Cliffwalk is probably the most popular attraction in Newport, and it may just be the most popular attraction in all of Rhode Island. It is one of the most scenic trails in the state and offers 3.5 miles of ocean views on one side, and historic mansions on the other. The walk starts at the west end of Easton’s Beach on Memorial Boulevard and ends on Bellevue Avenue at the east end of Bailey’s Beach. There are multiple access points along the way, including Narragansett Avenue and Ruggles Avenue.
Cliffwalk was designated as a National Recreation Trail in 1975 and is in a National Historic District. It is the 65th National Recreation Trail and the first one in New England. Although much of the trail is easy walking, the southern half had some rough terrain and proper footwear should be worn. Unfortunately, in 2012, Hurricane Sandy destroyed much of the southern half of the trail and since then only the section from Memorial Boulevard to Ruggles Avenue has been open.
Reconstruction of the southern end has been in the works, and it is projected to be completed by June. Supplemental funding has been found for the project, which increases the budget by $2 million. Most of the time projects need to be downsized, but since the addition of funds, they will be able to add a 60-foot section of stone masonry at the corner of Rough Point and a 200 foot form liner at Miramar, which will better stabilize the path. The official reopening of the damaged portion of Cliffwalk is set for June 13, 2014, just in time for the 2014 summer season.