Guided Tours

Park Ranger offers tour to large group of people inside Old Slater Mill. Machinery inside of an old building, visitors, and Park Ranger are visible.
Park Ranger offering tour inside of Old Slater Mill.

Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park offers several different guided programs which help the visitor better understand the Blackstone Valley's significance in American and world history. Check back to this page for the latest on Ranger Led programs and tours.

Slater Mill Guided Tours

Summer Schedule (May 19, 2022 - September 11, 2022; Thursday - Sunday)

Guided tours of the mill start at 10:30 AM, 12:30 PM, and 2:30 PM. These 30-minute long tours will investigate Slater Mill's importance in American history. Arrive 5 - 10 minutes prior to the beginning of the tour. Tours meet in front of Old Slater Mill. Tours will be offered on Thursdays - Sundays.

 
Walkabout Picture
Ranger Walkabout at Blackstone River State Park

Hendrickson

Ranger Walkabouts

Join a Park Ranger Thursday evenings at 6:30 PM during the months of June, July, and August to investigate the many stories of the Blackstone River Valley. Tours meet at locations across the Valley. Check back for a full listing of walkabout dates and locations.

June 2 – Industry on the Mumford - Whitin Machine Works

50 Douglas Road, Northbridge, MA

How did a small family business grow into a global textile empire? During this walking tour, we will trace the exploits of the Whitin family of Northbridge, Massachusetts, and the workers that made this rural community a manufacturing powerhouse.

Kick off the 2022 season with us in style! Please wear comfortable footwear for this tour and bring water. Some portions will take us on uneven terrain. There are no facilities available for this program.

June 9 – Memory in Hopedale - Little Red Shop

12 Hopedale St., Hopedale, MA

Do landscapes have a memory? If buildings could talk, what might they say? The place now called Hopedale has been transformed by its residents in ways small and sweeping over the centuries. During this walk, we will consider Hopedale's more recent evolutions, and unlock some of the stories the buildings in town can share with us.

Please wear comfortable footwear and bring water. Some walkways on the route planned for this tour will be uneven. There are no facilities available for this program.

June 16 – War in Saylesville - Moshassuck Cemetery

978 Lonsdale Ave, Central Falls, RI

In 1934, Rhode Islanders were at war—with each other. On top of the pressures and pains of the Great Depression, the 1934 General Textile Strike had further increased tensions in the state. During an especially violent confrontation, the strikers lost four of their own; two of those fatalities occurred during the “Saylesville Massacre.” This tour will consider the lasting legacy of this strike as well as this moment of crisis.

Please wear comfortable footwear and bring water. This tour is in a cemetery, so please expect the usual natural elements (bugs) and uneven terrain. There are no facilities available for this program.

June 23 – Histories of Worcester - Worcester Historical Museum

30 Elm St., Worcester, MA

“We all got history...”

Three hundred years ago, Worcester was incorporated as a town in June 1722. To celebrate 300 years of Worcester history, Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park is partnering with Worcester Historical Museum for a free night at the museum.

Please note that the museum will be open until 8:30 PM. Limited free parking is available in the museum lot on Chestnut Street behind Worcester Historical Museum.

Learn more about Worcester’s history here: Worcester History - Worcester Historical Museum | Worcester Historical Museum.

June 30 – A Living Landscape - Ashton Village

1075 Lower River Rd., Lincoln, RI

Would you want to live within walking distance of where you work? Explore Ashton, a remarkably intact mill village. This community was designed for people to live, work, worship, and play, all in one small area. People in Ashton made textiles for everyday use and then later for men to go to the moon. Learn some of their stories (or share your own).

Please wear comfortable footwear and bring water. This tour will include walking on asphalt terrain as well as some dirt paths. There are no facilities available for this program. There is parking located near the 1075 Lower River Rd. address, underneath the viaduct. The Ashton Village Parking Area has additional spots for vehicles.

July 7 - This Land Is - Roger Williams National Memorial

282 North Main St., Providence, RI

What does Providence mean to you?

Explore the grounds of Roger Williams National Memorial, a small urban park located in Rhode Island’s historic capital city. Consider Roger Williams’s vision for the settlement, his legacy, and what we can learn from the landscape created in his honor today.

Please wear comfortable footwear and bring water. This tour will include walking on asphalt terrain as well as some uneven paths. Limited parking is available onsite; street parking is available nearby.

July 14 – Hidden Labors – Slater Mill

67 Roosevelt Ave., Pawtucket, RI

Who built the city of Pawtucket? Learn about the construction of Old Slater Mill and the growth of surrounding industrial buildings in the 18th and 19th centuries. This walkabout will include a tour inside Slater Mill, where we will take a closer look at the wooden beams, glass windowpanes, and other small details that make this mill a fascinating work of construction.

Please wear comfortable shoes and bring water. Parking is available onsite.

July 21 – Slavery & Reconciliation - Esek Hopkins House

97 Admiral St., Providence, RI

Presented with The Haus of Glitter

Since 2020, the Esek Hopkins House in Providence, RI, has been undergoing a critical intervention and reimagining. The Haus of Glitter has been working to heal and transform this landmark. This walkabout will be co-hosted with The Haus of Glitter.

Please wear comfortable footwear and bring water. This tour will include walking on asphalt terrain as well as some uneven paths. Street parking is available nearby.

July 28 – In the Paths of Colonizers - Pierce Park

975 High Street, Central Falls, RI

“There is no United States of America history without Indigenous history.” - Lorén Spears

This walk will take us in the path of colonizers to consider the history of a battle known as “Pierce’s Fight.” During King Philip’s War, colonists and Indigenous people fought in battles that were extremely close, intimate, and violent. One of those battles took place in this park. Join us in learning more about this incident and the monuments dedicated to King Philip’s War located throughout the Blackstone Valley.

Please wear comfortable footwear and bring water. This tour will include walking on asphalt terrain as well as some uneven paths.

August 4 - Stone by Stone - Blackstone River State Park

1075 Lower River Rd., Lincoln, RI

Let’s take a hike!

During the month of August, parks nationwide will be celebrating the growth of the National Park Service. This towpath talk will chart the growth of the Blackstone Canal, its eventual demise, and the evolution of the state park that is used for recreation today.

Please wear comfortable footwear and bring water. This tour will include walking on asphalt terrain as well as some dirt paths. There are no facilities available for this program.

There is parking located near the 1075 Lower River Rd. address, underneath the viaduct. The Ashton Village Parking Area has additional spots for vehicles.

August 11 – Layers of the Past - Slater Mill

67 Roosevelt Ave., Pawtucket, RI

In 1921, a group of businessmen formed the Old Slater Mill Association to preserve and protect an important link to Pawtucket’s past. This walkabout will consider the question of “why Pawtucket?” from a new point of view. What was happening in this changing city just over a century ago that made people want to save and protect industrial history? Enjoy an evening walk and get to know the more recent history of Pawtucket.

Please wear comfortable shoes and bring water. Parking is available onsite.

August 18 - Peace Picnics and Prosperity - Adin Ballou Park

Union St/Hopedale St, Hopedale, MA

Who was Adin Ballou, and why did a group of local people follow him to build a new life together? During this walk, we will explore the values of the Practical Christians, a group of pacificist abolitionists who withdrew from society to build a new community together.

Please wear comfortable footwear and bring water. This tour will include walking on asphalt terrain as well as some uneven paths. Street parking is available nearby.

August 25 - Unfinished Revolutions - North Smithfield Public Library

20 Main St., Slatersville, RI

Join us in celebrating the 106th birthday of the National Park Service!

The 2022 Walkabout season will end in Slatersville, RI. This small but mighty mill village can be counted as an important first in United States history. Walk with a ranger and see what remains of the early village, including worker housing. Enjoy the sights and sounds of the historic millpond and learn more about the power of the Branch River.

Please wear comfortable walking shoes and prepare for the weather. There will be no facilities available for this walk. Limited parking is available at North Smithfield Public Library.

 
Park Intern stands behind table with children's activities available
Park Staff offering children's activities

Sunday Funday Programs

Join us on Sundays in July and August for FREE family-friendly activities.

These programs are held in person at locations across the Blackstone Valley from 11:00 AM - 3:00 PM (unless otherwise noted).

You do not need to register in advance to attend; all these events are drop-in.

Sunscreen, bug spray, comfortable footwear, and water are encouraged. Strollers are welcome.

Facilities are limited at many of these sites.

July 10, 2022 - Birding in the Blackstone

Note: This program will run from 12:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Location: Little Red Shop Museum, 12 Hopedale Street, Hopedale, MA

Stop by the Little Red Shop in Hopedale, MA to look for birds and learn a bit of local history!

There are over 433 different bird species in the Blackstone Valley. Get to know some of these avian friends by becoming a Junior Ornithologist. You will receive a badge upon completing the program.

Birding ambassadors will be available to offer short walks into the Hopedale Parklands. Birders of all ages and experience levels are welcome.

July 17, 2022 - Meet the Birds of the Blackstone with Rhode Island Audubon Society

Location: Blackstone River State Park, 1075 Lower River Road, Lincoln, RI

Swing by the Kelly House Barn and meet Avian Ambassadors from the Rhode Island Audubon Society. This is a chance to see majestic, native birds up close. Handlers from the Rhode Island Audubon Society will be available to answer questions.

Participants can also earn a Junior Ornithologist badge.

July 24, 2022 – Bat Boxes and Birdhouses 

Location: Blackstone River State Park, 1075 Lower River Road, Lincoln, RI

Visit the Kelly House Barn to learn about bat boxes and birdhouses. Find out why it is important to build homes for these creatures from a local Eagle Scout.

At 1:00 PM, join a ranger and explore the park’s wildlife and walk the towpath. Participants may earn a Junior Ornithologist badge.

July 31, 2022 – World Ranger Day

Location: Old Slater Mill National Historic Landmark, 67 Roosevelt Avenue, Pawtucket, RI

Come by Old Slater Mill in Pawtucket, RI for World Ranger Day!

Explorers of all ages can earn a Junior Ranger badge. Canine companions can take part in the B.A.R.K. Ranger program. Folks interested in fishing may also work on a Junior Ranger Angler badge. If you’re interested in learning more about the birds of the Valley, you can also earn a Junior Ornithologist Badge.

August 7, 2022 – “Dog Days of Summer” B.A.R.K. Ranger Open House

Location: Blackstone River State Park, 1075 Lower River Road, Lincoln, RI

Spend one of the “dog days of summer” with us!

Bring your dog, learn the principles of being a good B.A.R.K. Ranger, and earn a badge for your family canine. People without pets are welcome to come and explore the barn exhibits.

August 14, 2022 – World War II Comes to the Valley

Location: The Whitin Mill- Open Sky (Alternatives), 50 Douglas Rd., Whitinsville, MA

Visit Whitinsville, MA, and commemorate the Blackstone Valley’s involvement in World War II.

In 1942, E. Kent Swift, President of the Whitin Machine Works, spoke of the war “at home:” “In this quiet valley there will be this small army working with tools of its trade...it will fight this war of machines by pouring out a constantly accelerating flow of military equipment.”

This event will showcase the work of local manufacturers during World War II. Veterans of the war will also be present to share their stories. A Ghost Army Tank will be on view along with exhibits about the materials such as fiberglass, rubber, and thread that helped win the war.

Free America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Passes will be available for Veterans and Active-Duty Military personnel.

August 21, 2022 – What’s Growing at Slater Mill?

Location: Old Slater Mill National Historic Landmark, 67 Roosevelt Avenue, Pawtucket, RI

Stop by Old Slater Mill and see how the garden grows!

Across from Old Slater Mill and next to the Sylvanus Brown House, there is a garden run by the URI Master Gardeners. Learn about their process and why select plants are grown here. Talk with our Scientist-in-Parks intern and complete a citizen scientist activity.

Free tours will also be available of the mill at 10:30 AM, 12:30 PM, 2:30 PM.

August 28, 2022 – Take Me Fishing Day

Location: Blackstone River State Park, 1075 Lower River Road, Lincoln, RI

Join us for the third annual Take Me Fishing Day!

Bring the entire family to Blackstone River State Park to learn how to fish.

Staff from Rhode Island Fish and Wildlife will be offering lessons on how to bait and cast a fishing pole. All supplies, including bait and fishing poles, are FREE for use during the program. There will also be an opportunity to earn a Junior Ranger Angler badge.

Last updated: May 17, 2022

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

67 Roosevelt Ave
Pawtucket , RI 02860

Phone:

401-725-8638

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