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 site provides access to the Pawcatuck River at Bradford. The natural gravel shoreline of the river can be used as a boat ramp for small, trailered boats, but is better for launching hand carried boats. Heading downstream from this site you will come almost immediately to a dam. Portage on the right along the fish ladder. This is a short but awkward and wet portage. Below the dam the river is wide, deep and beautiful. Downstream of the Route 3 bridge the river meanders through a mile of open marsh. Six and half miles downstream from Bradford you will come to the Potter Hill Dam. Take out on the right above the Potter Hill bridge and dam, up a short steep bank to River Road. Do not try to run the dam! People have died trying to run it. The dam can be portaged by following Laurel Street past the dam and fish ladder. (This description was adapted from The Wood-Pawcatuck River Guide, which is highly recommended for paddling on the Wood-Pawcatuck river system.)
The river is quite slow-moving at Bradford Landing, especially later in the summer when the river is low, so it is quite possible to paddle for some distance upriver from Bradford Landing, if you do not want to deal with setting up a shuttle in order to make a one-way trip.
This area is stocked with trout several times during the spring.
This site provides access to the following water bodies in the Pawcatuck River watershed: Pawcatuck River.
Driving Landmarks: 0.4 mile south of where Route 91 and Route 216 merge in the village of Bradford, look for a sign for "Bradford Landing" on the east side of the road, across from Bradford Dyeing Association.
Access & Waters:
Water 'Features' At Site: flatwater/slow moving river
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: gently sloping gravel shoreline
Hours of Operation: Closed from 1/2 hr. after sunset to 5 am, except for fishing and boating
Parking: parking lot, 25 spaces
ADA Accessible Parking Spaces? no
Public Restrooms: No
Sources for More Information:
AMC River Guide: 4th Edition, pages 137-138
AMC Quiet Water Canoe Guide: 2nd Edition, page 214
Other Guidebooks: Paddles 27 and 28 in "Paddling Connecticut and Rhode Island"
Ecological, Cultural & Recreational Attractions:
The Nature Conservancy's Gill Preserve is 1/10 mile north on Route 91/Route 216. As of February of 2009 the sign at the preserve said "opening soon."
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 July 19, 2010