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Lonsdale Drive-In

41° 54.406' N    71° 24.013' 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 such as canoes or kayaks.

Description & Overview:

NOTE: As of September 2020 there is a report that this site is closed due to construction. We do not know when the site will re-open. If you visit the site and find that it is open again please post a comment to let everyone know.

The old Lonsdale Drive-In site is now a restored meadow and wetland along the Blackstone River. The Blackstone River Bikeway goes through the area and the parking lot off John Street for the bike path provides good access to the Blackstone River via a newly constructed set of stairs that lead to a path to the river. To find the stairs walk across the bike path at the upper end of the parking lot and look for steps leading down the bank into the woods. Follow this path down to the river, where there is a good if slightly muddy place for launching small boats just upriver from the bridge. The Blackstone River in this area is broad and slow, making for easy paddling. At most river levels it is quite possible to make a round trip down to Valley Falls Pond and then back up to the put-in. Valley Falls Pond is an extensive area of wetlands with many side channels to explore. Paddling down the Blackstone, look for a large opening on the right leading into the main part of Valley Falls Pond. There are various branches off from the main pond, and the whole area is a great place to see birds. It is about 3/4 mile from the put-in at the Lonsdale Drive-In site to the entrance to Valley Falls Pond.

The next put-in downriver from the Lonsdale Drive-In put-in is a mile downriver at Central Falls Landing where you must stop before the Valley Falls Dam. Continuing downriver below Central Falls Landing involves a long portage.

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


Town: Lincoln

Driving Landmarks: The entrance to the Lonsdale Drive-In site is at the west end of the John Street (Route 123) bridge. Look for the large Lonsdale Drive-In sign, restored to serve as a marker for the site, and a smaller Blackstone Valley Bike Path sign.

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 launch for hand carried boats

ADA Accessible Boat Launch? no

Shoreline: Grass and mud

Float/Dock: no

Approximate Length of Carry between Car Access and Water: 250 feet


Parking: on street, 24 spaces

ADA Accessible Parking Spaces? yes

Sources for More Information:

Website: A detailed map and guide put out by the Blackstone Valley National Heritage Corridor with information about the river and bike path between Ashton and Central Falls

Website: Blackstone Heritage Corridor National Park - Get On the River Page, with links to various maps and related information

Blocked access

Submitted by: Bradly; September 9, 2020; 8:35 am

Construction at this site. Access to the river is blocked as of Sept 2020.

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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 September 9, 2020

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