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Donigian Park

41° 49.352' N    71° 26.408' W   See this location in: Google Maps   Map Server   Acme Maps

Google Maps is the mapping system used on the new ExploreRI mapper and shows the access site located on a terrain view, a street map or an aerial photograph. Clicking on this link will take you to the full Google Maps website, which is not part of ExploreRI.
Map Server shows a topographic map of the area. The Map Server website is not part of
Acme Maps shows the access site located on a topographic map. The Acme Maps website is not part of

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:

Donigian Park is a city park next to the Woonasquatucket River. There is a broad set of stairs leading down to the river just upstream from Valley St. The dam at this site is upstream from the stairs, so if you are paddling downstream you will not have to portage around the dam. Paddling downstream from here involves some quick-moving water and challenging paddling. A better plan for inexperienced paddlers is to start downtown and paddle up the river to Eagle Square (Atwells Ave.) and then turn around and go back down. The tide affects much of the river below this site so plan accordingly. In times of low river flow some sections can be too shallow to paddle at low tide.

This site provides access to the following water bodies in the Woonasquatucket River watershed: Woonasquatucket River.


Alternate Site Name: Lonigan Memorial Park

Town: Providence

Nearest Town Center: Providence

Driving Landmarks: The park is on the west side of Valley Street in Providence, 2/10 mile south of Atwells Ave. The canoe launch is in the SE corner of the park, near the bridge over the river.

Access & Waters:

Water 'Features' At Site: dam, whitewater, 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 launch for hand carried boats

ADA Accessible Boat Launch? no

Shoreline: The boat launch is a short set of steps that cut down through the stone walls that line the river in this area.

Float/Dock: no

Approximate Length of Carry between Car Access and Water: 75 feet

Portage Length: 700 feet

Hours of Operation: Sunrise to Sunset


Parking: on street, no overnight parking

ADA Accessible Parking Spaces? no

Nearby Amenities:

Public Restrooms: There are restrooms at various stores at the Eagle Square shopping plaza, which is a 10 minute walk east on Valley St., as well as at nearby gas stations.

Town Center: Olneyville Square is a 10-15 minute walk west on Valley St.

Outfitter: None nearby

Accomodations: None within walking distance

Sources for More Information:

AMC River Guide: 4th Edition, page 145

Ecological, Cultural & Recreational Attractions:

A fish ladder is being constructed just upstream at Rising Sun Dam. Construction is currently underway (October 2007).


Entrance to Donigian Park

Entrance to Donigian Park

Photography by: Bruce G. Hooke

Date of Photograph: July 11, 2007

This is the entrance to Donigian Park from Valley St. The canoe launch is about 75 feet up the paved path, on the left.

Donigian Park Canoe Launch Access

Donigian Park Canoe Launch Access

Photography by: Bruce G. Hooke

Date of Photograph: July 11, 2007

This is the grassy area at the head of the stairs leading to the river. Valley Street is in the background and the river is on the right.

Donigian Park Canoe Launch Stairs

Donigian Park Canoe Launch Stairs

Photography by: Bruce G. Hooke

Date of Photograph: July 11, 2007

The stairs down to the river. This view is looking upstream towards the Rising Sun Dam.

View Downstream from Launch

View Downstream from Launch

Photography by: Bruce G. Hooke

Date of Photograph: July 11, 2007

This is a view looking downstream from the canoe launch at Donigian Park. At this water level the river downstream from here would be very rocky until Eagle Square. This section of the river is best paddled when the river is higher.

Donigian Park Canoe Launch

Donigian Park Canoe Launch

Photography by: Bruce G. Hooke

Date of Photograph: July 11, 2007

View of the Donigian Park canoe launch from across the river. At this water level, the river between here and Eagle Square will be very rocky.


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This site report was last updated on January 15, 2009

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