Newport Cliff Walk

The Newport Cliff Walk, which is a 3.5-mile National Recreation Trail, is one of the top overall attractions in Rhode Island. The trail's popularity is partly due to the popularity of Newport as a Rhode Island vacation destination, and you'll take in some of the city's best sights while walking along it. One of the more interesting things about the Newport Rhode Island Cliff Walk is that it is a National Recreation Trail that is found in a National Historic District. While some parts of the trail offer more natural looks at the rugged coastline, other parts reward visitors with historic attractions that are among the best in the state. You don't have to cover the entire 3.5 miles of the Cliff Walk in Newport to enjoy it, though you are encouraged to fully explore it if you're up for the challenge.

Part of the reason why walking the full 3.5 miles of the Newport Cliff Walk is not something that every visitor does is the relative precariousness of the trail's southern half. Parts of this southern half, which ends at Bailey's Beach, feature unpaved routes that pass over a rocky shoreline. Keeping your wits about you while hiking on the more natural parts of the trail is imperative, and you'll want to pay attention along the entire route, just to be on the safe side. At various points along the Newport Cliff Walk, bushes and other wild plants hide dangerous dropoffs that can be up to 70 feet tall. While the more rugged parts of the Cliff Walk in Newport might not be for everyone, they certainly reward those who take them on with some of the most breathtaking views in the city.

The Cliff Walk in Newport essentially starts at Easton's Beach, or First Beach as it is also known, and extends all the way down to Bailey's Beach, which locals tend to refer to as Reject's Beach. If you aren't up for covering the full length of the trail, there are various access points that can be found on streets like Bellevue Avenue. Coincidentally, Bellevue Avenue is where you will find the famous Newport "cottages," or mansions. These opulent residences, which include the Breakers and the Marble House, are top Newport attractions in their own rites. Some of the mansions are open to the public, and enjoying a mansion tour while in town is recommended. Should you start your adventure on the Newport Rhode Island Cliff Walk at the beginning point, you can park at Easton's Beach if you need to. The segment of trail at the beginning is paved and relatively easy, and you'll enjoy fantastic beach and ocean views along its stretch. Should you continue on the trail, you'll eventually come to the Forty Steps at the end of Narragansett Avenue. These steps lead down to the side of a cliff and offer more terrific sea views.

As you continue southward from the Forty Steps along the Newport Rhode Island Cliff Walk, you will soon come across some of the best architectural sights that the trail has to offer. You can view waterfront mansions that now pertain to the Salve Regina University while walking along the middle section of the Cliff Walk in Newport, and before you know it, you'll come across the famous Breakers mansion. The Breakers, like many of the mansions in Rhode Island, is more akin to a palace than anything else. Once you pass by The Breakers, the trail begins to become more natural, and thus more challenging. You'll pass through a few tunnels before coming to the Angelsea mansion, which is an opulent home that rests at the end of Ruggles Avenue. More mansions, such as the Marble House and Rosecliff can be viewed as you continue south on the Newport Rhode Island Cliff Walk. After you pass a curious Tea House that was built by the Vanderbilts and looks like it was imported from China, you'll have the option of continuing onward through a tunnel that is several hundred feet long. This tunnel, which is known as the Tea House Tunnel, basically serves as the portal to the most rough and rugged part of the Cliff Walk in Newport. Some of the southern stretches of the trail pass over land that is privately-owned, which you will want to keep in mind.

Thousands of people who visit Newport every year include a full trek on the Cliff Walk on their itineraries, so you might give it a try yourself to see what all the fuss is about. Chances are good that within just a few minutes time, you will begin to understand why this National Recreation Trail is such a featured Newport attraction.

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