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The Thames River Heritage Park is a collection of historic and cultural sites along the shores of the Thames River that tell the stories that shaped our nation.
The sites are linked by seasonal water taxis – two historic navy vessels, which transport visitors to three landing sites in New London and Groton. Visitors can enjoy the sites and local businesses at each stop and continue their ride at their leisure. Purchase your water taxi tickets online or onboard the boat.
Be transported to the spot where in 1781 traitor Benedict Arnold’s men stormed Fort Griswold, a massacre commemorated with the nation’s first obelisk, built before Bunker Hill. Cross the River to the US Custom House where you’ll learn about the 1839 mutiny of African captives aboard the schooner. La Amistad, a story immortalized in a Steven Spielberg movie. Or visit the 1678 Hempsted House to see where a widowed father of nine children managed to find time to chronicle daily life in a diary that is now used worldwide as a primary source on Colonial America.
There are so many stories (at least 997 more) to tell you’ll want to visit again and again.
Experiential activities and programming introduce visitors to the stories of the river that celebrate our diverse traditions and cultures. From pre-revolutionary and civil war eras to a vibrant whaling hub to the Submarine Capital of the World, the Thames River Heritage Park is a reflection of America today as well as those who have come before us.
The anchor sites - Fort Griswold Battlefield and State Park, Fort Trumbull State Park - and many smaller sites allow visitors to experience the Thames River as the heart of the region. When added to the water taxi route in 2020 the Submarine Force Museum & USS Nautilus in Groton and the new U.S. Coast Guard Museum in New London will create a heritage experience unmatched in New England.
Heritage sites include:
- Avery-Copp House
- Bill Memorial Library
- Ebenezer Avery House
- Fort Griswold State Park
- Fort Trumbull State Park
- Garde Arts Center
- Groton Monument & House Museum
- Hempsted Houses
- Lyman Allyn Art Museum
- Monte Cristo Cottage
- Mother Bailey House
- Nathan Hale Schoolhouse
- US SUBVETS WW II National Memorial East
- Submarine Force Museum & USS Nautilus
The Thames River Heritage Park Water Taxi operates Friday noon - 10 pm, Saturday 10 am - 10 pm and Sunday, 10 am - 9 pm Memorial Day weekend through mid-September. Go to the individual heritage site websites to find their hours of operation. Dogs, bikes, and BYOB are welcome.Pricing: Children 3 & under: ride free * Adult Round Trip: $10.00 * Children & Active Military Round Trip: $5.00 * Adult Season Pass: $50.00 * Children’s Season Pass: $30.00
Other Amenities: Groups Welcome, Pet Friendly
Dates of Operation: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, May 25th through September 16th.