Public Parks & Playgrounds
Bristol Ferry Town Common
Located at the northern end of Bristol Ferry Road at Bayview Avenue, the Bristol Ferry Town Common was established on March 12, 1714 by the Portsmouth Town Committee. This 1.5-acre space was originally used by farmers and others to keep their livestock and other goods while waiting for the ferry to Bristol. This historic common is currently maintained as a public park, with great views of Mount Hope Bay.
Located off Boyd's Lane, Founders' Brook honors the founders of the town, Anne Hutchinson and the Portsmouth Compact of 1638. Founders' Brook is near the area where the first Puritan settlers landed when they travelled from Boston to Aquidneck Island.
The Portsmouth Historical Society's Founders' Brook page has video of the dedication of this park and pictures from the site. Visit them at https://portsmouthhistorical.org/founders-brook-2-3/.
Located off East Main Road, this 120-acre public park abuts Glen Park. Glen Farm is divided into six areas and each area has distinct rules and regulations. Learn more at our Glen Farm page.
Located off Glen Road. Go to the Glen Park page.
Scenic overlook located off Hedly Street.at High Point Avenue. The second highest vantage point on the island.
John F. Kennedy Park
Small park at the intersection of Freeborn Street and Turnpike Avenue dedicated to the memory of John F. Kennedy.
Small park at the intersection of East Main Road and Middle Road (just north of Town Hall) that hosts a granite memorial dedicated to veterans of World Wars I and II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War, an 18th century British cannon, benches for sitting and a beautiful birch donated in 1979 as a "Liberty Tree" by the Portsmouth Garden Club. Just south across Hedly Street is a memorial to World War I veterans.
This 130-acre park is located off West Main Road on Bradford Ave. The Melville area includes a campground which is leased by a third party, as well as established hiking/nature trails and fishing ponds. Take a look at our Melville Park Recreation Area brochure that provides the Park's rules and regulations as well as a list of prohibited activities.
The upper pond is accessible on both the east and west sides of the pond, with a handicapped accessible pier designed on the east side, while the lower pond is for the more adventurous. Access the Melville Park Trails map for more information on this beautiful, natural area.
Become a member of the Melville Park Committee and help maintain and improve this area for generations to come!
Mount Hope Park
Situated along the north end of Bristol Ferry Road at the intersection of Bayview Avenue, this 4.9 acre park has 1.4 land acres and 3.5 water acres overlooking Mount Hope Bay and was acquired by the town in early 2016. The park recently re-opened to the public after some safety improvements and construction of a parking area. Further development is planned as part of the Town Capital Improvement Program. The property has historical significance, having once been used for ferry service between Portsmouth and Bristol, beginning in approximately 1680 and ending with the completion of the Mount Hope Bridge in 1929. A partnership between the Town and the Aquidneck Land Trust made the purchase possible that includes a Conservation Easement.
Narragansett Bay Research Reserve
This important State-Federal partnership has its headquarters on Prudence Island. Visit the Narragansett Bay Research Reserve web site for information on what they do, upcoming events, how to get to Prudence, the ferry schedule, and how to contact the ferry as well as other important information!
Located off Carriage Drive, the Oakland Forest and Meadow Trail is a .6 mile loop trail through a beautiful, old growth American Beech forest. Come see one of the last remaining stands of old growth American Beech trees on the East Coast. This once threatened forest now serves as a haven for people and wildlife alike. Saved by a joint effort in 2000 by The Town of Portsmouth and the Aquidneck Land Trust. For more information and a map, visit the Aquidneck Land Trust page on Oakland Forest at https://ailt.org/trails-maps/oakland-forest-meadow/.
A State of Rhode Island Park managed by the RIDEM, this memorial is to the 1st Rhode Island Regiment, known as the "Black Regiment." It is located at the junction northbound of Routes 114 and 24. A flagpole commemorates the site where the Black Regiment courageously fought off a Hessian attack, saving the American line, on August 29, 1778 during the Battle of Rhode Island.
- Frank Carson Playground - A neighborhood playground located at the end of Redwood Road has playground facilities for younger children
- Island Park Playground - Located at the end of Ormerod Avenue, it features playground and athletic facilities for younger children
- Melville School Playground - Located behind the Melville School on West Main Road, featuring playground facilities for younger children. Not for use while school is in session
- Turnpike Avenue Playground - Located on Turnpike Avenue, this playground has playground facilities for younger children