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Pawcatuck River in Rhode Island

Trip Overview

Pawcatuck River, from Ashaway to Westerly
Our group paddled the stretch of the river from Potters Dam, Ashaway, into downtown Westerly, approx. 7 miles.

Most of the trip is quiet and scenic passing several farms and wildlife areas. On the outskirts of Westerly there are two areas of quickwater which required strong paddling. Our group was aware of this whitewater section, and all paddlers had skirts on their boats - strongly suggested, at least when paddling this section in the Spring. The second quickwater section is smaller, but much shallower, with rocks - easy to get "hungup" on - stay to the left.

Launch site on River Rd. Ashaway is small; parking for 3 cars just below dam.
Take-out in Westerly is large public boat ramp with plenty of parking. This would also make a great launch site to explore lower Pawcatuck into Little Narragansett Bay, into Watch Hill.

Our trip took about 1-1/2 hrs. - to continue down to Watch Hill would double paddle time.


Launch site - Rt. 3 North from Westerly to River Rd. - look for small dirt parking area about 2 mi. on left, just past dam. Public Boat Launch in Westerly is directly across street from McQuades Marketplace.
  • Skill Level: Intermediate
  • Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)
  • Group Rates: No

Locations on this Trip