The peace of nature is a true gift and one you can easily give to yourself. Experience the multitude of open space and trail locations throughout the National Heritage Corridor. Travel through a variety of habitats and cultural landscapes. Listen to the bird songs. It’s a mental health day!
There are abundant and varied hiking experiences in the Blackstone Heritage Corridor. Plan your day in the great outdoors using some of the locations listed.
We offer these suggestions for your experience:
- The conditions of trails change according to the weather and seasons. Some trails are more rugged and isolated than others. Proper precautions should be taken.
- Tell a responsible person where you are going and when you think you will return.
- If you become lost – stay put! a signaling device, such as a whistle, is a useful addition to your daypack.
- Wear layered clothing, supportive footwear and take plenty of water, snacks, sunscreen and bug repellent.
- Dispose of trash responsibly.
- Take only pictures…
- Leave only footprints.
- Respect private property.
Lace up the shoelaces and let’s hike!
Daniels Farm – Blackstone, MA
Daniels Farm is one of the finest remaining farms in the Blackstone Valley. This 112 acre farm dates back to the mid-1700s and remained active through the mid-20th Century. The farmstead retains its rural agricultural setting and is reflective of a farm that has evolved over two centuries leaving an intact farmstead. The farm is now a preserved greenspace.
Blackstone Gorge – Blackstone, MA
The most dramatic views along the trail are found at the overlooks located every few hundred feet. Here you can stand on rocky cliffs looking down at the river 80 feet below. At the end of the trail, you will come to an old baseball field. To the right is the confluence of the Blackstone and the Branch River, which flows in from the west.
Douglas State Forest – Douglas, MA
Bordering both Connecticut and Rhode Island, Douglas State Forest contains 4,620 acres of recreational opportunities and scenic lands, including Wallum Lake. Douglas State Forest also includes a rare example of Atlantic White Ceder swampland. A 5-acre portion of this swamp is designated as a Massachusetts Wildland. It is accessible to the public via a boardwalk trail.
The Parklands – Hopedale, MA
The Draper family hired Warren Henry Manning, designer of Boston’s park system, to design a park around their millpond. Enjoy a stroll though this carefully planned woodland of over 1,000 acres – almost 1/3 of the entire town.
Lookout Rock – Northbridge, MA
Lookout Rock provides one of the most spectacular views in the Blackstone Valley. Standing atop the rock, you have a view of the Blackstone River snaking its way through Northbridge and Uxbridge and through Rice City Pond.
Purgatory Chasm – Sutton, MA
A unique natural landmark, Purgatory Chasm runs for a quarter of a mile between granite walls, rising as high as 70 feet. Popular with picnickers and rock-climbers alike, the Chasm is believed to have its origin in the sudden release of dammed-up glacial meltwater near the end of the last Ice Age, approximately 14,000 years ago. Trails lead to a variety of rock formations.
Upton State Forest – Upton, MA
This 2660 acre forest offers visitors a natural diversity of flora and fauna accented with historically significant contributions of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). Trail users can enjoy numerous recreational opportunities. The park is a mix of upland forest and wet habitats (swamp, stream, pond, and seasonal wetlands).
Blackstone River and Canal Heritage State Park – Uxbridge, MA
Blackstone River and Canal Heritage State Park celebrates the role of the Blackstone Canal as a transportation link from Providence, RI to Worcester, MA. The park covers over 1,000 acres along the Blackstone River and Canal, offering a number of recreational activities including hiking, biking, canoeing and fishing.
West Hill Dam and Park – Uxbridge, MA
West Hill Dam and Park is a 557-acre park operated by the Army Corps of Engineers. Park facilities include five miles of trails for hiking, biking and horseback riding and a swimming area at Harrington Pool, formed by the West River.
Broad Meadow Brook Wildlife Sanctuary – Worcester, MA
Broad Meadow Brook is the largest urban wildlife sanctuary in New England, including 272 acres for hiking and education programs. Along with a trail network, the sanctuary also offers a number of educational programs encouraging preservation and conservation of the natural world.
Black Hut Management Area – Burrillville, RI
Come experience Black Hut’s hiking trails, wildlife viewing, bird watching trails, and hunting within its 1,548 acres of wonderful forest, wetlands and agricultural land. Make sure to wear orange from October through the end of February (because that’s hunting season).
Buck Hill Management Area – Burrillville, RI
Buck Hill is 1,777 acres, primarily forest land with some wetland area and agricultural land. The Department of Fish and Wildlife maintains a wildlife marsh, which serves to attract waterfowl, furbearers such as muskrat, and other wetland dependent birds. Make sure to wear orange from October through the end of February (because that’s hunting season).
Diamond Hill Park – Cumberland, RI
Named for its mile-long face of veined granite quartz, Diamond Hill provides a number of recreation opportunities. The view from the top of Diamond Hill, formerly a small ski slope, is spectacular. The park has athletic fields, a pond, and picnic area, as well as a number of hiking trails to explore.
Monastery Trails – Cumberland, RI
The former Cistercian Monastery is now owned by the Town of Cumberland and used as a recreation area and home of the Cumberland Library. This was the site of Nine Men’s Misery, where nine English soldiers from Pierce’s Fight, a battle in 1676 during the King Philip’s War, were taken and tortured to death by Narragansett warriors.
Blackstone River State Park and Bikeway – Lincoln, RI
Eight miles of the Blackstone River Bikeway is now open in the towns of Lincoln and Cumberland. Eventually, the Bikeway will run 48-miles, from Worcester to Providence; 3.5 miles of the Bikeway run on top of the preserved Blackstone Canal towpath.
Chase Farm – Lincoln, RI
This 118-acre dairy farm was active for a century, until 1965. The park contains 80-acres of charming hills and meadows demonstrating the rural character of the Great Road Historic District. Now preserved as a green space, it is used for a number of activities, such as summer concerts. Also on site is a butterfly garden.
Lime Rock Preserve – Lincoln, RI
The Lime Rock Preserve is a beautiful and unique habitat that supports more rare plant species than any other site in Rhode Island. It is an excellent place to watch the seasons change, explore walking trails, or look for animals and plants like migrant warblers, raccoons ,and trout lilies. The preserve is laced with trails illustrating a wide variety of distinctive New England habitats.
Lincoln Woods – Lincoln, RI
Lincoln Woods State Park is one of Blackstone Valley’s great treasures. Lincoln Woods is where over 600 acres are available for swimming at the fresh water beach, trout fishing, hiking, jogging, horseback riding, or just relaxing under a shade tree.
India Point Park – Providence, RI
This shoreline park is built over site of former Indiamen docks, where ships left Providence to trade the produce of the Blackstone Valley to China, India and the rest of the world. See the mouth of Blackstone River as it empties into the Providence River and on into Narragansett Bay.
RI Audubon Society/Powder Mill Ledges Wildlife Refuge – Smithfield, RI