Mount Hope Bay breaks off from the East Passage portion of Narragansett Bay near the town of Bristol at the Mount Hope Bridge (135-foot fixed vertical clearance). The Mount Hope Bay Inlet is 15 miles east of Providence (as the bird flies) and 17 miles northeast of Newport. Mount Hope Bay wends its way to the northeast and eventually turns into the Taunton River at the town of Fall River, which is home to many of the areas marine facilities.
Protected anchorages and moorings are available at the Kickamuit River, Cole River, Lee River and in the Sakonnet River to the south. Marinas are scattered widely with the largest concentration occurring at Fall River. There are four marine facilities here and two of them make transient facilities available at their slips. Fall River offers a decent array of provisioning opportunities ashore and makes a nice stopover for those making the circuit of Narragansett Bay.
Use NOAA Chart 13221.
From East Passage south of Bristol Bay and Hog Island, chart a course for the Hog Island Shoal Light about a half-mile southwest of the Mount Hope Bridge. Once you have sighted the Hog Island Shoal Light (flashing white ISO), change your course to intercept flashing green bell buoy 3 just a little to the south of the light.
At flashing green bell buoy 3, you can head toward flashing red 6A and red gong buoy 6 southwest of the bridge, and then set a course through the main span. The water is deep at the narrow passage under Mount Hope Bridge, and as such, the current can move through the narrows at velocities up to four knots. The prudent mariner travels with sufficient power or with a favorable current.
Past the Mount Hope Bridge about three miles up Mount Hope Bay is the town of Fall River with a good variety of marine services for the cruising mariner. Mount Hope bay is also lined with various other rivers and bays that are worth exploring; many have anchorages and moorings to safely tie up in.
Local Notices to Mariners are available online from the U.S. Coast Guard.