A covered shelter at Colt State Park in Bristol is among the sites available for reservations (Photo provided by RI DEM)

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) today announced that it will begin taking reservations for picnic areas, covered shelters, and recreational fields at Rhode Island state parks for the 2021 season beginning on Monday, January 4.

Reservations will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis, and can be made by phone or in-person at the specific state park.

Advance payment for reservations is required within 10 business days; upon the receipt of payment (cash, check, or money order accepted), a permit for the site will be issued. Reservations not paid within 10 business days will be canceled. The cost for single picnic sites with one table and one fireplace is $5/day; covered shelters differ from park to park and range from $75/day to $100/day depending on the number of picnic tables and fireplaces included with the shelter. Rental costs for recreational fields vary depending on the size and location of the field.

Permit fees are non-refundable.  Making a reservation, obtaining a permit and paying applicable fees are done at the applicant’s own risk with the understanding that no refunds will be issued due to changes in Executive Orders, regulations or guidelines which may limit activities or reduce gathering or group sizes with regards to the ongoing Covid- 19 pandemic.  A refund may only be issued due to the closure of the park or facility by DEM.  

For reservations, call or visit the RI state parks listed below. If planning on visiting, please be aware that Covid-19 safety measures are in place, including the need to wear a face mask and maintain proper physical distancing.  Park staff may ask individuals to wait in their vehicles or in physically distanced lines outside the office as needed. It is recommended that you call the park in advance to make sure you are familiar with and prepared for these safety measures and to determine the current crowd level. 

Burlingame State Park Picnic Area

Route 1, Charlestown


1 picnic pavilion with 6 tables

Colt State Park

Route 114, Bristol


51 multi-table picnic sites, 3 covered shelters, 1 ceremonial chapel area

Note: the location of some sites at Colt have changed as of 2020; patrons are advised to check the desired location in person before making a reservation.

Goddard Memorial State Park

1095 Ives Road, Warwick


156 single picnic sites, 4 covered shelters, 11 game fields 

Lincoln Woods State Park

2 Manchester Print Works Road, Lincoln


92 single picnic sites, 3 covered shelters

Pulaski State Park & Recreation Area

151 Pulaski Road, Chepachet

Reserve online at https://rhodeislandstateparks.reserveamerica.com/

2 covered shelters

In addition to the areas that can be reserved, there are many sites that are available to park goers on a first-come, first-served basis and do not have to be rented. Please email DEM.RIparks@dem.ri.gov for questions on these locations or contact the park directly. For more information on individual parks, visit http://www.riparks.com.

As part of a larger network of recreational opportunities in the state, state parks play an important role in supporting public health, attracting tourism, providing affordable staycation options for Rhode Island families, and promoting a healthier environment. Rhode Island’s natural and public assets – including 1,000 campsites, 8,200 acres of parkland, 400 miles of hiking and biking trails, 200 fishing spots, 25 parks and nature preserves, and eight saltwater beaches – are magnets, attracting more than 9 million Rhode Islanders and tourists a year. They’re also an engine that add an estimated $315 million to the economy, generating nearly $40 million in state and local taxes and supporting nearly 4,000 jobs a year.

Everyone who enjoys parks, beaches, and public outdoor spaces has a responsibility to keep them clean. Consistent with this ethic, DEM in 2021 will continue the carry-in/carry-out trash policy that has been in effect since 1992. DEM’s carry-in/carry-out policy encourages visitors to take personal responsibility, take their trash with them, and leave no trace behind. Along with the National Park Service and most state park systems across the country, DEM believes this is a best practice that promotes conservation, fosters a sense of stewardship, and leads to better visitor experiences.

For more information about Rhode Island state parks and other DEM divisions and programs, visit www.dem.ri.gov. Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RhodeIslandDEM or on Twitter (@RhodeIslandDEM) for timely updates.