I had an interesting assortment of New Hampshire walks and hikes in May, due in part to work assignments in some towns I don’t visit often. Bugs are out, but flowers are blooming. Weather has been variable, with 80 degrees one day and 50-and-drizzly the next. Mud season was as messy as ever. It’s all good.
Northern Rail Trail, Enfield
I enjoyed a little piece of this long trail that stretches from Lebanon to Boscawen. Enfield’s section offered views of Mascoma River and Lake, with convenient trailside parking off Main Street.
Forest Society Properties, Bethlehem and Haverhill
The Forest Reservation Challenge patch continues to elude me, even after more than two years of trying to visit all the Forest Society’s featured reservations. I haven’t given up, though. On an overcast day in May I found my way to the Dana Forest in Dalton and Bretzfelder Park in Bethlehem.
I saw on my drive north that the Presidentials and even the peaks lining Franconia Notch were veiled in clouds. It was a day for woods walks, not vistas.
Closer to Home
The woods roads in Fox State Forest in Hillsborough were deserted when I visited in May, and mud season was in full swing. I arrived armed with bug repellent and proper footwear.
Along the Nashua River Rail Trail, columbines are in bloom. I’ve noticed that more clumps of these scarlet flowers are establishing themselves here every year. Good to see.
In Nashua’s Mine Falls Park, a new bridge is in place over the canal, although the bridge is not yet officially “open.” Once it is, the link to Ledge Street will give more families easy access to the park.
For all the natural beauty along the Goffstown Rail Trail, there’s some historical interest as well. Whenever I walk past the old county cemetery, I stop to say a prayer and pay my respects. From a now-dead website called nh-roots.org: “In this cemetery every grave is marked with a marble slab numbered which refers to a number in the record book giving a description of the deceased.” I don’t know if that record book has been preserved. The cemetery grounds are kept mown and trimmed, which may be the only remaining earthly tribute to the memory of the people buried there.