John L. Curran State Park & Management Area is a hidden gem located in Cranston, Rhode Island. Isaac and I discovered it the way we discover most cool parks. We searched our house on Google maps and zoomed out until we found a green spot. We saw the two ponds, got in the car and proceeded to explore. It has been our go-to park ever since!
John L. Curran State Park
John L. Curran has 332 acres and is largely a forested tract comprised primarily of deciduous hardwood trees, oaks, maple and beech. It also feature two ponds and agricultural land for public gardening. This is a popular place for fishing, you can take a boat out on the pond – we have enjoyed taking our blow-up boat out on it. The current is surprisingly strong though!
John L. Curran is also a great place to pick mushrooms. Yes, I know, mushroom pickers don’t tend to give away their secret spots. This place is already a hot spot for foragers and I don’t mind some friendly competition. Plus this isn’t the best place to pick mushrooms in Rhode Island 😉
Fishing at John L. Curran State Park
If you’re looking to go fishing here, you’ll want to go to Upper Reservoir. It is 30 acres and has a cement plank boat ramp here and a gravel parking lot. No motors over 10 H.P. are allowed on the reservoir. This area is stocked with trout in the early spring. You can get more information here, including the exact coordinates of the reservoir.
This area is perfect for hiking, but the trails are not marked. We just use our phones and Google maps to navigate. However, there are some spots with really bad to no signal. It also isn’t big enough of an area to go on a super long hike. We walked all the way around the lake and it was only about 5km (3.1 miles). There is, however, a historic route in the area.
Cranston Historic Farm Route
“The route in western Cranston is bounded by Hope Rd., Seven Mile Rd., Scituate Ave., and Pippin Orchard Rd., was established in 2004 to formally recognize the contributions of historic farms to our City’s growth, quality of life, and economic vibrancy.”West Bay Land Trust
The Lippitt Hill Historic District is located at the northwest corner of the Loop and was home to some of Cranston’s earliest settlers. The Furnace Hill Brook Historic District sits just off the southeastern edge of the Loop and is the site of prehistoric Native American Indian settlements. The site also contains historic manufacturing buildings from the early days of the Industrial Revolution.
John L. Curran State Park is a great place for a relaxing walk, a hike, fishing, foraging, boat riding, and we’ve even seen ATVs. It is also a popular deer hunting spot so wear orange during hunting season in the fall. We have droned here, walked our dogs (leashed) and we’ve had picnics on the large comfy rock overlooking the pond. I definitely recommend that you come here and take a look. If you live far away, then do what we do, Google your home and zoom out until you see something green!