Welcome to the ExploreRI Mapper
This mapper will help you locate boat launches and other points of interest to for small boat recreation throughout the state of Rhode Island. To get started, click anywhere on the map to zoom in on that area. To zoom out use the zoom control to the left of the map. Once you have zoomed in, boat launches and other points of interest will show up on the map as clickable red icons (see the key below the map). Click on an icon to get more information about that location. If you prefer to search by criteria or simply look up a site by name, try the boat launch search page. If you have a high-speed Internet connection (e.g., DSL or Cable), you may want to try our Google-based mapping system which also includes sites in the Narragansett Bay Watershed in Massachusetts.
The location you clicked on is a site for launching hand-carried boats and it is also a portage. This 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.
Site Name: Valley Falls Heritage Park
Driving Landmarks: The small parking lot for the park is on Mill St., just east of Broad Street.
ADA Accessible Boat Launch? no
Shoreline: Rocks, roots and gravel
Approximate Length of Carry between Car Access and Water: 700 feet
Portage Length: 1900 feet
Parking: parking lot, 5 spaces
ADA Accessible Parking Spaces? yes
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.
Comments & Overview:This site provides access to the Blackstone River below the Valley Falls Dam for hand carried boats. However, the access is rather awkward because you have to carry down some steps and walkways to reach the river. From the parking lot on Mill St., east of Broad St. carry down the winding ramps until you get to the river edge. When you first reach the river's edge you will be looking down at it over railing from atop a high stone wall. However, if you turn left and go under the railroad bridge you will reach an area where the stone wall gives way to a low riverbank suitable for launching canoes and kayaks.
There is a small parking lot for the heritage park but the better place to park is on the other side of the river at Central Falls Landing. To get to this parking lot, go back to Broad Street and cross the river and then turn right onto Madeira Avenue and then right into the large gravel parking lot for Central Falls Landing.
The Blackstone River below this site becomes increasingly industrial but there are also views of various historic mill buildings and related structures. There is some initial quickwater but the river soon slows down. A mile downstream from here there is another dam that must be portaged on the left. Another 3/4 mile brings you to Slater Mill in downtown Pawtucket where you must take out before the final dams. The best access is a break in the wall on river right just before Slater Mill. This is the end of the Blackstone River. Below the dams it becomes the tidal Seekonk River, but it is 1/2 mile before there is access to the river.
For more details see the full site report
The data on this website comes 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.
Credits: The data for the base maps was provided by the Rhode Island Geographic Information System (RIGIS) and the Office of Geographic and Environmental Information (MassGIS), Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Executive Office of Environmental Affairs. The site data came from numerous sources and organizations. Much of it was collected through the hard work of volunteers for various conservation, watershed and outdoor recreation groups around the state of Rhode Island.