Member Trip report
Exploring a Local Town Forest
Trip Report/Photos from WalkaboutBrian
It’s not all just about hitting those popular summits and well-known trails everyone reads about in the guidebooks and plethora of hiking publications. Look closer, you may have an adventure nearby. Maybe even starting from your back yard! Last year I moved one town over, purchasing a new home in Gilmanton, NH. Since then, I have found six town forests, a major conservation tract, and even a state forest all within minutes from my home!
Today, I explored one of the town forests by snowshoe starting right from my doorstep. It was a 3.5-mile journey utilizing a half mile of an existing snowmobile trail and bushwhacking the other three miles with GPS in hand. I found it easy to navigate through a mature oak and hemlock forest and across a frozen marsh. The only challenge was a leap of faith jumping across the brook in the center of the marsh. The worst case being that I would have to cut the adventure short due to wet boots. A base map I created using a GIS program helped to point my way making it quite easy to explore with certainty and confidence.
There are no established trails in this town forest except for the snowmobile trail which I coincidently maintain for the local snowmobile club. My map shows that trail in solid red. The gold dots were my bushwhacking adventures from today. Thinking about it, establishing a simple hiking path in this beautiful forest may be a benefit to the community. A possibility to discuss with the local conservation commission.
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