Burlingame State Park

Burlingame State Park

The centerpiece of Burlingame State Park's picnic area is Watchaug Pond, one of the largest freshwater ponds in Rhode Island. Enjoy a family picnic or spend a quiet day reading on the sandy beach. The picnic area features fireplaces, picnic tables, a sandy beach area with swimming area, and large, shelter pavillon. Close by is a boat launch for boating and fishing (with a RI Freshwater Fishing License).

If you're looking to explore around the pond's exterior follow the nearly 8-mile John Vincent Gormley Trail that runs through Burlingame and the Kimball Wildlife Refuge. On leash dogs welcome. Please note that this trail follows the roadway in some areas and also traverses through Burlingame Management Area which allows hunting. Visitors should be aware of hunting seasons and blaze orange clothing requirements. Follow the bright yellow trail markers maintained by the Narragansett chapter of the Appalachian Mountain Club.

Just a short drive away is the popular Burlingame State Campground.

Picnic tables and bbq pits in a grassy area near Watchaug Pond in Charlestown


  • Swimming
  • Picnicking
  • Sightseeing
  • Freshwater Fishing
  • Photography


  • Restroom Facilities (May 1 to October 31)

Non-Surf Beach Notice

There are no fees to access beaches within state parks. Lifeguards are on duty, as staffing allows, seasonally from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM. When lifeguards are not on duty, swimmers are responsible for their own safety. DEM highly recommends that people of all ages learn to swim, respect the water, and know their swimming limitations. Parental or adult supervision is critical. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children and teenagers should always be supervised while swimming.

Log cabin pavilion at Burlingame State Park in Charlestown

Reserving Space

Scheduling a school visit? Planning a field trip or gathering?

  • Reservations and rental fees are required to use the covered picnic pavilion (with 6 picnic tables) from the Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend to Labor Day annually. Outside of these reservation periods, it is first come, first serve with no rental fee required.
  • Picnic tables outside the picnic pavilion are first-come, first-serve.
  • Regardless of the time of year, you will need to contact the individual Park Office or contact RI State Park Headquarters at 401-667-6200 or DEM.RIparks@dem.ri.gov if you intend to use the parks for an organized group gathering or event to determine if the activity requires a Special Use Permit.

Burlingame State Park