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Post Office Lane Put-In

41° 24.95' N    71° 47.947' 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:

Below the Post Office Lane put-in the river is quiet, beautiful, and bucolic. Starting just upriver from this put-in, the Pawcatuck River becomes the border between Rhode Island and Connecticut. In 1.5 miles you will pass under Boom Bridge and in another 1.5 miles you will come to the site of the old dam and mill at White Rock. In the fall of 2015 this dam was removed and as a result the old whitewater run down the mill race is no more. USE GREAT CAUTION IN THIS AREA: the middle section of the newly restored river contains narrow channels, and the river-right (CT) side of the river has had trees and root balls cabled to the bank to reduce erosion. There are also numerous boulders in sections, and the channels will likely shift and change as the river wears in its new "clothes."

The first possible take-out below Potter Hill is 3/4 mile beyond White Rock Dam (4 miles below Potter Hill) at White Rock, just upstream of the Route 78 bridge.

Below Route 78, 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.

(This description was adapted in part from The Wood-Pawcatuck River Guide, which 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: Potter Hill

Driving Landmarks: From Interstate 95 take Exit 1 in Rhode Island for Route 3. Go south on Route 3 for 1.8 miles and turn right onto Route 216 (High Street) in Ashaway. Go 0.2 miles and turn left onto Laurel Street/River Road. Go 1 mile to the bridge over the river above Potter Hill Dam. Turn left over the bridge and go about 200 feet. Then turn right onto Post Office Lane, a small dirt road, and go about 1/10 mile to the end of the road, where there is public parking. Note that contrary to what Google Maps shows, Post Office Lane does not cross the river as a driveable road and it is not possible to get to the river via Post Office Lane on the Connecticut side of the river.

Access & Waters:

Water 'Features' At Site: 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: 175 feet


Parking: yes: 10 spaces

Nearby Amenities:

Public Restrooms: No

Sources for More Information:

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

Website: USGS River Gauge on the Pawcatuck River at Westerly

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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 October 12, 2021

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