Geography of Rhode Island

Covering an area of 1,214 square miles, Rhode Island is the smallest state in the United States.

General Features

Rhode Island is a state located in the New England region of the United States. It is bordered on the Massachusetts on the north and east; by the Atlantic Ocean on the south; and on the west by Connecticut. The geographic center of the state lies in Kent County.

The landscape of Rhode Island comprises two geographic regions:
  • The Coastal Lowland: Covering more than half of the mainland of Rhode Island, the Coastal Lowland occupies the entire coast of New England. The area is characterized by low slopes and forested woodlands.

  • The Eastern New England Upland: The area covering one-third of the state is known as the Eastern New England Upland region. Also called the Western Rocky Upland, the region is composed of rolling hills and higher elevations. Jerimoth Hill, the highest point in the state, lies in this region.

Climate of Rhode Island

Rhode Island has a humid continental climate characterized by warm, rainy summers and chilly winters. The highest temperature recorded in Rhode Island was 40 °C, it was recorded on August 2, 1975, in Providence. The lowest temperature in the state was '32°C, on February 5, 1996, in Greene. Severe weather conditions such as snowstorms, thunderstorms, and hurricanes occur occasionally.

Geographical Facts About Rhode Island

Area1,545 square miles
Land Area1,045 square miles
Water Area500 square miles
Mean Elevation60 meters
Highest PointJerimoth Hill (247 meters)
Lowest PointAtlantic Ocean
Geographic CenterKent County


Rhode Island has over 373 mountain ranges. The highest mountain peak in the state is the Jerimoth Hill followed by Durfee Hill, Whites Hill, and the Pine Hill.

The other major mountain peaks in the state are:
  • Benson Mountain
  • Howard Hill
  • Absalona Hill
  • Tunk Hill
  • Cooper Hill
  • Cucumber Hill
  • Bennett Hill
  • Badger Mountain
  • Mount Hygeia
  • Oak Hill

Rivers The major rivers in the state are:
  • Sakonnet River
  • Beaver River
  • Blackstone River
  • Greenfall River
  • Chockalog River
  • Queen River
  • Providence River
  • Sevenmile River
  • Wilde River

Lakes Among the numerous lakes and reservoirs in Rhode Island, the major lakes are:
  • Burlingame Reservoir
  • Butterfly Pond
  • Scituate Reservoir
  • Edgewood Lake
  • Elm Lake
  • Wallum Lake
  • Silver Lake
  • Lake Washington
  • Maple Lake

Last Updated on: May 13, 2017