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Family Hiking: Ballard Park

Go it alone, or join RI Families in Nature on Sunday, June 16, as we explore this area together.

My favorite thing about Ballard Park is that it’s small enough to let my kids just wander about, choosing the trails they want to follow. They feel like real explorers and I, with my eyes on the map, know we’re never really that far from the car.


Besides the easy to navigate trails, there are lots of really cool features packed into Newport’s only nature preserve. Newport Granite was quarried on this land from the early 1800s to the 1930s and at the quarry meadow there’s a huge rock wall that serves as a testament to that use.


There’s a vernal pond, diverse wildlife and plant species, a Puddingstone boulder (the only one of its kind in the park), and a fantastic swamp maple tree that suffered — and survived — a storm which brought it down long ago.

And then there are the views. Ballard Park abuts a 54-acre wildlife refuge and there are several overlooks to take advantage of the scenery. All this tucked into just 13 acres right across from Rogers High School. It’s well worth the time to check out.

BallardPark_KI_3For more information about Ballard Park, click here.

See you outside!

The Details

Where: Ballard Park
Cost: Free
Bathrooms: porta-johns
Hours: dawn to dusk
Website: Friends of Ballard Park website.
For more information, including directions: visit the RI Families in Nature website.

Rhode Island Families in Nature Hike: Join Rhode Island Families in Nature every month for a different hike created by and for families who want to spend more time outdoors, explore Rhode Island’s natural places, and reconnect with and reap the many benefits of nature.

photo credit: Jeanine Silversmith

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