WOONASQUATUCKET RIVER GREENWAY:

JOHNSTON-PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND

-BIKE IT OR HIKE IT-

Last Updated:      November 17, 2013

Length:                Woonasquatucket River Greenway; 4.7 miles 

                              Buttonhole Golf Course-Merino Park Loop Trail; 1.4 miles                                          

Difficulty:            Woonasquatucket River Greenway; Easy. Paved, flat trail. The on-road section from Providence Place to Riverside Mills Park is not recommended for kids on bikes.

Directions:

To start from Providence; From Routes 6 & 10 east take the Dean St exit. Head north on Dean St and turn right onto Providence Place, which is a one-way divided street between the river, heading towards the mall. You can park at the Providence Place Mall (parking fee). 

From I-95, take exit 22 and follow signs to Providence Place.

To start from Riverside Mills Park; From Route 6, take the Hartford Ave exit and travel east. Turn left onto Manton Ave and then your next left onto Aleppo St. The Park will be on your left. This is the recommended starting point if biking with kids.

The Woonasquatucket River Greenway follows the Woonasquatucket River from Johnston to Providence. Eventually, the trail will run to the Smithfield line for a total of 8 ˝ miles. Part of the trail follows the rail bed of the former 1873 Providence & Springfield Railroad which was the acquired by the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad around 1900. For more information check out; WOONASQUATUCKET RIVER WATERSHED , BIKE RI or  EAST COAST GREENWAY .    

Starting from the Providence Place Mall; The on-road (bike lane) section of the Woonasquatucket River Greenway starts at the entrance to the Providence Place Mall parking garage.

Note; Before you head out, I would suggest a quick detour to check out downtown Providence and the River Walk area. Just head up the ramp that travels under the mall and it will bring you up to Francis St, in the front of the mall. To your left is the State Capitol. Straight ahead is the River Walk. Great views of the downtown skyline from here.

From the parking garage exit, the Woonasquatucket River flows underneath the mall. You need to head along Promenade St (one-way) using the bike lane along the left side of the street. 

Note; On your return trip you'll use the bike lane along Providence Place (one-way), also on the left side. 

The Woonasquatucket River flows between these two streets, with several crossing points along the way. When you reach Pleasant Valley Pkwy/Dean St, the bike lane switches to the right side of the road (screwy). When you reach Acorn St at 0.6 miles turn left and cross the river to Kinsley Ave. There are green "Bike Route" signs posted along the trail if you’re not sure of which way to go. Head right utilizing another bike lane along the right. This is an industrial area with old mills and even an old railroad trestle bridge over the river. About 1 mile takes you across Eagle St via a cross-light to a paved section of the trail. This section winds through old mill buildings, now converted for retail space. Turn right when you reach the sidewalk. Parking is available here. Return to the paved trail along the river and when you reach the green bridge turn right and cross over it. Then turn immediately left. This is the Price Rite parking area. Follow the paved trail out to Atwells Ave where the paved trail currently ends at 1.3 miles. Another on-road section begins here. You need to cross over to Tuxedo Ave, however, USE CAUTION as there is no cross-walk. You may head right or left to access a cross-light. Travel down Tuxedo Ave, then right up Amherst St (residential streets) to Valley St. To your right is a cross-walk. Cross over Valley St and turn right into Donigian Park along the wide paved trail. The trail travels to the back of the park and alongside the river. Cross a bridge over the river (look left to spot a fish ladder) and you'll come to Sonoma Ct. Follow this short Dead End street out to Delaine St at 1.8 miles.

Note;. Check out the converted Cuban Restaurant and apartments in the old mill complex by heading left at the end of Delaine St. Look up and spot the artwork attached to the old chimney. 

Turn right on Delaine St (low traffic) and travel back across the river on-road to Manton Ave where you take a right. A wide shoulder is available along this busy road. Just past an old mill on your left with two domed towers will be Aleppo St. Use the brick cross-walk and head down Aleppo St where you'll come to the start of the all paved/off-road section of the trail at 2.2 miles. Check out the trash can next to the old burned out American Woolen Company building. It contains etchings of the areas local history. The paved trail travels through Riverside Mills Park where you'll find a platform overlooking a dam & fish ladder, a playground, community garden, picnic tables and the RED SHED BIKE SHOP in an old red shipping container. Check out the wild "bike" artwork. Follow the trail along the river and fields. The Riverside Mills Park parking lot is located here. You'll pass by the Buttonhole Golf Course-Merino Park Loop Trail on the left at 2.7 miles.

SEE BELOW. This spur trail loops back into the main trail further along. I recommend looping back here from the other end so you can experience the whole trail.

Continuing along the Woonasquatucket River Greenway. The trail then travels alongside Route 6 for a bit before traveling under the Glenbridge Ave Bridge along the old rail bed. This section is a bit more secluded. You'll come to another spur trail at 3.3 miles on the right.

Note; This spur leads uphill to Manton Ave where you'll find a small memorial.

Continue over a small bridge where, if you look right, you'll spot an old railroad bridge that was probably part of a siding to the building up ahead. Cross another bridge over the river and soon you'll come to the Buttonhole Golf Course-Merino Park Loop Trail  at 3.5 miles.

SEE BELOW. This spur trail loops back into the main trail near Riverside Mills Park. I recommend looping back from here on your way back from completing the Woonasquatucket River Greenway.

Continuing along the Woonasquatucket River Greenway. The trail follows alongside the river and brings you to Manton Ave at 4 miles. A sign board and informational plaque is located here. Two cross-lights get you over Manton Ave. You'll pass by two dams before coming to Lyman Ave where the trail currently ends at 4.7 miles. Another sign board located here.

Buttonhole Golf Course-Merino Park Loop Trail:

Starting from the Buttonhole Golf Course access off the Woonasquatucket River Greenway; Follow the paved trail up a short hill alongside the golf course and past the Driving Range out to King Philip St. Turn left at Teresea St and travel on-road (low traffic) out to Glenbridge Ave. Turn right and cross the bridge (sidewalk) over Route 6. On your left you'll spot a paved trail that travels down past open fields and the Woonasquatucket River. Cross a bridge over the river and enter Merino Park. Here the trail turns left and travels around the park to the Merino Park parking lot at 1.2 miles. A ramp takes you up  to a pedestrian bridge that crosses over Route 6 and delivers you back to the Woonasquatucket River Greenway after a 1.4 mile loop. Riverside Mills Park is to your right.

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