Finding your way around the Blackstone Valley and figuring out what sites you want to see can be a difficult task. To help you out, the Heritage Corridor Commission has helped to create a network of seven Visitor Centers across the Blackstone Valley, as well as dozens of other sites where you can pick up visitor information.
Roger Williams National Memorial
The Roger Williams National Memorial commemorates the life of the founder of Rhode Island and a champion of the ideal of religious freedom. Williams founded the new colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations in 1636. This colony served as a refuge where all could come to worship as their conscience dictated without interference from the state. The Memorial is located on a common lot of the original settlement of Providence, and celebrates our Freedom of Religion as first proclaimed by Roger Williams and now set forth in the First Amendment of the Constitution. The memorial is set upon 4.5 acres of landscaped park and includes several interpretive exhibits about Roger Williams and his time, including a short film. Open Daily 9-4:30.
From I-95 south, take exit 23, Charles Street. Take the first left and continue through three lights; after the third light take a quick left into memorial lot.
Blackstone Valley Visitor Center
Located across the street from historic Slater Mill the Visitor Center is open Monday through Saturday, 10 - 4, Sundays 1-4, except the four major holidays. You can also view the award-winning film “Hidden in the Blackstone Valley”. This 20 minute feature tells the story of the rise and fall of the textile mill industry on the Blackstone River and the role it played in setting the American Industrial Revolution in motion.
From I-95 south, take exit 29. Bear right onto Fountain Street, then right onto Exchange Street. At light, take left onto Roosevelt Avenue. Visitor Center is on the right at the end of the block. Parking in rear.
Blackstone River State Park Visitor Center
Located on Interstate 295 North, in-between Exits 9 and 10, the Blackstone River State Park Visitor Center is open twenty four hours a day. Along with tourist information, the Visitor Center also provides facilities and concessions, as well as a State Police satellite office. The Visitor Center is also directly linked to the Blackstone River Bikeway and provides access to the Blackstone River State Park which includes the Blackstone River, the historic Blackstone Canal and the Captain Wilbur Kelly House Transportation Museum via a half mile bikeway link.
Museum of Work and Culture
The Museum tells the story of the immigration and labor experience of the Blackstone River Valley, and provides visitor information for the entire region. It is open weekdays 9:30 am to 4:00 pm; Saturdays 10:00 am to 5:00 pm; and Sunday 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm.
River Bend Farm
River Bend Farm Visitor Center is located in a 1,000 acre state park along the Blackstone River Canal and towpath. The Visitor Center is part of the Blackstone River and Canal Heritage State Park; offering walking and hiking paths, canoe access, picnic and wildlife watching areas. It is open year-round, seven days a week, during daylight hours.
Worcester Historical Museum
The Worcester Historical Museum is a unique organization dedicated to collecting, preserving, and interpreting Worcester's history in all time periods and subject areas. The Visitor Center is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, and Sunday 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm.
Broad Meadow Brook Wildlife Sanctuary /
Broad Meadow Brook is the largest urban sanctuary in New England. There are over 300 acres of woods, fields, streams and marsh areas to explore. It also provides visitor information for the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor. Trails are open every day, dawn to dusk. The Visitor Center is open Tuesday through Saturday, 9:00 am to 4:00 pm, and Sunday, 12:30 pm to 4:00 pm.
From Route 290, take exit 14 (Route 122 south/Grafton Street). Bear right at the rotary and stay on Route 122. At intersection, bear right onto Massasoit Road. Follow Massasoit Road past playground and park on left Sanctuary entrance is located five houses past the park on the right.
Did You Know?
While best known for the textile industry, the factories of the Blackstone River Valley made hundreds of different products, ranging from barbed wire and monkey wrenches to space suits and Mr. Potato Head.