It originates in the towns of Grafton and Upton, Massachusetts, near the Upton State Forest, at Silver Lake and Cider Mill Pond in Grafton, and crosses into the eastern portion of Northbridge, passes through the eastern portion of Uxbridge where the West Hill Dam provides flood control, and enters into the Blackstone River south of Uxbridge and Wheelockville before the Blackstone enters the state of Rhode Island.
The West River provided water power at the outset of the American Industrial Revolution, providing power to a textile mill founded by Luke Taft in 1825,  which later became the site of the Waucantuck Mill Complex where wash and wear fabrics originated. About 1810 Taft's father-in-law, Daniel Day, started an early wool-carding mill where the West River joins the Blackstone River.   The Daniel Day woolen mill was one of the first US woolen mills.   The Blackstone River Valley is a U.S. National Heritage Area and a major contributing region to America's Industrial Revolution.
- U.S. Geological Survey. National Hydrography Dataset high-resolution flowline data. The National Map, accessed April 1, 2011
- Fishing Works website
- Crane, Ellery Bicknell (1907). Historic Homes and Genealogies; Worcester, Massachusetts. The Lewis Publishing Company. Retrieved 2007-10-29.
- Marvin, AP (1879). History of Worcester County, Massachusetts, Embracing a Comprehensive History of the County from its earliest beginnings to the present time; Vol. lI. Boston MA: CF Jewitt and Co. p. 146.
- Chapin, Judge Henry (1881). Address Delivered at the Unitarian Church in Uxbridge, 1864. Worcester MA: Charles Hamilton Press (Harvard Library; from Google Books).
- US Army Corps of Engineers, West Hill Dam, Uxbridge, Massachusetts
- West Hill Dam Project, Master Plan