for visitors to use. These come with grills, and drinking water, making it a convenient and enjoyable place for families and groups to enjoy a meal together.

Visitors can bring their own food and drinks, as well as any necessary cooking and serving equipment. However they are expected to properly dispose of all trash and litter, and respect the privacy of other guests and the park’s wildlife.

They are also forbidden to consume alcohol anywhere in the park.

Pets at Colt State Park

Guests can bring their pets with them to Colt State Park. Although there are several rules in place regarding their presence which have been designed to protect the park’s cultural and natural resources and to ensure the safety of others.

This includes dogs being well behaved and kept on a leash throughout their visit. It also involves owners cleaning up after their pet has made a mess and disposing of it in the designated waste receptacles.

For a full rundown of the park’s pet policy it is worth contacting the main office.

Camping at Colt State Park

For those who want to stay overnight at the park there are several camping options available, including tent camping and RV camping.

You will find tent camping options in a number of designated areas within the park. Some campsites have electrical and water hookups, while others are primitive and offer a more secluded and natural camping experience.

RV camping is also available at Colt State Park, with specific sites set aside for RVs and other vehicles. RV campsites come equipped with electrical and water hookups, as well as access to bathroom and shower facilities.

If you want to stay at the campground it is a good idea to make a reservation in advance as it does get busy, especially during the summer.

Park Location

Colt State Park
Route 114,
Bristol, RI 02809
Phone: 401.253.7482

Park Website

Map

Video

Here is a short YouTube video with some drone footage of Colt State Park: