Aborn St. Boat Ramp
This is a site for launching boats from trailers. Boat ramps can normally be used to launch canoes and kayaks but please do your best to keep the boat ramp clear for boat trailers.
Description & Overview:
This substantial boat ramp provides access to the head of Pawtuxet Cove near where the Pawtuxet River empties into the cove. There is no parking right at the boat ramp, but you can often find parking on Broad Street. If there is no parking on Broad Street or if you have a trailer, turn right on Broad Street at the end of Aborn St., then right on Sheldon Street in two blocks, and then left on Commercial Street in one block, and look for the parking lot on Commercial Street.
The mouth of the Pawtuxet River is just around to the right from this boat ramp and with the recent removal of the old dam at the mouth of the river it is now possible to paddle from the cove into the river, if you time the tides correctly. Larger boats should not try to enter the Pawtuxet River. However, before we talk about the river here is some information on the cove area. The 1/2 mile of shoreline south of Pawtuxet Cove is protected by a breakwater, so large waves are unlikely, making this a good area for less experienced paddlers as long as you keep an eye out for boat traffic as the area is very popular place to moor power and sailboats. Heading beyond the breakwater puts you in the Providence River, where caution should be used both because this is a large body of water that can easily become rough and because the river is traveled by large commercial vessels going to and from the Port of Providence.
If you plan to paddle up into the Pawtuxet River you need to pay close attention to the tides. The falls change with the tide from flat and pond-like with ripples (high tide) to a drop of up to three feet and fast white water (low tide). The natural bedrock of the falls continues under the Broad Street Bridge a ways, so be alert until you have passed through. There is plenty of clearance under the bridge at all tides.
At anything other than high tide you will likely have to portage around the falls on the dry ledge near the flood wall next to Hunter's Garage.
Once on the river you can paddle upriver for almost a mile to the Warwick Avenue Bridge where you will likely encounter shallow and faster moving water. If you can get past this area then you should be able to go some distance further up river. About 1/3 mile up river from the mounth is the Rhodes on the Pawtuxet, where you can launch and land hand-carried boats.
If you plan to paddle upriver and then back out of the mouth of the river, pay attention to the tides. Once the tide starts to go out the current will get faster and faster at the mouth of the river.
To get the times of high and low tide at Pawtuxet Cove see this website.
This site provides access to the following water bodies: Pawtuxet Cove, Providence River.
Driving Landmarks: From Broad Street just north of the bridge over the Pawtuxet in the middle of Pawtuxet Village Park, look for Aborn Street. Follow Aborn Street 400 feet to were it ends at the boat ramp.
Access & Waters:
Water 'Features' At Site: estuary, ocean/bay
Note: Because one boat launch can access, say, both a lake and a river or both the upstream and downstream portions of a river, not all paddling trips at a given site will necessarily encounter all of the features listed.
Type of Access: Boat ramp
ADA Accessible Boat Launch? no
Shoreline: The boat ramp is a concrete slab ramp in fair condition. The rest of the shoreline in the area is occupied by private docks and businesses.
Parking: on street
Town Center: This boat ramp is right in the midst of Pawtuxet Village so there are restaurants, gas stations and so on within very easy walking distance but this also means it's a busy place and somewhat more challenging in terms of parking, maneuvering trailers, and so on.
The data on this website come from many sources, including volunteers and organizations across the state of Rhode Island and nearby parts of Massachusetts. We have done our best to make sure the data are accurate and up to date, but any information critical to the success of your trip should be confirmed before you start. The maps and information on this website should not be substituted for nautical charts, topographic maps, or other more detailed maps and guides. We welcome corrections and additions. To send a correction or provide other feedback, please use our feedback form (see link above).
This site report was last updated on September 2, 2015