20 Rhode Island State Parks

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You might be surprised to learn that the smallest U.S. state is covered in state parks that are filled with beaches, forts, woodlands and lovely views. There are 14 state parks in Rhode Island and one historical state park to visit. The Ocean State is a place to enjoy picturesque scenery, charm and fun outdoor recreation.

Rhode Island State Parks

20 State Parks in Rhode Island

1- Beavertail State Park

beavertail state park rhode island
Beavertail State Park is one of the Rhode Island state parks you’ll love visiting.

Beavertail State Park is in Jamestown on one of the state’s islands. 

The park is on the southern part of the island; you can reach the island via the Claiborne Pell/Newport Bridge.

This place feels quintessentially New England and offers some beautiful views of an interesting piece of coastline. 

The park has four overlooks as well as pathways that leady you along the rocky coastline.

At the park be sure to visit the Beavertail Lighthouse Museum. 

Here you can learn more about Narragansett Bay, and Rhode Island’s shipping industry. 

There is also a wonderful science education program offered by the Beavertail Naturalist Program at the Beavertail Aquarium.

Other activities at Beavertail include walking, birding, picnicking and saltwater fishing.

Beavertail State Park is at Beavertail Rd, Jamestown, RI 02835.

2- Snake Den State Park

Snake Den State Park is 25 minutes’ drive outside of Providence along Route 6 in Johnston.

The 1,000-acre property has some lovely walking trails (10 miles) that allow you to see the working agricultural farm, the property and the surrounding landscape. 

The rolling hills and forest are the perfect place to escape to nature in blissful peace and quiet.

The name “Snake Den” may suggest an abundance of slippery snakes but actually the park’s name refers to a “canyon-like stone fissure”. 

There’s a 75-acre pond where you are welcome to kayak, canoe, row and paddle board. 

You can also fish on the water for bass, perch and pickerel.

Snake Den State Park is at 2321 Hartford Ave, Johnston, RI 02919.

3- Lincoln Woods State Park

Lincoln Woods State Park is another state park close to Providence; it’s only 15 minutes’ drive north of the downtown area.

Lincoln Woods State Park is one of the Blackstone Valley’s most beautiful spots. 

This was actually Rhode Island’s first state park and it is still a popular place to visit.

If you love swimming there’s the freshwater beach area. 

You can relax on the sand, splash about in the water trout fish on Olney Pond.

Lincoln Woods State Park is at 2 Manchester Print Works Rd, Lincoln, RI 02865.

4- Colt State Park

Colt State Park is in Bristol in eastern Rhode Island. 

The historic town of Bristol is well worth visiting, it is also the home of the oldest 4th of July parade in the U.S. 

This park allows visitors to view the charms of Narragansett Bay. 

The bike trail in the park intersects with the East Bay Bike Path which runs all the way from Bristol to Providence. 

It’s an excellent spot for a family bike ride. 

For even more fun bring a picnic and stop off on the grass to eat and marvel at the bay views.

On busy days you will find people flocking to the open fields to fly kites, relax and play games. 

There is also a fishing pier and canoe/ kayak launch at the park.

Colt State Park is at Route 114, Bristol, RI 02809.

5- Rocky Point State Park

Rocky Point State Park looks out over Rhode Island’s waterfront and is just 10 minutes from Warwick.

The park area has been popular since the 1850’s and because the 120 acres is so close to Providence plenty of people flock to the park, especially when the weather is good.

There’s a great pier that you can fish from as well as walking trails that lead around the park. 

As you walk you will also be able to check out the signs that display the history of Rocky Point.

This is a lovely scenic place to take a stroll and breathe fresh air.

Rocky Point State Park is at 1 Rocky Point Ave, Warwick, RI 02889.

6- Brent Point State Park

Brent Point State Park is in the south of Rhode Island in Newport just over an hour’s drive from Providence.

The park is on what used to be Newport’s finest estates looking out towards the Atlantic Ocean and Beavertail State Park.

The park is home to the Portuguese Discovery Monument which was dedicated in 1988. 

Other activities in the park include kite flying, saltwater fishing and walking along the waterfront pathways.

Brent Point State Park is at Ocean Drive, Newport, RI 02840.

7- Fort Wetherill State Park

Fort Wetherill State Park is another Jamestown state park that can be accessed by the Claiborne Pell/Newport Bridge. 

The park is on the other side of the water to Fort Adams State Park.

Fort Wetherill is surrounded by rocky outcrops, plants and flowers. 

This state park is often used by people to view the Tall Ship Events and America’s Cup Races that take place in the bay and the Atlantic Ocean.

Other fun things to do in the park include walking, mountain biking and picnicking.

Fort Wetherill State Park is at 3 Fort Wetherill Rd, Jamestown, RI 02835.

8- Goddard Memorial State Park

If it’s a beach you are looking for then you cannot go wrong with a trip to Goddard Memorial State Park. 

The park is less than 30 minutes south of Providence and looks out over Greenwich Bay.

This is one of the most popular Metropolitan parks in the entire state. 

There are spacious fields and a forested area as well as the Goddard Memorial State Park Beach. 

There’s also a nine-hole golf course, an equestrian area, game fields, picnic spots, and 18 miles of bridle trails. 

You can also try your luck at saltwater fishing. 

This is a wonderful park for the whole family to enjoy.

Goddard Memorial State Park is at 1095 Ives Rd, Warwick, RI 02818.

9- Fishermen’s Memorial State Park

Fishermen’s Memorial State Park is in southern Rhode Island, 15 minutes outside of Narragansett.

This charming state park offers a sort of seaside village vibe. 

The park’s campground is an excellent place to visit with family and friends. 

Whether you’ve got a tent or an RV you are welcome at this campsite. 

In addition to camping sites there’s also tennis and basketball facilities.

This is not only a lovely state park to visit but it is also in a great location close to Scarborough, Salty Brine and Roger Wheeler state beaches.

Fishermen’s Memorial State Park is at 1011 Point Judith Rd, Narragansett, RI 02882.

10- World War II Memorial State Park

World War II Memorial State Park is in northern Rhode Island close to the border with Massachusetts. 

This memorial recognises the Americans who served in World War II whilst honoring those who lost their lives and celebrating the victory. 

The monument plays its part well in both remembering the dead and informing people of the events of World War II.

This park is a peaceful place of reflection that is open year-round and 24 hours a day.

World War II Memorial State Park is at Social St, Woonsocket, RI 02895.

11- Burlingame State Park 

Burlingame State Park is on the banks of Watchaug Pond in southern Rhode Island, 15 minutes outside of Charlestown. 

Watchaug Pond is the centre point of the park. 

People head to the picnic area and sandy beach to enjoy a fun filled day in the sun. 

Pack up a big lunch for you and your friends and eat on the beach or at the designated picnic tables or the sheltered pavilion. 

The park also has a boat launch so you can bring your own speed boats, kayaks or canoes. 

You are also able to fish at the pond if you have a Rhode Island freshwater fishing licence which can be obtained online here. 

Burlingame State Park is at 1 Burlingame State Park Rd, Charlestown, RI 02813.

12- Haines Memorial State Park

Haines Memorial State Park is on the Providence River and close to the Massachusetts border. 

This is a park that was developed by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) during the Depression of the 1930s. 

This is a relatively small park but it’s a wonderful place for a peaceful picnic overlooking Narragansett Bay. 

There are 33 picnic sites in the park all of which have fireplaces. 

There are also two baseball fields and the cutely named Paws path, a dog walking area. 

Haines Memorial State Park is at 3 Haines Park Rd, Barrington, RI 02806.

13- Pulaski State Park

You’ll find Pulaski State Park in western Rhode Island right on the border with Connecticut in the town of Glocester. 

The park was named after Casimir Pulaski, a Polish nobleman who died in the American Revolutionary War.

The park sits in the 4,000-acre George Washington Management Area. 

This day use park offers an array of outdoor pursuits from premium trout fishing to picnicking and swimming in Peck Pond. 

One of the 100-acre park’s biggest draws is the freshwater beach which is a lovely swimming spot during the summer months. 

If walking is more your thing you can follow a couple of the trails that go around the pond and through the park.

This is also a park that transforms into a snowy playground in winter. 

There are 10 miles of cross-country skiing trails that lead into the George Washington Management area. 

Pulaski State Park is at 151 Pulaski Rd, Chepachet, RI 02814.

14- Fort Adams State Park

rhode island state parks fort adams
One of the most impressive state parks in Rhode Island is Fort Adams State Park.

Opposite the aforementioned Fort Wetherill State Park, Fort Adams State Park is 15 minutes outside of Newport.

Fort Adams served the U.S. Navy for 10 years and the army for more than 100 years. 

The fort was acquired by the State of Rhode Island in 1965. 

Since then, the site has been used for a myriad of rather different purposes. 

Jazz and folk festivals have been held at the fort as well as it being the base of Newport sailing. 

There’s plenty to see and do at the park, including playing fields, a canoe launch, and a fishing pier. 

You can head to Sail Newport (which is based at the park) for sailboat and windsurfing rentals. 

If you check out Sail Newport’s website before you visit you might be able to catch one of their sailing events or races.

Whether you visit for a nice run, a walk or even roller blading, there’s plenty of space to move around and the views of both the fort and the water are exquisite.

Fort Adams State Park is at 80 Fort Adams Dr, Newport, RI 02840.

15- Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park

Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park is on the Blackstone River, 15 minutes’ drive from Providence in Pawtucket.

The Blackstone River played a fundamental role in powering America’s Age of Industry. 

At the Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park you can learn about America’s industrial history. 

Samuel Slater’s cotton mill in Pawtucket, Rhode Island was pivotal in changing how industries worked in the U.S. 

You can look around Slater Mill between May and December from Thursday to Sunday. 

Ranger led tours last for around 45 minutes and are conducted three times a day. 

On the first Friday of each month between June and October the park also offers special programs which include concerts and movie nights. 

These events are completely free to attend!

You can follow the Blackstone Bikeway on wheels or on foot to navigate around the park’s grounds. 

There’s even a National Park Service app that allows you to take a self-guided walking tour. 

There is also the Captain Wilbur Kelly House Museum of Transportation which is open seasonally.

This is a fantastic state park for history lovers or indeed any students that might be learning about the American Revolution at school or college.

Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park is at 65 Roosevelt Ave, Pawtucket, RI 02860. 

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harriet comley
Harriet Comley is a travel enthusiast, freelance travel writer and a lover of safaris. Since 2017 she has been travelling the globe living in the UK, Canada, Vietnam, China and now Zambia, where she is completing her PhD in Sustainable Tourism. For 3 1/2 years she taught English in Vietnam and China. Now she has turned her attention to writing, having contributed to a number of travel blogs and websites always focusing on what she loves most…exploring!