“The land between the two branches of the Sowams River (now known as the Palmer and Barrington rivers), was known as Chachacust by the Native Americans and New Meadow Neck by the European settlers. This latter name it received as early as 1653. . . . The appendage of “Hampden” to the New Meadow Neck area was given by the Rhode Island Historical society, in honor of John Hampden, who visited Massassoit with Edward Winslow in 1623. [from Hampden Meadows Conservation Area Management Plan]
The main trail begins on Linden Road and runs half a mile north to the Kent Street Skating Pond which functions during the summer as a long-hydroperiod vernal pool.
Approximately 84 % of the area is occupied by a 113-acre red maple/shrub swamp which has long been drained and leaving it much drier today than it was in the 1600s.