The crown jewel of Hunt’s Mills, in Rumford, RI (a neighborhood of E. Providence) is the dam and natural waterfall, a very easy walk from the parking area at the end of the access road to the property. It’s hard to believe we were in E. Providence–the area has a wild feel to it, rocks and rapids, and some interesting ice formations.
My friend Brenda creates “peaceful minute” nature videos for her “Nature’s Fairy” youtube channel, and I suggested Hunt’s Mills as a great spot to get some footage to share with others. We headed out this morning to get some pictures, and explore the trail alongside the river, created by the hard-working folks of the 10-mile River Watershed Council.
The watershed council folks have done a lot of work since I was last there. It took a little while for me to figure out where to access the trail along the river, but we ended up having a great walk, found “Otter Rock” as well as the canoe launch the watershed council folks created from used fire hoses, woven together into a solid mat to prevent erosion along the river bank.
The trail is extremely well-marked, taking walkers along the river through an area that had been thickly overgrown with almost impenetrable briars.
The Historical Society created some great signs to help explain the history of the area. Their building on the property is open on occasion, and the Rhode Island Land Trust leads walks along the river throughout the year. We spent nearly two hours wandering the property, enjoying the river and taking photos.
When we got back to the portion of the river with flowing rapids I spotted a large group of mallards feeding in the river. They faced upstream, paddling for dear life as they fed on whatever happened to float by in the rapids. Four ducks finally decided to float downstream together and they took on the appearance of skilled whitewater kayakers, floating through the rocks with ease.
We saw no one else during our entire visit–it was easy at times to forget we were so close to downtown Providence. The river marks the state boundary in that area–Seekonk, MA is on the opposite bank of the river. A great spot for a quiet, easy walk. Even better, at least for now, was that there was no ice on the trail, despite the time of year we visited–the winter solstice. Hope you find ice-free trails, and easy walking. No reason to stay inside all winter, especially not today!
Marjorie Turner Hollman is a personal historian who loves the outdoors, and is the author of Easy Walks in Massachusetts, 2nd edition, More Easy Walks in Massachusetts, 2nd edition, and editor of Easy Walks and Paddles in the Ten Mile River Watershed. Just out is her latest book, Finding Easy Walks Wherever You Are.
She has been a freelance writer for numerous local, regional, and national publications for the past 20+ years, has helped numerous families to save their stories, and has recorded multiple veterans oral histories, now housed at the Library of Congress.