Today was a perfect 10! Aoife, Tarynn and I ventured to some of the areas of Rhode Island that are furthest away from Smithfield: Tiverton & Little Compton. We had an awesome time exploring this beautiful part of RI.
We started at Fort Barton in Tiverton. Fort Barton is a revolutionary war site, and the earthen fortifications are still visible today. There is also an observation tower at Fort Barton, and from the top of the tower, is an incredible view of Aquidneck Island, the Mount Hope Bridge, Roger Williams University and Mount Hope Bay. It’s easy to see why this was an important fort as the views are panoramic and expansive. We left a painted rock at Fort Barton. There are also hiking trails at Fort Barton, but we have hiked them in the past, and as we had lots on our agenda for the day, we did not go for a hike.
Next we continued along Main Road and caught a glimpse of the turkeys at Helger’s Turkey Ranch. Helger’s has been in Tiverton for generations, and as a little girl I remember my grandfather sometimes purchasing our Thanksgiving turkey from Helger’s.
Continuing along on our tour, we crossed over the town line into Little Compton and made a stop at Walker’s Roadside Stand. Such a beautiful farm stand, with gorgeous fresh corn, raspberries, and other vegetables, There is even a bakery & sandwich shop, Wilma's at Walker’s, which is a perfect place to pick up food for the beach.
After leaving Walker’s, we drove over to Simmons Mill Pond Management Area, which was recommended to us by our neighbor. I’m so glad we visited Simmons Mill Pond, because it turned out to be one of the nicest hiking areas we’ve ever explored. The trails are well marked, and throughout the property a group of dedicated volunteers have placed benches, and beautiful wooden signs educating visitors about the flora of the area. They have also constructed numerous shovels for dog owners to use as they walk the trails. We hiked out to the pond, and then returned to our car, leaving another painted rock at the trailhead kiosk. This is definitely an area I’d like to return to in the fall when it’s a little cooler to do more exploring.
We continued driving through Little Compton and happened upon Olivia’s Happy Rocks at the side of one of the roads. The rocks were so colorful and pretty that we had to pull over to take some photos and I even ended up buying one to give to Brian for his birthday. Thanks to Olivia for spreading joy through her creatively painted rocks!
Our next stop was the Little Compton Town Commons. This area perfectly captures the essence of an old New England Town, with its white wooden church, cemetery, old school house, town hall, and general store. Again, I would love to visit this area during fall foliage time.
Not only were our stops in Tiverton & Little Compton perfect, but the weather was perfect as well. So, our next stop was Little Compton’s South Shore Beach. Parking at South Shore is limited due to COVID, and as we approached the beach, we saw the “lot full” sign. However, it didn’t take long for a few cars to leave the lot, opening up spots for us and the cars behind us.
South Shore is gorgeous, with medium sized waves and very little seaweed. We spent the rest of the afternoon on the beach, and while the girls rested after being in the water, I took a solitary walk along the shore and watched the piping plovers running along the water's edge at Goosweing Beach, which adjoins South Shore Beach. I walked so far that I ended up crossing a few yards over the state line into Westport, MA!
After leaving South Shore Beach, we headed over to one of my favorite Little Compton places, Sakonnet Point. Sakonnet Point’s shoreline has sweeping views of the ocean, some small islands and the Sakonnet Light. We walked all the way out to the point, and watched the kite surfers flying through the waves. Sakonnet Point also has the most beautiful rocks, and we picked up a few to paint and leave in other places as we continue our journeys.
It’s an extra special treat when dessert comes before dinner, so we made our way back to Tiverton to go to Gray’s Ice Cream at Tiverton Four Corners. I have many fond childhood memories of family excursions to Gray's, where there used to be an ice cream loving horse that lived in the field next door to the ice cream shop. If you weren’t careful when saying hello to the horse, he would gobble up your ice cream cone before you even knew what was happening! The ice cream at Gray's was as good as I remembered it, and although there is no longer a horse to say hello to, there is still a shaded stone wall where you can enjoy your ice cream.
As for dinner, Evelyn’s Drive-In Clam Shack was our place of choice. You can arrive at Evelyn’s by land or by sea, and Evelyn’s has an indoor dining room, a waterfront patio, or you can take your food to go. We ordered clam cakes to go and they were perfect! Crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, and with just the right amount of clams. A delectable ending to our day in two lovely Rhode Island towns.
Other places we've enjoyed in Tiverton and Little Compton:
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We are a family who loves to travel and explore. Covid-19 has changed our plans for summer 2020, but we are making the best out of the situation by exploring our beautiful home state of Rhode Island. During the summer of 2020, we are hoping to visit every town in Rhode Island. Thank you for joining us on our journey!