Step Outside - Rhode Island WELCOME TO STEP OUTSIDE! Find the best outdoor fun near you! en-us 30 http://stepoutside.org/ Step Outside - Rhode Island 144 144 http://stepoutside.org/ https://cdnstep-americantownscom.netdna-ssl.com/img/stepoutside_logo.gif Sat, 27 Nov 2021 17:32:33 -0600 5 Stunning Foliage Hikes in Rhode Island Looking to catch the best of Rhode Island’s fall colors? Head out to one of these great hikes perfect for the fall season! Escape into the woods for a few hours and enjoy the crisp air and fallen leaves crunching beneath your feet. If you’re not sure where to start, here are five great spots for that autumn hike in the Ocean State.

With four connected trails, Tillinghast Pond is the perfect place to spend all day hiking. You’ll pass by benches and scenic spots where you can stop for a moment and enjoy nature before continuing on your walk. For those who like to understand what they’re seeing on a deeper level, Tillinghast also has placed signs around the area that describe the native plant specimen to visitors.

Enter deep enough within the layers of foliage and you’ll find a war memorial located in the center of this forest preserve. You’ll want to follow the World War II Memorial Trail for half an hour until you stumble upon the memorial, which was the site of an army airplane crash in 1943. In addition to the memorial, you’ll also discover great views of Providence and the surrounding landscape.

This historical refuge (protected by the Audubon Society) comprises over 1,000 acres of diverse forest and wetland ecosystems, like beech forests and cedar swamps. The wetlands are nestled within geographic features called kettle holes, which were created thousands of years ago by chunks of ice breaking away from the glaciers that swept over the entire state. Today, you might also stumble upon a cemetery once you’re within the forest. 

Beautiful fall scenery can be accessed without having to traverse difficult terrain! The trails around Glen Rock Reservoir are more like walking trails than hiking trails—making it a nice spot to bring the family or your dogs. If you’re not too intimidated by the threat of chilly water, rent a kayak and take it along Queen’s River to explore more of the fall foliage from the water.

Though you won’t be able to enjoy the beach during the fall, Lincoln Woods has plenty more to offer. Located in Blackstone Valley near routes 146 and 123, this state park doesn’t take long to get to when coming from Providence. The dense forests throughout the park turn to a bright yellow during October—you won’t want to miss hiking there. 

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http://stepoutside.org/article/5-stunning-foliage-hikes-in-rhode-island http://stepoutside.org/article/5-stunning-foliage-hikes-in-rhode-island Tue, 19 Oct 2021 00:00:00 -0500
5 Perfect Fall Camping Spots in Rhode Island Watch the leaves change color, the air get a little crisper, and get in your last few bonfires of the year at one of these awesome Rhode Island campgrounds. These sites are the perfect fall treat, removed from the daily bustle of life. Here are five of our favorite fall camping spots in the Ocean State. 

On the shores of the Bowdish Reservoir, you’ll find this 100-acre camping site perfect for tents, trailers, and RVs. Forests closely surround the campsite, making it a great place to see the leaves changing color. Catch a sunset over the water, or take a long hike up some of the trails nearby the campsite. Though there aren’t any hook-ups for RVs, it’s still a great secluded spot just far enough away for a weekend.

This spot in northwestern Rhode Island offers a perfect weekend getaway! The wooded campgrounds are an idyllic location to spend a few days with the family. Enjoy all 12 acres of land, including a recreation hall, basketball court, horseshoe pits, and playgrounds.

Make new memories at Greenwood Hill Campground! You might not be able to use the pool during the fall, but this camping area has plenty more amenities to offer. Visitors have been known to discover deer and plenty of other woodland creatures while wandering about the grounds—see if you can spot some yourself! 

Fishing, boating, and games for the kids—Holly Tree has it all! You’ll be camping along a huge stretch of coastline, just a few minutes from Watch Hill, Newport, and downtown Westerly. If the weather’s bad, enjoy their well-stocked game room for the kids, or duck under the pavilion to hang out, relax and read a book.

Three-hundred sites are all yours to choose from when you book your camping trip with Wawaloam. Their 100 acres of rural farmland are a picturesque place to enjoy the fall weather. This campground knows exactly what families need for a great camping experience! Stock up on snacks, camping supplies, and apparel at their general store. If you’re out in West Kingston late in the season, you can even take advantage of their winterizing service. 

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http://stepoutside.org/article/5-perfect-fall-camping-spots-in-rhode-island http://stepoutside.org/article/5-perfect-fall-camping-spots-in-rhode-island Tue, 19 Oct 2021 00:00:00 -0500
9 Best Outdoor Fall Activities in Rhode Island Fall in Rhode Island is a special experience. Not only do you have access to stunning and vibrant foliage but you can also experience autumn at the oceanfront. What’s better than that? Celebrate the harvest season and check out the best outdoor fall activities in Rhode Island! 

Admission to this fabulous fall seafood festival is free, and a smorgasbord of saltwater delicacies will be on display along the gorgeous Newport waterfront. You will find fresh and prepared seafood offerings such as fish tacos, oysters, lobster rolls, fried calamari, and signature cocktails during this gastronomic extravaganza. And, moreover, there will be cold beer from Whaler's Brewing, live music, entertainment, and plenty of vendor tents.

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This famous mid-September apple festival draws in thousands of people with the smell of fresh-baked apple pie, apple doughnuts, and other apple filled or topped treats. Live music also echoes throughout Johnston Park all weekend, and there will be contests, entertainment, pony rides, carnival rides, and more. Plus, there is a free shuttle service in and out of town and even a kids zone.

Located in North Scituate and open since 1945, Holiday Acres Campground is a wonderful place for a family camping trip. Start off your day with a serene paddle in the canoe and take in all of the stunning foliage. Finish off your night by gathering around the campfire with the ones you love most. 

More than 6.4 million oysters came out of the Ocean State in 2013, and there are no less than 50 oyster farms in the state according to 2010 data. The upshot, naturally, then is a festival to showcase the importance and deliciousness of this saltwater bivalve, and you will find raw and cooked oysters of all kinds, tons of craft beer, live music, entertainment, vendors, and more.

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Looking to be wowed by some intricately carved pumpkins? There will be over 5,000 at the Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular in Providence. This festival is a major event not to be missed, it is nationally recognized by CNN and USA Today as being extraordinary. There is no better way to say goodbye to summer and hello to fall than with a pumpkin festival, and leave it to the experts at Roger Williams Park Zoo, who have been putting this event on for over 30 years.

Located in Snug Harbor/Point Judith, this fishing guide will help you reel in the catch of your dreams. According to their site, Big Game offers something truly unique. It doesn’t matter if it’s trolling, chunking, jigging, bottom fishing, or deep dropping, they’ve got all of the rigs and live bait you’ll need for a successful fishing trip. 

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Get lost in eight acres of corn on Escobar Farm’s themed corn maze. Be sure to check the website often for updates, and, remember, you will also find a giant pumpkin patch, hayrides, and more at Escobar’s. Plus, the farm is pet-friendly and open until the beginning of November. Be sure to check out the Halloween Party occurring every year at the end of October. Enjoy an old-fashioned costume party, with all sorts of activities and games. It is sure to be a fun event for all ages!

Come to see what Autumnfest is all about in this annual end-of-summer celebration on Columbus Day. Think state fair meets Fall festival and you have about got it, as you will find Midway rides, lots of food, arts and crafts, fireworks after dark, and live entertainment. Plus, this Fall celebration has been going on in The Ocean State since 1977, and it shows no signs of slowing down any time soon, so come to see for yourself what all the hype is about.

Finally, you can’t leave Rhode Island without talking about some of the oldest, most opulent mansions in the country. That’s right. The mansions of Newport are on display during this walk and sip wine and food festival, that takes place toward the end of September. The festival features a two-day wine tasting adventure with hundreds of wines, celebrity chefs preparing food, classes with wine experts, jazz, lunch, dinner, breathtaking ocean cliff views, and more.     

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http://stepoutside.org/article/9-best-outdoor-fall-activities-in-rhode-island http://stepoutside.org/article/9-best-outdoor-fall-activities-in-rhode-island Tue, 19 Oct 2021 00:00:00 -0500
5 Awesome Campgrounds for Families in Rhode Island Head to the great outdoors with your family for a weekend and enjoy one of Rhode Island’s many campgrounds. Packed with fun-loving staff members, clean facilities, and plenty of activities, you and your kids will be sure to love these five great campgrounds.

This campground fosters a tight community. The grounds are family owned, and the owners work hard to keep the facility—which includes a pool—safe and clean for all visitors! Younger children will enjoy the small playground, and adults and kids alike can gather for a game on the bocce ball court! The grounds are pet-friendly, too. 

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Since 1945, Holiday Acres has been curating a relaxing environment for the whole family. There’s always a fun activity planned for families, and you and your kids can take advantage of the facility’s horseshoe pits, pool table, huge field, and boating house!

This 80-acre campground is maintained by the Westwood YMCA on the Quidnick Reservoir. Enjoy activities like fishing, sailing, basketball and archery, or enroll your child in swim lessons or a day camp! There’s even a golf course just three minutes away, making Westwood the perfect place to spend time with the family. 

This is no pond! In fact, Worden is one of Rhode Island’s largest freshwater lakes. Take a dip and spend the rest of the day lounging around on the campgrounds—with clean bathrooms and a beautiful natural setting, it’s an ideal place to relax!

Find your perfect campsite within the 50 acres of tall pines that surround Whispering Pines. The camp offers a swimming pool, miniature golf, row boats, and a fishing pond, in addition to a snack bar open during the summer and a recreation hall. Join fellow campers for a pancake breakfast offered between July and September every year!

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http://stepoutside.org/article/5-awesome-campgrounds-for-families-in-rhode-island http://stepoutside.org/article/5-awesome-campgrounds-for-families-in-rhode-island Thu, 01 Apr 2021 00:00:00 -0500
5 Beautiful Scenic Hikes in Rhode Island Pack a bag of trail mix, strap on your hiking boots, and head out to one of Rhode Island’s beautifully scenic hiking trails! You’ll love the breathtaking views and lush natural forest you’ll find on your hikes at these five spots.

The Arcadia Management Area has it all for the outdoorsperson in your life. Wood River has great canoeing, there’s plenty of fishing and boating allowed, and there are miles and miles of clearly marked trails for hikers! Make sure to share the trails with the horseback riders and mountain bikers who also frequent this park.

While you’re exploring the trails of this wooded preserve, you might stumble across a World War II memorial hidden deep within. It will take about a half hour of walking along the World War II Memorial Trail before you come along this fascinating site, where in 1943 an Army Air Corps airplane crashed, killing three servicemen who are now honored there. Though the trail offers plenty of its own intrigue, you’ll want to stop by Mercer Lookout to catch sight of the Providence city lights in the distance.

Make sure to check out the thriving biodiversity on show at Ninigret Wildlife Refuge. You’ll love visiting in the fall, too, when the woods are exploding with color. At Ninigret, you’ll find over three miles of natural trails featuring interpretive panels, kiosks, and viewing platforms to get a great look at the surrounding wildlife. 

This trail is a perfect spot for beginner hikers who aren’t trying to exhaust themselves. You’ll walk along easily navigable, flat trails that will take you to great bird-watching spots. Want more birds? Then add the nearby Norman Bird Sanctuary to your walk.

This charming 2.3-mile pond loop will take you on a beautiful waterside walk. Take a break on a bench or near an observation area, and then get right back up as there are four trails and 2,000 whole acres to explore! 

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5 Great Hiking Trails in Rhode Island For some family bonding time in Rhode Island, take your kids trekking through the forest or for a nice stroll along the beach. The Ocean State affords a variety of landscapes for the most immaculate hikes. And don’t worry if the little ones tire easily, or if you have a less-experienced hiker in your group, there’s something for everyone with these five awesome hiking trails in Rhode Island. 

This 860-acre conservation area offers a gradual incline that provides a good challenge for kids. You might even spot a few rock formations along the way—you can read about their history, too, if you’re lucky enough to find the tallest one. Try taking the easy orange trail or the blue loop for a longer hike that takes your walk from two miles to 4.5.

Make sure to pack some sun block for this beautiful hike along the bluffs. This walk includes a stroll along the beach where you might stop and picnic or dig up shells, a staircase along the bluffs, and views of the charming Southeast Lighthouse. Leave plenty of time to catch your ferry back to the mainland at the end of the day, too!

Euphoric

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Pack up your binoculars—it’s time to go birdwatching! There are trails galore within the Norman Bird Sanctuary, perfect for hikers of every skill level. The Shady Glade Trail offers a more leisurely walk great for young families. Children under three are free, but others must pay a small fee to hike these trails.

An ideal way to immerse yourself in the vibrant nature of this trail’s surrounding wetlands is from the safety of a boardwalk. Because the Dundery Brook Trail is a boardwalk, it makes it handicapped accessible, too! The incredible forested swamps and wetlands showcase Rhode Island’s natural beauty at its finest. Everyone can enjoy the Dundery Brook Trail. 

This Middletown wildlife refuge offers about three miles of beautiful nature trails. The area has a long and storied history, being utilized for farming from the mid-1600s to the early 1900s, and also used as a U.S. Navy site in World War II. The nature trails offer abundant opportunity for incredible wildlife viewing with kiosks and interpretive panels. Children will enjoy every moment of this, and learn something along the way. 

#Daisies line the trail along the sea at Sachuest Point Wildlife Refuge, Middletown Rhode Island #optoutside #getoutdoors

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http://stepoutside.org/article/5-great-hiking-trails-in-rhode-island http://stepoutside.org/article/5-great-hiking-trails-in-rhode-island Thu, 01 Apr 2021 00:00:00 -0500
10 Best Archery Outfitters in and Around Rhode Island Boasting several different facilities and events, archers in the Ocean State and its surrounding areas enjoy bow hunting and practicing archery. You can practice in one of the many indoor archery ranges, shoot at paper targets, or play virtual shooting games to hone your aim. Plus, find tons of great archery products from makers like TenPoint, Bowtech, Mission, and more. So let's take aim and fire at the top 10 best archery outfitters in and around Rhode Island 

At Big Bear, get used rifles, shotguns, handguns muzzleloaders, and BB guns, as well as Barnett, Parker, and TenPoint bows and Wicked Twisted bowstrings. Plus they will fit you to a bow, cut and fletch arrows, or fix your bow or crossbow.  And find archery accessories such as broadheads, arrows, targets, fletch glue, mechanical releases, rests, sites and more.

Fin and Feather Outfitters is a family owned and operated outdoors store specializing in archery, guns, and fly fishing. F&F is an authorized dealer for Bowtech, Hoyt, TenPoint, Bear, Trophy Ridge, and QAD bows and archery supplies. Plus, you will find a knowledgeable staff, fly fishing lessons, archery lessons, and a complete bow setup and tuning service.

Hope Valley sells archery supplies, guns, salt, and freshwater fishing licenses. The store may be small, but it is chock-o-block full of gear and supplies.  Plus the staff is friendly and helpful, and you will find bows from Mathews and Mission as well as finding bow tuning and restringing services. 

Trader Jan's Archery Pro-Shop specializes in archery so you can rest assured knowing your next archery adventure will be successful. Find sights, stabilizers, strings, silencers, back and bow quivers, arm guards, finger tabs, shooting gloves, arrows, and more. Plus get traditional and youth archery bows, and practice your sport in Jan’s indoor 40-yard archery range.

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Established in 2009, XSpot is family owned and operated, and they pride themselves on competitive pricing. Find bows by Elite and PSE, aluminum and fiberglass arrows, stings, recurves, glue, and more. Plus, sign up for lessons, group-shoots, or to use their shooting range.

Largest stocking dealer in the area

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Opened in 1979, Tangy’s is locally owned and operated by James and Heather Dean. They are NFAA members and have also held offices in the RIFAA. Plus, they have been teaching archery now for over 40 years and offer 26 lanes of 20-yard target shooting and 3D shooting with McKenzie animal targets. Find products from Martin, PSE, and Oneida.  

At Buckley, they believe that archery is a family sport, and they offer classes & private instruction, archery instructor certification classes, bow sales & service, bow tuning & repair, custom arrows, outdoor clinics using our equipment and portable targets, etc. Find products from Parker, Lancaster, and more.

Owned by Chris Reed since 1993, this archery shop guarantees high-quality, personalized service and customer satisfaction. Choose from their impressive selection of the latest in high-quality bows and other equipment. You’ll find over 300 bows in stock. When you buy a bow from Reedy’s, they’ll help you set it up and get started. 

At Traditional Archery Supply, they are the purveyors of arrows, targets, quivers, armguards, shooting gloves, and more. Find bows for the expert or the beginner and brands like Fedora, Navajo, and more. 

Ace Archers’ specialization is Olympic recurve archery equipment, whether that’s beginner bows and gear to custom orders from the most renowned companies in the world. It doesn’t matter if you’re just starting out or looking for something in particular, Ace Archers has it. Find brands such as Hoyt, PSE, Victory, and more. 

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http://stepoutside.org/article/10-best-archery-outfitters-in-and-around-rhode-island http://stepoutside.org/article/10-best-archery-outfitters-in-and-around-rhode-island Thu, 01 Apr 2021 00:00:00 -0500
9 Best Bait and Tackle Shops in Rhode Island Not only is Rhode Island tiny and beautiful, featuring majestic cliffs, miles of coastline, vast national parks, historic mansions, and ecologically important estuaries, but, with a mix of fresh and tidal waters, the fishing is fantastic. Find excellent live bait, top-of-the-line rods and reels, and of course, expert advice if you need some help finding the best place to wet your line. Here are the best bait and tackle shops in Rhode Island.  

Established in 2007, this knowledgeable group, by all accounts, knows how to rig your rod to help you catch what you’re after. Plus, they have a great selection of everything you will need to snag trout, tuna, shark, and more. Find fresh and frozen bait, like sandworms, live eels, clams, crawlers, shiners, and more.

poles & hooks.

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Backed by more than 20 years of service and knowledge Watch Hill can prepare you for your next open-water fishing expedition or relaxing weekend fishing trip. Get custom-made plugs, jigs, flukes, and squid rigs, as well as line, hooks, lures, sinkers, and more. Plus, find fresh and saltwater bait, like eels, mummies, sandworms, crawlers, and green crab. 

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At Breachway find rod and reel raffles, apparel, fishing gear, propane, and more. Plus, there is free delivery of all kayak rentals, saltwater and freshwater fishing gear, and tons of local fishing talk. And don’t miss hand-tied flies, live bait, like crawlers, shiners, sandworm, crab, and more at the Breachway.

If ever there was a category for one-stop-shopping on the water, Snug Harbor would make that list. We are talking an inshore and offshore tackle shop, marine supplies, a seafood market, fishing charters, and fresh bait. Get jigs, rigs, and live bait, like eels, sea clams, squid, bunker, mackerel, herring, chum, and fish oil.

saltwater rod and reel combos

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Ocean State Tackle is the self-proclaimed largest dealer of Eskimo ice fishing shelters, augers and chisels. Also, they carry ice fishing traps by Heritage Ice Fishing Gear, tip-ups, spare spools, rods from St. Croix, and more. Plus, get the freshest pogies around, striper plugs, and squid jigs.

This live bait and tackle shop specializes in handmade in bucktail lures and teasers for all sorts of bottom fishing. Also find local knowledge, tons of fish talk, a variety of local baits and jigs, as well as sea worms, clam tongue, green crabs, worms, shiners, and tackle and gear made primarily for fishing in the bay. 

Established in 2013, get worms, squid, pogies, mackerel, crabs and more, as well as custom rods, reels, jigs, rigs, lures, knives, and more. Plus, find on-site rod and reel repair services and tons of fish talk. It seems the fish in the bay just can’t get enough of Bristol bait. Just check out their Facebook page to see some whoppers.

We’re talking the freshest saltwater and freshwater bait, from live eels, mummies, sandworms, nightcrawlers, frozen bunker, and mackerel to herring, and local squid, and fresh bunker. Plus, find spearing, tie rods, Shimano and Penn reels, pro terminal tackle, and more. 

Founded in 1972, Quaker Lane is open year round to meet your every seasonal need. They offer a full line of fishing, canoeing, and kayaking products, as well as fishing instructions, live bait and tackle, rod and reel repairs, and guided sport fishing expeditions. What’s more, get your saltwater license right here.

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http://stepoutside.org/article/9-best-bait-and-tackle-shops-in-rhode-island http://stepoutside.org/article/9-best-bait-and-tackle-shops-in-rhode-island Thu, 01 Apr 2021 00:00:00 -0500
5 Best Fishing Spots in Rhode Island The very best fishing spots are the hidden gems. These destinations, from rivers in the forest to clandestine coves, offer anglers a healthy population and variety of fish. These places are often passed around by word of mouth, but we’re here to spill the secrets. Here are the five best fishing spots in Rhode Island.

Right at the boundary of Richmond and Hopkinton, the Wood River offers great fishing spots whether you are standing on shore, kayaking, or working out of a canoe. Fishermen here typically find great trout, among other types of fish.

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Come on a dewy morning or a foggy sunset to Watchaug Pond, nestled at the edge of Burlingame State Park. Use the boat ramp to launch your boat into the water from your car, or stay on shore and fish from the rocky crags on the side. You’ll quickly fall in love with this spot. Need some gear or a boat before for your adventure? Stop in at Breachway Bait & Tackle in Charlestown, Rhode Island. Here, they have salt and freshwater fishing gear as well as apparel and kayak and canoe rentals.

Head out to Lincoln Woods State Park for a beautiful, wooded forest retreat that also boasts a popular fishing destination. Olney Pond consists of 126 acres of fishable space, which will give you and your fellow fishermen plenty of room to spread out. If you’re in need of some bait, Ocean State Tackle in Providence is your best bet!

The 39-acre Carbuncle Pond is located in the Nicholas Farm Management Area. This idyllic location is well-loved among anglers and has a boat launch for those looking to get out onto the water. You will find a healthy population of trout in this pond.

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This 480-acre reservoir is one of the largest in Rhode Island. At the north end of the pond, fishermen will find a few sizable coves but the majority of the pond is wide open. The pond is almost two miles long and is stocked with trout several times a year.

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http://stepoutside.org/article/5-best-fishing-spots-in-rhode-island http://stepoutside.org/article/5-best-fishing-spots-in-rhode-island Thu, 01 Apr 2021 00:00:00 -0500
5 Warm-Weather Fishing Destinations to Escape the Cold When winter drops its icy fingers across the fisheries of the United States, making the water hard in some places or the air just too darn cold in others, many anglers find themselves dreaming of warmer weather. The good news is, you don’t have to wait. If dropping a line through a little hole in the ice isn’t your idea of fun, head south! There are plenty of places where you can enjoy both tight lines and warm weather, all winter long. Here are a handful of warm-weather fishing destinations where you can go to escape the cold.

Islamorada, in the Florida Keys, is the self-proclaimed “Sportfishing Capital of the World”—and you know, it just may be. With the Atlantic Ocean on one side and Florida Bay on the other, Islamorada is exceptionally well positioned to offer a tremendous variety of fishing opportunities, including inshore, offshore, reef fishing, and flats fishing. So, whether you’re targeting tarpon, trolling for tuna, or stalking snook, you’ll find a fishery in close proximity to the island. 

The Hadley House Resort, located right on Islamorada, is one of the best lodging values on the key. Hit Florida Bay for some “backcountry” fishing (inshore and flats) with Pirate for Hire Charters, or head offshore on one of Dirty Boat Charters’ trips.

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Venice, Louisiana, is another U.S. fishing Mecca with its own title—alternately known as the Redfish or Fishing “Capital of the World”—that derives from its unique location, which places it at the center of a variety of fisheries: Inshore, offshore, bottom fishing, and even freshwater bass fishing. You could catch a bull redfish and trophy largemouth in the morning and bring home yellowfin tuna steaks for dinner in the afternoon.

Stay at Nicole’s Fishing Bed and Breakfast, which partners with several local houseboats to provide accommodation for visiting anglers. To hunt trophy-size inshore species like bull redfish, tarpon or speckled trout, hook up with Reel Tite Fishing Guide Service. Voodoo Fishing Charters will put you on the offshore species, like yellowfin tuna and mahi mahi.

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The Kona Coast of the Island of Hawaii (the Big Island) is yet-another destination that draws sport anglers from all over the world. Kailua-Kona’s large charter fleet is testament to the large numbers of marlin, tuna, and mahi mahi that make their home in the warm Hawaiian waters. Shore anglers can get in one some of the Big Island’s massive ulua (giant trevally) action—if you can get a local to tell you where to go.

Camelot Kona Fishing Charters is a skilled and respected charter outfit that has been putting people on fish for more than four decades. The Royal Kona Resort, on the bay in Kailua-Kona, is just minutes from the marina and is a great place to stay and relax after a long day on the water. 

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Largemouth anglers have it tough in the winter time, especially in the more-northern latitudes of the United States. Well, here’s some good news to soothe your winter bassin’ blues: One of the Lone Star State’s best largemouth fisheries is located deep in South Texas, along the Mexican border. On Falcon International Reservoir, more commonly called Falcon Lake, the day time air temperatures during the winter months average in the 70s and 80s. You won’t even need a jacket.

Falcon Lake is an impoundment of the Rio Grande, just southeast of Laredo. The 83,000-acre lake is a renowned largemouth bass and catfish fishery. Five and six-pound bucketmouths are not uncommon. If you’re looking for a different kind of challenge, Falcon Lake also supports a decent alligator gar population. The lake does straddle the border, so if you intend to fish in Mexican waters, you will need a Mexico fishing license. If you don’t bring your own, you can rent a boat from Falcon Lake Marina. Lakefront Lodge offers a variety of accommodations, from RV sites to motel rooms and rental cabins.

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St. Thomas, in the U.S. Virgin Islands, is another sunny island destination you can reach without a passport. And the flight is definitely worth it! More than 20 IGFA world records have been set by angler’s fishing out of the Virgin Islands, including the women’s all-tackle record for blue marlin, which was set by a 1,073-pound monster billfish. The islands’ location on the edge of the Puerto Rico Trench and in close proximity to the Gulf Stream make the USVI the perfect launching point for hunting big pelagic species, ranging from massive marlin to trophy tuna.

Consider Point Pleasant Resort, not far from Red Hook, for lodging. Double Header Sportfishing will get you out to the fish.

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Photograph Courtesy of Dirty Boat Charters http://stepoutside.org/article/5-warm-weather-fishing-destinations-to-escape-the-cold http://stepoutside.org/article/5-warm-weather-fishing-destinations-to-escape-the-cold Wed, 04 Dec 2019 00:00:00 -0600
6 Best Hiking Retailers in Rhode Island With vast state parks, historic lighthouses and mansions, and jaw-dropping coastal scenery, it is no wonder that hiking is so popular in the tiny state of Rhode Island. You can walk casually and look for rare birds, enjoy beautiful estuaries and rivers along coastal runs, hike through dense woods, and even explore an island. But remember that preparation is key, so if you love hiking in the Ocean State, check out these six great retailers. 

This independent retail store has been offering running, hiking, and cold-weather camping items since 1994. Get specialized footwear and gear from a variety of outdoor brands and enjoy a friendly, knowledgeable staff who are passionate about all things outdoors. With an unwaning commitment to its New England customers, the community, and the environment, Denali is a homegrown original.

This second generation, family-owned business has been serving Rhode Island and the surrounding area since 1985. With 14,000 square-feet of space, they offer a massive inventory of outdoor gear, featuring hiking, hunting, camping, canoeing, fishing, and kayaking equipment. Plus find hiking and outerwear products from the North Face, Merrell, Woolrich, Osprey, and more.

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Founded in 1998, Helly has its hometown roots in Newport. Their friendly staff offers expert advice on selecting the best gear for your outdoor explorations, so much so that they test Helly Hansen gear in the outdoors themselves. So, whether you are skiing, sailing, hiking, or camping, you’ll know you have a tested Helly Hansen quality product to take into the wild with you.

Established in 2012, Jamestown offers men’s, women’s, and kid’s clothing. Featuring jackets, hats, and gloves from Patagonia and Carve Designs, they also offer kayak, bike, and paddleboard rentals. Explore all of the nooks and crannies of Jamestown island in any weather with products from Jamestown Outdoors.

The “foul weather gear experts,” Team One has what you need to explore the world in any condition. Get tested outerwear products by Gill and Helly Hansen outerwear. Plus find trousers, gloves, hats, tech gear, sunglasses, watches, backpacks, dry bags, and more.  Don’t let the coastal weather stop your hike—visit Team One.  

Born in 1989 and based out of the necessity to create hard-working apparel and gear for hard-working blue-collar people, the Duluth Trading Company now features footwear, outerwear, shirts, pants, underwear, belts, backpacks, and stuff for the workshop. They might not have everything for your hiking trip, but what you find you will have for a lifetime.  

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http://stepoutside.org/article/6-best-hiking-retailers-in-rhode-island http://stepoutside.org/article/6-best-hiking-retailers-in-rhode-island Thu, 21 Nov 2019 00:00:00 -0600
5 Best State Park Campsites in the Northeast Camping in the Northeast (especially in the early fall!) is a bucket list item for avid campers, and if you’ve ever experienced it for yourself, it’s easy to see why. There’s something for everyone here, whether you love the cool, crisp air in the mountains or the shimmering coastline of the Atlantic. Take your gear to these five best state park campsites and experience the beauty and peace of the Northeast in the best possible way.

If you’re into paddling and primitive camping, you’ll want to plan your next adventure here. The 92-mile waterway takes you along a middle-of-nowhere journey that’s nothing short of breathtaking. There are also tons of hiking trails to explore, along with old railroads and trains that make you feel like you’ve traveled back in time.

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The Genesee River and gorge create a beautiful backdrop for camping. In the fall, the bursts of bright orange, red, and yellow along the river gorge make the entire trip worthwhile. With river rafting and more than 66 miles of hiking trails, it’s no surprise this park has been voted the number one attraction in New York State. 

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By far one of the most diverse parks in Connecticut, Rocky Neck is simply stunning year-round. The area is teeming with birds and other wildlife, which are best seen from the viewing platforms in the saltwater marsh. Beautiful beaches, saltwater fishing and swimming, camping, and hiking make this the perfect site for families. 

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One of Vermont’s most visited parks, Little River is a destination for campers, hikers, and outdoor enthusiasts of all sorts. The site was once an early settlement that later become flooded, and you can still see the remnants of old saw mills, cemeteries, bridges, and other vestiges.

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Home of the historic Turkey Point Lighthouse, this state park remains a family favorite place to stay and play. Most notable are the miles of diverse hiking trails, including a challenging-yet-rewarding three-mile trek to the White Clay Cliffs that overlook the Chesapeake Bay. 

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http://stepoutside.org/article/5-best-state-park-campsites-in-the-northeast http://stepoutside.org/article/5-best-state-park-campsites-in-the-northeast Tue, 01 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500
5 Impressive ATV Destinations in the Northeast Framed by the Appalachian Mountains and large swaths of hardwood and boreal forests, the Northeast has excellent options for the off-roading enthusiast. Test yourself on tricky obstacle courses. Trudge your way through mud bogs. These challenging and beautiful ATV destinations are some of the most impressive in the Northeast. Here are our favorites. 

Located just outside the village of Berlin, Jericho Mountain State Park is one of the newest additions to the New Hampshire State Park system. The park boasts dozens of miles of trails across beautiful terrain that includes forest, mountains, lakes, and streams. The trails within Jericho Mountain State Park also connect with other local trail networks, such as the Success City Trail, so that riders have near-unlimited room in which to ride and days-worth of exploring to do. Ride-in, ride-out camping is available in the park, near the visitor’s center at Jericho Lake. Every August, the park hosts the annual Jericho ATV Festival, which consists of food, music, and lots and lots of mud. Be sure to check state laws and park rules for licensure, age, and safety gear requirements.

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Tall Pines ATV Park is located in western New York, near the Pennsylvania border. With more than 70 miles of groomed and forested trails—as well as mud bogs and an obstacle course—Tall Pines has something to offer riders of all experience levels. Accommodations, in the form of rental cabins, are located on the Tall Pines premises. The Hann Homestead Inn, just minutes from Tall Pines, offers a lodging alternative.

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Located in western Maine, near the state’s borders with Canada and New Hampshire, “The Forks” is the area surrounding the confluence of the Kennebec and Dead Rivers. Several ATV clubs in the Upper Kennebec Valley joined forces and created an extensive network of trails—stretching all the way to the Canadian border—through this ruggedly beautiful region of the state. Maps of local trails are available from the Forks Chamber of Commerce or online. The trail network is expanded regularly, so be sure to get the most up-to-date maps before setting out. If you need accommodations in the area, Northern Outdoors Adventure Resort is connected to the trail system. Offering lodging, a pub, and ATV rentals, Northern Outdoors makes an excellent basecamp for exploring the hundreds of miles of trails in The Forks area.

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Some of the Northeast’s most impressive ATV trails can be found in the Allegheny National Forest of western Pennsylvania. The trail system contains more than 80 miles of riding room through a forested mountain landscape. Even the most advanced riders will be challenged by the rugged terrain on the 23-mile Penoke Trail loop. Novices can enjoy all that the forest has to offer on the 39-mile, out-and-back Timberline Trail or challenge themselves on the more rugged Marienville Trail loop. Camping is available at several places within the forest and near the ATV trails. Locate a campground and make a reservation at Recreation.gov or check the Forest Service website for dispersed camping opportunities. The Forest Lodge and Campground is located within the Allegheny National Forest and offers direct access to the ATV trail system.

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Beartown State Forest is a 12,000-acre expanse of hardwoods located in extreme southwestern Massachusetts. ATV riders can access dozens of miles of multi-use trails and unpaved roads across the area’s low-slung mountains and through the gorgeous wooded landscape. Several lakes, including pristine Benedict Pond are located within the forest’s boundaries. Camping is available inside the state forest, or there are several lodging options, like the Monument Mountain Motel in nearby Barrington.

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Photograph Courtesy of NH State Parks http://stepoutside.org/article/5-impressive-atv-destinations-in-the-northeast http://stepoutside.org/article/5-impressive-atv-destinations-in-the-northeast Mon, 29 Jul 2019 12:04:11 -0500
10 Best Ski Destinations for Families in and Around Rhode Island While Vermont, New Hampshire, and New York may be better known for their skiing options, southern New England offers some less crowded, less remote options that are just as friendly and just as exciting.  Whether you are looking for packed powder, groomed trails, or back-country tracks you will find downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, tubing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and more at these 10 best ski resorts and areas for families in and around Rhode Island.  

Yawgoo Valley is the only skiing area in Rhode Island. Established in 1965 season, Yawgoo is one of the southernmost ski areas in New England, and so it relies heavily on artificial snowmaking. Yawgoo Valley offers 14 skiing trails served by two chairlifts and also offers a snow-tubing park with eight lanes. In the summertime, this resort offers a 32-foot rock wall and a water park with 750 feet of water slides.

I couldn't get a video of her on the big hill, but she managed to do the lift today! So proud of her!

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One of the best mid-sized mountains on the east coast, Berkshire East is a lot like Vermont resorts, only a bit smaller, less pricey, and less crowded. Originally called "Thunder Mountain,” Berkshire East is no joke. It has the steepest expert terrain and longest beginner trails south of Vermont. Berkshire East features a mountain resort, snow tubing park, 45 runs, and white water rafting in the summertime. 

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Catamount Ski Area, located on the Massachusetts/New York state line, was founded in 1939. One of the original Berkshire ski areas, Catamount still has an old-school feel, and it is a must-ski for advanced skiers and beginners alike. Fans praise Catamount for it's challenging terrain, including the self-proclaimed steepest and longest runs in the Berkshires. 

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Jiminy Peak is a full-service resort that opened in 1948. With fantastic condos, 24-hour snowmaking, and three terrain parks for skiers and snowboarders, this is the largest ski resort in southern New England.  But, it is also the summer home to Mountain Adventure Park, and Jiminy Peak is the self-proclaimed only mountain resort in North America to generate its own energy using alternative wind power.

With a 309-foot vertical drop, 16 trails, and one terrain park on 60 acres, Blue Hills Ski Area is part of the Blue Hills Reservation. Offering night skiing with state-of-the-art, environmentally-friendly lighting, snowboarding, and tubing, they also have great kids' programs, an on-site cafeteria, and an active U.S.-certified ski patrol.

In 1947, Skiing Hall of Famer, Walt Schoenknecht, created Mohawk Mountain Ski Area amidst the rugged beauty of a formerly undeveloped northwestern Connecticut. In 1948 Walt developed the so-called first snowmaking system ever used at a resort. With great snow (real and homemade), well marked trails, new lifts, an excellent ski school for children, and an on-mountain restaurant, this is a wonderful place to ski with the family. 

Ski Sundown is a true teaching mountain, with over 50 percent of its trails suitable for beginners. Sundown has 16 trails, 15 of which are lit up for night skiing, which are sprawled out over 70 acres of skiable terrain. Skiers can access trails via three triple chairlifts, a double, and a conveyor. The mountain has 100 percent snowmaking capacity and a 1,075-foot summit. 

Opened in 1959, Powder Ridge ran continuously until the 2006-2007 season. When it reopened in December 2013, it had been restored and upgraded to its current operation and features a massive 500-foot vertical drop with 80 skiable acres and 19 named trails. Four terrain parks supports freestyling and a tubing option is included with every lift ticket purchase.

Good times with Chloe!!! #ski #skiing #skipatrol #powderridge #middlefieldct #nsp #love #family

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Woodbury Ski Area offers downhill skiing, boarding, and tubing serviced by a chairlift, two magic carpets, a rope tow, and a handle tow. With a good ski school and several racing programs, Woodbury also offers night skiing and day camps. Plus, enjoy cross-country and snowshoeing opportunities.

With 14 trails suited for all levels, this former farm property began its life in 1964. It is spread out over 50 acres and has a 425-foot vertical, offering affordable skiing and riding, night skiing, lessons, racing programs, and more. Plus, enjoy a beverage and a meal in the Mountain Room, or treat yourself to a warm homemade waffle with your favorite toppings at the Waffle Haus.

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http://stepoutside.org/article/10-best-ski-destinations-for-families-in-and-around-rhode-island http://stepoutside.org/article/10-best-ski-destinations-for-families-in-and-around-rhode-island Fri, 01 Mar 2019 00:00:00 -0600
10 Best Ice Skating Rinks in Rhode Island Rhode Island carries the same tradition as the rest of New England as being a wonderful place for ice skating. From big city rinks in Providence to cozy spots in Smithfield, you’ll find plenty of opportunity to lace up your skates in the Ocean State. Here are the 10 best ice skating rinks in Rhode Island! 

This arena is located in the heart of downtown Providence in the Kennedy Plaza, and it is managed by the Providence Parks and Recreation Department and operates all year-round. Open for public skates, skating lesson, and learn to skate programs, this open-air facility is truly a rink for the public.

Enjoy the historic colonial charm and vast ocean views surrounding this outdoor waterfront rink. This rink can accommodate 150 people and you’ll find free parking, ice skate rentals for adults and children, on-site concessions, admission discounts, professional skating instructors, and shopping and dining options within walking distance.

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The Washington Trust Community Skating Center offers 12,000 square-feet of real ice on a 100-by-120 foot outdoor rink that seats 200. And with over 250 pairs of rental skates, they are bound to have a size that fits you. Plus enjoy a cup of hot chocolate from the concession stand as you watch as your family enjoys public skating, ice skating lessons, youth & adult hockey leagues, broomball, stick time, and more.

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The primary goal of Thayer Arena is to provide a year-round, clean, safe, and functional recreational and competitive ice skating facility for both resident and non-resident. Home to the Warwick Figure Skaters, and the Warwick Junior Hockey, the Thayer also supports adult and public skating, school day rentals, and an introduction to skating program.

Skating with friends!

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The Cranston Veterans Memorial Ice Rink houses two NHL regulation-size rinks, and the facility features 1,000-seat bleachers. With 10 locker rooms, an arcade room, a concession area, and pro shop, this arena is also home to the Cranston Reds, a junior hockey team. But you will also find Learn-To-Skate and stick and puck programs here, too.

My curling team. ❄️ #comfortablecurlgirls #curling #wintersports #winterolympics

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The Smithfield Municipal Ice Rink is the home of the Smithfield Figure Skating Club, the Providence-Pawtucket Figure Skating Club, the Northern Rhode Island Viking Youth Hockey Program, the Rhode Island Saints Hockey Club, and local area high school teams. The ice rink also provides public skating hours for the general public, but you must have your own equipment.

Opened in 2002, this state-of-the-art ice rink was the very first indoor ice facility in all of Southern Rhode Island and feature four sizeable public locker rooms, a team weight room, a pro shop, and a Subway. And despite being home the URI men’s and women’s hockey teams, you can also find public skating sessions and a learn to skate programs, as well as camps and clinics.

I only fell 0.5 times

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The Meehan Auditorium is a 3,059-seat hockey arena opened in 1961. It is home to the Brown University Brown Bears men’s ice hockey team, and while there is no jumping, figure skating, speed skating, or hockey practice is allowed during the season, you may still rent the facility during off hours. Contact the university for details.

This arena aims to create and maintain a comfortable and enjoyable skating facility. And, to that end, the rink underwent significant renovations in 2006 and 2011 in an effort to provide a state-of-the-art center that supports a pro shop, cafe, and strength and conditioning center. Find public skate times, camps and clinics, programs and leagues, and more.

Annabelle at learn to skate

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The rink at Portsmouth Abbey is part of a coeducational, Catholic Benedictine boarding and day school for students in grades 9-12. Founded in 1926 by the English-Benedictine community, the school is located on a 525-acre campus along the picturesque shores of Rhode Island's Narragansett Bay, and its ice rink is open to the public for ice skating most Sunday afternoons. 

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http://stepoutside.org/article/10-best-ice-skating-rinks-in-rhode-island http://stepoutside.org/article/10-best-ice-skating-rinks-in-rhode-island Fri, 04 Jan 2019 00:00:00 -0600