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Walking Tours: Providence - Pawtucket - Chepachet - Upton - Uxbridge - Harrisville - Worcester - Millville Lock
Plummer's Landing (Northbridge, MA.) to Stanley Woolen Mill (Uxbridge,MA.). 3.71 miles. This is the best preserved section of the canal in Massachusetts and is part of the Blackstone River and Canal Heritage State Park. The section begins at Church Street in Northbridge west of the bridge over the river. Here there is parking and a cleared section of canal. Proceeding south along the right side of the canal, follow a woods road along the berme bank. After 0.69 miles, enter a field and continue parallel to the left hand tree line. At the far side of the field cross a footbridge and then regain the berme edge of the canal. A little further, turn left across the canal on a fill and then right on to the towpath. Continue along the towpath until Goat Hill Lock, the second best preserved on the canal. At the lock it is necessary to cross the canal due to towpath gaps ahead and climb the hill to a trail junction. At the junction, go left and follow the woods road along the hillside with the canal below. After the woods end, enter a field, beyond which cross Hartford Avenue. On the far side, go left across the dam to regain the towpath. Then continue south along the towpath with watered canal on the right. At 0.26 miles from Hartford Ave., pass a bridge over the canal that leads to the visitors center on the west side. Here is parking, toilets, and information. Continuing along the towpath for another 0.97 miles brings you to the Stanley Woolen Mill where there is access across the canal and parking just off of Rte. 16.
South Uxbridge. On the south side of Uxbridge, the canal crosses Rte. 122 just before the highway crosses the river south of the intersection with Rte. 146A. Just before reaching the river, the towpath and prism are visible to the left with the towpath used as a sewer line route to the crossing of the railroad. This section is cleared. To the right, the route is obscured at first, but soon apparent, but overgrown. It continues along the river and then short cuts a loop to pass the abutments of a skew bridge and reach Skull Rock Lock which is an outlet lock to the river. The section south of Rte. 122 is town owned, but rough walking due to overgrowth
Central Street (Millville, MA.) to Blackstone, MA. This is not a walk along the towpath, but on a state owned rail trail that touches on the canal at several points. To begin, find the grade of the New York & New England Railroad on Central Street, Millville three streets west of the river. Here across from a church is a state parking lot. Proceed south along the railroad grade. After passing all of the houses to the left and crossing a fill, a trail leads right to the Millville Lock, the best preserved on the canal. Continuing south on the railroad grade, the Triad Bridges are soon reached. Here the river passing under the bridges is the canal. The lowest bridge is the Providence & Worcester Railroad. The second bridge is the New York & New England Railroad. The other piers and abutments are for a higher, never completed bridge for the Southern New England. Continue along the NY&NE grade and soon pass under Rte. 122. The grade then passes behind houses and crosses the canal where it exits from the river above the Rolling Dam. Shortly thereafter, the route again crosses the canal as the canal curves to the right. As this bridge is undecked, it is best to follow the shore of the canal to the guard gate and cross there. Beyond this, the route through Blackstone is overgrown and awaits clearance for the planned bike path.
Ashton Dam to Lonsdale (Lincoln, RI). 1.78 miles. This is the best preserved section of the canal in Rhode Island and is part of the Blackstone River State Park. It is now open as the first section of the Blackstone Valley Bikeway. Access is available at the west end of the Route 116 bridge over the river (the bridge is being rebuilt), at the state park at the north end of Old River Road, at the crossing of Martin Road, and from Front Street (Rte. 123. Most of this section is paved and the canal watered.