Last revised: October 26, 2023
By: Adam Burns
Rhode Island offers one venue to experience New England's famous fall foliage by train at the Newport & Narragansett Bay Railroad on the state's Aquidneck Island. The line it utilizes is no longer connected to the national rail network but nevertheless provides guests fantastic view of Narragansett Bay by train, running the island's western shoreline. More information about their trips may be found further below.
Rhode Island may be the smallest state in the United States, but it boasts a diverse landscape that makes for spectacular fall foliage. From the rugged coastline to the rolling hills, Rhode Island has a lot to offer in terms of autumn colors. If you are interested in perhaps seeing the foliage in other ways besides just by train at the Newport & Narragansett Bay Railroad, here are some of the best locations.
Colt State Park
Located in Bristol, Colt State Park is a 464-acre park that offers sweeping views of Narragansett Bay. The park has miles of walking and biking trails that wind through forests and meadows, providing plenty of opportunities to admire the changing leaves.
Roger Williams Park
This historic park in Providence is home to a 435-acre botanical garden that bursts with color in the fall. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll through the gardens and enjoy the vibrant hues of the changing leaves.
Arcadia Management Area
The Arcadia Management Area is a sprawling 14,000-acre forest in southern Rhode Island. The area has over 40 miles of trails that wind through woods, over streams, and past ponds, offering plenty of opportunities to immerse oneself in nature and enjoy the fall colors.
Newport's Cliff Walk
The Cliff Walk in Newport is a 3.5-mile trail that hugs the coastline and offers stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean. In the fall, the trail is lined with trees that turn brilliant shades of red, orange, and yellow, making for a beautiful autumnal walk.
Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park
This national park spans parts of Rhode Island and Massachusetts and is known for its rich history and natural beauty. The park has several walking trails that wind through forests and along rivers, offering visitors a chance to experience the fall colors up close.
While not technically on the mainland, Block Island is a popular destination for leaf-peeping in Rhode Island. The island is home to over 30 miles of hiking trails that wind through forests and offer stunning views of the ocean and surrounding countryside.
In conclusion, Rhode Island may be small, but it offers a wealth of opportunities to experience the beauty of the fall season. Whether you're looking for a leisurely stroll through a park or a challenging hike through the woods, Rhode Island has something for everyone when it comes to viewing the fall colors.
(Newport): The state's only heritage railroad, the Newport & Narragansett Bay (previously known as the Newport Dinner Train) has been hosting train rides since 1979 over a 13 mile segment of the old New York, New Haven & Hartford's Newport Branch.
The scenic railroad, also known as the "Grand Bellevue Dining Experience," offers a 90-minute, narrated tour through Newport, showcasing the city's stunning coastline, historic mansions, and other notable landmarks.
The train departs from the Newport Station and travels to the Sakonnet River before returning. The train used to regularly cross the bridge over the river, offering passengers panoramic views of the surrounding area, but it was discontinued (and later removed in 2007) following flood damage.
Each autumn you can book passage aboard their Autumn Bistro Trains and enjoy all the splendors of fall along Narragansett Bay while sitting down to a fine meal. The train truly does offer one of the best, if not the very best, coastal New England train rides.
The bistro train includes a "...three-hour journey that will take you north along the island to the Mt. Hope Bridge. While on board you’ll be treated to a special seasonal lunch created by our Executive Chef."