Nature & Science
The John H. Chafee Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor covers over 500 square miles. It lies within the watershed of the Blackstone River that runs from Worcester, Massachusetts to Providence, Rhode Island.
Despite generations of development and change, the Blackstone River Valley hosts a rich array of natural resources which are evident in its rivers and tributaries, wetlands and rocky outcroppings, and forests and fields.
The Blackstone River is the most significant natural resource in the region, linking two states and 24 communities by a natural system with a national story. Called “the hardest working river in America” at its zenith, the Blackstone was once harnessed by more than 30 dams over its 46-mile length. Over time, these impoundments created marsh and wetlands that are now an integral part of the region’s natural ecosystem.
State parks and forests also protect significant areas of both historic and natural resources. A developing system of trails and the Blackstone Bikeway will provide important connections to natural areas in the future.
Did You Know?
Parts of three different Native American nations lived in the Blackstone River Valley: the Nipmuc, the Wampanoag and the Narragansett. Members of each of these nations, along with other Native Americans, still live here today.