#roamthefield

#roamthestone: Blackstone Gorge and Blackstone River Guide

Start of the Blackstone Gorge (Blackstone, MA)

Start of the Blackstone Gorge (Blackstone, MA)

The first thing I thought when Brian took me to the Blackstone Gorge was, “This town has a gorge!? And you can launch a kayak from here? Points on the board for small town living.” It’s no Watkins Glen in New York, but it is (gorge)ous and lacks the crowd. The woods along it are majestic in the fog and stunning at golden hour. The short hiking trail (roughly a little more than a mile) leads you along the Blackstone river and eventually to a few open fields. There is an “overlook” rock that gives you a decent view of the river and a nice place to eat a sandwich.

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If you’re looking for a place to take clients for a photo session, you’re likely to find some privacy here to avoid photo bombers. The start of the trail is the dam in the photo above and probably the most popular spot for visitors. Once you start on past it on the trail, you’ll rarely see another soul. Unless it’s a weekday right after school lets out (2 or 3pmish) and school kids can be found hanging around. This can be a bit eery when you take a wrong turn at dusk and are aware of the fisher cat and other wild life population in the area, but I’ve never seen anything larger than a turkey out there. There are two parts to the trail - one that goes along the river and another that heads straight into the woods. If you ever get lost, find the river which will lead you back to your car.

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For adventurous clients that own kayaks or small boats (there is no rental place here), you could take them on the Blackstone river (Heading on the river away from the dam and gorge. Do not kayak down the dam.) and find a few private spots to stop or take photos in your own kayak. I find the water to be a bit too brown for my aesthetic, but the greenery in the summer and foliage in the fall adds beautiful color. There are plenty of scenic bridges to cross under, small rapids for action, overarching trees to sit under, wild grapes to pick and interesting outlets to explore. I’d recommend scheduling sessions on the river early morning for some of that Massachusetts fog or at golden hour.

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Overall, keep in mind that this is a woodsy trail so appropriate footwear is recommended to prevent rolled ankles and slipping. If you are planning to head to the open area, I’d recommend long pants as the grass can be long and ticks are a thing here! Should there be snow on the ground go with those snow boots since the trail does not get overly packed down and can be icy.

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There is ample, free parking on site or on the street. We have only ever had an issue finding a spot on weekend afternoons during prime kayaking weather.

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