Pawtuckaway State Park Hike and Swim
Hiking/Walk DATE: 08/16/2014 - 08/16/2014
Trip/Event Location: Raymond , NH
Max # People: 15
Trip Guiding / Event Fee: No, I will not be asking participants for money
Difficulty Level: Easy
Spend an enjoyable day in an interesting place rather than driving several hours to do a hike!
Our adventure will be to take a 2.2 mile roundtrip hike from our vehicles to explore the Boulder Field...
Note: We are not meeting at the official park entrance where one has to pay a fee! We are using the back entrance!
The back entrance road to the park heads eastward from NH 107 between Deerfield and Raymond. Approaching from the north, you'll come to a junction of NH 107 and NH 43. Continue south on NH 107 for 4.2 miles. Watch closely for the street sign for Reservation Road [the map indicates Tandy Road it may now be called that]. If you're coming from the south, the street sign is 3.2 miles from the junction of NH 107 and NH 101 Business Loop.
I'm not exactly sure of the distance from this turn to the trailhead but let's say 5 miles. The road changes from asphalt to gravel after 0.9 mile. At the first intersection, bear right [this may be Reservation Road according to the map]. The road continues past an old cemetery on the right. Take the first left fork [called Round Pond Road on the map]. Drive slowly and watch out for rocks and ruts. If you have a truck or sport-utility vehicle, use it to reach the trailhead...you can still get there using a car, but be careful. You'll pass a marsh on your right and road may be partially covered with water if we had any recent heavy rain. At the next road junction, keep left, and you'll start descending. Follow this road to the very end ignoring other cars you may see parked along the way [this is a different trailhead]. We are driving a blue Toyota FJ Cruiser. We do not carry a cell phone so give yourself extra time if you've never been here before. If you are running late, we will not wait longer than 15 minutes for you.
Ten of us first met beneath the powerlines beneath Reservation Road outside Pawtuckaway State Park to carpool which turned out to be a good idea since the dirt road was too rough and best travelled using an SUV or truck. As we drove in, we met Gregg on his mountain bike who came in from the northern entrance. Temperature was around seventy degrees with partly cloudy skies...a near perfect day for this sort of adventure.
Our hike along the Boulder Loop Trail set our attitudes and spirits for the entire day. With the marsh and 70-foot granite outcropping with technical climbers at the start, we took our time confronting this amusing choice of views: humans dangling from ropes on one side or lilypads on the other. The slight scramble on this narrowly channeled trail gave us a bit of adventure.
More adventure came when we reached the Boulder Field...an assortment of massive glacial erratics scattered about the woodlands by the giant sheet of ice that carried them here. It gave us a chance to wander off the trail, generally snooping around and about these barn-sized chunks of granite. The trail led us near the edge of another marsh. This section of the Park made us think that we were in the White Mountain National Forest with an immense 150-foot core of granite boulders around us. After a short scramble we found ourselves at the intriguing Devil's Den, with two small caves at the base of the soaring tower of granite boulders. The bottom cave had this bio-luminescent moss that we call, the Devil's Sperm.
We returned the way we came and then headed toward our favorite swimming hole on Round Pond. We jumped in for a swim and hung out on the smooth rocky slab to take in the scenic view, have a couple beers, and partake in friendly banter/conversation.
Overall, this was a perfect adventure for a lazy afternoon to poke around outside but avoid strenuous exertion. The weather and good company made this an adventurelicious day. Thanks everyone for joining us!
~ Mike and Jon
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What Members Are Saying About This Trip/Event
- Great trip. Who knew what was in the back woods of Pawtuckaway??? Thanks to Mike and John for pulling this together. - NHGuy1028
NHGuy1028 Aug 17, 2014 at 7:19 AM
Comment: Great trip. Who knew what was in the back woods of Pawtuckaway??? Thanks to Mike and John for pulling this together.