A Showcase Park
India Point Park features 18 acres of open space, graceful trees, and walking paths along its 3,600-foot shoreline. Located at the confluence of the Seekonk and Providence Rivers where they widen into Narragansett Bay, the Park is the only broad expanse of Bay shoreline in Providence accessible to the public. Bordered by Interstate 195, it gives nearly 200,000 people a day a dramatic view of the Bay. India Point’s conspicuousness makes it a showcase, a signature park that underscores the sense of place in the capital city of the Ocean State.
Used by Diverse Groups
About 75,000 people use the Park every year, according to city estimates. Excluding sports facilities like the skating rink and Roger Williams Park, which is 24 times larger, India Point is one of the city’s three most heavily used parks, and of the three, serves the most diverse population. Groups using it include the Mexican Soccer League, the Cape Verdean Festival, Brown and RISD students, and the Boys and Girls Club of Fox Point, which is the city’s most diverse neighborhood. (Other Park groups are listed below.)
Steeped in History
India Point is a centerpiece in Rhode Island history: Roger Williams landed nearby on the banks of the Seekonk River in 1636, then canoed along what is now the Park’s shoreline to the fresh water spring just up the Providence River. During the 1700’s, the bustling port at India Point launched countless trading voyages to the East and West Indies, giving the area its name. After 1850, waves of immigrants — primarily Irish, Cape Verdean, Azorean, and Portuguese — landed at India Point, which teemed with steamships. The present-day Park was created in 1974 out of railroad beds and a scrap metal yard through the efforts of the late Mary Elizabeth Sharpe, government officials, and citizens in Fox Point and greater Providence.
Today, India Point Park includes about 300 trees and bushes, consisting of 10-15 different species such as pine, oak, maple, and pear trees, as well as forsythia and wild rose bushes. Shorebirds at the Park include gulls, cormorants, mallard ducks, geese, swans, and great blue herons. Fish caught by anglers casting from the Park’s shore include striped bass up to 40 pounds and bluefish up to 12 pounds.
Being predominantly a natural, unstructured open space, India Point Park lends itself to a wide range of activities.