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
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.