Rail Explorers is a unique experience that allows families to see the Newport coastline by rail, but on a pedal-powered rail bike, not a train. The rail explorer is more like a cart with four wheels that sits on the train tracks but it pedals like a bicycle. It stays steady on the track, there’s no need to balance or steer, and there is a brake if needed. Rail Explorers runs on the Old Colony Railroad, built in the 1800s. It runs along the Narragansett Bay and offers views of Jamestown, Mount Hope Bridge and Hog Island Lighthouse depending what route or tour you take. Two and four seat rail explorers are available or for larger groups, two carts can be hooked together.
The tours are guided but also solo, meaning there is a guide in the front and the back of the pact. All riders are spread out and you are essentially riding your cart alone, so everyone can go at their own pace. A few different tours are available to guests. Families can take Northern or Southern routes, both are about a 6-mile ride in total. There are sunset tours, brunch and fireside tours too where visitors stop at the halfway mark at a waterfront picnic area. The picnic area offers excellent waterfront views, a bonfire, Adirondack chairs and picnic tables. Most of the tours run about two hours long. Families are encouraged to arrive early and play some corn hole at the welcome shack.
Mid-May through early November. Reservations are highly recommended.
Age or Height Restrictions
All ages and physical abilities are welcome. Dogs are also welcome to ride. Children must be accompanied by a rider who is 16 years or older. Infants are welcome to ride but must be secured in a chest harness to an adult. Toddler harnesses are also available. Children are not permitted to sit in a rider’s lap.
Things to Know/Bring
The tracks are mostly flat and you don’t need to be physically fit to ride. But expect to sweat and get a bit of a workout too depending how fast you want to pedal. Restrooms are available at the welcome area. The tours run rain or shine and ponchos and giant golf umbrellas are provided if it rains. Rail Explorers is also currently offered in Las Vegas and the Catskills, NY.
Some tours include a light brunch, mimosas or S’mores.
Free parking in a lot is available.