287 Oak St.
Uxbridge MA 01569
508 278-7604

The Blackstone River and Canal Heritage State Park recalls the role of canals in transporting raw materials and manufactured goods between emerging industrial centers. Walk along restored sections of the Blackstone River Canal and Towpath from the River Bend Farm Visitors Center Link to the image file..

This park is operated in conjunction with the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor which extends from Worcester to Providence, Rhode Island. Straddling the town line between Uxbridge and Northbridge is a 1000 acre natural area offering walking and hiking paths, canoe access, picnic areas and a broad expanse of the Blackstone River known as Rice City Pond, which is a great area for watching wildlife.

Trail Map

Download printable version pdf format of    Blackstone River and Canal Heritage State Park Trail Ma


Park Directions

The park is located off of Rte 122 in south central Massachusetts.

From the East/West/Boston/Southeast:
Take Mass Pike (Rte. I-90) to exit #10A in Millbury, Rte 146 South.
Take Rte 146 S & follow for 12 miles to exit # 3, Route 16.
Turn left onto Rte 16 East and follow for 2 miles to the traffic lights.
Turn left onto Route 122 North and follow for 1-1/4 mile and then turn right at traffic light onto Hartford Ave.
In 1 mile, turn right onto Oak Street at the UMass Tri-River Family Health Center.
Visitor Center is 1/10 mile on the left in the red barn.

From Northeast/Worcester:
Take Rte 495 to Rte 290 West to exit #12, Rte 146 South.
Follow Rte 146S to exit # 3, Route 16.
Turn left onto Rte 16 East and follow for 2 miles to the traffic lights.
Turn left onto Route 122 North and follow for 1-1/4 mile.
Then turn right at traffic light onto Hartford Ave.
In 1 mile, turn right on Oak Street at the UMass  Tri-River Family Health Center.
Visitor Center is 1/10 mile on the left.

From Northwest:
Take Rte 2 East to exit #33 in Leominster, Rte 190 South.
Follow Rte 190S to Rte 290 West in Worcester.
Take Rte 290W to exit #12. Rte 146 South.
Follow Rte 146 S to exit # 3, Rte 16.
Turn left onto Rte 16 East and follow for 2 miles to the traffic lights.
Turn left onto Route 122 North and follow for 1-1/4 mile.
Then turn right at traffic light onto Hartford Ave.
In 1 mile, turn right on Oak Street at the UMass Tri-River Family Health Center.
Visitor Center is 1/10 mile on the left in the red barn.

Alternate: From Route 122

For those that prefer to travel through some of the mill villages:                
Take Exit 11 off the Mass Pike and follow Route 122 South towards Grafton.
Follow Rte 122S for 13 miles to Hartford Avenue and turn left.
In 1 mile, turn right on Oak Street at the UMass Tri-River Family Health Center.
Visitor Center is 1/10 mile on the left in the red barn.


Other Heritage State Parks

You can learn more about Massachusetts' industrial heritage at these state parks: Lawrence HSP, Holyoke HSP, Western Gateway HSP, and Lynn HSP.

Recreational Opportunities


Educational & Interpretive Opportunities


History

Inspired by the success of the Erie Canal (begun in 1817) and spurred by the expansion of textile manufacturing along the Blackstone River in the early 19th century, the Blackstone Canal was built to link Central Massachusetts to the Atlantic via Providence, RI. Between 1828 and 1848, segments of the river were paralleled by the canal on which horse-drawn boats carried freight and passengers between Worcester and Providence. Initially highly successful, the canal was made obsolete by the completion of the railroad in 1847. Most of the canal structures are now gone, but the remains of lock chambers, dams, bridges, workers' housing, and a company store serve to remind us of the rich industrial history of the Blackstone River Valley.


Along the Way

Be sure to visit Millville Lock Link to the image file., the best preserved lock along the canal. Follow Rte. 122 south from Uxbridge to Millville Center. Turn right at the intersection of Rte. 122 and Central Street. parking is available at the corner of Hope and Central Streets. Follow the old railroad bed to the lock, which is about 3/4 mile away. The Blackstone River runs wild through high rocks at Blackstone Gorge Link to the image file. about 6 miles away. Follow Rte. 122 south through Millville into Blackstone. Turn right on County Road, following signs to the Gorge. There is limited parking at the end of the street; trails are left of Roaring Dam.