Reblogged: Another N.H. Border-to-Border Walk

Wendy Thomas and son Griffin have made their second New Hampshire border-to-border walk, this time on a west-to-east route. (I wrote briefly last year about their first trip.) In this post from her own blog, Wendy offers advice for people contemplating their own adventures.

Griffin and I are back from our 2017 Border-to-border New Hampshire walk. As always we returned with lots of lessons learned. I’ll be writing up our adventures (just like I did from last year’s), but for now here are some tips for anyone who might be planning day-long walks. Water – make sure you […]

via Lesson 1549: 2017 NH Border-to-border walk — Lessons Learned from the Flock

Follow-up: two remarkable walkers finish their trip through the Granite State

A few weeks back, I told you about a pair of Granite State walkers who put me to shame with their border-to-border walk through New Hampshire. Wendy, half of the awesome pair, has written up the whole trip in a series of posts on her blog Lessons Learned from the Flock. Quickly now: click away from my site (and I don’t say that often!) and check out Wendy’s account of their journey.

I had the privilege of joining them in Nashua for their last couple of miles, and I got to see them greeting family members awaiting them at the Massachusetts border.

Now that I’ve read the day-by-day account of what it took for Wendy and her son Griffin to get to that state line marker, I’m more pleased for them than ever. They’ve given me some ideas, too.

As I read Wendy’s posts, I saw some things through her eyes that I had never noticed before, even on parts of her route that are familiar to me. I love living in a state that after more than thirty years can still surprise me with the beauty of its land and its people.

Wendy has reminded me to keep walking, keep watching, keep learning – and keep writing.

Nashua Riverwalk: French-Canadian heritage

In my opinion, Nashua’s best river walk is the unpaved trail along the Nashua River in Mine Falls Park. I give credit to the city anyway for efforts to create an official “Riverwalk” linking Mine Falls and the area behind the old mills east of Main Street. One feature along the way is the city’s tribute to the early-20th-century French-Canadian mill workers.

Parc de Notre Renaissance Francais is tucked into a parking lot just off Main Street, between Water Street and the river. Along with the millworker statue are several plaques offering some information about the influence French-Canadian immigrants have had on Nashua’s industrial and cultural history.

If you’ve never seen this nearly-hidden bit of art and history, take a few minutes to visit it when you’re in town for the Nashua Holiday Stroll on the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend.

All photos in this post by Ellen Kolb.





Stratham Hill Park

The town of Stratham, New Hampshire keeps a decommissioned fire tower in use as an observation platform for anyone who takes the five-minute walk from the Stratham Park parking lot. It’s convenient for a quick stop anytime I’m heading over to Portsmouth or Rye via NH Route 33.


Stratham Hill Tower (all photos in this post by Ellen Kolb)


This marker adorns a rock along the trail that leads to the tower. Phillips Exeter Academy is about six miles from the park.


At the base of the tower is a large circular marker naming the hills and mountains visible in the distance.


Looking toward Portsmouth.


A panoramic view, with Great Bay visible at left.

A decade of good times

While the rest of the nation is occupied with the presidential election, I’m celebrating a modest milestone: I started this blog ten years ago this month.


Second Street bridge, near east end of Piscataquog Rail Trail, Manchester NH. All photos by Ellen Kolb.



It’s still a fun project for me. It reaches only a handful of people, including a few very faithful readers to whom I send my grateful greetings. Granite State Walker is mainly my online journal and album, a repository for my memories and a resource for trips yet to come.

Most of the posts in this anniversary month will be looks back at some of my favorite destinations. Many of those destinations are close to New Hampshire’s largest cities, easily accessible, and good for kids as well as adults. Maybe one of them will become a favorite of yours.


Woodmont Orchard near Silver Lake State Park, Hollis NH.

I love my southern New Hampshire trails more than ever. I appreciate trail maintainers more than I used to. I understand more than I did a decade ago about the long administrative slog that goes into authorizing a new recreational trail even before the first weed is whacked.

I’m grateful to many people I’ll never meet, whose work has left us with parks and trails to which I return again and again. The blogging shall continue as long as I have “wows” to express. No end in sight, at this point.