- Hunt’s Mills
- Hunt’s Mills Road, East Providence, RI
- Trailhead: 41°49’41.78″N, 71°20’45.16″W
- First Hiked: June 8, 2014
- Last Time Hiked: December 11, 2016
- Approximate distance hiked: 0.75 miles
For over 250 years Hunt’s Mills has served many purposes. It is probably one of the more historically significant sites in East Providences. In fact this property is home to the East Providence Historical Society. The historical society is at the John Hunt House which is one of the oldest houses in the city. The house was built in the mid 1700’s. This site also has been home to several mills over time dating back to the mid 1600’s including a sawmill and a grist mill. In the late 1800’s a local private company (Rumford Chemical Works) set up a water company here to supply their mills and factories with water. In the mid 1920’s the town would take over the water company, along with the Turner Reservoir, to supply the growing town with water until the town starting receiving its water from the Scituate Reservoir. At the turn of the century there was an amusement park here to help offset the cost of running the water company. And lastly, the fire department used this property as a training grounds for several years. The hike starts near the small parking area by the gazebo just to the right of the Hunt House. The red blazed trail first leads down a small set of stone stairs then winds through an area known as the Terrace Garden. At different times of year there will be different shrubs and flowers in bloom here including mountain laurel. The red blazed trail then turns right into a short section of woods before crossing an access road. The trail then continues straight in the woods meandering slightly downhill toward the Ten Mile River. At the next trail blaze post, the red blazed trail turns to the left. Here on the right is a spot known as Sunset Rock. It tends to be a little overgrown in the summer months, but it offers a good view of the river the rest of the year. Continuing following the red blazed trail will lead you to the next set of trail blaze posts. Again at the rivers edge is another spot to view the river. This spot is known as Otter Rock as there have been sightings of otters at this point. When the water levels are low on the river you will find inscriptions from the early 1900’s on the rocks. The red blazed trail then leads south passing a chain link fence into the former fire department training area. You will soon see the remnants of the facility including the old fire tower that was used for training and an old tanker. The trail then passes the chain link fence again to the next trail blaze post. Turning right here will lead you to the large grass area behind the Hunt House. In this area behind the house there is a circle of granite blocks. These blocks represent where the carousel of the amusement park once stood.You then walk toward the gate between the house and the large stone building that was once the pump house (built in 1893) for the water department to the final highlight of the hike. The Hunts Mills Dam and waterfall. From here you then follow the road in front of the Hunt House to the point of beginning. This hike makes a nice companion to the Turner Reservoir hike.
Trail map can be found at: Hunts Mills