Blackstone River Greenway (RI)

Trail Map

Description Suggest an Edit

The Blackstone River Greenway (previously known as the Blackstone River Bikeway) represents a big undertaking in this tiny state: The 11.8-mile trail is the largest open segment on a nearly 50-mile corridor that will eventually connect Providence to Worcester, Massachusetts.

A restored drive-in movie theater sign featuring the trail's name greets you at the trail's current south end on John Street in Lonsdale. From the start, you'll be treated to many picturesque scenes of the wide, churning Blackstone River and the placid, historic canal. After a mile, you'll cross over the Pratt Dam on a six-span bridge, which sits atop the original railroad piers and abutment.

Beyond the dam, the trail turns right and continues north (the path leading straight ends at a parking lot). Northbound toward the village of Ashton, the trail alternately follows and parallels the historical canal towpath. Keep an eye out for a large brick textile mill; the canal was built to transport cotton goods from the mill to Worcester and Providence in the 1800s.

Ashton marks the approximate trail midpoint. You could begin or end your journey here by parking on Route 116 or at the visitor center along Interstate 295, which provides restrooms and information. Each parking lot offers a connecting spur on a slight incline to the trail.

History buffs may choose to visit the historical Kelly House Museum, former home of Wilbur Kelly, a ship captain and mill owner. Nestled between the river and canal, the museum relates the transportation and industrial history of each waterway and the railroads.

Continuing north, the trail parallels the active Providence & Worcester Railroad all the way to the end, even sharing a bridge across the river in Albion. The building materials for this stretch of the rail-trail were shipped by and unloaded right off the train.

Parking and Trail Access

To reach the Lonsdale trailhead, take Interstate 295 to State Route 146 south. Exit onto State Route 123 east and follow it to Chambers St. at the Sovereign Bank, and turn there. It will merge with John St. about 100 yards from the trail entrance, which is just over the river.

To reach the Manville trailhead, also take I-295 to Route 146 south and exit onto Route 123 east. Turn left on Route 122 north toward Manville. In town, turn left on Manville Hill Road, cross the river then turn left on Main Street. You'll see the trail on the left. Turn left, downhill and cross the railroad tracks and the trail to reach the parking lot.

Reviews

Enjoyable Ride

   April, 2014 by sinn3246

The day was perfect and I have to say, this trail completed my experience. From the beautiful scenery to the awesome sounds of running water and the sounding around. Trail had some bumps, but nothing to break up the mood. Parking was a little tricky ...read more

SUPER BEAUTIFUL TRAIL!!!

   March, 2014 by moorec

I wanted to try a new trail as an avid runner, biker and skater. On my first trip in October of 2013, I took my bike because I wasn't sure how good it would be for skates. This path has 2-3 waterfalls. Overall the path is very well maintained and I look ...read more

Great path

   October, 2013 by riveting

Just discovered this in Fall 2013, after biking the East Bay Bike Path several times over 12 years. It felt a little wider than the East Bay Bike Path, and had several more easy hills. Remote, woodsy, and a greater chance for wildlife sightings. read more