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Rhode Island’s National Parks

The John H. Chaffee Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor visits 24 mill towns along the Blackstone River in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Pawtucket has the park’s visitor center and nearby Woonsocket is home to the Museum of Work and Culture. You can also hike and bike on the 11.5-mile Blackstone River Greenway and see Slater Mill, the country’s first successful water-powered textile mill.

The Roger Williams National Memorial is a landscaped 4.5-acre urban park at the original settlement spot of Providence. The memorial commemorates Roger Williams, who founded the colony of Rhode Island and who was a champion for religious freedom.

The Touro Synagogue National Historic Site protects the oldest synagogue in the United States. Located in Newport and dedicated in 1763, the synagogue has a dynamic history, remarkable story, and magnificent interior.

In 1781 the Continental Army under the command of George Washington joined forces with a French detachment and marched from Newport south to a battlefield in Virginia. The historic trail connects major metro areas, state parks, historic sites, and scenic areas. In Rhode Island, the trail covers sites in and around Newport and Providence.

Explore Rhode Island’s Founding At The Roger Williams National Memorial

Roger Williams was a reformed theologian who was expelled from Massachusetts for spreading “new and dangerous ideas”; in 1836 he founded a settlement, Providence Plantation, which was bought from an Indian chief and established as a refuge for those fleeing religious persecution.

The original settlement is preserved as a 4.5-acre park just north of downtown. There are open grassy areas, landscaped grounds, a grove, and the site of a spring which was the basis for the siting of the original settlement.

In addition to a visitor’s center, which is in the 18th century Antram-Gray House, you can see the Hahn Memorial, which honors the first Jewish person to be elected to office in Providence, the Bernon Grove, and colonial kitchen and Native American garden.