Wood River Paddling Route Maps
URI Coastal Fellow and WPWA Summer Intern, Michelle Hetu, enjoys paddling on the Wood River during our 2006 Source to Sea paddle. Photo by Jim Cole.
WPWA is pleased to announce the completion of two River Routes maps for the Wood River. These maps were created through a partnership between the Rhode Island Blueways Alliance, the Narragansett Bay Estuary Program, and the Wood-Pawcatuck Watershed Association, and funded by a grant from the Rhode Island Foundation. The beautiful full color maps are in pdf format and can be download for free below. They include information about put-ins and take-outs, parking, dams and portaging. You will also find information about the local history, both natural and human. To find other free downloadable maps for watersheds around southern New England visit the Rhode Island Blueways Alliance website. For a complete map of all the paddling options in the Wood-Pawcatuck Watershed, order the Wood-Pawcatuck River Guide, available from the WPWA store and at various local retailers!
Upper Wood River Paddle
The Upper Wood River paddle starts at Ten Rod Road in Exeter and goes 7.5 miles south to Wyoming Pond in Hopkinton, with a portage at the Barberville Dam. For much of the paddle the river winds through the deep forest of Arcadia Management Area. Besides the class I whitewater sections, good maneuvering skills are required to navigate around the many twists, turns and obstacles in the river, so this paddle is recommended for “intermediate plus” and experienced paddlers. See the map for an alternate option that is all on flatwater.
Upper Wood River Paddle Map (Adobe Acrobat format)
Lower Wood River Paddle
The Lower Wood River paddle starts in Hope Valley, below Wyoming Pond, and goes 9 mile south to Alton Pond, just above where the Wood River flows into the Pawcatuck River. There are at least two portages around dams on this paddle, and a USGS gaging weir to maneuver over or portage around. One dam and the USGS weir can be avoided by putting in at the Switch Road Access, which reduces the paddle to 7.5 miles. For much of the route the river winds past wooded banks, often covered in mountain laurel, swamp azalea, silky dogwood, and swamp rose. The fast moving water and many obstacles in this section require good boat control, so this paddle is recommended for intermediate and experienced paddlers.
Lower Wood River Paddle Map (Adobe Acrobat format)