Johnson’s Pond, Rhode Island, USA

Also known as:  Flat River Reservoir, Johnson Pond, Johnsons Pond

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Johnson’s Pond — things to do, where to stay, fun facts, history, stats and more. Let’s dive in!

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All About Johnson’s Pond

Johnson’s Pond, also known as Flat River Reservoir, is a recreational gem located in Kent County. Damming the south branch of the Pawtuxet River near where it is joined by the Flat River created the 659-acre lake. Exactly when it was first dammed and by whom is lost in early American history.

The Warwick, Rhode Island area gave birth to the Industrial Era, ushered in with textile mills along the rivers leading to the coast. Many, many dams have been built along the Pawtuxet since the 1700s. Most have disappeared; all have been rebuilt. Many were moved. These dams all were built for hydro power in the form of water power and, later, steam. Most logically, someone named Johnson built one of the more recent dams in the area and the pond was named after him.

Something that is not generally known about the settlement of the eastern woods is that the first settlers invariably built dams and mills on local streams to provide power to grind grain, mill lumber or perform small work with crude machinery. Both the Pawtuxet and Flat Rivers have seen this kind of early development. Located less than 13 miles upstream from the modern City of Warwick, it is known that the Flat River hosted at least two small dams for textile looming purposes, although both are long disappeared.

The Pawtuxet contains a number of dams currently, creating ponds for municipal water, recreation and in some cases, electricity. No electricity is generated at the Flat River Reservoir but municipal water and recreation are the two main uses of the current lake. In fact, Johnson’s Pond, as it is known locally, is a favored upscale residential area — a community focused on the joys of lake living. Real estate opportunities in the area are numerous for both existing and developing properties.

All types of water sports are enjoyed at Flat River Reservoir. Wakeboarding Magazine once named Johnsons Pond as the best spot in Rhode island for wakeboarding. Personal watercraft are allowed at Flat River Reservoir even though they are banned at some other local water bodies. Water skiing is popular here due to the elongated shape of the reservoir, with tubing, power boating and sailing engaged in as long as the weather is warm. As soon as the ice is safe, ice skating and ice boating season begins. Large watercraft can be launched at the local marina for a nominal fee. The marina also rents water craft.

Flat River Reservoir is a favorite among fishermen; tournaments are held here regularly and the public access boat launch at Zeke’s Bridge provides a convenient spot to launch. The launch isn’t suitable for large watercraft, however, as there are low bridges between the launch site and the main reservoir. Fishermen thoroughly enjoy fishing for spotted sea trout, steelhead trout, smelt, whitefish, yellow bass, pickerel and pan fish. The average depth of 18 feet and the generous bottom cover provide fine fish habitat. Efforts are underway by the State of Rhode Island to begin a stocking program to further improve recreational fishing. Ice fishing is equally popular; cold, sunny days find the ice filled with bundled sportsmen jigging a line into the dark water.

Planning a vacation on Flat River Reservoir can make the entire family happy. Vacation rentals are available in the area that can provide both for water time and for more urban entertainments. With Warwick to the east and Coventry immediately to the west, there’s never a shortage of things to do. Trails in the area are popular for ATV riding, mountain biking, hiking and wildlife watching. Along the northwest shore of Johnson’s Pond, the Coventry Greenway is a bike and hiking path that uses the old New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad right of way and is part of the East Coast Greenway.

Near the western shore, the George B. Parker Woodland Wildlife Preserve protects over 800 acres for the enjoyment of New England wildlife and birds. Within the preserve, many mysterious stone cairns are found, built in the wooded area by unknown prehistoric peoples.The structures are apparently related to other stone structures in New England built by an unknown extinct tribe. The City of Coventry has several preserved historic structures, including Spell Hall, the General Nathanael Greene Homestead Museum. The General was second in command under George Washington during the Revolutionary War.

The history lesson continues with a trip to Warwick. Thirteen miles east of Flat River Reservoir, this thoroughly modern city has managed to hold onto its colonial roots. Several small crossroad towns from the 1700s are incorporated into shopping districts, with museums and historic points of interest clearly marked. Those with an interest in Victorian architecture and lifestyles will thoroughly enjoy the Clouds Hill Victorian House Museum. The Warwick Museum of Art is a great place to spend a rainy afternoon and nd a visit to Goddard Memorial State Park on Narragansett Bay is a must for seaside sand and salt water swimming. The park is supplied with miles of hiking and bridal paths, picnic areas, game fields and a nine-hole golf course.

Vacation rentals can be found in Coventry, Warwick the small villages of Hope, Crompton, West Warwick and Cranston. Often, sublets are available on the shores of Johnsons Pond. New condo developments are currently under construction, often with water views. Bring the kids and the water toys. Fun waits for everyone at Flat River Reservoir.

Things to Do at Johnson’s Pond

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Ice Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Water Skiing
  • Wakeboarding
  • Tubing
  • Golf
  • Picnicking
  • Hiking
  • Ice Skating
  • Biking
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • State Park
  • Museum
  • Shopping

Fish Species Found at Johnson’s Pond

  • Bass
  • Pickerel
  • Pike
  • Smelt
  • Steelhead Trout
  • Trout
  • Whitefish
  • Yellow Bass

Find Places to Stay at Johnson’s Pond

If you’re considering a Johnson’s Pond lake house rental or hotel, we’ve made it super easy to find the best rates and compare vacation accommodations at a glance. Save time using this interactive map below.

Recommended Sites to Book a Johnson’s Pond Vacation

If you want to take a deeper dive to find waterfront lake cabins, cottages, condos, hotels or resorts, check out our favorite Johnson’s Pond lodging partners.

  • VRBO – Use VRBO to find the perfect lake rental home, condo, cabin, cottage or other vacation property.
  • – One of the world’s leading digital travel companies, connects travelers to everything from cozy B&Bs to luxury resorts.
  • Expedia – Expedia is a popular online travel agency with more than 140,000 lodging properties worldwide.
  • – With more than 325,000 hotels in 19,000-plus locations, is an industry leader in online accommodations.
  • TripAdvisor – Read traveler reviews and compare prices on hotels, vacation rentals and more at TripAdvisor.
  • Trivago – Trivago helps travelers compare deals for hotels and other accommodations from a variety of booking sites.
  • KAYAK – KAYAK scours hundreds of other travel websites at once to find the best deals on hotels and other travel-related services.
  • RVshare –RVshare connects travelers interested in renting a motorhome with owners who have RVs to rent.
  • CampSpot – Campspot offers premier RV resorts, family campgrounds, cabins and glamping options across North America.

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.

Johnson’s Pond Statistics & Helpful Links


Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

Water Level Control: Quidnick Reservoir Association

Surface Area: 659 acres

Shoreline Length: 17 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 240 feet

Average Depth: 19 feet

Maximum Depth: 36 feet

Trophic State: Eutropic

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