Blackstone River Canal

Metrowest MA

Blackstone River Canal

Heritage State Park

1071 Church Street Extension
Northbridge  Massachusetts  01534
United States

http://www.mass.gov/

Easy

60%

Moderate

30%

Difficult

10%

Description

 
There are several parking areas for this area, but the parking area utilized for all official NEMBA rides originate at Plummer's Corner, which is located at approximately 1071 Church Street Ext., Northbridge, MA 01534.  Another, the Park's headquarters is located at 287 Oak Street, Uxbridge, MA 01569.

The towpath that parallels the Blackstone River and Canal is a fantastic place for beginners just getting their feet into mountain biking.  It provides a scenic and relatively non-technical ride until one reaches the lower Goat Hill trail toward the middle of the park.  Once you cross the lock and turn left, this section of the trail provides some rock gardens so one can begin learning to pick a line through rock gardens, but the path is wide, so it's not too intimidating.  If you are looking for a cardiovascular workout, you can head straight across the lock on the upper Goat Hill trail.  I personally wouldn't recommend riding it from this direction, as it is steep and technical, and would be a miserable hike a bike.  Instead, I would ride to the southern end of the lower Goat Hill trail and turn back north, forming a clockwise loop back to the lock.  You will probably still end up hiking your bike down the trail, but it is much better than trying to ascend it.  

 
For those wanting to skip the cardio workout, keep heading south on the canal path, cross Hartford Road, and continue south for a bit longer along the towpath.  Another alternative once reaching the southern end of the Goat Hill trail is to head east on Hartford Ave across the bridge, and to ride the King Philip's Trail at Rice City Pond, on the eastern side of the Blackstone River and Canal.  This area is suitable for strong novices, as there are numerous roots from the plentiful red pines in the area to contend with.  Take a break up at Lookout Rock to enjoy the beautiful vista of the Blackstone Valley before heading back down the trail.  For those ambitious souls who really want to extend their ride, head over West Hill Dam Rd. to the trails over at West Hill Dam.  
 
Spend a few minutes at the Park's Visitor's Center at 287 Oak St in Uxbridge (about three miles from the parking area mentioned above). Not only do they have water, bathroom facilities and a picnic area but you'll learn a lot about the Blackstone River Corridor and Canal.

Local Shops

Milford Bicycles

Links to Relevant Resources