MOOSE MOUNTAINS RESERVATION: 11/20/13
On this cold sunny day I headed down to southeastern New Hampshire to check out some recently completed trails in the Society for the Protection of NH Forest's 2300-acre Moose Mountains Reservation in Middleton, NH. Land stewards Jason Morris and Scott Lavoice have done a tremendous amount of work developing a trail system here over the last couple of years. Highlights include two ledge viewpoints, an historic farm site with open fields, and an unusual ridgetop pitch pine forest. You can find information on the SPNHF website here, and there are many photos and trip reports on Jason's Moose Mountains blog.
On the drive down I stopped at Chocorua Lake for the classic watery views of Mt. Chocorua...
... and Mts. Whiteface and Passaconaway,
The trailhead parking area is at the end of New Portsmouth Rd. in Middleton.
I followed old logging roads known as the Burrows Farm Trail and then the North Trail to the start of the new Beauty Ledge Trail.
The trail climbed up past this old stone wall, one of many found around the property.
I passed by Snapping Turtle Rock, though my photo was snapped from the wrong angle.
A fun, winding climb led up to a pleasant 1230-ft. spur of the Moose Mountains named Beauty Knob.
Beauty Ledge is a scenic spot with a wide view to the south. Nice quiet place to hang out for a while.
Bowser Pond, part of which is within the SPNHF reservation, can be seen below. Teneriffe Mtn. is behind on the R.
Off to the L is little Piper Mountain, located in a town forest and accessible by snowmobile trails and woods roads off the North Trail.
The Blue Job Mountain range can be seen to the SSW.
I made a short loop using the Beauty Knob Trail and North Trail, returned to the Burrows Farm Trail, and followed it to a junction with an old woods road known as the Moose Mountains Trail.
This route - unblazed but easy to follow - made a 700-ft. climb to the crest of the Moose Mountains range, where at about 1600 ft. it led into a ledgy forest of pitch pine. This is a very rare and unusual natural community in New Hampshire. This area is currently located on private land, but SPNHF is hoping to acquire it and add it to the Moose Mountains Reservation.
One of the several summits of the Moose Mountains.
This beautiful area is similar to some of the trails at Acadia National Park. The pitch pines also reminded me of sandy Cape Cod.
I descended off the ridge and continued on the Burrows Farm Trail to the site of the historic Burrows Farm, amidst an extensive area of open fields.
There are several old foundations in the woods.
An historical relic, almost looks like something out of "The Untouchables."
Nice setting for a farmstead.
The 19th century Burrows Cemetery.
Phoebes Nable Mountain (1185 ft.) rises above the farm site.
Looking across to the Moose Mountains ridge.
Classic New England stone wall.
Oak forest approaching the summit of Phoebes Nable Mountain.
Nice cleared south-facing view on Phoebes Nable Mountain.
A big beaver pond to the SE. From here the Phoebes Nable Trail dropped fairly steeply to the parking lot. A hike that visits Beauty Ledge, the Burrows Farm, and Phoebes Nable Mountain is 3.6 mi. with 1100 ft. of elevation gain. Add 1.6 mi. round trip and 700 ft. of elevation to visit the Moose Mountains pitch pine forest.