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White Rock

41° 23.673' N    71° 50.46' 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:

A dirt track running from White Rock Road down to the bank of the river provides informal/unofficial access to the Pawcatuck River for hand-carried boats. Paddling downstream from this put-in, the river is largely relatively placid, but in about a mile you will come to the broken down Stillmanville Dam, which can either be portaged on the right bank at the willow tree or, at some water levels, run via the millrace on the left, which gives you about 200 yards of class II whitewater (scout first as it is not always runnable!). Below this dam the river is tidal and runs through downtown Westerly. There is a take out on the right, 50 yards below the Broad Street bridge, at Donahue Park, and another on the left, 300 yards below the Broad Street bridge at the municipal boat ramp and parking lot. Or you can continue further down the river towards Little Narragansett Bay. The further you go down the tidal part of the river, the more common motor boats and other larger craft are likely to become.

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

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


Town: Westerly

Nearest Town Center: Westerly

Driving Landmarks: From downtown Westerly take Canal Street north for about a mile. Look for White Rock Road branching off to the left. Take White Rock Road and go 0.4 miles. Just after you go under Route 78 (Westerly By-Pass) look for a dirt track on the left leading down to the river.

Access & Waters:

Water 'Features' At Site: breached 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

Float/Dock: no

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


Parking: other

ADA Accessible Parking Spaces? no

Sources for More Information:

Other Guidebooks: Paddle 29 in "Paddling Connecticut and Rhode Island"

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

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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 4, 2020

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