Mencuccis to kick off ‘Rides of Discovery’ on Burrillville Bike Path

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BURRILLVILLE – Betty and Carlo Mencucci will lead the pack as residents ride into summer fun in the Blackstone Valley.

The husband and wife team will host the first volunteer-led “Ride of Discovery” with the Blackstone Heritage Corridor Bikeway Ambassadors on Wednesday, May 29 along the Burrillville Bike Path.

The ride will kick off a series of bike rides and paddles along the region’s waterways led by BHC volunteers.

The Mencuccis will serve as special guests and interpretive guides through their work with the Burrillville Historical and Preservation Society. Riders will meet at the Jesse M. Smith Memorial Library at 100 Tinkham Lane at 6:30 p.m.

The rides will continue on Wednesday evenings throughout the summer across the Blackstone Valley with events taking place in Blackstone, Worcester, Woonsocket, Lincoln and more.

Betty Mencucci, left, gets ready to lead bikers on a ride with the Blackstone Heritage Corridor.

On Tuesdays, BHC will host group paddles starting at 6 p.m., where volunteers from The Blackstone Valley Paddle Club guide canoeers and kayakers through the valley’s waterways.

The public is invited to explore places to cycle and paddle on guided events.

Helmets are required for the bicycle rides  and riders are asked to bring their own bike and helmet, and rides are weather dependent.

The Tuesday night guided paddle trips begin May 21 along the West River in Uxbridge, Mass. Here, you’ll have a chance to see a lot of wildlife as you paddle upstream through this stretch of clean, clear flatwater. Participants will meet at gravel lot on West River Road.

BHC volunteers will return to Burrillville on Tuesday, June 4  to explore the Nipmuc River. The river, above the pond and above where the Clear River ends, is listed by the state as pristine water, the state’s highest rating for water quality. Paddlers will meet at 50 Sherman Farm Road.

Blackstone Valley Paddle Club participants explore the Blackstone Canal at Blackstone River & Canal Heritage State Park in Uxbridge, Mass.

Enjoy a nice flatwater section of the upper Slatersville Reservoir and Branch River on July 2 in Slatersville, meeting at 2980 Broncos Highway.

On Tuesday, August 20, BHC will paddle at Spring Lake, meeting at the Black Hut boat access on Black Hut Road.

Participants must bring their own canoe or kayak, paddles and life jackets to both events and arrive by 6 p.m. for 6:15 p.m. launch.

Before leaving for any paddle, check the Paddle Club’s message board for changes and cancellations to trips at members.boardhost.com/FLATWATER. If paddles are cancelled due to weather, the Paddle Club will try to offer it the following day, Wednesday. To participate in the Blackstone Valley Paddle Club’s events, a Rhode Island Canoe and Kayak Association membership fee of $15 is required, as is a $10.00 membership fee for the Blackstone Valley Paddle Club. The fees provide a family membership and are good for the entire season.  

For a full list of events, check BHC’s events calendar on the organization’s  website, and follow their Facebook page for updates.  

For more info on BHC’s Bikeway Ambassadors, contact Suzanne Buchanan at volunteer@BlackstoneHeritageCorridor.org or call 508-234-4242.

For questions about the Blackstone Valley Paddle Club and membership, contact Cheryl at StoneFoxFarm@juno.com or 401-497-5887.

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