Located in a small Rhode Island town, you can barely see a big blue sign overgrown by weeds off Route 3. Nature has reclaimed the former kiddie storybook village, or at least, what’s left of it. The only remnants of the park are the parking lot, the overgrown miniature golf course, the bumper car course, a barn, and a schoolhouse. Vandals have painted graffiti on the gutted remains of fairytale-themed barn and schoolhouse. Vines curl around rusted metal benches and a miniature golf course nestles in the undergrowth. As you’re walking through the brush and bramble, you can hear the eery wind whistling through the trees. I’ve created these images to evoke the feeling of what remains today.
According to yellowed Providence Journal archives, Philip Herlle and Marcus Jones, two self-described “dreamers” with “a strong strain of practicality mixed in,” created the park.
Hoping to avoid the roadside tourist-trap image, they built The Enchanted Forest around a pond, with waterfalls at either end. They preserved trees, shrubs, and protected mountain laurels. Chariho High School vocational students built the displays and buildings.
The park opened on June 17, 1972, “in the midst of a howling gale.” Admission: $1.25 for children, $1.50 for adults. Twenty-five cents extra to ride a battery-powered car.
ZINER, K. L. (Oct 27, 2013). A view from Hope Valley: Enchanted Forest a creepy place today. Retrieved from https://www.providencejournal.com/article/20131027/NEWS/310279953.