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Georgiaville Dam Portage

41° 53.554' N    71° 30.393' 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 site is a portage. This typically means there either is no road access to this location or that the site is not recommended as a launching site for some other reason. The portage may be around a dam, whitewater, or some other obstruction.

Description & Overview:

This portage gets you from Georgiaville Pond into the Woonasquatucket River. The portage is about 250 feet long and is steep in places. The next mile and a half of river below the dam is rocky and only really suitable for paddling when the water is high, at which time it is an excellent but challenging river run with lots of quickwater and class I whitewater, tight turns, and the potential for downed trees and other obstructions. The rocky spillway immediately below the dam is beautiful but unrunnable and dangerous. The sides of the spillway are rocky and very steep and falling into the spillway could be fatal so caution is strongly advised around the spillway. However, you do not need to go near the spillway to use the portage.

In normal conditions you can paddle 2 miles down river from Georgiaville (with a portage at Esmond) to Cricket Park at Angel Avenue in Johnston. Before doing so check the dam at Esmond Park to make sure you know how you will handle this portage, because the best way to portage here depends on the water level. When the river is high it is possible to run this dam with care. At low water levels the top of the dam is dry and you may be able to lift your boat right over the dam. At intermediate water levels a portage around the dam may be necessary (but may be difficult, depending on the water level).

You can walk to the Georgiaville Dam Portage from the Georgiaville town beach, but it is a long walk if you are carrying a boat, and since boats can be launched at the town beach (permit required to park) there is no need to carry a boat to the portage. For more information on that site, see the separate listing for it.

This site provides access to the following water bodies in the Woonasquatucket River watershed: Georgiaville Pond, Woonasquatucket River.


Town: Smithfield

Nearest Town Center: Smithfield

Access & Waters:

Water 'Features' At Site: dam, whitewater, 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: Portage

ADA Accessible Boat Launch? no

Shoreline: The take-out on the lake side is low and grassy, but the stairs up to the top of the dam are steep, as is the path down the other side of the dam. This site was not designed as a portage and there is no clearly identified launching site below the dam, but the bank of the river is low and irregular so there are various reasonable choices for launching canoes or kayaks into the river.

Float/Dock: no

Portage Length: 300 feet


Parking: no

Nearby Amenities:

Public Restrooms: There are restrooms at the town beach, but they may not always be open.

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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, 2022

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