Stay safe: please read our page about how to walk outdoors safely during COVID-19.

Back to List

Hope Dam

41° 43.867' N    71° 33.92' 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 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 upper Pawtuxet River. There is a gravel boat ramp here that is good for launching small trailered boats and hand-carried boats. Only non-motorized boats and boats with electric motors are permitted. From this put-in it is an easy 2 mile paddle upstream to the base of the massive earthen dam that creates Scituate Reservoir. The first part of this paddle takes you through the winding marshy pond created by Hope Dam. Finding your way can be a little tricky because of the many marshy coves leading off of the main river channel. The AMC Guidebook and "Paddling Connecticut and Rhode Island" both have good details and a map will also help. Slowly the river narrows as you head upstream until you are following a narrow, tree-lined river. At the end you will be paddling against a very gentle current, but under most conditions it is so gentle as to be barely noticeable. When you get to the end, stay off the Scituate Reservoir dam unless you want to tangle with the reservoir security department. There is no take-out here, so plan to turn around and return to Hope Dam to complete your paddle. If you stay out of the side coves, the round trip is an easy 4 mile paddle, but the side coves are well worth exploring if you have the time.

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


Alternate Site Name: Upper Pawtuxet - Hope Landing Access

Town: Scituate

Nearest Town Center: Hope Village

Driving Landmarks: From Route 116 north or south turn onto Hope Furnace Road at the general store in Hope. 200 feet down Hope Furnace Road look for a dirt drive leading to the access site.

Access & Waters:

Water 'Features' At Site: dam, 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 ramp

ADA Accessible Boat Launch? no

Shoreline: The shoreline here has been stabilized but it is also muddy and sandy in places. The bank slope is very gentle and access is easy.

Float/Dock: no

Approximate Length of Carry between Car Access and Water: 30 feet

Hours of Operation: Year-round


Parking: yes: 40 spaces

ADA Accessible Parking Spaces? no

Nearby Amenities:

Public Restrooms: No

Town Center: Hope

Sources for More Information:

AMC River Guide: 4th Edition, page 148

Other Guidebooks: Paddle 21 in "Paddling Connecticut and Rhode Island"

Great trip for a fall day

Submitted by: AM; June 3, 2021; 6:25 pm

I kayaked this portion of the river late last October. No real current to speak of due to the 2020 drought. It was quiet, serene and scenic, everything you'd want for a solo kayak trek on a warm afternoon. The water was too low to reach the reservoir dam but even in drought conditions you can make your way to the final bend before it all turns to rock. Lots of spots to just float and take in everything around you.
As a bonus towards the end you may notice that you're floating by the overgrown "beach" of the former Camp Sunrise (if that's somewhere you remember).




Trash cans would be nice

Submitted by: Strongbear; March 24, 2018; 1:44 pm

Trash cans would be nice around that area because there's trash all over the ground,, maybe trash barrels would open people's eyes to throw trash in the barrels instead of on the ground,, thank you and God Bless.

Do you have comments, corrections or additions to the information about this site?

Help us work together to make this website better by sharing your knowledge!

Private feedback goes to the Blueways Alliance/RI Land Trust Council. We'll use your information to make this website better or pass it along to the people who can deal with physical issues at this site. Public comments are posted here (once they've been reviewed and approved) for all to see.

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 January 17, 2010

© 2008-2020 Rhode Island Blueways Alliance, Rhode Island Land Trust Council