Trails in Nelson

The Nelson Trails Group recently explored the old class six road to the “Hart Lot” with its extensive foundations and mill site.  The site was home to a sawmill operated in the early nineteenth century.  The mill location on a falls in Bailey Brook provides habitat for numerous wild flowers; wild ginger graces the Osborne home site and there are numerous day lilies contributed by later summer residents, perhaps the Harts.  The road was closed by the town in 1922.

The old mill site is on the upper falls of Bailey Brook . The falls had a lot of water going over  it from recent rains and downstream the brook ran through its rocky bed with a musical sound.  The banks were lush with ferns. Bailey Brook briefly forms a wetland before entering a cut with steep banks culminating in the waterfall that can be seen from Old Stoddard Road.

The Nelson Trails Group, established under the auspices of Moving in Step, is working to make the beautiful, educational and historic places in town accessible to the walking public.  The nearly twenty-member committee plans to start by identifying Nelson’s abandoned but accessible old roads.  The first project,the town’s first documented road laid out in 1773 and only closed in 1959, is the original road from the Packersfield meeting house to Dublin some call the Klemperer Road.  It features gentle walking on an old road, four old cellar holes, and a number of vernal pools.  Forest types change as you pass stonewalls and are the result of early land use by the settlers there and the date of their final abandonment.

The group is in the process of documenting the natural and historical things of interest along some of our old roads and is seeking abutting landowner co-operation so that more Nelson walkers can enjoy the natural and historical features of Nelson’s abandoned roads. If you ware interested in participating, please call Rick Church at 603-847-3206.

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