Rhode Island might be the smallest state, but it happens to have one of the largest state parks in the country. Arcadia State Park is over 14,000 acres. That is such a large number that it’s difficult to comprehend. Since the park is easily accessible from I-95, it’s a great place to visit while traveling. Nothing can soothe your senses more than sitting by a quiet river and hearing nothing but the flow of the water and chirping birds. And if you happen to live near Arcadia State Park, it’s still a great place to visit. Why? Because it’s impossible for you to have seen it all. No matter how many times you have visited the park, there is always going to be something new to see. Yes, the park is that large. It’s the largest recreational area in Rhode Island.
The most popular activities at Arcadia State Park are fishing, hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding, but boating and hunting are also possibilities. If you plan on hiking, mountain biking, or horseback riding, it’s important to remember that there is a ‘share the road’ policy. This means that if you’re riding through the woods on horseback like a revenge-hungry Zorro, it would be wise to remember that there are people on foot looking for nothing more than a peaceful day in the middle of the forest. If you respect them, they will respect you. Luckily, accidents between hikers, mountain bikers, and horseback riders are extremely rare. Most outdoor enthusiasts understand the rules and abide by them. A little tip for anyone who is mountain biking – park at the Browning Mill Recreation Area. If you don’t want to park there for some reason, consider parking at Brook Trail, which will lead into the Midway Trail.
There is a whole lot of water at Arcadia State Park. This water comes in the form of ponds and rivers. We’ll cover the most popular water areas to visit and what they are best suited for. Breakheart Pond is great for both fishing and boating, especially boating. We lean toward boating here because fishing is possible almost anywhere else in the park, boating is not. You are not allowed to swim in Breakheart Pond, nor are you allowed to start a fire for any reason, even if it’s to cook. One of the best places to fish in the park is at Frosty Hollow Pond. This pond is always freshly stocked with trout. There is also a handicapped-accessible platform, which allows an opportunity for almost anyone to enjoy a day of fishing. The Frosty Hollow Recreation Area is also a great option for overnight camping rentals. Another place in the park that is stocked with trout is the Wood River. The Wood River is known to offer some of the best freshwater fishing in all of New England – that’s saying something. If you enjoy freshwater fishing and you’re going to visit the park, it’s imperative that you take advantage of this opportunity. There are some areas of the river at that are for catch and release only. There are also some areas that are for fly-fishing only. If you plan on fishing on the river, be sure to call ahead for details.
The Wood River isn’t only great for fishing, but whitewater rafting as well. This is not insane whitewater rafting where you will be hanging on for dear life. These are Class I and Class II rapids. Class I rapids is just a little faster than a lazy river, so anyone can do it. Class II rapids add a little more zip, making it the perfect speed for anyone looking for a little excitement. If you would like to take a canoe on the rapids, there is a canoe launch site at Deer Check Station, which is right off of Rt. 165. Kayaking is another possibility, but this should only be considered by those with whitewater experience.
There is no entrance fee for Arcadia National Park. The pavilion rental fee is $15 per day. The shelter rental fee is $15 per night. There Reynold’s Horseman Area fee is $3 per night. There is no fee for backpack campsite. The park is easily accessible from I-95.