The William C. O’Neill Bike Path, often referred to as the South County Bike Path, is like many paths in Rhode Island that make use of an inactive rail line. The original vision was to have a path run the entire length of the rail line, which was a spur from the main line in Kingston village to the Narragansett Pier area. Right now there are 7 miles of bikeway open, with plans to extend further towards the beach. From there cyclists need use of on-road routes to reach the shoreline as development has encroached on the old rail corridor. Additionally, paths that would connect to the University of Rhode Island are being studied by the DOT.
Length: 7 miles paved, possible 8 miles total. On-road routes needed to reach shore.
Grade: Gentle hill in middle of trail from Kingston Station to Peace Dale. The Peace Dale to Wakefield section has moderate ups and downs throughout. A switchback built where an old trestle was removed requires great caution.
Trail Condition: Excellent. Eastern 1-mile segment opened in July 2011
Special Characteristics: This path served as a rail spur from the main line to Narragansett Beach. It begins at historic Kingston Station and passes through sections of the Great Swamp. It then connects to Peace Dale and Wakefield, passing many commerical areas as it makes its way into Narragansett.
Natural Attractions Nearby: Wildlife observation, hiking and paddling in Great Swamp Management Area, Tri-Pond Park and Saugatucket River, recreation fields, beach with swimming at Narragansett Town Beach.
Historical Attractions Nearby: Kingston Station, Kingston village, main street area of Wakefield, South County Museum, art galleries.
Services Nearby: Shops, restaurants, grocery stores, schools, college, library, bike shop.
Directions: From Route 95, take Exit 9 to Rte. 4 south. Follow until junction with Route 1 south. Follow to Rte. 138 west. Pass University of Rhode Island, look for signs for Kingston Station. Trail begins from back of parking lot. Alternative is Rte. 4 south to Rte. 2 south to Rte. 138 east to Kingston Station.
Bike Path RulesBike Path Rules
- The Bike Path is open for public use from dawn to dusk.
- Weather Permitting, bicycling, walking, jogging, and roller blading are permitted.
- Obey all traffic rules and signs:
- Ride on the right in single file.
- Walk, job and skate on the left side, facing oncoming bicyclists.
- Use proper hand signals.
- Warn others of your intentions – verbal notification is required when passing others.
- Wear protective equipment.
- Walk your bike across curbs and intersecting streets.
- Dogs must be on a leash that is a maximum of six feet in length and must be controlled in accordance with regulations noted in the Town Code under Chapter 3. Animal and Fowl, Article II.
- Remember the bike path is off limits to horses and all unauthorized motorized vehicles.
- Alcoholic beverages and glass containers are not allowed.
- Snow and ice will not be routinely removed from the bike path due to liability concerns. Cross country skiing will be permitted when the bike path has adequate snow cover.
- Snowmobiles are prohibited.
- The bike path can be used for non-competitive community events under specific stipulations authorized by the South Kingstown Parks and Recreation Commission.
Please contact that South Kingstown Parks and Recreation Department at 401.789.9301 for additional information.
The Friends of the William C. O’Neill Bike Path appreciate the cooperation of the following:
|Office of the Governor
Donald Carcieri, Governor
R.I. Deparment of Transportation
R.I. Public Transit Authority
R.I. State Wide Planning Program
R.I. Greenways Council
|Town of South Kingstown
Steve Alfred, Town Manager
Andrew Nota, Director of Parks and Recreation
Town of Narragansett
Greenways Alliance of Rhode Island
South County Tourism Council
East Coast Greenway Alliance