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Merino Park

41° 49.242' N    71° 27.317' W   See this location in: Google Maps   Map Server   Acme Maps

Google Maps is the mapping system used on the new ExploreRI mapper and shows the access site located on a terrain view, a street map or an aerial photograph. Clicking on this link will take you to the full Google Maps website, which is not part of ExploreRI.
Map Server shows a topographic map of the area. The Map Server website is not part of
Acme Maps shows the access site located on a topographic map. The Acme Maps website is not part of

This is a site for launching hand-carried boats such as canoes or kayaks.

Description & Overview:

This is an informal access point at a city park in an low-income, urban neighborhood, so do not expect wilderness and do not leave valuables in your car. That said, the river in this area can be surprisingly beautiful. Trees overhang the river and sections of quickwater and whitewater provide interesting paddling challenges. Great Blue Herons and other wildlife are common. In low water the river in this area will be very rocky. In high water the paddling can be challenging whitewater that should only be attempted by experienced paddlers!

There used to be a gate to the park that was frequently closed. This gate has been removed.

This site provides access to the following water bodies in the Woonasquatucket River watershed: Woonasquatucket River.


Town: Providence

Nearest Town Center: Olneyville

Driving Landmarks: Merino Park is located behind (to the north of) the Hartford Park Housing complex. The entrance road to the park is an extension of Heath St. and parallels Route 6. If you are coming from downtown Providence, get off at the Route 6A exit, turn left at the light at the end of the ramp and go under Route 6 and then take the first right (after the exit ramp) onto Heath St. If you are coming from Johnston, take the Route 6A exit and turn left at the light at the end of the ramp and then take an immediate left onto Heath St. It will look like you are turning into the housing project but if you keep going Heath St. will take you into the park, where there is a large parking area.

Access & Waters:

Water 'Features' At Site: whitewater, flatwater/slow moving river

Note: Because one boat launch can access, say, both a lake and a river or both the upstream and downstream portions of a river, not all paddling trips at a given site will necessarily encounter all of the features listed.

Type of Access: Boat launch for hand carried boats

ADA Accessible Boat Launch? no

Shoreline: The shoreline is a tangle of tree roots that provide good footing for getting in and out of a canoe. Be careful where you step because some roots are not as solid as they look.

Float/Dock: no

Approximate Length of Carry between Car Access and Water: 450 feet

Hours of Operation: Sunrise to sunset, year-round (may not be plowed in winter)


Parking: yes: 125 spaces, no overnight parking

ADA Accessible Parking Spaces? no

Sources for More Information:

AMC River Guide: 4th Edition, page 145

Ecological, Cultural & Recreational Attractions:

This area has been a park for generations. Many years ago there was a swimming and skating pond here.


Merino Park

Merino Park

Photography by: Bruce G. Hooke

Date of Photograph: October 11, 2007

This is a view of Merino Park from the parking lot. The best area to launch canoes and kayaks is across the soccer field and just into the trees, directly beyond the blue garbage can in the foreground of this photograph.

Merino Park Canoe Launch

Merino Park Canoe Launch

Photography by: Bruce G. Hooke

Date of Photograph: October 11, 2007

This is a view of the best area in Merino Park for launching canoes and kayaks. This is just downstream of the sharp bend in the river, looking downstream.

Merino Park Canoe Launch from Land

Merino Park Canoe Launch from Land

Photography by: Bruce G. Hooke

Date of Photograph: October 11, 2007

This is a view from land of the area shown from the water side in the previous photograph.


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The data on this website come from many sources, including volunteers and organizations across the state of Rhode Island and nearby parts of Massachusetts. We have done our best to make sure the data are accurate and up to date, but any information critical to the success of your trip should be confirmed before you start. The maps and information on this website should not be substituted for nautical charts, topographic maps, or other more detailed maps and guides. We welcome corrections and additions. To send a correction or provide other feedback, please use our feedback form (see link above).

This site report was last updated on January 15, 2009

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