Not all of Potowomut was fit for cattle raising, hay harvesting or general living. For many years a large portion of the northern shore touching Greenwich Bay was nothing more than barren sand dunes.
Philanthropist Henry Russell purchased this land in 1874, and began to cultivate it with a tree-planting project that would continue for thirty years. Russell would plant acorns and seeds of a variety of trees and then later transplant them into the area around the dunes.
When Russell died, Col. William Goddard purchased the land, built a mansion (which was later destroyed by fire), and continued Russell's tree-planting project for another twenty years. The fruits of the two men's labors quickly became apparent, as visitors from the U.S. Forest Service visited the area and termed it the finest example of private forestry in America, around 1920. After Col. Goddard's death, the 490 acres were bequeathed to the State of Rhode Island in November of 1927 in his memory, and the state established the area as a state park.
The Park is open from sunrise to sunset, and offers visitors many activities: Patrons can bring picnic lunches, walk on nature trails, watch horseback riders, or visit the public Goddard Park Beach, a salt-water beach and bathhouse on Greenwich Bay. There is also a 9-hole public golf course (the Clubhouse phone number is 884-9834), which is open seasonally from April 15 through the last Saturday in November. Watch for concerts and performances at the renovated Carousel building near the beach.
WARWICK CITY PARK
40 ASYLUM ROAD
A 126-acre park, located down Asylum Road. Salt water beach, plus bathhouse and kiddie play area. There's also hiking, bike paths, and ball fields. Legend has it that the first clam bakes took place here in the late 1800's.
GEORGE B. SALTER MEMORIAL GROVE
This small park on Narragansett Parkway overlooks the Bay and hosts many of the events for Gaspee Days. Recently renovated by the City of Warwick, Salter Grove is a beautiful place to spend the day.
ROCKY POINT PARK
Highly popular amusement park on the Narragansett Bay side of Warwick, RI.
Salt water beach.
Salt water beach with a park. A great view of the Conimicut Lighthouse from here as well.
Salt water beach.
Fresh water beach.
Salt water. Off Oakland Beach Ave. East and West facing beaches.