Rhode Island 77
The Quiet Corner
|Mileage||13 miles (21 km)|
|DurationThe duration is an estimate of a one-way drive and does not include any stops or side-trips.||21 minutes|
|SeasonsThe seasons listed are the best seasons for this scenic drive. If Winter is not mentioned, the road may be closed during the winter.||Spring, Summer, and Fall|
|Roadways||Rhode Island 77|
|ServicesThe cities or towns listed have either Food or Services such as gas, hotels, pharmacies, etc.||Fall River, MA▼, Somerset, MA▼, Bristol, RI▼, Little Compton, RI▼, Middletown, RI▼, North Tiverton, RI▼, Portsmouth, RI▼, Warren, RI▼, more...Newport, RI▼, and Jamestown, RI▼|
3.6 average from 20 votes
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This is a peaceful corner of Rhode Island, replete with miles of unspoiled shoreline, pasture, woodland and vineyards. Don’t miss sampling the regional flavors including the clear broth Rhode Island “Chowda” made with hearty chunks of potato and tender, juicy Quahog clams. Or deep fried delectable fish and seafood and Coffee Milk, a beverage created by mixing milk with coffee syrup. Work all that off with a long beach stroll — or two.
The scenic drive starts in Tiverton and travels to the end of RI-77 at Sakonnet Point. While the drive can be done in either direction, it is best enjoyed in the direction described here. To reach Tiverton, take exit 5 off RI-24. If you are coming from Massachusetts, you can reach RI-24 by taking exit 8A off I-295.
As you drive south along RI-77, the Sakonnet River, which is actually a tidal channel, lies to the west, and the largest of the Narragansett Bay islands, Rhode Island and the town of Portsmouth are visible.
You will then pass Nannaquaket Pond and a series of quaint, pastoral farms. In summer and fall, produce abounds and you can enjoy blueberries, grapes, peaches, strawberries, corn and more at road-side stands.
Just ahead on the right, bird and nature lovers will want to explore the Emilie Ruecker Wildlife Refuge (H1). Fifty-acres of salt marsh and woodland offer spectacular views of the Sakonnet River and abundant wildlife watching. Stroll one of the three color-coded trails that leave from the parking area and tuck yourself into one of the blinds to observe and photograph the many inhabitants including the great egret, glossy ibis, great blue heron, and great horned owl. Take the Jack’s Island Trail, which leads to a peninsula and home to breeding osprey.
Or from RI-77, head left to the Pardon Gray Preserve and Weetamoo Woods (H2). Though they are separate entities, the combined 700-acres make for incredible natural experience and a network of hiking trails travel through both areas. Here you will experience a diverse wildlife of whitetail deer, opossum, raccoon, fox, coyote, chipmunk as well as wood frogs and salamanders. The remnants of an old sawmill, stone and earthen dam, arched bridge and cemetery are a fascinating testimony to the regions’ history. Pick up a trail map at the entrance.
Back on RI-77, you arrive at the historic Tiverton Four Corners, bustling with shopping and dining opportunities, antiquing and culture. Explore this quintessential New England village and 18th-century architecture with a self-guided walking tour.
Continuing on RI-77, consider a side trip to Fogland Beach also known as Tiverton Town Beach by taking a right onto Pond Bridge Road. Gaze upon stunning views of the Sakonnet River and the Portsmouth shoreline. Along with life-guarded swimming, this area is excellent for windsurfing and sailing. There is a parking fee.
In Little Compton, visit the Sakonnet Vineyards (A1) for a tour and tastings and please remember to “taste” responsibly if you’re continuing the drive. The Little Compton Historical Society preserves the region’s history and cultural heritage in the Wilbor House Museum (M1). Learn more through its collection of art, photographs and artifacts in the meticulously preserved 1690s cottage.
Just two miles east in Adamsville, is the Rhode Island Red Monument, which commemorates the original breeding place of the Rhode Island state bird and hearty chicken breed developed in the 1850s.
The scenic drive comes to an end when you arrive at Sakonnet Point where you should stop and enjoy views of the ocean and the photogenic Sakonnet Point Light built in 1884. The spit is a coastal birding hot spot, and many wonders can be discovered exploring the tide pools. And if you’re getting hungry, this is the place to purchase fresh from the ocean lobsters.
From here, you can either retrace the route back along RI-77 or consider traveling the Ocean Drive.