Welcome to the ExploreRI Mapper
This mapper will help you locate boat launches and other points of interest to for small boat recreation throughout the state of Rhode Island. To get started, click anywhere on the map to zoom in on that area. To zoom out use the zoom control to the left of the map. Once you have zoomed in, boat launches and other points of interest will show up on the map as clickable red icons (see the key below the map). Click on an icon to get more information about that location. If you prefer to search by criteria or simply look up a site by name, try the boat launch search page. If you have a high-speed Internet connection (e.g., DSL or Cable), you may want to try our Google-based mapping system which also includes sites in the Narragansett Bay Watershed in Massachusetts.
The location you clicked on is a site for launching hand-carried boats such as canoes or kayaks.
Site Name: Merino Park
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.
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.
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: parking lot, 125 spaces, no overnight parking
ADA Accessible Parking Spaces? no
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.
Comments & 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.
For more details see the full site report
The data on this website comes 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.
Credits: The data for the base maps was provided by the Rhode Island Geographic Information System (RIGIS) and the Office of Geographic and Environmental Information (MassGIS), Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Executive Office of Environmental Affairs. The site data came from numerous sources and organizations. Much of it was collected through the hard work of volunteers for various conservation, watershed and outdoor recreation groups around the state of Rhode Island.