Royal River Park
Royal River Park
103 East Elm St. Yarmouth
With a beautiful paved path running the length of the park along the river and parallel to the heart of the village, this is one of Yarmouth’s most beloved parks. Highlights include views of three waterfalls, two at old dam sites and another at a historic mill site. There are picnic tables and open fields as well as floodplain forest and a 75- to 200-year-old stand of hemlock. Most of the park is built on former industrial and mill sites. The Middle (or Third, counting upstream from tidewater) Falls with its brick remnants and Factory Island was once completely spanned by the massive Forest Paper Company mill complex in the early 1900’s.
The primary path through the park runs from East Elm Street, near the Upper (or Fourth) Falls, down along the river through open fields to the Third Falls overlook. It then descends by brick mill remnants and enters a stretch of basswood and locust floodplain forest, followed by hemlock and pine forest, before meeting the Beth Condon Pathway, where a pedestrian bridge crosses the river. It continues south under US Route One to the final dam and the Second Falls (the “Cotton Mill Falls”) at Bridge Street. Historical interpretative signs are stationed alongside the path. There are several connections to Main Street from the path. A second path extends from East Elm Street and the upper dam along a small peninsula between the river and an old mill sluiceway. From here, you can look over to Gooch Island which you can also view from a pathway between Park Street and Forest Falls Drive.
The primary entrance and parking lot is across East Elm Street from the newly renovated Yarmouth History Center, about 0.3 mile east of the Main Street intersection. Park here if you are launching canoes from the History Center. There are additional entrances to the park from Mill Street, from the Beth Condon Pathway near the Rowe School, or the entrance of Forest Falls Drive (which connects to the Royal River path via a pedestrian bridge) and from Bridge Street.
For more information on the history of the park, visit the Yarmouth History Center