Go it alone, or join RI Families in Nature on Sunday, August 25, as we explore this area together.
Whenever I mention Neutaconkanut Hill, people usually look at me funny and then ask me two questions: “How do you say that?” and “Where is it?” Given that “the Hill” is one of my very favorite places to hike in Rhode Island, I’m always happy to answer.
Neutaconkanut (pronounced nu-ta-kon-ka-nut) Hill is in the city of Providence. That’s right. Several miles of trails through beautiful forests and fields, with spectacular views of the city and a rich history, right smack in the middle of the most densely populated area of our largest city. With 88 acres and rising to almost 300 feet above sea level, the Hill is the largest expanse of natural woodland and has the highest point in Providence.
The Narragansett Indians lived on the Hill for hundreds of years before Roger Williams obtained the land and named it Providence. The King family purchased the land in the 1800s, the last remaining member to donate it to the city for all to enjoy. Unfortunately, use of the Hill declined and eventually it became a place for illegal and otherwise undesirable activity until a concerned group of neighbors formed the Neutaconkanut Hill Conservancy (NHC) in 2005. Since then, NHC has partnered with the Providence Parks Department as well as other agencies, organizations and educational institutions to clean, revitalize and manage the park. (In fact, when we hike on August 25, we’ll see Providence College students in action, saving the forest for all to enjoy.)
And boy, what a job the NHC has done! The well maintained trails pass through beautiful woodlands, meadows, valleys, geological outcroppings, stone walls, brooks, and even a monument to the King family. NHC hosts various family events throughout the year and there is a skate park, playground, and fields to enjoy — all accessible via the RIPTA bus line!
But the crowning jewel is the spectacular views of the City and nearly a quarter of the State from the bandstand remains in the Meadow.
See you outside!
Where: Neutaconkanut Hill
Bathrooms: no, but plenty of businesses are nearby
Hours: dawn to dusk
Website: Neutaconkanut Hill website. www.nhill.org
For more information, including directions: visit the RI Families in Nature website.
Rhode Island Families in Nature Hike: Join Rhode Island Families in Nature every month for a different hike created by and for families who want to spend more time outdoors, explore Rhode Island’s natural places, and reconnect with and reap the many benefits of nature.
Photo # 1,2, 4 (credit: Jeanine Silversmith). Photo #3 (credit: Neutaconkanut Hill)