Public Invited to Explore Places to Cycle and Paddle on Guided Events
Whitinsville, MA (May 15, 2019) – Volunteers of the Blackstone Heritage Corridor Bikeway Ambassadors and the Blackstone Valley Paddle Club launch their summer season of guided bike rides and paddles throughout the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor. Group paddles are hosted on Tuesday evenings at 6:00 p.m. and group bicycle rides are hosted on Wednesday evenings, departing at 6:30 p.m.
The first volunteer-led “Ride of Discovery” with the BHC Bikeway Ambassadors is on Wednesday, May 29 in Burrillville, RI, along the Burrillville Bike Path. Special guests as interpretive guides are Betty and Carlo Mencucci with the Burrillville Historical and Preservation Society. Riders will meet at the Jesse M. Smith Memorial Library (100 Tinkham Lane, Harrisville, RI). A special ride for National Trails Day, Saturday, June 1, will honor a BHC volunteer, Dave Barber, who leaves behind a legacy of trail advocacy. The ride along the Blackstone River Greenway from Blackstone, MA, to Uxbridge, MA, will include an interpretive talk at the Millville Lock by canal enthusiast Val Stegemoen. Riders will meet at 12:00 p.m. at the Blackstone River Greenway parking area at 93 Canal Street, Blackstone, MA. Walkers can meet at the Millville parking lot (44 Hope St.) at 1:00 p.m. for the walking tour of the Millville Lock).
The “Rides of Discovery” continue through the summer on Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. as follows: June 5, Worcester, MA, to Millbury, MA, (meet at BHC Visitor Center at Worcester, 3 Paul Clancy Way, Worcester, MA; June 12, Blackstone River Greenway, Uxbridge, MA to Blackstone, MA, (meet at 1 Adams St., Uxbridge, MA); June 19, Ride with Landry’s Bicycle Shop (meet at Landry’s Bicycle Shop, 20 Jolma Rd., Worcester, MA); June 26, Woonsocket, RI, to Manville, RI, with a tour of the newly expanded Blackstone River Watershed Council/Friends of the Blackstone Environmental Center (meet at Rivers Edge parking area, 20 Davison Ave., Woonsocket, RI); July 10, Manville, RI, to the Capt. Wilbur Kelly House Museum, Lincoln, RI (meet at the Manville parking area, 100 New River Road, Lincoln, RI). Enjoy a Full Moon bike ride on July 17, departing from the Route 295 Visitor Center (1-295 North), Lincoln, RI, and riding to the Lonsdale Marsh, Lincoln, RI. On July 24, bike from the Lonsdale Marsh to the Slater Mill Historic Site, Pawtucket, RI (meet at the John St. Parking area, 121 John St, Lincoln, RI). On July 31, meet at the historic Looff Carousel in Slater Park, (825 Armistice Blvd., Pawtucket, RI) to meet up with the Ten Mile River Watershed Council for a guided ride along the Ten Mile River Greenway. Blackstone Heritage Corridor is also hosting a Corridor Chats networking event there starting at 4:30 p.m. and the public is invited to attend. To RSVP for Corridor Chats, email bcombs@BlackstoneHeritageCorridor.org.
On August 7, ride along the Blackstone River Greenway from Blackstone, MA, to Uxbridge, MA, and enjoy interpretation along the way (meet at the Blackstone River Greenway parking area, 93 Canal Street, Blackstone, MA). On August 14, bike from the Slater Mill Historic Site (67 Roosevelt Ave., Pawtucket, RI) to Blackstone Boulevard in Providence, RI, and enjoy a tour through Swan Point Cemetery. A special Saturday ride has been added on August 17 to bike along the East Bay Bike Path along the coast of Rhode Island. Meet at the Max Read Athletic Field (Pleasant St., Pawtucket, RI) at 9:30 a.m. The Wednesday evening rides continue on August 21 for a bike ride along the Woonasquatucket River Greenway from Providence, RI, to Johnston, RI. Meet at Riverside Park (50 Aleppo St., Providence, RI) for a 6:30 p.m. departure.
Helmets are required for all bicycle rides (bring your own bike and helmet) and rides are weather dependent. Check BHC’s website and Facebook page for updates. For full details on each ride, visit BHC’s events calendar at BlackstoneHeritageCorridor.org. For more info on BHC’s Bikeway Ambassadors, contact Suzanne Buchanan at volunteer@BlackstoneHeritageCorridor.org or call 508-234-4242.
The Blackstone Valley Paddle Club, a volunteer program of the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor, is launching its 19th season with paddles throughout the Blackstone River Valley. Participants must bring their own canoe or kayak, paddles and life jackets. Arrive by 6:00 p.m. for 6:15 p.m. launch. The Tuesday night guided paddle trips begin May 21 with a paddle trip along the West River in Uxbridge, MA, (meet at gravel lot on West River Road). Here, you’ll have a chance to see a lot of wildlife as you paddle upstream through this stretch of clean, clear flatwater. On May 28, travel along the Upton section of the West River (parking for access to the river is at the bridge just south of the DPW garage at 100 Pleasant St.). On June 4, explore the Nipmuc River in Burrillville, RI (meet at 50 Sherman Farm Rd.). This river, above the pond and above where the Clear River ends, is listed by the state as pristine water, the state’s highest rating for water quality. On June 11, meet at the boat launch at the Rivers Edge Recreation Complex (20 Davison Ave., Woonsocket, RI) for a trip along the Blackstone River to the Manville Quarry. On June 18, paddle along the historic Blackstone Canal to the Goat Hill Lock in Uxbridge, MA. Meet at the Blackstone River and Canal Heritage State Park (287 Oak St., Uxbridge, MA). On June 25, paddle along the Mumford River from the Lackey Dam (meet at Lackey Dam Road across from Oakhurst Rd., Sutton, MA). Enjoy a nice flatwater section of the upper Slatersville Reservoir and Branch River on July 2 in Slatersville, RI, (meet at 2980 Broncos Highway). On July 9, paddlers will meet at the Blackstone Gorge for a paddle to the Millville rapids. Meet at the Blackstone Gorge parking area at the end of County Street, Blackstone, MA. On July 16, enjoy a paddle at the scenic Valley Falls Marsh including a trip up the Blackstone River to Pratt Dam (meet at the Central Falls Landing, 30 Madeira Ave., Central Falls, RI). On July 23, explore the tranquil Bowdish Lake at the George Washington State Campground and Management Area (2185 Putnam Pike, Chepachet, RI). On July 30, travel to Bold Point Park (Waterfront Dr., East Providence, RI) for an urban paddle along the Providence River where you’ll pass the Waterfire braziers into Water Place Park to the confluence of the Woonasquatucket and Moshassuk Rivers. On August 6, explore Manchaug Pond in Sutton, MA. Meet at the State Boat Ramp on Torrey Road. This paddle is suitable for all and a great place for a swim. On August 20, paddle at Spring Lake in Burrillville. Meet at the Black Hut boat access on Black Hut Road, Burrillville, RI. The paddle club season ends on Tuesday, August 27 with a paddle at Stump Pond (307 Farnum Pike, Smithfield, RI). The club is offering a Saturday paddle on September 7 for Blackstone Heritage Corridor’s 5th annual GO! program. This paddle meets at 12:30 p.m. for 1:00 p.m. launch for a trip from the Blackstone Gorge to within sight of the Millville rapids. Meet at the end of County Street, Blackstone, MA. For complete details on each paddle, visit Blackstone Heritage Corridor’s events page (BlackstoneHeritageCorridor.org/events) or ricka-flatwater.org/bvcal.
Before leaving for any paddle, check the Paddle Club’s message board for changes and cancellations to trips at members.boardhost.com/FLATWATER. If paddles are cancelled due to weather, the Paddle Club will try to offer it the following day, Wednesday. To participate in the Blackstone Valley Paddle Club’s events, a Rhode Island Canoe and Kayak Association (RICKA) membership fee of $15.00 is required, as is a $10.00 membership fee for the Blackstone Valley Paddle Club. These fees provide a family membership and are good for the entire season. For questions about the Blackstone Valley Paddle Club and membership, contact Cheryl at StoneFoxFarm@juno.com or 401-497-5887.