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Author Topic: Blackstone River Upstream Possible?  (Read 113 times)

ars139

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Blackstone River Upstream Possible?
« on: November 30, 2018, 05:25:25 PM »

Hello. I am very new to inland kayaking as I have been enjoying the sport from my inlaws' house on the Sakonnet river for many years as they live on the water which is very convenient and has given us a unique experience. However I am thinking of taking my family in tow on some inland bodies of water in RI as I live in northern RI as well as the kids are old enough to get more into it as a family activity.

The Blackstone river looks interesting and I visited Manville today and looked at the portage/ramp there across on the Cumberland side. I think it would be nicer to get into the river there and go upstream to Woonsocket and then back to where we started but the waterfall in Manville there looks..... scary. Is the flow of water too fast to go upstream? Are we going to get sucked downstream no matter what?

We would be paddling in a pair of tandems and while the kids are of an age where they can contribute decently well, from past experience when the kids were younger these doubles are fairly fast, faster than a single even if just one parent in the rear is paddling. Then again when approaching certain places, like the northern edge of the Sakonnet River, the current is so strong that no headway can be made.

What is the Blackstone river like, is upstream paddling possible?
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JSharlin

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Re: Blackstone River Upstream Possible?
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2018, 09:17:34 PM »

You posted this on the Sea Kayak board and you'd have a more knowledgeable response on the flat water and white water boards.
In any case this time of year with the water temps as they are ( low 50's ) we always advise wearing dry suits. We dress for the immersion not the air temp. see link http://ricka.org/
Jon
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ars139

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Re: Blackstone River Upstream Possible?
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2018, 11:39:54 PM »

OK sorry.

I was just scouting out the location for the spring. I know you can put on various special gear to survive in cold temps but at the end of the day I only go Kayaking if I were willing to go swimming in the water for any significant amount of time. If the water were cold such that I wouldn't want to swim in it at all, I consider it off limits for paddling. I guess this shortens my season but that's what hiking and archery are for.

Thanks for the suggestion though!
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Erik E.

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Re: Blackstone River Upstream Possible?
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2018, 09:07:47 AM »

That put-in is called the Manville Quarry, and you can paddle upstream from there about 4-miles to Hamlet Avenue in Woonsocket. You can try to go further, but you're paddling against the quickwater below the Woonsocket Dam. Obviously, you need to stay away from the Manville Dam (and all the other dams along the river), but I have never heard of anyone getting swept over - even at the current level. When the Blackstone Valley Bikepath went in, they were good about improving river access, so there are also boat ramps along the bikepath in Albion, Ashton, Lonsdale and Valley Falls. Dams there as well, so be careful.

You can find more information on the Blackstone here:
http://eckilson.blogspot.com/search/label/Blackstone%20River

Flatwater board is a better place for these questions, and keep an eye on the flatwater calendar in the spring since we often do trips on the Blackstone.
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ars139

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Re: Blackstone River Upstream Possible?
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2018, 09:51:43 AM »

Thank you for your information, that was extremely helpful. I don't live far from there but have goings on in Manville at times and it doesn't seem like the nicest area. People don't speak well of it, is it OK to leave your car parked right there?

I know to watch for the dams but despite kayaking for years, I only did it in the Sakonnet River and now the kids are old enough we can star to explore these areas.

I went to scope it out on Friday because the last few weeks I have been looking on the exploreri website for the blue ways and saw some interesting potential destinations. That said northern RI doesn't have as much going for it as Western or Southern RI. I'll be looking out for potential group paddles.

Another question since I have your attention, is it legal to paddle in the various reservoirs like Woonsocket or Cumberland reservoirs?


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Erik E.

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Re: Blackstone River Upstream Possible?
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2018, 05:27:16 AM »

I have put in at the Manville Dam many times and never had a problem at the parking lot. If your concern is theft, the put-ins along the Blackstone are no worse than any of the others around.

ExploreRI is great resource - the water trail maps are particularly good, and there are a couple for the Blackstone.The big rivers in RI are the Blackstone, the Pawtuxet, the Wood and the Pawcatuck. There are also smaller, less paddled rivers like the Ten Mile and the Woonasquatucket River. There aren't that many good size lakes in RI, and the ones there are tend to be in western RI. I'm not all that familiar with the East Bay. You can't paddle on the Woonsocket Reservoir (they won't even let you walk around it). Reservoirs are generally off limits for paddling.

Unfortunately, the flatwater season is over, but you should definitely check out the flatwater calendar in the spring. There are trips on all these rivers and more. The Blackstone Valley Paddle Club would also be a good option. They paddle every Tuesday night from June through August on a different section of the Blackstone River. The trips are short, and there are a lot of leaders, so it is probably a good place to start with kids.

Hope to see you in the spring.

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