Stay safe: please read our page about how to walk outdoors safely during COVID-19.

Back to List

John (Jay) Cronan River Access

41° 26.707' N    71° 40.873' 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 boats from trailers and it is also a portage, which 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. Boat ramps can normally be used to launch canoes and kayaks but please do your best to keep the boat ramp clear for boat trailers.

Description & Overview:

This is a good access point for paddling trips on the upper and middle Pawcatuck River. You can take-out here after paddling down from Shannock Falls, or put in here and paddle downriver to Burdickville (but note that there isn't really a good place to park a car at Burdickville) or Bradford Landing. If you have reached the John Cronin River Access site from upstream and plan to continue on down the river from here it is advisable to portage around the low dam (actually a weir for the USGS Gauging Station). This is a short, easy portage.

Paddling downriver from here it is about 3 1/2 miles to the confluence with the Wood River and almost 5 miles to the take-out at Burdickville. From Burdickville it's another 3 1/2 miles down to Bradford Landing.

The Pawcatuck River in this area is relatively wild, with only occasional houses and bridges. The river is mostly quiet and relatively slow-moving. There are likely to be a fair number of trees down across the river, but the Wood-Pawcatuck Watershed Association tries to maintain the route and at least provide a narrow passage past any downed trees that go across the river, so except in the case of newly fallen trees you should not have to get out and lift your boat over or around trees, but you may have to worm through some fairly narrow slots to get around downed trees.

At the broken down dam at Burdickville the only egress here is on the right, immediately upstream of the dam -- a short but awkward take out up a steep, narrow path to Burdickville Road. You may also lift over the left side of the dam, or you may run it in the fast water right of center, close to the little masonry "island." Only at high water should the dam be run down the middle. About a mile below Burdickville, above the next take-out at Bradford, there are a group of unofficial paddle-in campsites in Burlingame Management Area. The sites are on the left. For more about the uncertain status of camping at these sites, see the listing for the Burlingame Canoe Campsites. Four more miles brings you to Bradford. You can take out at the DEM landing ramp and parking area on the left, or continue on to Potter Hill Dam.

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.


Alternate Site Name: Richmond Landing

Town: Charlestown

Driving Landmarks: On Route 91 (Alton-Carolina Road) between Carolina and Wood River Junction, look for signs for this DEM fishing access site on the south side of the road, next to a bridge across the Wood 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 ramp, portage

ADA Accessible Boat Launch? no

Shoreline: The shoreline both above and below the dam is low and sandy so access is very easy. In theory small trailered boats could be launched here but this is mostly a launch for hand-carried boats.

Float/Dock: no

Approximate Length of Carry between Car Access and Water: 25 feet

Portage Length: 75 feet

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


Parking: yes: 5 spaces, no overnight parking

ADA Accessible Parking Spaces? no

Nearby Amenities:

Public Restrooms: No

Sources for More Information:

AMC River Guide: 4th Edition, page 141

Other Guidebooks: Paddle 26 in "Paddling Connecticut and Rhode Island"

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

Website: The USGS Gauging Station at this site is online and provides near real-time data on the river level

Ecological, Cultural & Recreational Attractions:

The Pawcatuck River is stocked with Salmon and Trout.

Do you have comments, corrections or additions to the information about this site?

Help us work together to make this website better by sharing your knowledge!

Private feedback goes to the Blueways Alliance/RI Land Trust Council. We'll use your information to make this website better or pass it along to the people who can deal with physical issues at this site. Public comments are posted here (once they've been reviewed and approved) for all to see.

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 July 26, 2021

© 2008-2020 Rhode Island Blueways Alliance, Rhode Island Land Trust Council