Bristol County High Point Trip Report

Mount Hope (221 ft)

Date: July 5, 2003
Author: Dan Case

Given that there are so many things in the area named after this feature - Mount Hope Bridge, Mount Hope Bay, Mount Hope Farm - it's surprising that the actual hilltop remains a trackless, densely wooded afterthought. Perhaps because of its historical associations (with the Indian leader King Philip, or Metacom, the Osama bin Laden of late 17th-century New England).

From Providence, take I-195 east into MA. Take Exit 2 (again, this is Massachusetts Exit 2, not Rhode Island Exit 2), and follow MA 136 back down to the state line where it becomes RI 136 (surprise!). Continue south through Warren and into Bristol through occasional stop-and-go traffic, about seven and a half miles.

As mentioned previously, follow to the Haffenreffer Museum sign at Tower Street, across from a car-repair place (an intersection entirely innocuous save for the museum sign, which you can't miss). The Museum's directions are provided here with a map as well. As the hill crests, you'll see Mount Hope for the first time. Follow a mile and a half to museum entrance.

At this point you can either turn left and go down to the museum entrance or stay up here and park in flagrant violation of the prohibitions painted on the road surface. Best place to do this is at the corner where the power line crosses just ahead and the road makes a right-angle left turn, in front of the fence blocking the old road to the tower.

To avoid the heavy ground vegetative cover in this area, which may (from previous reports) in warm weather include some poison ivy, I went a little bit down the driveway (so-called) to the left, to just past the crest. There I found an area of adjoining woods that suddenly was much more open and free of ground cover than that nearest the corner, and went about 200 feet deep in it before hitting more untouched woods as the ground sloped up. This slowed me down some but was not a problem until I encountered a pretty much impenetrable thornbush barrier just below the last sharp rise to the summit. I had gotten ripped enough already and so had to traverse around for a weak spot, which I did find, albeit having to push through some ground-level shrubbery. It's there, believe me, closer to the northwest.

Once I got through, there was little problem other than the low-hanging branches of the pines up here. I pushed into the clearing that, I guess, marked the old tower site and considered that enough, seeing no higher ground.

Amazingly, despite the social and natural barriers to access, it seems it isn't just highpointers making this trip. I found several empty beer bottles and cans lying around. But no signs of the old road, or indeed any gravel, but perhaps that was just due to my choice of route. Returned the same way.