Blackstone River State Park
Built by Providence industrialists, the Blackstone Canal was designed to provide quick and easy transportation for goods between Worcester, Massachusetts and Providence Rhode Island. An engineering marvel, the canal utilized a series of 49 granite locks to move barges up and down the 438 foot difference in elevation from Worcester to Providence. The canal itself was little more than a muddy ditch with towpaths on each side for horses or mules to pull barges. While 90% of the distance was covered in a separate ditch, peaceful portions of the Blackstone River were used as well. Opened in 1828, the Blackstone Canal operated for less than twenty years before the Providence and Worcester Railroad replaced it.
Parking for the Blackstone River State Park is available off Old River Road beneath the George Washington Bridge. Once a mill village known a Quinnville, several clapboard mill houses and a clapboard farmhouse still stand at the site. The river front park includes a new walking/bike path that follows the course of the Blackstone Canal for several miles.
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