The Newport Cliff Walk is among the most popular attractions in the state, and even in New England. The reason for this becomes clear after visiting. Not only is it beautiful, but it’s also a unique experience. Though there’s a good chance you’ve either heard, or even already seen the cliff walk, there are a few things about it that may surprise you.
1. The Newport Cliff Walk became a designated national recreation trail in 1975.
It is extremely rare to have a National Recreation Trail located in a National Historic District! This definitely adds to its wonder.
2. Historians suggest the trail was originally outlined by local deer roaming through the area.
This means it's centuries old!
3. The trail was better crafted from Narragansett Indians and eventually colonists who harvested anything they could from the shore.
Some salvaged materials even included beached materials from ship wrecks.
4. Wealthy industrialists who summered in Newport began to spread to this more secluded part of the island around the late 1800s.
This led to the beautiful gilded age summer cottages found along the path.
5. Greater attention was given to the cliffwalk in the late 1800s and it became much more developed.
It began to look like the cliff walk that we know today during this time period.
6. Development of the cliff walk continued until the 1920s with support from nearby estate owners.
The cliff walk began to take shape piece by piece.
7. Work on the cliff walk lasted until the Great Depression struck, temporarily placing any new development on hold.
This dark time in our nation's history impacted the country in unexpected ways.
8. For more than a century now estate owners have often argued over shore access.
Some have even taken it as far as building walls to block access.
9. Luckily public access to the cliff walk is protected based on its history of use and other rights.
Other rights include Fishermen's Rights, and a passage in the Rhode Island Constitution.
10. Though portions have been repeatedly damaged from hurricanes, repairs have been kept up with.
Even the U.S. Army has aided in repairs throughout the years.
11. The cliff walk is 3.5 miles total.
This makes it a perfect length for an afternoon walk with gorgeous scenery.
12. It is estimated that upwards of 200,000 people visit the cliff walk each year.
You can't blame them after you see the amazing views of the atlantic.
Have you been to the Newport Cliff Walk in Rhode Island? For an in depth look at the Breakers Mansion, the cliff walk’s most popular attraction, click