There are plenty of great ways to spend time with family in Rhode Island, depending on what activities you enjoy.
For some, taking a day together involves hiking the trails through the woods, while for others, it could include a trip to a nearby beach.
Families that appreciate biking might consider taking things up a notch with a visit to Woodland BMX, one of the state's top outdoor tracks.
Programs are available for the entire family at Woodland BMX, and its central location makes it accessible from almost anywhere in the state.
Here's what you should know about Woodland BMX in West Greenwich, Rhode Island.
How to Get There
As we mentioned, Woodland BMX is accessible from pretty much anywhere in western Rhode Island because it's just off the I-95. As a result, it's only 30 minutes from downtown Providence and just over 20 minutes from Westerly. The track is also easy to reach in about 20 minutes from locations away from the I-95 like North Kingstown and Charlestown.
If you're arriving on the I-95, you'll take Exit 5B onto the Victory Highway and turn right just after a restaurant called Dan's Place. From there, you'll turn right again onto Barnett Lane and follow it until you reach the track's parking lot.
Parking is abundant, so you shouldn't run into any problems finding a spot.
When arriving from a town east of the track like North Kingstown, you can get right onto the Victory Highway, also known as Route 102, and follow it directly to Woodland BMX.
The same goes when traveling from towns north of the venue, as Route 102 runs through the state and takes you straight to Woodland BMX.
Practices and Coaching
You're probably wondering how you go about using the track, and it's actually pretty simple.
Whether you're a beginner or an expert, the first step is to show up for an open practice. During practice times, you're free to make as many runs as you can fit in the allotted time.
The track generally runs two practices per week, one on a weekday night and another on a weekend day, giving riders multiple chances to enjoy the course.
These practice days break down into two sessions: one for beginners and one for riders with more experience.
If you've been riding BMX for years, you'll want to come during the second session because it runs at a faster pace, giving you more opportunities to get your runs in. If you or someone in your family is just starting out, instructors are on-site to offer assistance during the beginner's session.
Practices are $5 each, and you'll get about an hour and a half on the track for your money. Your first practice at the facility is free, giving you the chance to try it out without making a financial commitment. You're encouraged to pre-register to ensure you get a spot on the track.
Another way you can try the track is through a clinic. There are usually multiple clinics going on at any given time for riders of different skill levels.
For example, there might be a clinic on Wednesdays for advanced riders and another on Saturdays for new and novice participants. Generally, the clinics will go for multiple weeks, so you can apply the techniques you learn one week at the next week's class.
Clinics and practices are great ways to test the track out before participating in your first race.
Participating in a Race
Once you feel comfortable with the track and your skill level, you might consider registering for a race.
The great thing about this track is that there are races for all skill levels and ages, so you're never excluded from the fun.
There are divisions for children five and under and then specific age categories for kids between six and 16. Each age group has multiple skill levels, too, so beginners aren't left competing against more experienced riders.
Riders might sometimes have to race in a higher age category if there aren't enough participants to fill a division.
Once riders are 17 years old, they'll compete in the 17-20 age group, and then there are groupings for 21-25, 26-30, 31-35, 36-40, 41-45, 46-50, and 51 and over. Each adult division also has multiple skill levels.
Keep in mind that organizers won't fill all of these categories every week, so you might have to compete in a different division.
Whether you're new to the sport or an old pro, you'll find someone to race at Woodland BMX.
After you've spent all your energy on track, you'll probably want a bite to eat. Despite Woodland BMX sitting in a somewhat remote location, there are numerous dining options nearby.
For starters, Dan's Place, an American-style restaurant, is right next door. You can grab a pizza, burger, some wings, a plate of pasta, or a rack of ribs at this location, and they have a pretty good beer menu, too.
If you'd like a quick meal to enjoy in the car, there's also a gas station up the street that features a Popeye's Louisiana Kitchen, along with a Dunkin' location a bit further north.
Arcadia Pizza is right beside Dunkin', and its pies are out of this world. They also specialize in sandwiches and calzones and have a massive beer list.
You won't be short of dining options after your day at Woodland BMX.
Enjoy the Outdoors
Rhode Island is known for its outdoor activities, and BMXing is yet another sport you can try. Having a world-class track near South County makes it easy to give it a go, and the startup costs are incredibly affordable thanks to the course offering the first day, including equipment, for free.
Get out there and use the activities that make Rhode Island such an incredible place to live once you buy your home here; you won't be disappointed by your decision.