The 10 Biggest Lakes in Rhode Island

Written by Taiwo Victor
Updated: May 28, 2022
Image Credit JohnMernick/Shutterstock.com
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Rhode Island is the smallest state in the USA, although you wouldn’t know it from a visit because it is its second-most densely populated state. It is culturally and historically rich, with diversified geography. It’s also a part of the coastal forests in the northeast. If you love the water, Rhode Island is a must-see destination. Because of its great beachfront beaches, vast bays, and inlets, Rhode Island is known as “The Ocean State.” It has hundreds of bodies of water, with 75% of them being man-made lakes. Natural lakes and salty coastal lagoons make up the rest. They have sandy beaches with various recreational activities, such as swimming and kayaking, to keep you busy all day.

Exploring the neighboring marshes and woodlands will also reward you with the sight of various bird species. It might be best to stay overnight at one of the campgrounds to take advantage of the tranquil waters. If you ever want to explore some of Rhode Island’s lakes, here are the 10 biggest lakes in the state.

The 10 Biggest Lakes in Rhode Island

    10. Wallum Lake

Wallum Lake Rhode Island
Wallum Lake covers 322 acres.

John Phelan / Creative Commons – License

Two states share the pristine waters of Wallum Lake, which covers 322 acres (1.30 km2) of surface area. While the lake’s southern half flows through Rhode Island, the northern half flows through Massachusetts. Many people like swimming in the lake because of its clear waters. You can also quickly launch your boats from public ramps for a fun trip. Don’t miss kayaking around the western shoreline to take in the magnificent vistas of the Douglas State Forest’s lush forest-covered slopes.

Hikers will have many opportunities to explore the nearby paths through gorgeous woodlands. You can visit the neighboring marshy region to see many different birds. Typical catches in the lake include largemouth bass, rainbow trout, smallmouth bass, yellow perch, and bluegills.

    9. Pascoag Reservoir

Pascoag Reservoir, also known as Echo Lake, is located in Providence County. Because of the excellent water quality, the lake is often used for swimming and water sports. On a hot summer day, both locals and visitors flock to this freshwater lake with a surface size of 352 acres (1.42 km2).

Non-residents can also access the waters via a public ramp, while lakefront house owners benefit from having their private docks to launch their boats. You can stay in the Echo Lake Campground, which also acts as the lake’s access point, for an overnight camping experience. Fishing is prevalent here, even though it might be windy sometimes. Many fish species thrive in this lake, including golden shiner, smallmouth bass, yellow perch, etc.

    8. Diamond Hill Reservoir

Diamond Hill Reservoir Rhode Island
Diamond Hill Reservoir is the 8th largest lake in Rhode Island.

NASA/USGS / public domain

The Abbott Run river was dammed to form Diamond Hill Reservoir, which provides water to the city of Pawtucket. Despite few recreational opportunities, many visitors flock to this artificial lake in Cumberland for its picturesque scenery. The fall season is the best time to visit when you can enjoy the breathtaking fall foliage. Sunrise and sunset are stunning at this 390-acre (1.58 km2) lake.

Many folks in the region jog, stroll, or cycle along Reservoir Road for this reason. It’s also a great place to see bald eagles, hawks, falcons, and various ducks. Swimming and boating are prohibited since the lake provides drinking water to the surrounding communities. The beauty of the location, on the other hand, is enough to keep you here for the entire day.

    7. Beach Pond

Rhode Island Beach Pond
Home to a diverse range of fish, Beach Pond is a great place for anglers.

Morrow Long / flickr – License

Beach Pond is a 393-acre (1.59 km2) pond that spans the Connecticut-Rhode Island state line. A state swimming beach used to be on Beach Pond, but it has since been closed, and swimming is prohibited. There is, however, a brand-new boat ramp and floating dock.

The beach pond is spacious and open. The Arcadia Management Area encompasses much of the pond’s Rhode Island shoreline and some of the Connecticut side. Other portions of the Connecticut shoreline, on the other hand, are densely populated. Beach Pond is 60 feet deep in parts and is home to a diverse range of fish. Anglers may catch largemouth bass, pickerel, perch, catfish, smallmouth bass (one of the few ponds in the state with smallmouth bass) or walleye stocked by the state.

    6. Winnapaug Pond

A picture of the Weekapaug Breachway in Rhode Island.
Winnapaug Pond is the sixth largest lake in Rhode Island.

Mark Siciliano. Mark12211 / Creative Commons – License

The Misquamicut State Beach is the most well-known feature of this saltwater pond. Winnapaug Pond is a public leisure beach that runs the length of a sandbar separating the lake from the Atlantic Ocean. Despite its modest size and shallow depth, this 470-acre (1.90 km2) body of water in Westerly has a built shoreline. There are picnic spots, a gift shop, shaded pavilions, and a lifeguard on duty (seasonal).

The surrounding amusement park, golf course, restaurants, and motels can keep visitors entertained all day. Its shallow waters make it an excellent spot for kayaking. In addition to fish, lobsters, green and blue crabs, horseshoe crabs, clams, quahogs (Mercenaria), soft shell clams, oysters, and scallops thrive in this pond. Along with them come many shorebird species such as willets, egrets, terns, and great blue herons.

    5. Stafford Pond

Stafford Pond is a 487-acre reservoir in Rhode Island, and one of the state’s most enormous reservoirs. The north end of the pond has a few significant coves, but the rest of the pond is wide and open. It’s about 2 miles long and more than half a mile wide, so it’s hardly a “pond.” The west coast is mostly wooded, but the east side is more developed. It serves as both a source of drinking water and a recreational body of water, with a state-owned boat launch on its eastern border that attracts many anglers each season.

    4. Watchaug Pond

Watchaug Pond Rhode Island
Watchaug Pond covers 573 acres and is the fourth largest lake in Rhode Island.

Susilee Dean/Shutterstock.com

Burlingame State Park, one of Rhode Island’s largest and most picturesque state parks, is home to Watchaug Pond. It measures 573 acres (2.32 km2) and is wide and open. However, much of Watchaug Pond is within the Burlingame Management Area, with some residences along the southern and eastern shores.

Watchaug Pond is very popular during the summer, so expect it to be crowded, especially at the southeast end. In the early spring, the pond teems with trout, and the marshy western end feels more secluded and wild. On Sanctuary Road, there is a public cement boat ramp. School field trips and instructional activities about the pond’s flora, animals, and habitats are hosted by the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Rhode Island National Wildlife Refuge.

    3. Flat River Reservoir 

Flat River Reservoir is a big lake in Kent County, Rhode Island, with a surface area of 593 acres (2.4 km2). Because of the rise of blue-green algae (or cyanobacteria) bloom and related toxins, the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) and the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) advise people to stay away from Flat River Reservoir (Johnson’s Pond) as toxins can cause harm to both humans and animals.

People should avoid drinking water or eating fish from the pond. Fishing, boating, and kayaking are all activities that are not advisable. Animals that drink or swim in pond water are more vulnerable to algal toxins. Thus, owners should not allow their pets to drink or swim in the water.

    2. Worden Pond

Worden Pond, Rhode Island
Worden Pond is the largest natural lake in Rhode Island.

Jstuby / Creative Commons – License

With 1,043 acres (4.22 km2), this is Rhode Island’s largest natural lake. Although it is named a pond, Worden Pond is a lake in the state’s southeast corner. The lake’s history goes back to the late 1600s, but it is now a famous fishing location. It’s a shallow lake with year-round fishing, with bluegill, northern pike, and sunfish being particularly popular. Swimming, windsurfing, sailing, kayaking, and canoeing are popular activities in Worden Pond.

If you’d rather stay on land, the Great Swamp Wildlife Management Area trails on the lake’s northern end might keep you occupied. It’s a nature lover’s heaven, with wetlands, forests, and swamps home to white-tailed deer, cottontail rabbits, squirrels, foxes, and coyotes, among other wildlife. Many bird species are to see, especially during the spring and fall migration seasons.

    1. Scituate Reservoir

Scituate Reservoir Rhode Island
The biggest lake in Rhode Island is Scituate Reservoir.

JohnMernick/Shutterstock.com

Rhode Island’s largest body of water is located right in the heart of the state. Scituate Reservoir, in fact, provides drinking water to more than 60% of Rhode Island! The forest surrounds the 3,390-acre (13.73 km2) Y-shaped lake. The Providence Water Supply Board owns it and is responsible for maintaining water quality. Because of its preservation, there is no development around the lake, making it a peaceful location to read, meditate, or contemplate.

It is an enchanting site to appreciate because of the surrounding forests. Apart from that, there isn’t much to do here but admire nature. Alternatively, you can launch your boats at the nearby Hope Dam and explore the marshy sections and tree-lined shoreline of the adjacent Pawtuxet River.

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