About the Bikeway
The Blackstone River Bikeway will ultimately extend forty-eight miles from Worcester, MA to Providence, RI, the length of the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor, running, where possible, alongside the Blackstone River and/or Canal. When completed, the bike path project will result in a mostly off-road alternative transportation facility passing through the historic John H. Chafee Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor.
Completed To Date
Comprehensive Overview 11.01.2012
Currently there are 10.3 miles of completed Greenway with additional spurs for a total of 11.5 miles open to the public in Central Falls, Lincoln, & Cumberland, RI. An additional 2.5 miles of bikeway are complete in Worcester and Millbury, MA. Click on the image above to view the PowerPoint presentation of the Blackstone River Greenway Segment 1 Informational Meeting of November 8, 2011 at Blackstone Town Hall.
Blackstone River Greenway
While originally known as the Blackstone River Bikeway, it is now referred to as the Blackstone River Greenway, in recognition of the fact that federal highway standards for bikeways do not always ideal, especially where they conflict with protecting sensitive resource areas. "Greenway" design standards provide more flexibility to avoid serious impacts on wetlands, forested land or features that have historic or cultural significance. To some extent, they can also save on costs. Although the Greenway is an off-road facility wherever possible, it has on-road sections in some areas where that is the only feasible alternative for technical, legal or other reasons.
Status and Growth
The Blackstone Valley Bike path will serve as an alternate mode of transportation for commuters as well as the region's premiere multi-use recreational facility. This bi-state linear State Park along the Blackstone River will connect New England's second and third largest cities, serving a population of more than 1 million and 15 towns and cities. The bikeway will link many of the Valley's significant natural and historic features.
Besides connecting 15 cities and towns in the Heritage Corridor, the Greenway also links with the Blackstone River and the historic Blackstone Canal to form the "Riverway", a corridor within the Corridor that will ultimately offer unique opportunities for residents and visitors alike to experience history, enjoy nature and engage in a variety of recreational activities. The Blackstone River Greenway will also connect to the already completed East Bay Bike Path, allowing users to continue to Bristol (and ultimately Newport), RI.
To encourage people to begin using the Greenway even in areas where final construction will take more time, and also to keep up the momentum for the project, the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council recently spearheaded the "Bike Stripe", a temporary way to identify the route of the Greenway with on-road striping and signage. (See www.CycleBlackstone.com.)
www.TourRhodeIsland.org - that's .org!
A major concern is progress on the remaining 11.5 miles that will connect the northern and southern sections in MA. Previous planning and design was dominated by federal highway standards, which turned out to be incompatible with protection of sensitive resource areas, including park land managed by the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR). DCR has now taken over the lead on planning and design and will hopefully be able to get this portion back on track.
The bikeway has been developed thanks largely to federal transportation funding. The cooperative efforts of the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, Massachusetts Highway Department, and the Rhode Island Department of Transportation with support from Valley communities, are making the bikeway a reality.
For More Details
To plan your on-road and off-road trip, please visit www.blackstonevalleycorridor.org for downloadable maps and more information.
For more information on the bikeway you can download the Blackstone River Valley Bikeway brochure, but note that it needs to be updated to show additional completed sections. Helpful information is also available from the Blackstone River Bikeway Patrol, which publishes a downloadable pocket guide, the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council in RI and the Blackstone Valley Chamber of Commerce Tourism Association in MA.
The Blackstone River Bikeway website is maintained by the Blackstone Valley Chamber of Commerce, which is committed to the visability, sustainability and building of a region-wide constituency for the Blackstone River Bikeway, in cooperation with the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor . For more information about the Blackstone Valley Chamber of Commerce, please visit the Blackstone Valley Chamber of Commerce website. Enjoy the ride!