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Hope Valley Dam

41° 30.191' N    71° 42.999' 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:

For paddlers, this site is mostly of interest if you are paddling down the Wood River from Wyoming Pond, because you will have to portage around the Hope Valley Dam here. If you are looking for a place to put in to start a paddle on the Wood River, the Switch Road put-in 3/4 mile down river from here is a much better place to start your trip.

To portage around Hope Valley Dam take out at the small gravel area on the right side of the river a little above the fishing access parking lot and the dam. Portage across the bridge and put in just downstream of the bridge.

The Hope Valley Dam forms a small impoundment in the Wood River and it would be possible to put in above the dam and paddle a ways upstream. Below the dam there is a brief section of Class I whitewater followed by some quickwater. A quarter mile downstream there is a 6 inch dam that can normally be run and in another quarter mile the river goes under Interstate 95.

The Wood-Pawcatuck River Guide is highly recommended for paddling on the Wood-Pawcatuck river system.

This area is stocked with trout several times throughout the year.

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


Alternate Site Name: Mechanic Street

Town: Richmond

Nearest Town Center: Hope Valley

Driving Landmarks: From Route 3 (Main Street) in Hope Valley take Mechanic Street south and go 0.2 miles. Look for a fishing access parking lot on the left at the Hope Valley Dam.

Access & Waters:

Water 'Features' At Site: dam, whitewater, 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: gravel above the dam, steep and rocky below the dam

Float/Dock: no

Approximate Length of Carry between Car Access and Water: 50 feet

Portage Length: 400 feet

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


Parking: yes: 6 spaces

ADA Accessible Parking Spaces? no

Sources for More Information:

AMC River Guide: 4th Edition, page 138

AMC Quiet Water Canoe Guide: 2nd Edition, page 204

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

Website: USGS River Gauge on the Wood River below Hope Valley Dam

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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 February 6, 2009

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