Nelson Trails Update

by Rich Church (May 12, 2012)

The Nelson Trails Committee is working to add two to four new trails this year. The two most active projects are on Cobb Hill and in Munsonville.

Pair of Canada Geese

Pair of Canada Geese

At 1900’, Cobb Hill is one of the area’s highest points. It is flanked by two old roads that join Nelson and Harrisville which run on the east and west sides of the hill. The Harris Center already maintains the Jane Greene Trail that comes up from Hancock to a lookout on the east side of the hill with a beautiful view of Mount Monadnock.  We hope to extend the Jane Greene Trail so hikers from all three towns can enjoy visiting the lookout and the high bush blueberries growing on the windy summit and loop back to their starting point.  Further work with the landowners must be complete before a trail can actually be laid out. The trails committees of Nelson and

Eric Sandberg spots proud parents with 5 goslings

Eric Sandberg spots proud parents with 5 goslings

Harrisville are co-operating with the Harris Center for Conservation Education on the project.

Further along is the development of a trail that explores the wetland across Granite Lake Road from the Nelson School.  This opportunity offers a visit to an old gristmill site and bird habitat long of interest to the Audubon Society.  The trail will be laid out so as to afford opportunities to enjoy this important piece of habitat without intruding unnecessarily on bird life.  Troy Tucker has already started to clear the portion of the trail that runs through his property. Kathy and

Julia Lennon and Kathy Schillemat spot spring flowers

Julia Lennon and Kathy Schillemat spot spring flowers

Duane Schillemat have generously offered their driveway as the access point.

The Committee has been learning about trail making from the experts. Tom Duston, chair of the Chesterfield Conservation Commission, has spoken to the group and recently spent a rainy morning walking Cobb hill to share tips on good trail layout and construction.  He’s produced a six-page guide on the subject to help inform our work.  On May 12th, committee members Susan Hansel, Julia Lennon, Kathy Schillemat, Eric Sandberg and I walked the Audubon Society’s Cove Trail at the Sucker Brook Sanctuary to observe good trail making practices in wetland bird habitat.  The views of Mount Monadnock over Silver Lake were beautiful. A pair of Canada Geese announced their landing in the cove with loud honking. Another pair paddled by with their five youngsters.  A plethora of  wildflowers including numerous painted trilliums graced the side of the path.

Painted Trillium

Painted Trillium

I can recommend the Sucker Brook Sanctuary for anyone wanting a comfortable walk through hemlock groves, past boulder strewn landscapes and rock outcrops with beautiful forest flowers, water foul and song birds to add to your enjoyment. Parking is on Breed Pond Road. Directions and a trail guide can be downloaded from New Hampshire Audubon .

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