Ridge Hill Reserve

Set along the edge of the Southeastern Massachusetts Bioreserve in the Hixville area of Dartmouth, Ridge Hill Reserve captures a snapshot of the Buzzards Bay region’s diverse habitats. From rocky wooded hills to glowing green wetlands, this Dartmouth Natural Resources Trust property offers a wide array of natural and historic sights to explore on foot.

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a man and a dog walking through the woods at Ridge Hill Reserve in Dartmouth

Explore the Jason Phillips Mill Site, where remnants of stone foundations sit along a stream that flows to rivers that feed Buzzards Bay.

Ridge Hill Reserve gets its name from the hill in the center of the property – one of the highest points in Dartmouth. As you walk these sloping trails, you can feel the landscape rolling under your feet from high ridges to low valleys. The reserve is popular with local dog owners, and it’s also a great spot to go snowshoeing in winter.

If you’re looking for a quick adventure, check out the Jason Phillips Mill site, where the stone remnants of an old mill sit along a bubbling brook. (This stream flows to the Shingle Island River, which eventually leads to the East Branch of the Westport River and Buzzards Bay.) But if you spend a little longer exploring the reserve, you’ll find so much more to discover.


Ridge Hill Reserve features over four miles of well-marked trails through the woods. To walk all the trails, plan to visit the reserve for about 2-3 hours – leaving you plenty of time to linger. (Download trail map)

The Green and Blue Trails loop through the hilly southwest side of the reserve. You’ll climb some steep, rocky slopes on these trails, so make sure to wear proper footwear for you walk. Once you reach the higher elevations, you’ll be rewarded by soft, fragrant paths covered with pine needles.

On the northeast side of the reserve lies the Red Trail, a nearly two-mile loop through forested wetlands. The red trail has several fascinating sights, from the Jason Phillips Mill site to the Lycopod Loop, where lush green clubmoss carpets the ground.

A portion of the red trail (the Arabia Sampson Path) shares a boundary with the Southeastern Massachusetts Bioreserve; this land, owned by the Fall River Water Department, protects the Copicut Reservoir, which you can see through the trees. Hunting and mountain biking are allowed here, so use caution when walking and wear blaze orange during hunting season.

Habitats & Wildlife

From high, dry woodland hills to low, wet freshwater swamps, Ridge Hill Reserve packs a variety of habitats into its 210 acres. The forest is dotted with holly, hemlocks, beech stands, multi-trunked oaks, and tall pines that tower over the trails. In the low areas around the mill site, ferns unfurl in spring while lady slippers, blueberries, and huckleberries add bursts of color to the verdant summer landscape.

With such an extensive network of undisturbed forests and waterways – including Ridge Hill Reserve, the 13,600-acre Southeastern Massachusetts Bioreserve, and other nearby preserves – this area protects a special ecosystem for countless wildlife species. Keep an eye out for hawks, deer, and foxes, particularly in the pipeline clearing that cuts across the green and red trails.

Property Owned By

Dartmouth Natural Resources Trust (DNRT) is a nonprofit, accredited land trust. Since 1971, DNRT has helped protect more than 5,000 acres of land and maintain more than 35 miles of hiking trails in Dartmouth.

Size: 210 acres
Hours: Dawn to dusk
Parking: Small gravel parking area
Trail Difficulty: Intermediate
Dogs: Yes (under voice control)
Facilities: None
ADA Accessible: No

Please follow all posted rules and regulations at this property.

Address & Contact Information
739 Collins Corner Rd.
Dartmouth, MA 02747
41.694289, -71.021710

Please follow all posted rules and regulations at this property.

Ridge Hill Reserve
Dartmouth, MA
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Upcoming Events Near Here

Vernal Pool Exploration
Sat, April 08
Parsons Reserve,
Wednesday Walkabouts
Wed, May 03
10:00AM - 11:00AM
Smith Farm,
Wednesday Walkabouts
Wed, May 10
10:00AM - 11:00AM
Flora B. Peirce Nature Trail,
New Bedford

Nearby Places To Go

Freetown-Fall River State Forest

For a true adventure in the woods, head to vast Freetown-Fall River State Forest, part of the Southeastern Massachusetts Bioreserve.

Copicut Woods

As part of the Southeastern Massachusetts Bioreserve, this 516-acre property in Fall River showcases unique natural features.

Flora B. Peirce Nature Trail

A natural oasis hidden in the North End of New Bedford, Flora B. Peirce Nature Trail takes visitors on a tour of forest life.

Current Issues

Land Conservation

Conserving land is one of the most important ways to protect clean water in Buzzards Bay. Since 1998, the Coalition has forever preserved more than 7,000 acres of land across our region.

Read More ›