The Wood-Pawcatuck Watershed encompasses a 300 square mile area of land in southwestern RI and southeastern CT. Its seven major drainage basins include the Queen, Wood, Chickasheen, Chipuxet, Shunock, Green Falls, and Pawcatuck Rivers, and their tributaries. It is one of the few remaining relatively pristine natural areas along the northeast corridor between New York and Boston. The Nature Conservancy has identified the borderlands between RI and CT as containing the last large forested track south of Boston.
The Pawcatuck watershed offers unlimited recreational opportunities: 57 miles of rivers, mostly flat-water paddling on the rivers; numerous streams in pristine forest for fishing native brook trout and stocked brown and rainbow trout; and five state management areas for hiking, biking, hunting, birding and natures studies. WPWA offers opportunities to explore these natural areas with guided kayak trips, naturalist-lead hikes, and learn-to-fish workshops. Volunteers and professionals work with WPWA to clear obstructions and keep river sections navigable. Our original publication, Walks in the Watershed, A Hikers Guide to Southwestern RI and CT, is great for independent exploration.