Featured in Beautiful New England Coastline, June 11, 2012
The Forty Steps at Narragansett Ave. At the end of Narragansett Ave,Newport Rhode Isand., about 3/4ths of a mile south from Memorial Boulevard, are the Forty Steps … a dramatic stone staircase that drops about 2/3rds of the way down the side of the cliff to a balcony over the sea. It is part of the famous Cliff Walk.
There are acually a few more than the 40 steps, as you can see there are some that lead down to where the 40 steps begin.
The original 40 steps were WOODEN – can you imagine?? down the cliffs off Newport on the eastern side. During the late 1800s during Newport’s Golden Age, the Forty Steps were a gathering place for the servants and workers from the nearby mansions. Here they would hold weekend dances and play the Irish songs and music that reminded them of home. I have an old postcard I bought from the early 1900s that shows the wooden steps down the cliff. Not sure when they built the stone steps, but they are steep as you can see and it is a spectacular view, especially after a storm when the ocean is crashing.
Newport Rhode Island is one of the oldest cities in the USA, founded in 1639. Some of the original houses and cobble stone streets are still in tact and there.