Along the Blackstone River-Woonsocket, RI

DSC07240

Along the Blackstone River in Woonsocket, near the MA border. On the left is a remnant of the Blackstone Canal

I had heard of a new section of railtrail at Coldspring Park, off Harris Avenue in Woonsocket, but last we looked, it was not obvious where the trail might be. When we stopped by today, it was easy to find the trail, and quite easy to walk alongside the river for about a half mile, all the way to the Massachusetts line.

The Blackstone River Bikeway has been in existence from Woonsocket south to Lincoln for a number of years. North of Woonsocket, the completed Bikeway travels from Blackstone to Uxbridge. But the two trails presently do not connect, except by traveling through congested city traffic in downtown Woonsocket.

DSC07231

From Coldspring park, the trail travels through an industrial section of Woonsocket

While this new section of railtrail still does not link the two longer trails, it is a big step to bringing the trails together, getting closer to making the north-south connection that is still in the works.

DSC07246

The new bridge offers great views of the river

The trail offers river views for the entire way, along with an attractive bridge over the Blackstone River just south of the MA border.

DSC07254

Large numbers of turkey vultures circled over the river

As we walked, we startled a group of turkey vultures,

DSC07248

After circling, some vultures settled down on a nearby light pole next to the ball field adjacent to the trail

perhaps fifty or more of the big birds, which rose up from a nearby industrial building and began circling over the river.

DSC07239

Great blue heron perched at the top of a tree next to the river

Nearing the bridge, we spotted a great blue heron settle into the top branches of a tree next to the river. The rain was keeping lots of us hunkered down, but while we walked the rain let up and the sun did its best to peek out from behind the clouds.

DSC07250

The present trail end for this new section of trail. Just north, beyond this marker is the SNETT in Blackstone,  the eastern portion that will connect back to Bellingham, still awaiting development. But the right of way is intact, and plans are in the works. The trails will connect…some day. North-south and east-west will someday be linked very near to where the trail ends right now.

We reached the end of the new trail in its present configuration, but as we looked just beyond the trail, we spotted a steep embankment just north of us. A quick check on our phone with Google earth confirmed that the SNETT trail was just ahead of us–that east-west railtrail that will someday intersect with the north-south Blackstone River bikeway. The two trails are now in sight of each other!

DSC07259

Crossing the bridge, going from North Smithfield to Woonsocket

A lot of work remains for the connections between the trails to become a reality, but it has been talked about for years. It is exciting to realize that this newest section of railtrail, while not everything we are hoping for, is bringing the dreams of many one step closer to becoming a reality.

DSC07257

From the bridge, looking back towards Woonsocket

Marjorie

beech cliffs 2018Marjorie Turner Hollman is a personal historian who loves the outdoors, and has completed three guides to Easy Walking trails in Massachusetts, “Easy Walks in Massachusetts 2nd edition,”  “More Easy Walks in Massachusetts,”  and edited “Easy Walks and Paddles in the Ten Mile River Watershed.” A native Floridian, she came north for college and snow! Marjorie is a Certified Legacy Planner with LegacyStories.org, and is the producer of numerous veterans interviews for the Bellingham/Mendon Veteran’s History Project. http://www.marjorieturner.com

https://www.amazon.com/Easy-Walks-Massachusetts-2nd-Northbridge/dp/0989204340

http://tinyurl.com/MTH-More-easy-walks

https://www.amazon.com/Easy-Walks-Paddles-River-Watershed/dp/1985377012

Advertisements

4 Comments

Filed under Blog posts--Easy Walks

4 responses to “Along the Blackstone River-Woonsocket, RI

  1. Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:
    WELL-DONE! DURING A FLOOD STAGE?

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

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

Google+ photo

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

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter 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.