Rhode Island April 01, 2018
This Picturesque Rhode Island Park And Zoo Used To Be A Swamp But Now It’s Amazing
We have many beautiful parks in Rhode Island, but that wasn’t always the case. Slater Park, the oldest park in the Ocean State was once just swamp and farmland. Today it is a picturesque spot where you can enjoy beautiful ponds, trails, and even a small zoo.
Slater Park, the largest public park in Pawtucket, covers 197 acres. The land that was mostly swamp and farmland was purchased by the town in 1897
In 1907, improvements began to be made to much of the unusable land. Swamp vegetation was cleared to create ponds in the low-lying areas. Underbrush was cleared in wooded areas to allow trees much-needed room to grow and desolate fields were turned into welcoming grassy areas.
The original farmhouse, the Daggett House, still remains within the park. Built around 1685. It is the oldest house in Pawtucket and one of the oldest in Rhode Island.
Other original buildings include the 1917 Potter Casino. Not a gambling hall, but a resthouse where the lower floor opened onto the lake serving skaters and canoeists. The upstairs had bathrooms at each end with a large room in between providing easy chairs to rest in.
Looking like a Gothic temple, the bandstand was also constructed in 1917. You can imagine the sounds of instrumental music drifting across the pond.
One of the most popular attractions at Slater Park is the historic Looff Carousel. The amusement ride was build in 1895 and was originally part of a carnival in upstate New York. The gorgeous carousel was moved to this Pawtucket park in 1910 and you can still take a ride on it to this day.
Visit the small petting zoo called Daggett Farm while you are at the park. This zoo is a bit different from the one that was originally housed in the park in the early 1900s, but it is still a wonderful place to take the whole family.
Cruise around the pond on dragon and swan paddle boats. A newer addition to the park and a whole lot of fun, these boats give you a different view of Slater Park.
Many of the walking paths are bordered by stone walls creating a most rewarding setting to take a quiet stroll.
Bicyclists and pedestrians can enjoy the ten mile greenway that traverses the parkland.
Slater Park is a beautiful spot to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Whether you want to stroll about the grounds, visit the zoo, take a ride on the carousel or a swan boat, there are plenty of things for all ages to enjoy.
Have you been to visit this picturesque park in Pawtucket? What did you enjoy the most? Let us know in the comments section below and share your pictures too.
If you are looking for other outdoor adventures, take this
short hike to Rhode Island’s highest elevation.