- Blackstone Park & Boulevard
- Blackstone Boulevard, Providence, RI
- Trailhead: 41°50’1.49″N, 71°23’1.72″W
- Last Time Hiked: March 1, 2016
- Approximate distance hiked: 5 miles
- Easy with some slight elevation.
The running path down the middle of the Blackstone Boulevard is the premier East Side of Providence walking, jogging, and running spot. I’ve walked here hundreds, if not thousands of times. It is exactly 1.6 miles long meandering through many species of trees and shrubs, making the path up and back 3.2 miles, a perfect 5K. There is also a dedicated bicycle lane in each direction of the boulevard. Today, however, I decided to add to the boulevard walk and include the adjacent and lesser known Blackstone Park. Most people start the boulevard walk at the north end. I find it easier to park at the south end near the intersection of Blackstone Boulevard and Irving Avenue. After I easily found a parking spot I started walking southerly on the boulevard toward Butler Avenue. Blackstone Boulevard becomes Butler just as it bends around the corner. I then took my first left onto East Orchard Avenue passing the campus of the Lincoln School and through a residential neighborhood. After following this street to the end I turned right onto the aptly named Parkside Road. Blackstone Park abuts this street. I then followed Parkside to its end crossing Angell Street into the first of two sections of the park that I explored. This is where the trails begin. I came to the first split and took the path to the right following it straight across other paths until I reached a split near its end. At this split I followed the path to the left which took me along the fence of the nearby highway. I continued following the path that ran along the top of the hill. The path then starts going downhill towards a pond and somewhat traces the edge of the pond. At the next split I turned left and followed the path back uphill to where I entered this section of the park at Angell Street. I then crossed Angell Street again and made my way to the path that started at the corner of Angell and Parkside into the second section of the park. I continued along this path for a while crossing several other paths until I came upon an interesting fence. Along the paths in this section I came across several people walking their friendly dogs. After mingling for a bit I found myself turning right and finding the set of stairs to go down toward a second pond. At the bottom of the stairs I turned right and came out to River Road. I followed it north onto a closed (to traffic) section of road that followed the shore of the Seekonk River. From here you can see the Omega Dam and train trestle in the Phillipsdale section of East Providence. There were also several geese, swans, and ducks here. This section of road then started to loop to the left and uphill. At the end I turned right onto Loring Avenue, again into a residential neighborhood. I then turned right on Grotto Avenue, and then left onto Laurel Avenue to Blackstone Boulevard. There were several yards with spring gardens in bloom throughout this neighborhood. I then turned right onto the running path that runs down the middle of the boulevard. I followed this to its end at Hope Street passing along the way a statue, a former trolley shelter, and the impressive stone walls of Swan Point Cemetery. At the end of the path to the left and across the street is another park. In the summer months on Saturday mornings there is a farmers market here. Also, at the end of the path and across Hope Street is an ice cream parlor. At this point I resisted my sudden urge for ice cream turned around and followed the running path to its south end to where my car was parked. In all, this walk was just under 5 miles. Again the boulevard itself is 3.2 miles.
A map of the the parks can be found here: Blackstone Park & Boulevard
Information about the park can be found here: Blackstone Parks Conservancy
Information about the farmers market can be found here: The Hope Street Farmers Market