Central Falls Landing
This is a site for launching hand-carried boats and it is also a portage. This typically means that to continue paddling down the river past this site you will have to portage your boat around a dam or other obstruction.
Description & Overview:
This site provides small craft access to the Blackstone River and Valley Falls Pond, an extensive area of wetlands with various side channels to explore. There is a ramp leading down to the water that could be used for small, light trailers and that also provides a suitable location for launching hand carried boats. In the summer the Blackstone Valley Explorer tour boat ties up here. The Explorer runs public tours of the Blackstone River and Valley Falls Pond.
To paddle to Valley Falls Pond head west from the access site. In about 1000 feet various side channels will start branching off.
If you have paddled downriver to this site and you want to continue downriver from here you will have to portage around the dam, which is a long portage. Take out at the ramp on river right and carry across the bridge and then turn right into Valley Falls Heritage Park. Work your way down the ramps and walkways, across a deep tail race channel and towards the river. At first when you get to the river you will be looking down a high stone wall at the water, but if you follow along the river, passing under the railroad bridge, you will get to an area where the stone walls give way to a natural riverbank suitable for launching canoes and kayaks. Heading downstream from here takes you into the heart of Central Falls and Pawtucket. The river below the dam is quickwater, but flattens out quickly. In about a mile you will come to another dam that must be portaged on the left. Another 3/4 mile brings you to Slater Mill in downtown Pawtucket where you must take out before the final dams. The best access is a break in the wall on river right just before Slater Mill. This is the end of the Blackstone River. Below the dam it becomes the tidal Seekonk River, but the first access point is 1/2 mile below the dam.
This site provides access to the following water bodies in the Blackstone River watershed: Blackstone River.
Town: Central Falls
Driving Landmarks: The landing is located on the corner of Broad St. and Madeira Ave. The entrance to the parking lot is off of Madeira Ave.
Access & Waters:
Water 'Features' At Site: dam, flatwater/slow moving river, pond
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 launch for hand carried boats
ADA Accessible Boat Launch? no
Shoreline: Hard surface ramp
Float/Dock: low float or dock
Approximate Length of Carry between Car Access and Water: 50 feet
Portage Length: 1900 feet
Hours of Operation: 5am to 9pm
Parking: parking lot, 30 spaces
ADA Accessible Parking Spaces? no
Sources for More Information:
Other Guidebooks: Paddle 31 in "Paddling Connecticut and Rhode Island"
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This site report was last updated on March 18, 2013