The 13-acre (5-hectare Ballard Park is an elegant Newport oasis ringed with dense forest and plenty of green spots for sun and shade. The park features walking paths, streams, wooded ravines, a vernal pond, and two 19th-century quarries. Parts of the park even offer views of the Atlantic Ocean.
Carol Ballard donated Ballard Park to the city in 1990. It has since become a beloved green space where both locals and visitors enjoy bird-watching, hiking, dog walking, and outdoor recreation. Pack a lunch and a blanket and spread out in the meadow for a picnic, or keep an eye out for birds, turtles, and deer while walking the nature trails. The park also hosts numerous events throughout the year, including movies and concerts in the summer months and an illuminated garden in the winter.
Things to know before you go
- The trails in the park are well marked and easy enough for children.
- Dogs are welcome but must be on a leash at all times.
- Bring some insect repellent, especially if you’re visiting in the summer months.
How to get there
Ballard Park is located at the intersection of Hazard and Wickham roads and Ruggles Avenue. To get here, head west on Ruggles Avenue from either Bellevue Avenue or Carroll Avenue. Most people arrive by car or on foot, but public buses stop within a mile of the park for those who prefer public transportation. Parking is available in the Rogers High School lot.
When to get there
The park is open daily from sunrise to sunset. It tends to be at its busiest on summer weekends. Plan to visit when the sun is shining to make the most of the park’s outdoor attractions.
Getting Outdoors in Newport
Newport is the kind of city best experienced outdoors, and there are numerous worthy places to do so. No trip to the region would be complete without taking a stroll along the spectacular coastal Cliff Walk, and the views continue at Brenton Point State Park, which overlooks the spot where Narragansett Bay meets the Atlantic. For a picnic by the water, try the small and scenic Battery Park, or enjoy a day at lively Easton’s Beach or kid-friendly Gooseberry Beach.