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West Hill Dam




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General Information

Description - In August 1955, Hurricane Diane blew across Long Island Sound and hit the southern new England shore. This tragedy prompted state governments to work with the Corps of Engineers to hasten the building of several flood control dams that had already been authorized by the U.S. Congress. West Hill Dam, built from 1959-1961, is part of the resulting network of flood control structures. The dam is designed to hold back flood waters during heavy rains, until rivers begin to recede and the stored water can be safely released. West Hill protects Uxbridge, Woonsocket, Providence and other communities along the Blackstone River in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

Attractions - The West River winds through some 567 acres of white pine and red oak forest, broken here and there by rolling meadows. Red maple swamps and several bogs fill the lowlands while three small brooks feed the river. Corps Rangers manage the woodlands to improve fish and wildlife habitat.

Woods, fields, wetlands and streams provide habitat for both resident and migratory wildlife. Red fox, raccoon, deer and an occasional coyote find protection in the woods. Open fields attract rabbits, mice, butterflies, hawks and owls. Streams and wetlands are home to fish, spring peepers, box turtles and great blue herons, among others.

Recreation - Tables and grills are available for picnicking in two areas of the park, one near a beach and one under a grove of pines. The park also offers two sandy beaches, a change house and modern rest rooms. Two picnic shelters on a wooded knoll, with electric are available to groups for a small fee. A sand volleyball court, horseshoe pits and accessible playground are nearby. From the parking lot, a 1/2 mile, self-guided nature trail runs down along the river and loop back through the woods.

About two miles of hiking trails meander through the woodlands and provide secluded views of the river. Anglers will find trout in he main river channel and bass, pickerel and horned pout in the pools. Hunting for deer, small game and upland birds is permitted in accordance with state laws. Trout and pheasant are stocked by the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife.

Climate - Massachusetts experiences four distinct seasons with slightly varying temperatures in the inland and coastal regions. Along the coast the water is a moderating factor that often prevents large amounts of snowfall from accumulating through the winter. Summer temperatures are usually cooler than low lying inland areas, due to ocean breezes. This region of the country experiences high humidity in the summer season and temperatures that average close to 80 degrees F. Fall and Spring are pleasant times to visit the region with crisp air and low humidity. Brilliant foliage colors can be found in the central and western regions of the state in late September and October. Winter temperatures can be brutally cold on occasion with a humidity-filled wind, but on average winter daytime temperatures reach 35 degrees F and lows reach into the teens. Spring is usually the wettest time of year, but trees, bushes and flowers are blooming by early May.

Location - Take MA Route 122 to MA Route 16 East and follow signs. Please drive carefully.

This area is located at:
West Hill Dam Project Office
528 E. Hartford Avenue
Uxbridge, Ma 01569-1209


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More Information

Contact Information:
West Hill Dam, 518 E HARTFORD AVE , UXBRIDGE, MA, 01569-1209, Phone: 508-278-2511

Additional Information:
Massachusetts Lakes and Dams -

Links:
West Hill Dam - Official Agency Information

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