Gaspee Point

Gaspee Point

Warwick, Rhode Island 02888

Official Website

About this Location

If you show up at Gaspee Point looking for a way down to the water, you may start to worry you’ll be accused of trespassing. Upon arriving at the cottage colony owned by the Spring Green Corporation, you’re immediately greeted by a gatehouse and notices alerting you to the presence of security cameras and an active neighborhood watch — tell-tale signs that you’re entering a private community.

But you’re actually on the way to discovering one of Warwick’s best-kept secrets.

Though it’s hard to tell from driving around the neighborhood — or scouring the internet for information — Gaspee Point’s sandy beach is open to everyone. You can even find a few free public parking spaces, if you know where to go (and get there early.) That’s because back in the 1990s the Spring Green Corporation agreed to permanently guarantee public access as compensation for having gotten carried away when building a seawall along the southern edge of the point.

“We screwed up big time,” Margaret Hogan, Spring Green’s attorney, told the state Coastal Resources Management Council at a 1997 hearing. Residents weren’t necessarily happy about opening up their private enclave, she said, but they’d needed to make a trade-off: “It’s always been a gated community, now it can’t be.”

From RI Coastal Access webpage