Pawtucket, RI

During the late 18th century, Rhode Island pioneered the Industrial Revolution thanks in large part to Samuel Slater, who introduced textile-manufacturing technology to the United States.

In 1790, Slater established his first mill—one of the first factories in the United States—on the Blackstone River. Three years later, in Pawtucket, he built Slater Mill, the first American factory to successfully produce cotton yarn with waterpowered machines. Other mills were soon established throughout Rhode Island and New England. By the first half of the 19th century, there were more than 100 mills in Rhode Island that employed thousands of men, women, and children. Today, visitors can tour Slater Mill and meet costumed interpreters who explain and demonstrate what life was like as America began moving from the farm to the factory.

12=. Max Read Field

This athletic field complex is located on Pleasant Street next to Francis J. Varieur Elementary School. The 13.8- acre site contains football, baseball, and softball fields, and a quarter-mile running track. Beyond the playing fields are a few benches and a steep set of stairs leading to the banks of the Seekonk River. Concessions and restrooms are open only during games. On-site parking is available.

  • Fishing, hiking/walking, trash receptacles

Fig: Pawtucket Town Landing2. Pawtucket Town Landing

This boat-launching ramp is located on Taft Street beneath the Division Street bridge. This is a great place to launch a boat into the Seekonk River or to relax on a bench. Off-street parking for boat trailers is available both across the street and just south of the ramp.

  • Handicap access, dock, fishing, historic interest, trash receptacles
3. Slater Mill Historic Site

Located on the Blackstone River at the head of Narragansett Bay, this National Historic Landmark includes three historic buildings, a dam, a power canal, and a riverside park. Old Slater Mill (1793) was the first factory in America to manufacture cotton yarn with water-powered machines. Today, the mill museum includes the original historic mill, operating textile machinery in the Wilkinson Mill (circa 1810), and a restored residence, the Sylvanus Brown House. The museum provides self-guided tours with interpretations done by staff at each of the three buildings. An adjacent visitors’ center contains a theater, a gift shop, and information on both the Slater Mill and the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor. The museum is open every day during the summer and on weekends in the spring and fall. Nearby, the riverside Hodgson Rotary Park is a scenic spot for a picnic. Take exit 27 off I-95 and follow signs. Parking is available. Fee.

  • Handicap access, picnic tables/ benches, hiking/walking, toilets, trash receptacles

4. School Street Pier

A steep cobblestone road leads from School Street (Route 114) to this facility on the Seekonk River, owned by the city of Pawtucket. The pier is currently used primarily for fishing, though there is a cement boat ramp in fair condition. Plenty of on-site parking is available. The city plans to develop a riverfront park on this 7-acre waterfront site.

  • Handicap access

Fig: Metropolitan Park5. Metropolitan Park

Also known as the Seekonk River Reservation, this 15.8-acre park is the site of the Pawtucket Boys’ and Girls’ Club on School Street (Route 114). A small amount of the acreage is wooded, and the remainder of the site contains tennis courts, two baseball diamonds, and a soccer field. A paved walk leads around the ball fields to a scenic sitting area above the Seekonk River. The site commands a nice view of the Swan Point and Riverside cemeteries across the water. Access to the water is dangerous, as there are no steps or paths down the steep slope. Ample parking makes this municipal site a spot to have lunch, relax, enjoy the river, and play ball.

  • Handicap access, picnic tables/ benches, historic interest