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Bradford Landing

41° 24.386' N    71° 44.882' W   See this location in: Google Maps   Map Server   Acme Maps

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Map Server shows a topographic map of the area. The Map Server website is not part of ExploreRI.org.
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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 series of small dams. An undefined portage path exists on the right immediately after the road bridge. Paddlers may find it challenging to safely exit their boat, climb up the bank, and traverse the often wet land. Experienced paddlers may navigate over and/or through the dams. The current may swing your boat sideways, so be prepared to correct. 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 left at the Flora Whiteley Preserve. Do not try to run the dam! People have died trying to run it. The dam can be portaged by following Main Street west for about 200 feet and then going north on Post Office Lane, a small dirt road, for about 700 feet to the put-in at the end of Post Office Lane. For more about the river below Potter Hill Dam see the listing for the put-in at the end of Post Office Lane.

(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.

Location:

Town: Hopkinton

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

Float/Dock: no

Hours of Operation: Closed from 1/2 hr. after sunset to 5 am, except for fishing and boating

Parking:

Parking: parking lot, 25 spaces

ADA Accessible Parking Spaces? no

Nearby Amenities:

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"

Website: How to order the Wood-Pawcatuck Watershed Association's River Guide

Website: USGS River Gauge on the Pawcatuck River at Wood River Junction

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."

Fish Ladder Chute

Submitted by: Dan; March 20, 2020; 4:47 pm

I watched this new fish ladder being built and there was a canoe/kayak chute installed in the middle; but it all but disappeared when the normal river flow was restored after construction. Perhaps a few poles marking the chute could be installed at minimal expense to make it more user friendly for paddle boats.

Rating:

starstarstarstarstar

Photographs:

Photo Credit: Dan


Running the fish ladder

Submitted by: Michael; July 13, 2018; 2:05 pm

So we waited quite a bit for the fish ladder at the Bradford Mill to be completed in anticipation of paddling the very section described here. My friend and I attempted running it and found it to be not very user friendly for kayaking. While I can appreciate all this formation does for the management of the river and the fish that will utilize it, it was dissapointing from a recreational point of view. The portage has been made much more difficult and the passage thru the ladder is not safe. Maybe a side passage for canoes or kayaks would have been a good idea.

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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 June 1, 2020

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