Wolf Hill/Mercer Lookout – Smithfield

  • Wolf Hill Forest Preserve/Mercer Outlook
  • Waterview Drive, Smithfield, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°53’56.01″N, 71°32’22.30″W
  • First Time Hiked: July 27, 2014
  • Last Time Hiked: August 5, 2018
  • Approximate distance hiked: 4.0 miles
  • Moderate to difficult due to elevation.


The Wolf Hill Forest Preserve is another Smithfield Land Trust property. It offers several miles of trails, a couple of overlooks, and a World War II memorial. We had a small group out for this very humid hike. We had rain approaching from the west as well. We started at the green blazed trailhead on Waterview Drive. The trail immediately ascends and winds up the hill. The green blazed trail passes through areas with several types of trees and is quite rocky in some areas. When we reached the yellow blazed trail we turned left to follow it. The yellow trails winds through an area of moss covered boulders before coming to the power lines. After crossing under the power lines the trail turns right up an area of outcrop before turning left back into the woods. After entering the woods again we came across some fellow hikers from The Rhode Island Hiking Club doing one of their infamous “Wolf Hill Exercise Hikes”. After chatting briefly with them we moved on along the yellow trail to the site of the World War II plane crash. Three U.S. servicemen died here on August 5, 1943 after their plane experienced an engine failure and crashed on Wolf Hill. The Airmen’s Memorial features a large boulder, believed to be where the plane came to its rest, and a plaque with the names of the servicemen. We then continued on the yellow trail until we reached the white trail. The two trails intersect here. We stayed to the right onto the white trail following it until, first crossing the blue blazed trail, then continuing along the white before we turned left onto the blue blazed trail as it intersected once again. The blue blazed trail brought us to the Mercer Lookout. On a clear day it is said that you can see Providence, Brayton Point in Somerset, the upper Narragansett Bay, and the Mount Hope Bridge in Bristol. Today, being hazy, cloudy, and humid, we could see only parts of Providence. There is also a chimney here, being the remains of what was once believed to be a cabin. After we lingered for a bit here we retraced our steps back to the intersection of the white and yellow trails. We then followed the white trail instead of making our way back down the yellow. The white trail eventually led back across the power lines and to the Ken Weber Memorial Trail which is a red blazed trail at the next intersection. Ahead is an unblazed trail that leads to the Quarry Overlook. We turned right following the red blazed Ken Weber Trail to its end at the green trail. For those so inclined of a more challenging hike, instead of following the red trail to its end, pick up the green trail about two tenths of a mile after turning onto the red trail. It will lead you almost all the way down Wolf Hill before sending you back up. The trail is very reminisce of trails I have hiked in the White Mountains in years past. Although challenging, the beauty of this section of the green trail is well worth it. There is one area that has a massive rock wall as the trails passes it. Regardless of which route you choose, from the intersection of the end of the red trail and green trail, follow the green trail back to the beginning of the hike. Although it was a gray and humid day the weather held out until just about the end of the hike.


Trail Map can be found at: Wolf Hill/Mercer Lookout.

Airmen's Memorial At Wolf Hill

Airmen’s Memorial At Wolf Hill

Along The Green Trail

Along The Green Trail

    • Roy Najecki – RI Land Trust Council
    • November 9th, 2014

    Those faintly marked trails were created/marked by ATV users long ago. In summer 2014 the Smithfield Land Trust re-blazed the sanctioned trails on their property and obliterated obsolete blazes. There are many other trails on their property, but they are in the process of being blocked to restore fragmented wildlife habitats. Several trails do lead to and from private property, such as the quarry, but they are not marked or maintained by the land trust.

  1. Thank you Roy… I do plan on revisiting over the winter to reblog the proper blazes… if you are on Facebook and care to join, feel free… look up Providence County Hiking Club…

      • Roy Najecki – RI Land Trust Council
      • November 9th, 2014

      Will do. You may have seen me on the property before. I am a trustee on the Glocester Land Trust for about eight years now. Three years ago I created and blazed many of the Steere Hill trails. This summer I helped the Smithfield Land Trust map and blaze Wolf Hill. We just finished mapping and blazing another Smithfield property: the 31 acre Olivia’s Woods and have just started on Connors Farm with the hope to expand the trail network and additional parking. Also in the works is a trail map for the Burrillville Land Trust 86 acre Vock Conservation property and the additional 55 acres they got this year.

      This afternoon I’ll be helping the North Smithfield Land Trust on mapping/blazing trails one of their properties and we are continuing mapping/blazing work on Cumberland Land Trust property. We also finished mapping the Narrow River Land Trust Garrison House Acres property this past year. As trail maps get completed they are being put on the ExporeRI.org website.

      • Hello Roy! I would like to pick your brain about any properties that you think I should pay a visit to and blog about. I find a lot of towns do not have much on-line about properties that offer any hiking. I’ve recently been in contact with the Foster Land Trust and obtained a list of properties from them. Some towns have actually approached me about linking their websites to Trails and Walks. Currently the Town of Richmond, The Attleboro Land Trust, and The Smithfield Land Trust are linked. I am more than willing to offer this to other towns. Also, I’ve recently been in contact with Bruce and Keith of Blueways/ExploreRI. I pretty much made ExploreRI the same offer. Bruce and I will be talking more in the future. Thanks for any/all leads and hope to see you out on the trails soon… Happy Hiking my friend!

        • Roy Najecki – RI Land Trust Council
        • December 16th, 2014

        South Kingstown and Westerly have several blazed and mapped trails. I’m working with the Cumberland Land Trust and Cumberland Conservation Commission to get several of their properties and trails mapped and blazed, but that will probably take a few more months before we get the okay from Town officials.

        We are working to get trails mapped and blazed on several State properties, such as Diamond (Catamint) Hill, Snake Den, Cocumcussoc, Durfee Hill, and Camp Nokewa. But those will take months to do.

  2. Question:
    I see another entrance, a “back entrance” it appears to be.
    And a parking area off Carlton’s Way.
    Looks like it follows the blue trail.
    Is this trail ALSO at a steep incline as the front entrance off Waterview Drive is?
    Asking because I have NO problems going UP, it’s the coming down that I have a problem with as I have fallen a lot recently and am worried about the downhill steepness!
    AND How do I actually get to carlton’s Way to see this parking area and trail entrance?
    Thank you so very much!

    • It is quite steep in areas, but it is a nice an easier way of reaching the outlook. Carlton’s Way is a newer subdivision off of Mountaindale Road. There is room for one or two cars at the far end of the cul-de-sac at the trail head.

        • Laura Leone
        • August 27th, 2019

        Thank you again!
        Found this way in earlier!
        Much safer for me!

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