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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Moose Mountain Reservation 5/24/11

"Wildflowers, Mud, Ruts and Ticks" (pictures)
(Moose Mountains Facebook Group)

Common Blue Violet
Difficulty: Easy

Directions: From downtown Farmington, NH take Rt. 153 North into Middleton about 5 miles. Continue onto King's Highway for .9 miles. Turn right at the police station onto Ridge Road. At 1.6 miles turn left onto New Portsmouth Road. Bear left onto New Portsmouth Road Exd. The trail head and kiosk will be seen ahead. You can park at the kiosk or continue 400 feet on an unmaintained road to an upper parking area just past the river.

Pink Moccasin Flower
Report: Recently completing our Land Steward training with the SPNHF I thought we would check on the Moose Mountains Reservation property when Scott got home from work Tuesday. A quick 15 minute drive and we pulled into the parking lot. Someone had put the gate back in place but is still in need of a lock. Wildflowers were out in full force as we walked the road. Black flies were a little bothersome but not all that bad. As we walked the road signs of ATV use was evident worse than when we were here exactly a month ago. Muddy ruts were numerous. As we reached the Cemetery section that passes through private property we noticed the cable had been re-attached and locked across the bridge. Again ATV users had dug up the road along the cemetery and up the field entering the Burrows Farm area.
Burrows Farm Site
Once up at the Burrows Farm fields of wild strawberry and grasses were torn up by mud tire tread. It was rather upsetting to see so much disregard to this scenic, historic area. We walked up to what we determined to be the home site and found a boulder with a plaque on it. The apple trees were in bloom and it was such a nice spot. Someone had done target practice on the farm site itself filling some old tin pales up with bullet holes. The over shots had nicked the pine tree that marks one of the corners to the Burrows 1800's cemetery. This got me on a vendetta to do everything in my power to stop the illegal use of this property. To add to all this dismay ticks were racing up our clothing and backs quicker than anything I've ever seen!

Damaged/Flooded Road
Past the field we made our way through muddy ruts and up the RV trail. I rolled a large rock into the large pool of water here for easier crossing and to discourage ATV use across it. We continued to the junction below Phoebes Nable Mt. From here we headed back down the main trail where we erected an old gate across the road that had been thrown in the woods. More ticks and black flies we headed back out and to the truck. We have a lot of work on our hands here. Once we can stop the ATV use on this reservation, trails need to be repaired, foot bridges built, blazing needed and culverts cleaned out! All told Scott had 12 ticks on him in just an hour of hiking and I had 6 on me. YUCK!

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