Monday, January 26, 2009

Along the Snowshoe Trail in Amherst

Click here to see more photos on smugmug.com

We had some warmer weather on Friday, so I headed out to spend an hour at Joe English Reservation in Amherst. My goal? To explore the trail we hiked in the dark about three weeks ago. Have I mentioned that I love snowshoeing?

For me, the beauty of it is in its simplicity. It's easy to learn. The equipment is inexpensive. You can do it close to home, even if you only have a short time to spare. And it's a fun way to explore the landscape in winter!

I didn't see any wildlife, except for birds. But I noticed lots of paper birch trees (like the one shown above) and I saw what I believe are snowshoe hare tracks. What do you think? It's probably hard to tell from this photo, but the tracks definitely showed the large hind-foot characteristic of a snowshoe hare.

Peabody Mill Environmental Center (on-site) offers well-marked trails, simple maps for loan or more detailed maps for purchase, and even personal GPS systems. The 600-acre Joe English property has a varied terrain through the woods that includes small brooks and streams, with a couple of interesting footbridges.

There are several places in our immediate area that rent snowshoes and offer trails. Why not try one out and tell us what you think? Better yet, if you know of a place that I haven't mentioned, please write and share with the rest of us so I can add it to the list.

  • Peabody Mill Environmental Center Amherst, NH

  • Beaver Brook Association Hollis, NH

  • NH Audubon Society Auburn, NH

  • Stonehenge USA Salem, NH

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