"Central Falls ~ Blackstone River Corridor" Central Falls by Pawtuxet

Central Falls Travel Guide: 16 reviews and 50 photos

Hidden beauty

Central Falls has the reputation of being very small, very heavily populated, very poor, and well...not a garden spot. However it is part of the Blackstone River Nationally recognized corridor....where you can explore some of the history of the area while gliding along in a silent river boat on a hot day...with a nice breeze.
Central Falls is located next to Pawtucket, Rhode Island...just north of Providence and there are a series of rivers, waterfalls, old mills, and historic sites which you have to poke around to find. Poke we did, today...and had a lovely boat cruise on the river. This area is the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution and our mills grew and churned for many years until at one time we were the largest textile manufacturing center in the world. At one time we also claimed to be the biggest costume jewelry manufacturing center as well. Many mills throughout the northeast..now being converted into condominiums or torn down.....but along the Blackstone River, they are trying to retain the memory of those early years when the Browns and the Chace families got the wheels turning. You should also try to visit the Worker's Museum in Woonsocket and the Slater Mill in Pawtucket. Between the two, you will get the full story of the birth of the industrial revolution as well as the story of the immigrants who came to work the mills at the turn of the century.
Oh! Please do not confuse Pawtucket with Pawtuxet. Two different animals altogether. Pawtucket is north of Providence, while Pawtuxet is my village to the south of Providence.
Pawtucket and Central Falls operate closely because Central Falls is a city that is only one square mile! Many of our cities and towns are quite small, but this one....well, it's pretty extraordinarily small.
OK....so let's just get on the boat and take a ride through all this territory.

Discover the Polish community

Heritage Festivals are common in Rhode Island as we are such a melting pot of nationalities here. The Polish people of Central Falls' St. Joseph's Parish celebrated their heritage recently, so we went off for a Sunday afternoon of Polkas and Pierogi.

Fishing the Blackstone

Our guide told us that at one time the Blackstone River was the dirtiest river in the US. They've been working on changing that...and hope to have it up to a Class B river by 2015, I believe. It isn't easy to reverse the course of events after that much manufacturing took place for so many years...and noone had very much respect for the river. Now since the Clean River Act there is real progress and it is up to a Class C river. Here we see a man fishing in the river. They still recommend that you throw the fish back when you catch one...cause of the sediments that remain at the bottom. Looks like this man is having a nice Sunday afternoon regardless of the water quality.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:a town with hidden secrets
  • Cons:ya gotta dig through to find the good stuff
  • In a nutshell:Stay with the Blackstone Corridor list of sites to see
  • Last visit to Central Falls: Sep 2009
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (7)

Comments (10)

  • atufft's Profile Photo
    Oct 19, 2009 at 8:58 PM

    I visited Central Falls and Cumberland and found that the Columbian and other Latin American immigrant influences dominated--some great restaurants along Broad Street...

  • evaanna's Profile Photo
    Oct 3, 2009 at 1:55 AM

    The Polish Heritage Festival sounds great but some things there, like hotdogs or face painting, were not Polish. The name of the polka is misleading - it's Czech even if it was danced in Poland too. Loved the river cruise and the pictures of nature.

  • tiabunna's Profile Photo
    Sep 25, 2009 at 5:22 AM

    I enjoyed your updates with the Polish festival, Janet - and even a 'Superman' church. Very glad to see there's at least no visible sign of the former pollution. Isn't it good to find these hidden local gems!

  • deecat's Profile Photo
    Sep 21, 2009 at 9:23 AM

    The Polish festival was enlightening, and a reread of your outstanding introduction was a delight. Charming river cruise. It seems to me that all the places you enjoy are charming, historic, and quite interesting. Superior photographs, Janet.

  • scottishvisitor's Profile Photo
    Oct 22, 2008 at 12:15 PM

    Loved the little boat trip & the info on the former mills

  • SueRivet's Profile Photo
    Feb 8, 2008 at 4:38 PM

    Central Falls has nothing to do with Pawtucket; it was originally part of Lincoln until it was incorporated as a city in 1895. And ask people who lost limbs from machines or developed brain cancer from hazardous chemicals, about the industrial revolution.

  • ettenaj's Profile Photo
    Apr 4, 2007 at 9:18 AM

    I was amazed yesterday to see a deer on the green at work, I work in a very built up area.

  • matcrazy1's Profile Photo
    Jan 7, 2007 at 3:28 PM

    The river banks look like they were completely out of any urban area. Very interesting hisorical info in intro.

  • Stephen-KarenConn's Profile Photo
    Oct 10, 2006 at 6:31 AM

    Hi Janet, This looks like a very interesting river cruise that we would enjoy. I love seeing these little out-of-the-way places featured on VT.

  • gosiaPL's Profile Photo
    Jul 14, 2006 at 9:35 AM

    Enjoyable glide on the river. Going through your pictures and texts is very relaxing, so the cruise itself must have been fabulous!


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