Article Summary: Rhode Island National Parks
Rhode Island National Parks! We’ve got four incredible national park sites for you to see on your next visit to The Ocean State.
I’ve been to so many of these amazing places since retiring from teaching in 2018. Did I mention that I taught history? I spent a lifetime teaching about the history behind these momentous sites. Then I got to see them firsthand. And now I’m sharing the stories of these incredible places with you. It doesn’t get any better than that!
We’re going to give you four wonderful reasons why you’ll want to make Rhode Island your next vacation destination.
So, What Is A National Park?
We get asked that question a lot because there’s a difference between a “national park” and a “national park site.” To help you understand that difference you might want to check out our article titled: What Is A National Park Really?
If you’re planning a visit to the Ocean State then one book that I highly recommend is: Rhode Island Off the Beaten Path: A Guide To Unique Places by Robert Curley.
Now without further ado, let’s dive in.
Table Of Contents: Rhode Island National Parks
Rhode Island National Parks
- Rhode Island National Parks
- More Rhode Island National Parks
- Rhode Island National Parks FAQ
- Meet The Parks Brothers
- We Hope You’ll Follow Our Journey
Rhode Island National Parks
1. Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park
Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park was established in 2014 to commemorate the role that the Blackstone River and its surrounding valley played in the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century.
The park was created through the efforts of local communities, organizations, and government agencies, and it encompasses a variety of historic sites, including mill villages, canal systems, and transportation routes.
These sites tell the story of the Blackstone River Valley’s transformation from a rural agricultural area to an industrialized landscape and its impact on the country’s economy, society, and technology.
The park serves as a cultural and educational resource, preserving and interpreting the region’s rich industrial heritage for future generations.
Things To See & Do At Blackstone
Visitors to Blackstone River Valley can explore its vast history, enjoy walking tours, paddle along the river, or bike along the Blackstone River Bikeway stretching 48 miles from Worcester, MA to India Point Park in Providence, RI and connecting with East Bay Bikepath.
One of the great things about visiting the Blackstone River Valley is you can just go off and explore the area on your own, at your own pace. Sometimes the best way to really get the feel for the park is to just take a walk through one of the villages and see how they all tie together around the mill and the river.
I recommend the following points of interest:
- Hopedale Self-Guided Tour: Hopedale began as a commune and grew into the home of the largest loom manufacturer in America.
- Whitinsville Walking Tour: The Whitin Machine Works made machines for textile mills across the Blackstone Valley and around the world.
- Slatersville Walking Tour: Slatersville is the first planned mill village in America, and the blueprint for the other villages of the Blackstone Valley. (Source: NPS)
Check Out: Four AMAZING Delaware National Parks
2. The Historic Roger Williams National Memorial
Among the Rhode Island National Parks, The Historic Roger Williams National Memorial is a great place to learn the origin story of one of America’s original thirteen colonies.
The Historic Roger Williams National Memorial commemorates the life of Roger Williams, a religious dissenter who was an early advocate for religious freedom and the separation of church and state in colonial America.
Williams was a 17th-century Puritan minister who founded the colony of Rhode Island in 1636 after being exiled from the Massachusetts Bay Colony for his controversial religious beliefs. The park, which was established in 1965, includes a memorial statue and a visitor center that provides information about Williams’ life and legacy.
The park serves as a reminder of the importance of religious freedom and tolerance, and is a popular destination for those interested in the history of American colonial settlement and the development of religious freedom as a fundamental American value.
Check Out: 18 SURPRISING Massachusetts National Parks
More Rhode Island National Parks
3. Touro Synagogue National Historic Site
One of the highlights of any trip to Rhode Island’s National Parks is seeing the oldest synagogue in America.
Touro Synagogue National Historic Site is considered to be the oldest surviving synagogue building in the United States. It was built in 1763 and was one of the centers of Jewish life in colonial America.
The synagogue was built by Portuguese-Jewish merchants who had settled in Newport and established a thriving community. The building reflects the integration of Portuguese and English architectural styles and is a significant example of colonial American religious architecture.
During the American Revolution, the synagogue was occupied by British troops, and its religious artifacts were used for horse stable and storage. After the war, the synagogue was restored and continued to serve the Jewish community of Newport for many years.
In 1946, Touro Synagogue was designated as a National Historic Site, and in 2010 it was named a National Historic Landmark. Today, the synagogue is open to the public for tours and is considered a significant symbol of religious freedom and tolerance in America.
The site is also home to a museum that showcases the history of the Jewish community in Newport and the role of the synagogue in American history.
4. Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail
The Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail is a network of roads and trails that trace the route taken by French General Jean-Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, comte de Rochambeau, and his army during the American Revolution.
It runs through several states, including Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia, and was established in 2009 as a National Historic Trail.
The trail marks the journey of Rochambeau and his troops from Newport, Rhode Island to Yorktown, Virginia, where they joined forces with General George Washington and the Continental Army to defeat the British in the decisive battle of the American Revolution.
The trail follows the path taken by the French army during their 1780 and 1781 campaigns, and includes sites and landmarks that commemorate the role of the French in the American Revolution.
The Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail is an important part of American history, as it highlights the critical contribution of the French to the American Revolution and the eventual independence of the United States.
Today, the trail is a popular destination for history enthusiasts, as well as a valuable resource for educators and students studying the American Revolution.
Check Out: 10 BEST Revolutionary War Sites In America
Rhode Island National Parks FAQ
Rhode Island is the smallest state in size in the United States. It covers an area of 1,214 square miles. Its distances North to South are 48 miles and East to West 37 miles. Rhode Island was the last of the original thirteen colonies to become a state.
The following is a list of must-see historic sites in Rhode Island:
Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park
Roger Williams National Memorial
Touro Synagogue National Historic Site
White Horse Tavern
Great Swamp Fight Monument
Rhode Island School of Design Museum
Gilbert Stuart Birthplace and Museum
Why Trust Us About Rhode Island National Parks?
We’re Jim Pattiz and Will Pattiz, collectively known as the Pattiz Brothers (and sometimes the Parks Brothers) and we absolutely LOVE the national parks.
You should probably know that we don’t just make this stuff up out of thin air. We’ve spent our entire adult lives exploring and filming America’s national parks and public lands.
We’ve worked with the National Park Service, the Department of Interior, USDA, and the U.S. Forest Service for years creating films on important places and issues. Our work has been featured in leading publications all over the world and even some people outside of our immediate family call us experts on the national parks.
Meet The Parks Brothers
Map Of Rhode Island National Parks
List Of Rhode Island National Parks
- Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park
- Roger Williams National Memorial
- Touro Synagogue National Historic Site
- Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail
We Hope You’ll Follow Our Journey
Our goal here at More Than Just Parks is to share the beauty of America’s national parks and public lands through stunning short films in an effort to get Americans and the world to see the true value in land conservation.
We hope you’ll follow our journey through the parks and help us to keep them the incredible places that they are. If you’re interested in joining the adventure then sign up below!