Blackstone River and Canal Heritage State Park

Quick Facts

Blackstone River and Canal Heritage State Park

Massachusetts

(508) 278-7604

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

The Blackstone River and Canal Heritage State Park recalls the role of canals in transporting raw materials and manufactured goods between emerging industrial centers. Walk along restored sections of the Blackstone River Canal and Towpath from the River Bend Farm Visitors Center.

This park is operated in conjunction with the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor which extends from Worcester to Providence, Rhode Island. Straddling the town line between Uxbridge and Northbridge is a 1000 acre natural area offering walking and hiking paths, canoe access, picnic areas and a broad expanse of the Blackstone River known as Rice City Pond, which is a great area for watching wildlife.

Map of Blackstone River & Canal Heritage (MA)

Latitude, Longitude: 42.092831, -71.624431

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Activities

  • Boating

    There is canoe access at two points along the Blackstone River and Canal; see map for details.

  • Bicycling

    Mountain biking is available on the trails along the canal.

  • Hiking

    Walk along restored sections of the Blackstone River Canal and Towpath from the River Bend Farm Visitors Center.

  • Historic Sites

    Inspired by the success of the Erie Canal (begun in 1817) and spurred by the expansion of textile manufacturing along the Blackstone River in the early 19th century, the Blackstone Canal was built to link Central Massachusetts to the Atlantic via Providence, RI. Between 1828 and 1848, segments of the river were paralleled by the canal on which horse-drawn boats carried freight and passengers between Worcester and Providence. Initially highly successful, the canal was made obsolete by the completion of the railroad in 1847. Most of the canal structures are now gone, but the remains of lock chambers, dams, bridges, workers' housing, and a company store serve to remind visitors of the rich industrial history of the Blackstone River Valley.

  • Hunting

    Restricted hunting may be available; contact the site for details.

  • Picnicking

    There are several picnic areas to enjoy along the river.

  • Winter Sports

    Cross-country skiiers can enjoy the trails along the canal.

Directions

Driving

From the Mass Pike or Route 146: Take the Massachusetts Turnpike to Worcester/Providence Exit 10A to Route 146 South. In 12 miles use the Uxbridge Exit for Route 16 and turn left onto Route 16 East, drive 2 miles to the traffic lights and turn left on Route 122 North, drive 1-1/4 mile and turn right at traffic light onto Hartford Ave. In 1 mile, turn right on Oak Street at the UMass Memorial Tri-River Family Health Center. Visitor Center is 1/10 mile down the road on the left in the red barn.

From Route 122: For those that prefer to travel through some of the mill villages, use Mass Pike Exit 11 for Millbury and follow Route 122 South for 13 miles to Hartford Avenue and turn left. In 1 mile, turn right on Oak Street at the UMass Memorial Tri-River Family Health Center. Visitor Center is 1/10 mile down the road on the left in the red barn.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(508) 278-7604

Links