North Smithfield is a classic small suburban town with historic mill villages and an abundance of forested area. First settled in 1731, the town sits on our northern border with Massachusetts, and is comprised of seven villages: Branch Village, Forestdale, Primrose, Slatersville, Union Village, Waterford and Woonsocket Hill. All parts of town are easily accessible from several major routes – 146, 146A, 5, 7, and 104 – with 146 being the main route running North/South.
North Smithfield’s school system is rated one of the top five in Rhode Island with three public schools in total and a 92% graduation rate. The elementary school has an age appropriate playground with swings, and the high school has a large athletic complex. The high school’s athletic complex offers an all-weather turf, lighted football/soccer field with spectator seating and a scoreboard plus an outdoor track, baseball field, softball field, two lighted, outdoor basketball courts, four lighted tennis courts and a gymnasium.
Wide World of Indoor Sports is a state-of-the-art sports training facility for all ages and abilities located on Pound Hill Road in North Smithfield. This 93,000 square foot arena has five non-boarded indoor fields with premium sports turf (one is inside a dome) and is climate controlled. They also have rubber courts (great for basketball) and a mezzanine for viewing at each field. They host soccer, flag football, volleyball, field hockey, basketball, futsal, lacrosse, wiffle ball and much more.
Although North Smithfield has grown over the years since its incorporation, it maintains a measure of historical integrity with many historical features including saw mill sites, former quarries, miles of stonewalls throughout forested land, bridges and milestone (markers). Home to the America’s first planned industrial village, Slatersville, which to this day has many areas of architectural significance and retains its cultural heritage. The villages of Slatersville, Union Village and Forestdale are all in the National Register of Historic Places.
For all its remarkable history, North Smithfield is today a modern town with convenient amenities. Home to Park Square and Dowling Village, two large shopping areas with almost 100 stores including pharmacy, clothing, home improvement, furniture, tools, sporting goods, vitamins, pets, nail & hair salons, dry cleaners, fitness centers, shoes, home goods, numerous restaurants and sandwich shops plus a medical center. All conveniently located off Route 146. Additionally, North Smithfield has a wide variety of local restaurants with a diversity of cuisine. The Beef Barn is a favorite family owned business that has been in North Smithfield for over 50 years. It’s interior is filled with antiques and vintage items such as the trademark silo from their grandfather’s farm. Noted for their tasty roast beef, they’re open daily and offer a variety of sandwiches, sides, salads and desserts. Lindy’s Tavern is a neighborhood institution located in the village of Forestdale since the 1950s. Lindy’s has a varied, full menu with award winning seafood dishes. Another great find in Forestdale is Village Haven. This family owned and operated restaurant is a long-time town favorite; serving their famous Chicken Family Style since 1977.
Wrights Diary Farm and Bakery has been a revered North Smithfield establishment since it first opened in 1914. Originally an animal farm with chickens, pigs, horses and a few cows, this family owned and operated farm transitioned over the decades to a diary farm and bakery. The bakery began in the 70s, with family favorites known as Claire’s Classics and were sold alongside milk in the first farm stand. Today you’ll still find Claire’s Classics desserts and much more in the 2400 square foot shop. Goodwin Brothers Farm is a multi-generational, family owned and operated farm selling fruits and vegetables harvested from their farm fields along with honey and select items from other local farms from their huge farm stand.
The town is also home to many parks and conservation areas, which are great for hiking. Pacheco Park, located in historic Slaterville, is a clean, family-friendly park for all ages. The park has a playground for younger kids plus lighted tennis and basketball courts, a volleyball court, baseball and t-ball fields, a small walking trail as well as restrooms and a concession stand open seasonally. Centennial Park is part of the Blackstone River Valley National Historic Park and is located in historic Slatersville. A short .3 mile out and back trail will take you down to Slatersville Reservior in sight of two dams. Follow the trail further to Branch River where the trail ends at another dam near a stone bridge. This is an easy trail with terrific sights. Rocky Hill Conservation area has another fairly easy trail of .7 miles. This blazed yellow trail crosses small streams and stone walls. Booth Pond Conservation area has a larger, 1.8 mile, non-blazed trail, rated for average skill levels. Fort Nature Refuge has 3.75 miles of easy trails within its 235 acres. The blue, white, yellow and red blazed trails are great for bird watchers and photographers as well as hikers. The trails pass three idyllic ponds and are great for snowshoeing and cross country skiing during winter. Blackstone River Gorge has a short easy trail of less than 1 mile and leads to a dam, the gorge and a scenic overlook.
North Smithfield has a few annual festivals including the Annual Great Pumpkin Festival which celebrates Fall in New England. This is a family-friendly event with many activities, and over 100 booths offering goods from local, small business, DIY crafts, and food. The festival is held annually in September and is an outdoor event. North Smithfield Days, a 3-day event held annually in early July, first began in 2019. It’s a celebration with music, food trucks, and different fun activities for each day, all culminating with a dramatic fireworks display. On select Thursdays in July and August the town has an annual Summer Concert Series, held at the Town Hall gazebo. Another great summer offering from the town is free community yoga.
North Smithfield has the distinct honor of being the only town in Rhode Island to have an authentic drive-in, The Rustic Drive-In. The Rustic, as its known locally, was originally opened in 1951. The drive-in has three screens showing first run movies, radio broadcast for audio, concession stands and is open seasonally April-September for classic summertime fun.
North Smithfield is primarily a peaceful, small town with a great sense of community.
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