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.

SRKG winter hikes start January 15

Winter view: Mount Kearsarge toward Pleasant Lake

The Sunapee-Ragged-Kearsarge Greenway Coalition is again leading a series of winter hikes in the Lake Sunapee region. The hikes are open to the public free of charge, and offer a variety of terrain and conditions. The hike schedule (listed below) includes snowshoe and cross-country ski events and a moonlight snowshoe outing over a forgiving three-mile course.

A snowshoe tour through Webb Woods in Sunapee on January 15 will kick off the 2011 hike schedule.

Hikes range from easy to difficult.

Hike leaders will offer full details for each event, including starting place and time and equipment needs. There is no cost to participants, except for personal food, equipment, and transportation to the hike site. Continue reading

Forest Society Hosts Black Mountain Events

The mountain’s streams and cascades drain to the Blackwater and Warner Rivers. Photo by Jerry and Marcy Monkman, EcoPhotography.

This autumn, the legacy of conserved forest land surrounding the open summit of Mount Kearsarge could see a new chapter as the Forest Society works to purchase 1,025 acres on Black Mountain in Sutton and Warner adjacent to Mount Kearsarge.

Learn more about the conservation project at these upcoming events:

• A hike of Black Mountain on Saturday, Oct. 23 from 10 am to 4 pm. Preregistration is required. Call 603-224-9945 or email signup@forestsociety.org.

• Informational sessions—Wednesday, Oct. 27 at 7 pm at Tracy Memorial Library, New London, and on Thursday, Oct. 28 at 7 pm at the Sutton Town Hall. Continue reading

AMC “Equipped” Blogs on Monadnock Sunapee Greenway

Hubbard Hill, Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway Trail...
Image via Wikipedia

Equipped, one of the Appalachian Mountain Club blogs, reported yesterday on the Monadnock Sunapee Greenway Trail Club and its new map and shelter. The Greenway stretches from Mount Monadnock north to Mount Sunapee and “makes for excellent early season hiking and offers backpackers the opportunity–and shelters–for a 5-day, 4-night excursion through the sylvan wilds of southern New England.” Read more via Appalachian Mountain Club’s Equipped: Monadnock Sunapee Greenway: New Map and Shelter.

For hiking related groups and sites, visit:

Mink Hills to Mount Sunapee, Hike Hidden and Favorite Trails

Snowshoe

Feel like getting out for a hike? The Sunapee-Ragged-Kearsarge Greenway Coalition  and Forest Society in conjuction with the Warner Conservation Commission have hikes coming up. They are open to members and non-members alike.

The SRK Coalition continues a winter schedule of weekly treks.  “Be prepared with clothing layers, food, water and snowshoes,” said the SRK release. “And please call the hike leader at least the night before to learn starting location and time.”

For details for the SRK hikes and Forest Society wildlife tracking hike in the Mink Hills, Warner…. Continue reading

Winter Hiking and Geocaching to Dutchman Pond

The Sunapee-Ragged-Kearsarge (SRK) Greenway Coalition is offering three winter hikes in January.  “Be prepared with clothing layers, food, water and snowshoes,” said a Greenway spokesperson. Participants are asked to  contact the hike leader at least the night before to learn the starting location and time.

  • January 16 (Sat) – Geocaching from Webster Pass to Dutchman Pond in Springfield. Bring a GPS unit, if you have one, or learn as you go, searching for 14 caches with Cynthia Bruss (gregcyn@myfairpoint.net) – 763-4570. 5 miles (Moderate)
  • January 23 (Sat) – An interpretive snowshoe hike to Star Lake in Springfield. Followed with hot chocolate with the leaders, Susan and Michael Chiarella: 763-5879. 3 miles. (Easy)
  • January 30 (Sat) – Cross-country ski to Morgan Pond from Twin Lake Villa in Springfield. Call Andy Hager 526-2846. 5 mi. (Moderate for experienced skiers)

Below is the remainder of the Winter 2010 hike schedule: Continue reading

SRK Greenway Hikes Continue

srk hike 07

Photo courtesy of SRK Greenway Coalition. A group photo from a Fall hike in a prior year.

The Sunapee-Ragged-Kearsarge Greenway Coalition reminds us that its Fall hike schedule continues this month. (See below.) And the group in collaboration with the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests will host a special hike to Silver Mountain in Lempster on October 18.

Participants are asked to call the hike leader two nights before to get the starting location and time, and are advised to bring water, sun screen, a hat, and a snack.

  • Oct. 10 (Sat.) Great Brook Bridge, New London, to NH 4A, Wilmot. 3.2 miles, Easy, 2 hours. Brian Faughnan, 603-526-7838.
  • Oct. 11 (Sun.) Springfield, NH Route 114, to Great Brook Bridge, New London. 8.4 miles, Difficult, 6 hours. Susan and Michael Chiarella, 603-763-5879.
  • Oct. 17 (Sat.) NH Route 4A in Wilmot to Wilmot Center. 4.4 miles, Moderate, 3 hours. Ken Aldrich, 603-526-2942.
  • Oct. 18 (Sun.) Silver Mountain and the Ashuelot River headwaters in Lempster: a joint hike with the Forest Society and the Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway Trail Club. 4 mi. Moderate. For info and carpool options, call Gerry Gold, 603-526-2857.

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

SRK Greenway Leads 16th Annual Walkabout

It’s time to take a hike or two, or perhaps three, five or seven. The Sunapee-Ragged-Kearsarge Greenway Coalition will lead seven hikes this fall that are open to the public free of charge. The trails chosen are part of the Greenway’s 75-mile Emerald Necklace. Hikers will be able to go over Mount Sunapee, into Sunapee Harbor, to Morgan Hill, into Springfield and to Wilmot– travel high and low and along mountain trails, woodland paths and several Class 6 roads. To read more about it, here’s info from the recent SRKGC newsletter reprinted, in part, with permission.

The 16th SRK Greenway Coalition Walkabout will begin Saturday, September 5 and continue for seven Saturdays finishing up on October 17. Trails 1 through 7 are on this year’s schedule with 8 through 14 scheduled for next year. Details of each hike are listed below with the lengths and a general assessment of difficulty for each trail.

This year the Saturday hikes will usually start at 9:00 a.m. The leader will set the time and meeting place. If there is a rain-out, the trip leader will determine the starting time for the Sunday hike. All who plan to hike must call the leader by the evening before to get these instructions. Trip leaders recommend bringing hiking (or ski) poles.

Often some of our hikers don’t realize, prior to the event, that rough terrain and occasional steep sloops make it difficult for some to negotiate the trail. Using hiking poles are not just for sissies – they actually have many benefits. For a “pro/con” discussion on using poles, check this out at: http://www.slackpacker.com/trekking-poles.html

SRK Greenway 2009 Walkabout Schedule

  • Sat. 9/5 – Newbury Harbor to Old Province Road, Goshen, 5.4 miles (Moderate), Andy Hager 603-526-2846
  • Sat. 9/12 – Old Province Road, Goshen to Sunapee Town Hall,  7.3 miles (Moderate), Charlie Killam 603-526-4467
  • Sat. 9/19 – Sunapee Town Hall to Deer Hill Road, Springfield, 7.3 miles (Moderate), Ron Wyman 603-456-2347
  • Sat. 9/26 – Deer Hill Road to Springfield – New London Road,  4.1 miles (Easy), Cynthia Bruss 603-763-4570
  • Sat. 10/3 – Springfield – New London Road to Great Brook Bridge,  8.4 miles (Difficult), Mike and Susan Chiarella 603-763-4661
  • Sat. 10/10 – Great Brook Bridge to NH 4A, Wilmot,  3.2 miles (Easy ), Brian Faughnan 603-526-7838
  • Sat.10/17 – NH 4A, Wilmot to Wilmot Center, 4.4 miles (Moderate), Ken Aldrich 603-526-2942

The Greenway’s mission is to create and maintain a forever green, great circle of trail corridors and conserved lands providing walkers with minimally-developed access to the mountains, lakes, vistas and historical sites of the region. The “necklace” comprises over 75 trail miles, created  with the cooperation of landowners and local authorities, through the forests, over mountains and, where appropriate, via old roads, now unsuitable for wheeled traffic but more extensively used as much as two centuries ago. Maintaining the Greenway, improving its pathways and creating new ones, some to form links with other famous hiking areas such as Monadnock and Cardigan mountains, are undertaken by SRKG members. Your membership, and offer to help, will always be welcome.

SRK Greenway Posts to a TROG

The Sunapee Ragged Kearsarge Greenway Coalition now has a TROG, a trail log that includes a schedule of summer hikes. If you’re up and ready to go, today, August 1,  join Andy Hager on a hike at the Gile Forest to Morgan Pond. Note, it is of medium difficulty. Then on Saturday, August 8, the  Chiarellas will lead an easier outing, along Springfield NH Class 6 back roads. Another SRK event follows on August 15, a hike on the Ann and Marc Davis property in Springfield that will include a beaver meadow, views, and cookies. On Sunday, August 16, to celebrate Sutton Old Home Day, the SRK will do a morning walk on the  Old Province Road in Newbury and Sutton; the leader is Art Robbins. Then, on Sunday, August 23, Brian Faughnan will coordinate “brushing and blazing” on Trail 8 in Wilmot. For more information and the local contact info, visit the SRK Greenway Coalition TROG!

Have local hiking stories and pics to share? Send them to SunapeeNews@gmail.com

Outdoor Volunteer Opportunities in Dartmouth-Sunapee Area

June 6: On National Trails Day volunteers will be doing trail work in Mount Sunapee and Pillsbury State Parks. Led by the Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway Trail Club, several teams will form and remove fallen trees, clear water drainage channels, repair treadways and refresh paint blazes along the hiking trails. Read more…

June 10: The Ausbon Sargent Land Preservation Trust (ASLPT) will  hold its annual Monitoring Workshop from 2 to 6 p.m. in New London. The rain date is June 17.  “If you enjoy hiking in the woods and reading maps, you might like to join us and learn how to be a monitor for one of our easement properties,” says ASLPT. Read more…

The Cardigan Highlanders Trial Work team is also looking for experienced hikers and trail workers and those interested in learning how to do “high quality” trail bridge building. They have a lengthy project list this year including rebuilding an Appalachian Mountain Club bridge on Mount Cardigan. Tentative work dates for that project are May 30, June 13 or June 20, depending on available people and weather, according the work team chief Craig Sanborn. For more information, email Sanborn at crgsnbrn@yahoo.com.

The Cardigan Highlanders will also join area hiking groups and other trail work teams on Mount Sunapee June 6.

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