Tuesday, February 10, 2009

In Search of Snowshoe Trails

On the Quarry Trail at Wasserman Park in Merrimack

We set out for Heald Pond Trail in Wilton this afternoon to try out our new snowshoes. We didn't end up snowshoeing here after all because we couldn't find the trailheads and didn't have a map. (Note: This turned out to be a case of poor planning on my part. If I'd actually read the review in addition to the directions on http://www.mntnlife.com/, we probably would have found the trail.) Anyway, one highlight of the ride out there: we saw three deer on King Brook Road!
If you've snowshoed or hiked here, please drop us a line and let us know. Once we got back, I checked out the Society for the Protection of NH Forests website to learn more about the property. After seeing this diverse and protected area, I definitely think it's worth a return trip.

Snowshoeing in Merrimack
Next, we headed to Wasserman Park in Merrimack. By this time, daylight was starting to fade. We took a short hike on the Quarry Trail, a single file trail through the woods, about .5 mile long. I just learned it connects (through private easement) with the Horse Hill Preserve, which is a 3.5 mile loop trail. Not sure how much of this is suitable for snowshoeing. But check out the website for decent trail maps.

Our snowshoeing experiences so far have been pretty tame (some might say boring) -- probably because we're sticking to well-packed, mostly flat trails not far off the beaten path. The snow-covered scenery is pretty, but it's repetitive: snow, trees, rocks, and the occasional stone wall or wildlife tracks.

Still, we're enjoying it. It gets us outdoors in winter to explore natural areas right in our own backyard. Snowshoeing is recession-proof. Once you buy the shoes, you can do it almost anywhere for free without paying entrance fees, lift tickets or rental fees. Have you tried it yet? Let us hear from you if you have a favorite trail!

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