Author Dan Szczesny to visit Sunapee July 28

Sunapee, N.H. — When hiker Dan Szczesny and his nine-year-old ward, Janelle, first set foot on the trail to Mt. Kearsarge in Novmber 2011, neither of them knew that this easy hike to one of the state’s most popular mountain tops would change both their lives. But what followed was a hiking odyssey that lasted over a year as the two hikers cross-crossed the state on their way to a 225-mile epic attempt to complete a little-known hiking list called The 52 With a View.

Dan Szczesny, author of The Adventures of Buffalo and Tough Cookie, along with Janelle, will present a slide show program and do book signings in Sunapee at Abbott Library, 542 Route 11, on Monday, July 28 at 7 p.m.

For more information, contact Abbott Library, phone 603-763-5513.

Winter hikes: Enjoy and explore the Lake Sunapee area

Mount Kearsarge winter view toward Pleasant Lake

From Mount Kearsarge: winter view toward Pleasant Lake

Winter is a great time to hit the trails, the local hiking trails. With some preparation, outdoor enjoyment, exploration and exercise awaits you throughout the Lake Sunapee area.

The Sunapee-Ragged-Kearsarge (SRK) Greenway Coalition has planned seven winter hikes that begin January 19. All hikes are free to the public.

For more information, go to www.srkg.com.

Hike organizers ask that you call the volunteer hike leader at least two nights before to learn starting location and time. Also, be prepared for winter conditions with clothing layers, food, and water. Snowshoes are the presumed mode of transport.

  • January 19 (Sat.) – Andy Hager (526-2846) Cross-country ski on logging road from Wilmot to Bunker Place in New London. 4 mi. For experienced x-c skiers. (M)
  • January 26 (Sat.) – Nick Baer (526- 8233) Bog Mountain fun family hike. Children’s activities along the way include animal tracking, games and hot cocoa at the summit. Starting at Stearn’s Road, the hike will finish at the Wilmot Library. 3.1 miles (M)
  • February 2 (Sat.) – Dave Anderson (763-5958) or danderson@forestsociety.org. Dave’s Winter Wildlife Tracking snow shoe hike will take place on the lower slopes of Sunset Hill in Newbury. Dave promises to teach tracking patterns and natural history for common local wild mammals. 2 miles. (E-M)
  • February 9 (Sat.) Brian Faughnan (526-7838) Snowshoe over winter trails in Wilmot’s Patterson Road area. Refreshments afterward at the Faughnans. 3 miles. (M)
  • February 16 (Sat.) Peg Bastien (456-2347) Snowshoe in Warner’s Chandler Reservation up to the old fire tower. Some trails are rather steep. (M)
  • February 24, 25 or 26 – David Cook (526-4570) Fifth Annual Moonlight Madness! Full moon snowshoe in New London to ridge-top skyline vista. Sponsored by SRKGC, Ausbon Sargent Land Preservation Trust and New London Conservation Commission. Date selected for best moonlight conditions. 2 miles; two hours. (M) Not for novice snowshoers.
  • March 2 (Sat.) – Gerry Gold (526-2857) From Andrew Brook Trail to Lake Solitude to Sunapee Ridge to Lucia’s Lookout. Beautiful and strenuous. 10 miles (D)

Greenway Trail Guides are available at local book stores. The SRK Greenway Coalition is a ten-town all-volunteer non-profit organization with members throughout the Sunapee-Ragged-Kearsarge region and beyond.

Share your favorite winter hikes and images via SunapeeNews.com.

Q2C: A meeting for NH trail enthusiasts May 2

Quabbin to Cardigan mapAttention, New Hampshire trail enthusiasts.

The Southwest Regional Planning Commission and Monadnock Conservancy will be hosting the last of three meetings of organizations and citizens interested in a possible long-distance hiking “Quabbin-to-Cardigan” trail in western New Hampshire —  from the Massachusetts/New Hampshire border to Mt. Cardigan and beyond to the White Mountains.

When: Wednesday, May 2, 2012, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m

Where: Community Room at Antioch New England, 40 Avon Street, Keene, N.H.

The meeting is a key part of a trail study being managed by the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests and the Appalachian Mountain Club, with help from the National Park Service’s Rivers, Trails & Conservation Assistance program.

“The goal of the study is to take a first look at the feasibility of and local interest in a long-distance trail in the region. The study is NOT for creating any new federal or state designation of trails in the area,” according to the release.

At the meeting, people will be able to:

  • view maps of the area
  • speak with others in southwest N.H. about potential trail routes and connections, and
  • get answers to any questions about the trail study.

The information provided at the three meetings will help decide the next steps in the trail study.

Everyone is welcome to attend.

RSVP by contacting Lelia Mellan at NPS, Lelia_Mellen@nps.gov or 802-457-3368 x14, or Mike Gilldesgame, mgildesgame@outdoors.org, by Friday, April 27.

Related article:  How about a Quabbin-to-Cardigan hiking trail? (Sunapee News)

How about a Quabbin-to-Cardigan hiking trail?

Quabbin to Cardigan mapAttention hikers, snowmobilers and other outdoor enthusiasts!

A meeting to discuss a possible long-distance Quabbin-to-Cardigan hiking trail in western New Hampshire will be held at Colby-Sawyer College, Ivey Science Center, in New London, April 12 from 6 to 8 p.m. All are welcome.

Hiking groups and land conservation organizations are evaluating whether it is possible to create a long, inter-connected trail from the Massachusetts / Hampshire border to Mt. Cardigan and beyond to the White Mountains.

The idea came out of the Quabbin-to-Cardigan (Q2c) Partnership, an  initiative to protect the region’s unfragmented forest blocks for ecological and recreational purposes, said Lelia Mellen with the National Park Service.

This meeting is one of three and is a key part of a trail study managed by the Forest Society and the Appalachian Mountain Club with help from the NPS’s Rivers, Trails & Conservation Assistance program. Two weeks ago, the first outreach session was held in Canaan; in early May, the third session will be held in Keene.

The region’s existing trail networks, such as the Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway and Sunapee-Ragged-Kearsarge Greenway, could perhaps connect with other hiking trails to the north and with trails where they do not know exist. Meeting participants will be able to look at maps and share their ideas and questions.

For more information, contact Lelia Mellen, NPS, by email or phone 802-457-3368, ext. 14.

Enjoy Naturally Curious with Mary Holland, March 25 in New London

Mary Holland, author of the book “Naturally Curious” and nature columnist for the Valley News, has had a life long passion for natural history, which she enthusiastically shares through her writing, photographs, blog, and presentations.

Holland will be the guest speaker at the Annual Meeting of the Sunapee Ragged Kearsarge Greenway Coalition on Sunday, March 25, 2012.

The meeting will be held at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic church, 724 Main Street, New London. It is open to all SRKGC members and the public.

Holland’s talk will start about 7 p.m., and she will be available after her presentation to sell and sign her book.

See: http://naturallycuriouswithmaryholland.wordpress.com/

SRKGC will hold a pot-luck dinner starting at 5:30 p.m. If you plan to attend the dinner, contact Jean LaChance, for SRKGC, at 603-927-4345.

The Sunapee Ragged Kearsarge Greenway Coalition is a local, all-volunteer hiking and conservation group charged with the development and maintenance of a 75-mile hiking trail loop that travels over Mount Kearsarge, Mount Sunapee and Ragged Mountain.

We hope you can attend and join or renew your membership. We’re all volunteers at SRKGC and your membership is important as we work with land conservation groups, other regional trail-maintaining groups and the State of New Hampshire to conserve and maintain our wonderful trail system. – from the SRKGC meeting announcement

SRKGC membership is $10 for individual and $15 for family. Download/view the 2012 SRKGC Membership Form (78kb PDF).

Winter hikes in the Kearsarge Sunapee area

From Mount Kearsarge, a winter view toward Pleasant Lake

The local hiking group, the Sunapee-Ragged-Kearsarge (SRK) Greenway Coalition, is holding winter hikes that are open to the public free of charge. For the 2012 hike schedule go to: www.srkg.com.

Three hikes of moderate difficulty are scheduled for February.  On Saturday, February 4, the group will snowshow in the Wilmot Patterson Road area. Hikers will explore Tucker Mountain in East Andover on February 11. And on February 18, the outing will follow a trail from Route 4A to Wilmot Center over Bog Mountain.

“Hike leaders will offer full details for each event, including starting place and time and equipment needs,” according the SRK website. “Please contact the hike leader in advance to get the details” and to determine if the hike is suitable for your conditioning and capabilities.

Hiking and camping on Mount Sunapee will honor Welsh legacy

On Saturday, August 27 at Mount Sunapee State Park, the Friends of Mount Sunapee and Herbert Welsh Centennial Celebration Committee are sponsoring a day of outdoor activities to honor Herbert Welsh and 100 years of conservation efforts to protect land that is now part of Mount Sunapee State Park—one of New Hampshire’s iconic mountain parks.

Dave Anderson, director of education for the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, and Christopher Kane, a conservation biologist who has studied Mount Sunapee’s old growth, will lead a hike to Mount Sunapee’s Lake Solitude, where the group will stop for lunch.

Hikers will be able to learn about the mountain’s natural and cultural history and its old growth forest. Mount Sunapee State Park has the largest known fragment of old growth south of the White Mountains.

Participants will bring a picnic lunch, start from the state park campground at 9 am and return about 2 pm.

To register for the Welsh Centennial Hike to Lake Solitude, visit: welshcentennial827.eventbrite.com

After the hike, participants can further explore the mountain or relax at the state beach on Lake Sunapee. (There is free entrance to the beach area for campers, otherwise there is a nominal state park fee.)

Evening camping activities will start at 5 p.m. and will include music, singing around the campfire and a celebratory cake. Participants will bring own food for the grills–dinner and beverages. Event organizers have reserved several campsites that are available on a first-come basis.

For more information, contact Friends of Mount Sunapee. Email: info@friendsofmountsunapee.org or phone 603-863-0045.

For Centennial activities & updates, visit: friendsofmountsunapee.org.

Photo description: Located along the Sunapee Ridge between the summit and South Peak, at 2,510 feet, is Mount Sunapee’s Lake Solitude.

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