Greenways and Trails   / Kids 5k Bike Challenge in Upton PDF

 

Blackstone Valley Bike Path (Part of the Eastern Greenway)   See maps of Mass and RI Bike Paths or go to BlackstoneRiverBikeway

The Valley is blessed to have committed volunteers, nonprofit and government agencies with a vision, cooperative spirit and focused energy working on constructing and/or connecting several bike/walking paths throughout our Valley. These include: eighteen trails actually built or in progress in the Valley that needed to be joined, including the Blackstone River Bikeway and the Southern New England Trunkline Trail (SNETT).  To identify these trails and the home community, click here for a trail description list

The first priority of the National Heritage Corridor is to complete (by 2012) the entire 48 mile Blackstone River Bikeway from Union Station in Worcester to the Narragansett Bay in Providence with the help of state, federal funding and local contributions. The second priority is to support the development and extension of the Southern NE Trunkline Trail (SNETT) from the Franklin State Forest to Willimantic, Ct. In addition, the following trails are prioritized by sub-section

 Although the Mass side of the Blackstone River Bike Path is running considerably behind the progress of the Rhode Island side, the funds are being allocated to make this a reality in Massachusetts within the next several years. There is presently only  a one-mile path for walking and biking in Millbury near the McCracken Road exit of Rte 146 (near 1-90) although this is not yet officially opened at this time. However, many people have been using this section. In addition, 25% design has been reached on a three mile section in Millville-Uxbridge area.  (Bikeway Schedule by town)

Rhode Island offers two loops for biking - an 18 mile loop, and a 24 mile loop, both indicated on the map,  and which offers a bounty of history, scenic attractions, historic viewsheds of blended rural landscapes and mill villages through Pawtucket, Lincoln, Central Falls and Lincoln, R.I. The completion of R.I.'s 19 mile bikeway is expected for 2004. These bike routes are currently well used and loved by many bikers, walkers, rollerbladers.

These two routes are also wonderful for good health while soaking  in the historical significance of this region as America's First Industrial Home. The Slater Mill Site or the mill villages throughout the hamlets or towns of Ashton, Albion, Berkeley, Manville and Quinnville, Valley Falls or Central Falls or Lonsdale offer an unparalleled view into our past.

This project entails great cooperation to acquire or utilize properties along the way with a chart indicating the number of properties (public and private) needed to participate in this joint vision getting close to fruition. The Greenway Challenge utilizes major portions of the RI bikeway each September for biking 10 miles and running 7 miles. 

The Blackstone Valley Tourism Council (BVTC), in conjunction with  the Greenways Alliance of Rhode Island, also offers a self-guided map showing the completed sections, the proposed sections and the other amenities, such as rest areas with restrooms facilities or food locations which is available by calling 1-800-454-2882 or 401-724-2200.  So happy biking, jogging or adventuring!

One of the most charming sections of Rhode Island bike path meanders past the Kelly House and the prize winning rehabilitation of the 890 foot long Ashton Viaduct in Ashton (also known as the Joseph A. Russo Memorial Bridge). This is a beautiful site filled with charm and history typifying the owner's home along the canal and dense mill houses, now utilized as modest housing, abutting the nearby mills. 

Recently, Cumberland has announced an extensive plan for construction and rehabilitation of properties for affordable housing. The re-use of mills and mill housing has been a successful transition throughout the Valley Corridor, but much more is needed to save the old mills and provide affordable housing. 

A Trail of History and Nature

See a diversity of industrial history and natural settings with an autumn bicycle ride or stroll along the Blackstone River Bike Path straddling the Blackstone River & Canal in Lincoln, RI. Located in the linear Blackstone River State Park, the bikeway can be accessed by three entrances: off Front Street (Route 123), off Lower River Road in Quinnville village, and from the Visitor Center off Interstate 295 north.

 

Learn about the expansion of the Industrial Revolution in 19th century Rhode Island, as you pass along mill villages that sprung up along the Blackstone River in Lincoln and Cumberland that offer well preserved factories and homes.

 

At the Wilbur Kelly House Museum, there’s a display on the history of the Blackstone Canal, which was built by Irish immigrants between 1825-1828 and served as the prime transportation connector for the area for two decades.

 

Nearby, under the George Washington Highway viaduct is a cascading dam, one of many along the river that harnessed water power for the communities. Along the bikeway are expanses of open spaces, well preserved sections of the canal towpath, and panoramic village vistas.

 

For further information of the Blackstone River Bike Path, call the RI Division of Parks & Recreation at 401-222-2632 or visit their website at www.riparks.com

 

Bikepath on RI Tourist Council website     Bike Club         RI bike path website

Link: Bike It or Hike It in Ashton are

Great Rhode Island Biking, Kayaking, etc. Resources -Lots of Links - Rinks  - Uxbridge soccer fields - Appalachian Mt Club - Minuteman Road Club - NE bike racing schedule/info - BSTRA Needs Your Help!

Bicycling - Sunday morning rides from Trek Stop in Grafton (508-839-9199)  

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