Staying Close to Home on a Hot Summer’s Day-Blackstone River Bikeway Woonsocket to Ashton Mills


Hot day alongside the Blackstone River

I am truly ready for summer to be over. Besides berry picking, the lush greenery, and summer flowers, I really don’t love summer. The heat makes my legs stop working–really. But I need to get out. And so we set out on one of the most humid, warm mornings recently to take a bike ride. Close to home was the plan. Lucky for us, the Blackstone River Bikeway in Woonsocket, RI is a mere ten minutes from where we live. 

Usually a crowded place on weekends, when we started off in Woonsocket there were few people around. As we pedaled along we spotted a few people on bikes, a few very sweaty people walking, and some joggers who were drenched in sweat. For the most part we had the bike trail to ourselves.


The bike path travels underneath this soaring bridge at Ashton Mills

We went as far as Ashton Mills, next to the Kelly House along the bikeway. We enjoy heading out to the spit of land underneath the soaring bridge that crosses the bikeway.


Portion of the old Blackstone Canal tow path at Ashton Mills

As we pedaled down the dirt path, I finally realized we were traveling on a preserved portion of the canal tow path.


Blackstone River on one side of the tow path at Ashton Mills

The river was on one side of us, the canal immediately next to us on the other side of the path.


Portion of the Blackstone Canal at Ashton Mills

The water is lower now than earlier this summer. We had plenty of rain this spring and early summer, but less recently, and the river level reflects the lack of precipitation.


Rocks just below the dam send water spraying into the air

The rocks just below the dams along the river are more exposed,


Rocks that are usually hidden below the dams along the Blackstone were visible during our August visit.

and offered some lovely opportunities to capture water spraying off of the rocks.

The purple loosestrife is quite invasive, but this time of year it adds an impressive color backdrop to many waterside portraits. This picture of mute swans hanging out along the Blackstone is prettier because of the purple reflections in the water.


Mute swans and purple loosetrife along the Blackstone River

Fall will return soon. Believe me, I’m counting the days…


Marjorie Turner Hollman is a writer who loves the outdoors, and is the author of Easy Walks in Massachusetts, 2nd editionMore Easy Walks in Massachusetts, 2nd editionEasy Walks and Paddles in the Ten Mile River Watershed, and Finding Easy Walks Wherever You Are. Her memoir, the backstory of Easy Walks, is My Liturgy of Easy Walks: Reclaiming hope in a world turned upside down.


Filed under Blog posts--Easy Walks

2 responses to “Staying Close to Home on a Hot Summer’s Day-Blackstone River Bikeway Woonsocket to Ashton Mills

  1. Nice photos, and I am counting down to autumn, too!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.