Fight cabin fever with a Blackstone Valley tour

Fight cabin fever with a Blackstone Valley tour

After a winter full of snow, take advantage of a few sunny days by getting outside and exploring the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor with self-guided tours designed for residents and visitors alike.

There are tours for walking, driving or even paddling, though the latter may have to wait until the spring thaw.

Pick from the listed locations in Rhode Island and Massachusetts and let the map do the rest, pointing users in the direction of landmarks and popular attractions, complete with information about hours and pricing.

"DeTours," which have been around for about a year, include:

* "Three Centuries in Three Miles" offers a tour of Great Road in Lincoln, with stops including the Saylesville Friends Meeting House, Valentine Whitman Jr. House, Hearthside, Moffett Mill, Captain Wilbur Kelly House, Arnold Bakery, Hannaway Blacksmith Shop, Chase Farmhouse, Chase Farm Park, Lincoln Woods State Park and Historic New England's Arnold House. It also points visitors to The Lodge Pub & Eatery for a bite to eat.

* "Farms, Stands & Markets in the Blackstone Valley" creates a map of where to pick up the latest harvested goods and produce. Stands in Millbury, Whitinsville, Uxbridge, Blackstone, Grafton and Douglas, Mass. and Burrillville are featured, along with Wright's Dairy Farm & Bakery in North Smithfield, and the Blackstone River Visitor Center Farmers' Market in Lincoln.

* "Blackstone Valley Canal Tours" encourage visitors to enjoy the scenic country side and river through hiking, canoe, kayak and bike tours that can stretch from Worcester, Mass. to Cumberland, where the Blackstone River Explorer sets off to show those on board the sights.

* "Landscape of Industry Tour" focuses on the development of mill villages in the Blackstone Valley, and the start of the Industrial Revolution. Sights include mills in Northbridge, Uxbridge, and Hopedale, Mass., as well as Slatersville Mill in North Smithfield, Museum of Work and Culture in Woonsocket, the Ashton Mill Village in Cumberland, Manville Dam in Lincoln, and Slater Mill in Pawtucket.

* "A Walk in Whitinsville" takes adults and young adults on a three- to four-hour trip through Whitinsville, Mass. to visit its art galleries and artists' studios, Riley Pond and Castle Hill Farm, the library, the town common, the community center and the West End Creamery.

Paula Mottshaw, communications consultant for Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor, said the organization is always thinking about different formats and attractions to make tours accessible and interesting for families and young children. Future plans include tours that use mobile devices or Google Maps to point visitors in the right direction.

Currently, printed materials for self-guided tours can be printed from www.blackstonevalleycorridor.org/explore/tours/ or picked up at the Blackstone Valley Visitor Center, One Depot Square in Woonsocket.

Visit the tour site for more walking or driving tour brochures, and www.blackstonevalleycorridor.org/explore/get_on_the_river/ for paddling tours.