Rhode Island is the smallest state in the Northeast region of the United States. This small state has the seventh smallest population and is the smallest state by land area. The state is nicknamed “ The Ocean State” for one numerous large bays and inlets. There are currently two National Park Service Site in Rhode Island and 3 associated sites.

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Official National Parks of Rhode Island
  • Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park
  • Roger Williams National Memorial
Associated sites of Rhode Island
  • John H. Chafee Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor
  • Touro Synagogue National Historic Site
  • Washington-Rochambeau National Historic Trail

This post was published in February 2019. It was updated in November 2019 and July 2020.

This post may contain affiliate links, meaning if you book or buy something through one of these links, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you! Read the full disclosure policy here

Heading to Rhode Island and want to explore. The National Parks of Rhode Island has plenty of history and wilderness to explore. #findyourpark #nationalparkobsessed #rhodeislands #nationalparkgeek #nationalpark #nationalparks

Map of Rhode Islands National Parks

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Rhode Islands

Rhode Island National Parks

Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park

Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park protects the industrial heritage of the Blackstone River Valley.  The Historical Park is made up of seven sites in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Blackstone River Valley was the site of some of the earliest textile mills in the United States.  They helped bring about the American Industrial Revolution.

The park is made of the Blackstone River and the Blackstone Canal both waterways connect Massachusetts and Rhode Island.  Four sites are located in Rhode Island.  These are Blackstone River State Park, Ashton Historic District, Slater Mill National Historic Landmark District, and the Slatersville Historic District.  The Massachusetts sites are Whitinsville Historic District and Hopedale Village Historic District.

Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park was established on December 19, 2014.  The sites are managed in conjunction with private institutions and state governments.

Things to do in Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park: Self-guided walking tours, museums, ranger programs

How to get to Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park: The park is located between I-395 and I-495. If you are flying in the closest major airport is Boston’s Logan International Airport.

Where to Stay in Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park: There are many hotel options near Blackstone or surrounding areas. Worcester, MA is the closest mid-sized city.

Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park Entrance Fee: Free, but some of the state and privately managed buildings in the park may have an entrance fee.

Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park Official Website: Click Here

Photo Credit – Doug Kerr, CC BY-SA 2.0

Roger Williams National Memorial

Roger Williams National Memorial honors Roger Williams, the founder of Rhode Islands and champion of religious freedom. Roger Williams was an outspoken religious separatist. He believed in the separation of church and state as he was an advocate for the fair treatment of the American Indians.  These beliefs made him unpopular in the Massachusetts Bay colony.  He was expelled from the colony.  He traveled to the area now known as Rhode Island and purchased land from the Canonicus and Miantonomi people.

Today,  Roger Williams National Memorial is a park is an urban landscaped park on a common lot in the original settlement of Providence, Rhode Island.

Roger Williams National Memorial was established on October 22, 1965.  The Memorial wasn’t developed until the 1970s due to land acquisition issues.

Things to do in Roger Williams National Memorial: Ranger programs, walking trails, historical tour, museum

How to get to Roger Williams National Memorial: Take I-95 to Exit 23. The Memorial is located along the Moshassuck River in Providence, RI near the State Capitol.

Where to Stay in Roger Williams National Memorial: There are lots of hotel options in Providence, RI

Roger Williams National Memorial Entrance Fee: Free

Roger Williams National Memorial Official Website: Click Here

Map of Roger Williams National Memorial: Download

John H. Chafee Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor

John H. Chafee Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor overs 24 cities in Rhode Island and Massachusetts.  The Corridor helps protect the history of the Blackstone River Valley.  The Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park makes up a small portion of the Heritage Corridor. The Corridor promotes the protection of the historic mill towns that made up the early American Industrial Revolution.

John H. Chafee Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor is managed by National Park Service, two state governments, dozens of local municipalities, businesses, nonprofit historical and environmental organizations, educational institutions, and many private citizens.   John H. Chafee Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor was created on October 12, 2006.

Things to do in John H. Chafee Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor: Bicycling, Padding, Historic tours, museums

How to get to John H. Chafee Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor: The Corridor follows Route 146 and intersects with I-95 and I-295. The closest major airports are Providence, RI, and Boston, MA.

Where to Stay in Bering Land Bridge National PreserveJohn H. Chafee Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor: Lodging is available in Providence, Pawtucket, Lincoln and Woonsocket, RI as well as Uxbridge and Worcester, MA

John H. Chafee Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor Entrance Fee: Free, but some of the state and privately managed buildings in the park may have an entrance fee.

John H. Chafee Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor Official Website: Click Here

Map of John H. Chafee Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor: Download

By Ksherin (talk) – I (Ksherin (talk)) created this work entirely by myself., CC BY 3.0, Link

Touro Synagogue National Historic Site

Touro Synagogue National Historic Site is the oldest Jewish Synagogue in North America.  Touro was built in 1763 and was designed by Peter Harrison.  The building is oriented to face eastward and a mural representing the Ten Commandments was painted by Benjamin Howland.  The Jeshuat Isreal congregation dates back to 1658 when Spanish and Portuguese Jewish families arrived.  The synagogue was dedicated on December 2, 1763.

The Touro Synagogue National Historic Site is an active Orthodox Synagogue. About 175 families regularly attend services at Touro.  In 2005-2006, the building when through a restoration.

Touro Synagogue National Historic Site is an affiliated site with the National Park Service.  Tours are offered year-round. The times offered vary per season.  No tours are offered on Saturdays and tour schedule may vary due to Jewish holidays, ceremonial occasions and special events.

Things to do in Touro Synagogue National Historic Site: historical tour, musueum

How to get to Touro Synagogue National Historic Site: The Touro Synagogue is located in Newport, RI. The closest major airport is located in Providence, RI.

Where to Stay in Touro Synagogue National Historic Site: There are lodging options in Newport, RI.

Touro Synagogue National Historic Site Entrance Fee: $12.00 per person for a tour.

Touro Synagogue National Historic Site Official Website: Click Here

Photo Credit – Kyle Magnuson, CC BY 2.0

Washington-Rochambeau National Historic Trail

Washington-Rochambeau National Historic Trail is a 680-mile long Historical Trail.  The trail is sometimes known as the Washington–Rochambeau Revolutionary Route.  The route follows the road used by George Washington’s Continental Army and Jean-Baptiste de Rochambeau’s Expédition Particulière took on their way from Newport, Rode Island to Yorktown, Virginia. Yorktown was the final battle of the American Revolutionary War.

Washington-Rochambeau National Historic Trail is primary an auto trail.  While the route forces on the march to Yorktown, the trail passes thru or near many other important revolutionary war sites. Rhode Island sites include the Joy Homestead.

Washington-Rochambeau National Historic Trail passes through Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Washington D.C, and Virginia.

Things to do in Washington-Rochambeau National Historic Trail: Auto touring, bicycling, walking, historical tours, guided tours, museums

How to get to Washington-Rochambeau National Historic Trail: There are major airports all along the route.

Where to Stay in Washington-Rochambeau National Historic Trail: The trail follows major highways and lodging is located along the route.

Washington-Rochambeau National Historic Trail Entrance Fee: Free, but some of the federal, state, and privately managed buildings along the trail may have an entrance fee.

Washington-Rochambeau National Historic Trail Official Website: Click Here

Map of Washington-Rochambeau National Historic Trail: Download

By DaderotOwn work, Public Domain, Link

View all the National Park Service Sites in neighboring states:

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Heading to Rhode Island and want to explore. The National Parks of Rhode Island has plenty of history and wilderness to explore. #findyourpark #nationalparkobsessed #rhodeislands #nationalparkgeek #nationalpark #nationalparks
Jennifer is a long time national park blogger and the founder of National Park Obsessed. She is a dedicated National Park lover who is working on visiting all 62 US National Parks. She has currently been to 53 of the National Parks. She is dedicated to sharing her knowledge of the Parks with others and helping them learn to love the parks as much as she does.

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