View Full Version : Cliff Walk - Newport RI

06-30-2013, 02:51 PM
Was down in Newport, RI over the weekend and was shocked to find that 1/2 of the Cliff Walk was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. It will likely take years for the trail to be fixed. In fact, the damage is so bad it is very possible that it will never be fixed due to environmental concerns.

This was Rhode Island's best hike/walk in my opinion. What a huge, unfortunate loss.

07-01-2013, 08:15 AM
We own a little condo one block from the Cliff Walk, which is part of my favorite jogging route at times when it isn't swarming with tourists. I am happy to report that the foregoing account of the damage to it from Sandy is significantly exaggerated. The most popular part of it, from its north end at Memorial Blvd/Easton Beach to Ruggles Ave., past the Breakers, is open. The only significant damage is a 25-foot section of sidewalk at a point a little beyond that, which has been undercut and sank a few feet. There is a photo in this Boston Globe article (http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2013/04/12/newport-surfers-breaking-point-over-proposed-cliff-walk-repairs/DdoD5cWdWf0KEnYfczOcoJ/story.html).

As discussed in that article, the State's original repair plan, which would have involved the construction of two jetties, perhaps temporary, was shot down by surfers and environmentalists, as it would have affected a prime surfing ground. Access will be difficult, as the private land-owner of the easiest route has nixed same, but a scaled-down plan has been approved and the latest press release I saw, about a month ago, estimated that the repairs would be completed by the end of 2013. Meanwhile, if you are familiar with local streets and byways, you can traverse the entire Walk except for the short section from Ruggles Ave. to the depressed 25 feet.

07-01-2013, 08:57 AM
Officially it is closed from Ruggles Ave. to Ledge Rd which is the most of the second half of the trail. I agree that a few easy detour signs in the neighborhood would allow access to most of the second half.



07-13-2013, 12:36 PM
For most people, the Cliff Walk ends at Ruggles Ave., just past The Breakers, which section is open and undamaged. Some continue on to Marine Ave., just past Belmont Beach, and the only damage in that additional stretch is the 25-foot stretch of depressed sidewalk I discussed above. Most who go beyond Ruggles stop at Marine Ave. because the next road access, Ledge Road, takes 1.5 mile to get to, and much of that stretch is over wet boulders. Some do continue, however, to the point south of the Marble House Tea House where the "walkway" ends and the boulders begin, and that stretch is fine.

I discovered this morning, however, that there is significant "Sandy" damage to the portion of the rugged, southern stretch around Rough Point - the Doris Duke mansion. I was told that they have plans to fix it, but that work is not scheduled to start until October. Whether they have the repairs finished by next summer remains to be seen. I'm glad I hiked the whole thing in December 2011, before the damage. If you're curious, I link my photos and GPS track from that hike. (http://amicus.smugmug.com/Hiking/2011/The-Cliff-Walk-Newport/20659720_VCxpvt#!i=1638115968&k=dXLQJDq)

07-14-2013, 11:54 AM
Have not done the Cliffwalk in a few years but I always loved doing it. Thanks Amicus for the info.

07-15-2013, 02:03 PM
From what I remember having gone to college there 25ish years ago and lived nearby for a few years after, there was always one section or another being damaged by storms. Sandy probably did more than her share, but the exposure and where Sandy went ashore probably made it not much worse than many winter storms there in Newport. That section of Newport has always been eroding bit by bit.

Good to hear from you, Amicus. Give a shout if you're ever in CO.