Providence River?

Has anybody paddled this? I’m just wondering if I should go North or South from the put in near India Point Park. Also, is this a good place to train? I love the Pawcatuck, but I’m looking for a 10 mile fitness loop closer to home (Cranston). Thanks.

old info
I lived in Providence in the late Nineties. I paddled very frequently on the Seekonk River (the eastern boundary of the East Side of Providence), and I recommend it highly. You can travel a few miles up to Pawtucket, look at the waterfall/dam there, and return. You can also paddle a mile down to the head of Narragansett Bay, and as far down the bay as you care to. The river is broad enough that paddling across adds to the mileage and changes the scenery. I can’t remember any official putins, but there are many unofficial places, especially along River Road, north of the bridge to East Providence (the smaller one that becomes South Angell Street in Providence, not the one that carries the interstate). Careful of the tides; sometimes large areas of the river are too shallow for enjoyable paddling, though there is always a channel.

But as for your question: The Providence River branches at India Point into two other streams; I can’t remember the names. The one that heads north and northeast (going upriver) quickly becomes a series of very shallow riffles. I never saw it reach a level that wouldn’t require scraping. The one that heads west and northwest (going upriver) stayed tidal a bit longer and then had enough depth to allow travel for maybe half a mile. It petered out into shallows and scary-looking culverts, and I turned back. I also paddled down to the Bay or up from the Bay a couple of times. The levees and gates of the hurricane barrier are kind of cool, but that’s the only interesting bit I remember. It was an adequate place to paddle, but I much preferred the Seekonk. Perhaps the west branch, further up, had merits that I did not see, and perhaps the last eight years have been good to downtown Providence; try it and see.

– Mark

What nycmhandy said
Seekonk River presents the better paddling opportunities from a fitness perspective but not, IMO, any better really than what you can get on the Pawtuxet.

The Providence River is an interesting paddle if you’re just lollygagging around. Where the river splits in downtown, go left (on the Woonasquatucket River). You can make your way up maybe a half mile or more before you’d probably rather be in a canoe with a pole. The right channel (Mosshassuck River) becomes impassable pretty quickly.


Providence River
You can see if they’ve made any progress raising the sub from the movie K-19; which sunk a year or two ago in a nor’easter.

UPDATE:Providence Russian submarine
I just saw on the news that they raised the Russian sub you are taking about TODAY. Before it sank I had kayaked over to it a few times and it was literally held together in some spots by huge amoounts of duct tape! I really wonder if they will be able to save it now.

If you need directions for an area to launch from for paddling into Providence, check out the RICKA website (Rhode Island Canoe & Kayak Association)


Click on the flatwater button, then look in the trip schedule.