Arcadia Trail

Exeter, Rhode Island 2822

Arcadia Trail

Arcadia Trail Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"A winding trail through Rhode Island’s largest protected area. Ask people in the know about hiking and biking in Rhode Island, and they’re sure to mention Arcadia Management Area, the largest management area in the state (13,817 acres) with the most extensive network of trails.

Habitats include deciduous forest, swamps, shrub wetlands, marshes, and open bodies of water, such as Breakheart Pond, Beach Pond, Browning Mill Pond, and the Wood River. Many species of game animals and game birds reside here—and hunting is allowed in season (starting in mid-October and running through winter). Be sure to dress appropriately with plenty of fluorescent orange during hunting time. Unless you want to make this a long out-and-back trip, you’ll need to arrange for a pickup at the end."

More Arcadia Trail Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Discover Rhode Island (Appalachian Mountain Club Books)
Christie Matheson
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"A fun loop on the north side of Rhode Island’s largest protected area. With close to 40 miles of trails and dirt roads winding through its almost 14,000 acres, Arcadia is a mountain biker’s paradise. Experienced bikers can easily find long stretches of challenging singletrack, including rides on the trails described in the Arcadia hiking trips in this book. A good way to get to know Arcadia (and search for technical trails, if you’re so inclined) is to start with this 7.5-mile loop trip on dirt and forest roads." Read more
100 Classic Hikes in New England (The Mountaineers Books)
Jeffrey Romano
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"At more than 14,000 acres, the Arcadia Management Area is Rhode Island’s largest public land unit. Popular year-round, it is managed for multiple uses including hiking, fishing, hunting, mountain biking, and horseback riding. This 12.6-mile circuit uses the area’s best hiking trails en route to Arcadia’s most interesting natural features. The gently rolling terrain allows for a relaxing pace. For those seeking shorter excursions, this all-day loop can easily be broken into three or more half-day adventures." Read more
AMC's Best Backpacking in New England (Appalachian Mountain Club Books)
Matt Heid
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"In the southwestern corner of Rhode Island lies a vast rolling landscape of streams, forests, ponds, open fields, wildflowers—and few people. The only backpacking option in Rhode Island, Arcadia Management Area encompasses more than 14,000 acres, beckons with more than 30 miles of trail, and provides an ideal early-season destination for those chomping at the spring bit. To call this hike a backpacking trip is a bit of a stretch—the designated camping area is only 0.25 mile from the trailhead—but the site feels surprisingly remote and provides an ideal base camp for exploring the network of trails that lace the park. The short hike strolls through lush and diverse forest along one of the state’s most pristine waterways. Note that the park requires hikers to wear hunter’s orange for safety during the fall hunting season (roughly September–December)." Read more
Best Hikes with Kids: Connecticut, Massachusetts, & Rhode Island (The Mountaineers Books)
Cynthia Copeland, Thomas J. Lewis, & Emily Kerr
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"Arcadia Trail in the Arcadia Management Area is maintained by the Rhode Island chapter of the Appalachian Mountain Club and is popular in the summer months with local folks as well as out-of-towners due to the easy and interesting jaunt to the public beach and picnic area. (Even in the fall, though, you are bound to encounter fellow hikers.) Brook crossings, small ponds, and forest strolls will keep children enthused until it is time to dive into Browning Mill Pond. Camping is available within the Arcadia Management Area off Escoheag Hill and Frosty Hollow Roads. Camping is primitive and a permit is required. There is a modest fee for camping. For more information about overnighting in the area, check online before you set out." Read more

Arcadia Trail Reviews

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7/13/2018
This hike winds through a forest and along a river at some parts. There are several other trails along the way that you can switch to if you don't want to take Arcadia trail all the way. I think this is a pleasant hike which doesn't have spectacular views but personally I enjoy a quiet sojourn in the forest by the water so this is a great place to go to de-stress and enjoy nature.
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10/27/2013
Pond was great. Trails were well maintained. If going during deer season were blaze orange.
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4/17/2010
I really enjoyed this hike because all the leaves were still budding and could see far. There are also some good fishing spots.
If you are looking for a long family hike that is pretty easy, this is a good one.
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11/5/2007
Arcadia Management Area is truly a wonderful experience. I utilize it 2 or 3 times each week and never tire of it's beauty. The trails are marked well, be it for a biker, equestrian, or hiker. It's one of the great treasures of Rhode Island.
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3/11/2006
Great trails. ONE big drawback -- I have read several descriptions of how everyone loves mountain bikers and EVEN though mountain bikes are not "technically" allowed they don't mind -- Well -- I ride up to the trail head on my bike and right there on the sign is a bicycle with a red X through it and someone says -- "you know there is no biking on this trail, right?". Enough said.
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9/1/2000
Arcadia has got some sweet technical riding if you can find it. towards the middle of the summer they had a motor-cross race that destroyed many of the trails on the north side, very unfortunate. The south side is where its at now with some fast decents and brutal, quick and steep climbs. Arcadia is always a good ride, certainly the second best riding in the state. Eye won't tell you the best because eye'm keeping that one to myself.
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6/15/2000
Arcadia Management Area is comprised of 15,000 acreas of land with about 60 miles of singletrack trails. The trail system ranges from easy to very technical. The New England Mountain Bike Patrols (Rhode Island Chapter of NEMBA) operate out of this area. We are there to provide help with medical care, Help trail trail users who are lost, evaluate trail condition and assist in repairs along with forest fire and vendalizm prevention. If your a new user to the Management Area be sure to get a trail recommendation from us. Maps are also available at the Main Lot located on the north side of Rt. 165 (down from the white church).
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Arcadia Trail Photos

Trail Information

Exeter
Nearby City
6.7
Distance
Shuttle
Trail Type
Moderate
Skill Level
4 hours
Duration
Year-round; best spring through fall
Season
Arcadia Management Area
Local Contacts
USGS Hope Valley
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Dec 2018