Though dogs are prohibited at Napatree Point Conservation Area during certain times through the summer months, this Rhode Island destination is a perfect spot for you and your furry best friend to visit after the crowds have departed, come Labor Day.
The sandy spit is the southernmost and westernmost point of mainland Rhode Island and named after the largely wooded area that once stood there up until the Great September Gale of 1815. The long and pristine, sandy, white beaches offer views of Little Narragansett Bay, Long Island, Connecticut, Block Island, and the Atlantic Ocean, but there’s more to see here than just the waterfront.
There are some large boulders and a beach trail that take you straight to the remains of Fort Mansfield (a fun and do-able two-mile hike for adults and dogs — it’s not highly recommended for young children), which was operational around the turn of the 20th century, but soon abandoned after the military discovered some fatal design flaws. Now, you can still see three concrete gun emplacements.
Beyond this attraction, there’s a lagoon and grassy area, perfect for birding. The conservation area is a protected stop for the piping plover and home to deer, fox, ospreys, and other migratory birds.
If you do decide to visit in the summer months with your pooch, just be sure that you’re visiting outside the hours of 8 am–6 pm, May 2nd through Labor Day. A carousel can be found during the summer months and is worth a visit. Do note that, though the beach is free, parking is at a premium at this beach and you’ll pay dearly during the summer (up to $30 for a day), but you can mostly have the space to yourself during the winter months.
For dogs, there is a waste bag station, but pack a few of your own just in case there’s a shortage. Rules for dog behavior are well posted and strictly enforced.