As state high-points-by-elevation go this spot is one of the lowest, but for years it was also the hardest to climb.
Located in the backwoods of Rhode Island, the low lying Jerimoth Hill is the highest point in the state, but coming in at 45th among its fellow state high points, its not that impressive until you consider that it was nearly completely inaccessible for decades.
Among “highpointers,” people who make a hobby of visiting the highest point in every state, Rhode Island’s tiny hill is not much of a challenge. Compared to the highest elevated point in the US, Alaska’s Denali Peak which sits at 20,320 feet above sea level, Jerimoth Hill is a measly 812 feet high. However in the early 1980’s the small hill, capped with a nondescript boulder, became the hardest peak to climb.
This is thanks to one Henry Richardson who purchased the land that Jerimoth Hill rests on and immediately set up a perimeter. Richardson installed motion detectors and countless “No Trespassing” signs. It was said that if he caught explorers, highpointers, or other climbers on his land, the cranky landowner was said to scream at, threaten, and generally harass them off his land.
In 1998 Richardson finally dropped his guard after pressure from the highpointing community, and eventually the land was sold to new owners who seem more than happy to welcome the climbers. The land has since been ceded to the State of Rhode Island, and scaling Jerimoth Hill is now almost literally a walk in the park.
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