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Blackstone Gorge

42° 0.925' N    71° 33.192' 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:

There is a nice ramp leading down to the shore here, where canoes and kayaks can be launched into the impoundment (pond) above the dam at the head of Blackstone Gorge. Paddling down the gorge below the dam is NOT recommended. However, the river above the gorge is effectively a pond for a little over a mile up river. So, you can put above the dam and paddle upstream until the current becomes too strong to paddle against and then paddle back down to the put-in. 1-1/4 miles up river, on the west side of the river (river right) there is one of the old locks from the Blackstone Canal. The lock no longer holds water but the stone work is in good condition and makes for an interesting stop. The riverbanks in this area are pretty, with steep forested hillsides coming down to the river, and only occasional houses, roads and commercial buildings visible from the river.

For paddlers coming down to this take-out from further up the Blackstone, the opportunities for continuing down river are difficult at best. The next good put-in below the gorge is over 3 miles away by road at River Island Park in Woonsocket, Rhode Island. So, most paddlers will choose to end their trip at the head of Blackstone Gorge and paddle the Rhode Island sections of the Blackstone on another day.

The map and guide created by the Blackstone Valley Heritage Corridor is highly recommended for paddling this section of the Blackstone River. It can be downloaded from the park website at the link below.

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


Alternate Site Name: Rolling Dam/County Street

Town: Blackstone

Nearest Town Center: Blackstone, MA

Driving Landmarks: From Route 122 look for a small sign for "Blackstone Gorge Tour Boat Parking." Turn here onto Carrington Street and go two blocks. Turn right onto County Street and go 0.1 miles to the parking lot for Blackstone Gorge on the left, marked by a white Blackstone Gorge DCR sign and a purple Blackstone Gorge (Heritage Corridor) sign. Park here and carry your boat down to the river.

Access & Waters:

Water 'Features' At Site: dam, 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: sand

Float/Dock: no

Approximate Length of Carry between Car Access and Water: 200 feet


Parking: yes: 14 spaces

ADA Accessible Parking Spaces? yes

Sources for More Information:

AMC River Guide: 4th Edition, page 151-152

Website: Blackstone Heritage Corridor National Park - Get On the River Page, with links to an excellent set of paddling maps and related information

Ecological, Cultural & Recreational Attractions:

There are walking trails that follow along the top edge of the impressive Blackstone Gorge and provide views into the gorge.

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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 November 2, 2009

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