Colt State Park Visitors Guide

Where is Colt State Park

Located on Poppasquash Neck, Colt State Park resides entirely within the state of Rhode Island. The park is most famous for acres of shoreline and the access it provides to the bay and the Providence River. The park also contains hiking trails, picnic areas, boat ramps, an observation tower, a skate park, and areas for fishing. The closest city to Colt US State Park is Bristol, Rhode Island. Colt State Park is located 18 miles and a thirty-five-minute drive south of Providence, 17 miles and a thirty-five-minute drive southwest of New Bedford, and about 68 miles and an hour drive south of Boston, Massachusetts. The state park also lies near several other outdoor recreation areas. These recreation areas include Rocky Point State Park, Audubon Touisset Marsh Wildlife Refuge, and Fogland Beach Conservation Area.

How Large is Colt State Park

Colt State Park covers a total area of about 460 acres. The park’s geography mainly consists of shoreline, intertidal zones, and sparse woods. The park's shoreline spans for several acres, and contains various fishing areas, boat ramps, and picnic groves. The highest elevation found within Colt State Park is 33 feet. However, the majority of the park sits at or near seal level. The park contains groves of old oak trees.

Colt State Park Weather

The weather at Colt State Park varies frequently throughout the year. In the summer, temperatures in the park average between 60- and 80-degrees Fahrenheit. In winter, these temperatures cool considerably and average between 25- and 55-degrees Fahrenheit. The warmest temperatures of the year arrive at the park in June, July, and August, and the coldest temperatures find the park in December and January. On average, Colt State Park receives around 90 days of rain per year. These 90 days of rain accumulate to a yearly average of around 45 inches. Colt State Park also experiences snowfall throughout every year. Snowfall in the park normally occurs throughout the entire year except for July and August and averages around 35 inches per year.

When did Colt State Park Become a State Park

Colt State Park first became a state park in 1965. The land the state park occupies was once owned by Samuel P. Colt. Colt was an industrialist and the nephew of Samuel Colt who manufactured firearms. The land was purchased by Samuel P. Colt in 1905. The lands were purchased by the state of Rhode Island in 1965. The park is maintained and managed by the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management and the Division of Parks and Recreation.

Things to do in Colt State Park

Colt State Park offers visitors a variety of outdoor experiences. These experiences include activities such as fishing, picnicking, and wildlife viewing. The park also contains areas popular among nature enthusiasts and skateboarders. The most notable and popular adventures found in the park are listed below:

Explore the Visitor Center

List of Parks suggests the visitor center at Colt State Park to be the perfect place for visitors to start their state park adventure. The visitor center contains several educational exhibits and displays that discuss the park’s history, ecology, geography, and geology. Staff working in the visitor center can also distribute park maps and other brochures, as well as answer specific questions individuals visiting the park may have.

Join an Interpretive Program

Visitors looking to learn more about Colt State Park should look to participate in one of the interpretive programs the park offers. These programs discuss a variety of topics relating to the park’s ecology, history, and culture. Specific topics include sea level rise caused by global warming, the land’s history under Colt ownership, and the wildlife of Colt State Park. Each program held at Colt State Park is led by knowledgeable staff that know the ins and outs of the park. The schedule for these events varies but is usually posted from week to week in the visitor center.

Hiking at Colt State Park

The hiking trails at Colt State Park are not nearly as strenuous as trails offered at other state parks. However, these trails still do a great job of introducing visitors to the landscape of Colt State Park. Most of the trails in Colt State Park are accessible by hikers of all skill levels. More information regarding trail conditions and difficulty can be explored at the park’s visitor center.

Cast a Line or Two

Angler’s visiting Colt State Park will want to bring all of their saltwater fishing equipment along with them to the park. The park contains several areas where fishermen can fish from shore. However, visitors bringing their boats along with them can also utilize the park’s boat ramps. All visitors looking to fish within Colt State Park should come prepared with a valid Rhode Island state saltwater fishing license. All Rhode Island fishing regulations also apply within Colt State Park.

Take a Picnic

One of the more relaxed activities at Colt State Park is taking a picnic under the park’s groves of trees. The park contains several areas perfect for picnicking. The activity is a great way to relax and take in the sights and sounds of the park. It is also perfect for the whole family.

Wildlife Viewing

Colt State Park provides a home to a variety of avian and other wildlife species. The park is consistently visited by flocks of migratory birds. Other resident shore birds also meander throughout the park all year long. Other wildlife spotted in the park includes marine mammals and a few woodland species.

View of Sunset Over Calm Sea in Colt State Park Rhode Island

When to Visit Colt State Park

Colt State Park is open all year long, and visitors can visit the park throughout the entire year. However, a visit to Colt State Park is best planned for the summer months. During the summer season, temperatures in the park allow visitors to experience all the park has to offer. On the same day, summer visitors to the park can take a picnic, hike a trail, go fishing, and explore the park’s visitor center. During the late months of fall or the entire winter some of these activities may not be possible due to snowfall or freezing temperatures. Spring in the state park is also nice. However, temperatures can occasionally approach freezing.

Must Have Items to Bring to Colt State Park

Visitors planning a trip to a state park are aware the trip requires a bit of packing and planning, and a successful trip to Colt State Park is no exception. Below is a list of essential equipment every visitor should consider bringing with them to the park.

Water & Snacks

Our State Park Visitors Guide urges two of the most essential items for any trip outdoors are water and high energy snacks. Visitors looking to spend a day at the beach should bring water in addition to any other drinks they bring. The Rhode Island sun can dehydrate visitors rather quickly, and on the water or near the shoreline this dehydration is escalated.

Swimsuit, Sunscreen & Sunglasses

A swimsuit, sunscreen, and a pair of sunglasses will come in handy when spending all day in the park and around the shoreline. These items will provide comfort and protection from the sun. Visitors looking to wear their sunglasses near the water should bring a cheap pair with them in case they get lost or damaged.

Fishing Tackle

Anglers visiting Colt State Park will want to bring all of their saltwater fishing tackle along with them. Anglers will also want to obtain a Rhode Island state saltwater fishing license before they arrive at the park. These licenses can be purchased online or from a variety of local establishments.

Hiking Boots & Water Shoes

Colt State Park is best travelled through the use of two separate types of footwear. A sturdy pair of hiking boots will allow visitors to traverse the several trails located in the park, and a pair of water shoes or flip flops will be better suited for the bay and ocean.

Lightweight Rain Jacket

In case of a sudden rain shower or storm, visitors should arrive at Colt State Park with a lightweight rain jacket handy. Visitors should look to invest in a completely waterproof jacket instead of one that is just water resistant.

Path Along Beach in Colt State Park Rhode Island

Where to Stay Near Colt State Park

Colt State Park does not offer its visitors the ability to stay within the park. However, several privately-owned establishments that offer park visitors lodging can be contacted to obtain reservations close to the park. Visitors looking to stay in a large city should make the thirty-five-minute drive to either Providence or New Bedford.

Food Near Colt State Park

The closest food to Colt State Park sits just outside the park’s gates. There are various restaurants and bars located throughout the surrounding area. However, visitors looking for more options or a larger culinary scene should visit Providence or New Bedford. These cities are both about a thirty-five-minute drive away from Colt State Park.

Airports Near Colt State Park

The closest airport to Colt State Park is located in Boston, Massachusetts. The Boston Logan International Airport is 70 miles and about an hour and fifteen-minute drive away from the park. Other international airports located near Colt State Park include Bradley International Airport in Hartford, Connecticut and the John F. Kennedy International Airport in Queens, New York.

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