Smithfield is in a landlocked area of Rhode Island (it’s only about 4% water), but that just means that there’s plenty of room for apple orchards, farms, history, and restaurants. There are so many parks and outdoor places to visit, and with the nice mix of nature and industry (there are lots of mills in the area), there’s a little something for almost everyone.
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Dining and Shopping
There’s no lack of restaurant and shopping options in Smithfield, and you have everything from the big box stores to local gems. At The Crossing at Smithfield, you have Target, Kohl’s, Barnes & Noble, Home Depot, Dave’s Fresh Marketplace, Panera Bread, and a slew of other shops. If you’re looking for some hometown flair, though, be sure to check out Blackie’s Bulldog Tavern for high-end pub food, the Thirsty Beaver for a more low-key version, or visit Apple Valley Minerals for one-of-a-kind minerals, crystals, fossils, and gems.
Parks and Recreation
Smithfield is almost 28 square miles, and there are a lot of parks worth checking out in the area. If you’re looking for a place to swim or fish, Georgiaville Pond Beach is the local public swimming spot, Greenlake Beach on Slacks Pond is the beach set aside for Smithfield residents only, and Woonasquatucket Reservoir (locally known as Stump Pond) is great for fishing and boating. And if hiking is more your thing, there’s a surprising number of parks to choose from: Stillwater Scenic Trail is a 1-mile trail along the water,
Powder Mill Ledges Wildlife Refuge (also the Audubon Society of Rhode Island’s headquarters) is 120 acres of trails and woods, Wolf Hill Forest Preserve has six miles of trails with two trailheads, Connor’s Farm Conservation Area is 66-acres of woods that includes trails and a pond, Ken Weber Conversation Area at Cascade Brook has trails and a waterfall, Esmond Park has river trails that include a waterfall and an arching bridge, and Mowry Conservation Area offers a trout stream, trails, picnic spots, and old dam to hike to.
Fun Stuff to Do
Orchards and farms are a big part of Smithfield’s charm, so if you’re into pick-your-own or the farm-to-table movement, you’re in luck! Jaswell’s Farm has been around since 1899, and it’s got a farm store and bakery, pick-your-own (blueberries, apples, and pumpkins), seasonal treats (Christmas trees, chocolate apples, and other fruits and vegetables), and lots of events throughout the year. And while Seven Cedars Farm might be known for their weekly farmers market, they also have a hugely popular haunted hayride in autumn that is all about community involvement. And, for all you meat lovers out there, be sure to head on over to Blackbird Farm for “humanely raised antibiotic-free, no-added-hormones, pasture-fed” beef and pork. They have a farm stand on the weekends, but you can also pick up their products at farmers markets around the state.
Smithfield is about 25 minutes from downtown Providence if there’s no traffic, but since I-295 and Route 44 both pass through, it’s easy to get to most places in the greater Providence area. Plus, since Routes 146 and 6 aren’t too far, either, there are some extra options if you need them.