Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Washington Secondary Bike Path in Rhode Island.

As always, click any photo for big. 
Brewery Parkade, Cranston: From I-95 to Route 10. Heading north, take the Cranston Street/Niantic Avenue exit. Take a left at bottom of the exit onto Niantic Avenue. Turn left onto Cranston Street, then turn left onto Garfield Avenue and turn into the Brewery Parkade development. There is a parking area behind the Lowe's home improvement store. 
Heading south on Route 10, take the Cranston Street exit. Take a left onto Garfield Ave. and continue to the Lowe's plaza.

All the photos are HERE

The GPS route is HERE

Distance: 28.45 mi

Time: 3:10:22
Moving Time: 2:46:22
Elapsed Time: 3:10:22
Avg Speed: 9.0 mph
Avg Moving Speed: 10.3 mph
Max Speed: 15.9 mph

The Washington Secondary Bike Path actually comprises four trails along an old Hartford, Providence, & Fishkill Railroad corridor. Together, the Cranston Bike Path, Warwick Bike Path, West Warwick Greenway and Coventry Greenway create 14.2 miles of paved trail.

It was a chilly start for this mid morning ride.  I found this route on a map given to me by the friends of the East Bay Bike Path last week.   It's around 30 miles round trip and it's a very interesting ride through some old mill towns of Rhode Island.  These mills were built of local stone and all of them have fast moving rivers with man made waterfalls which I suppose were used for power as well as a disposal system for the mill waste.  They were owned by men who immigrated from England for the most part which explains their resemblance to Castles of that country. 

The first person I met was a man riding who had both knees replace. He said he was limited to around 30 miles on his bike, two or three times a week.  He was a local and gave me some good info on the area.   Sadly I didn't get a photo but decided after that to ask those I spoke to if they would agree to have their pictures taken.  I met two woman who were a hoot, but made me wait to take their pictures till the were satisfied their hair was in place.

Next I met the Coventry town worker who was responsible for keeping the path maintained.  He was just finishing up clearing the leaves and as you can see in the two photos, one would be hard pressed to find a leaf on his bike path. 

I was told by the locals that the path was being extended and would eventually make it's way to Connecticut.  Soon enough the closed sign appeared.  The path looked in good shape, there were no workers in sight, but there was a man and his dog up ahead walking the closed section.  He said it was probably OK to keep riding and confirmed that the best parts lay ahead.  Soon after I left them a town cop pulled up along side and I prepared to be chastised.  The officer was very friendly and asked if I had seen a suspicious character on the path.  I hadn't, and was relieved he made no mention of the path being closed.  Actually he warned me about some of the hazards of the construction up ahead and wished me a good ride.

Kada and her human friend Sebastian

This is a beautiful path in the fall which retains lots of the rail structures and some very beautiful views bursting with character, color and small town New England charm.


  1. Love the urban, historic character of the trail. We have our urban paths here, but it's nice to see others.

  2. John, you rode through my town, West Warwick. The western part of the path is my favorite.It will be complete, all the way to CT. in 3 years.

  3. I think that this type of trail can be the most rewarding.
    I managed to seek out a few of this type of trail in New Jersey when I lived there. Old rail right-of-ways, complete with bridges, from 100 years ago. Magic!

  4. Hi John, long time no see! Glad you got away to Hawaii for a bit! I love the stories you tell about the bike paths you ride and the different people you meet along the way. Vey authentic...keep it up and hope to ride with you for once! Hopefully I will see you soon, on the Phoenix!!!!

  5. Thank-you for your review. Which end is at higher elevation? I shoot virtual rides of New England rail trails (www.Ratbas.com). I shot the East Bay Trail last year and look forward to riding the Washington.

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