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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

MMR Map/Directions/Trail Descriptions

- Visit the Forest Society's website for more info. and the updated map -

Moose Mountains Reservation in Middleton and BrookfieldNH covers roughly 2,500 acres and in conjunction with town land, Ellis Hatch and Copple Crown conservation areas it is one of the largest non-developed forests in Southern New Hampshire! It is a crucial tract of land, harboring important headwaters of the Salmon Falls River.

The forests and hills contain a host of native wildlife such as black bear, moose, porcupine, coyote and a heron rookery. As well as a plentiful array of wildflowers including some rare orchids, wild columbine, rock harlequin, sundew's and wild berries. Hiking, bird watching, fishing, hunting, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling and other low impact outdoor recreation can be enjoyed on the property. Hiking trails are a combined woods roads and foot paths taking you to several ponds and marshes, open summit peaks and ledges, early 1800's cemeteries and old farmland. There is plenty to explore here!

The main trails are signed and blazed and we continue to work on getting the less traveled trails cleared out and marked as well.

DIRECTIONS TO MAIN PARKING/KIOSK: directions obtained from Google Maps


* Please drive carefully along the narrow road and watch for other drivers and residents.
* Currently there may not be winter parking access and parking is not permitted along the road or at the parking lot entrance.

From NH Rt. 16 Spaulding Turnpike (Portsmouth/Rochester/Milton/White Mountains)
About 3.3 miles from Rt. 16 in Milton, NH

-From Rt. 16 Spaulding Turnpike in Milton turn onto NH 125/153 South (Main St.)
-Take the 2nd right onto NH 153 South (Middleton Hill Rd.)
-Take the 1st right onto Ridge Rd.
-Take the 2nd right onto New Portsmouth Rd. (sharp corner w/ cemetery on a hill)
-Follow this road to it's end at a small parking area and kiosk.

From NH Rt. 28 (Wolfeboro) 
About 11.2 miles from Rt. 28 in Wolfeboro, NH

-From NH Rt. 28 (South Main St.) in Wolfeboro turn onto Kings Highway (Middleton Rd.) at the sharp corner.
-Follow for almost 7 miles and turn left onto Ridge Rd. at the Town Offices
-After about 1.6 miles turn left onto New Portsmouth Rd. (sharp corner w/ cemetery on a hill)
-Follow this road to it's end at a small parking area and kiosk.

From NH Rt. 11 (Concord/Laconia/Alton/New Durham/Farmington) 
About 10.2 miles from Rt.11 in Farmington, NH

-From NH Rt. 11 in Farmington turn onto NH 75 East (Central St.)
-Turn left onto NH 153 North (Charles St./Kings Highway)
-Follow for nearly 6 miles and turn right onto Ridge Rd. at the Town Offices
-After about 1.6 miles turn left onto New Portsmouth Rd. (sharp corner w/ cemetery on a hill)
-Follow this road to it's end at a small parking area and kiosk.

TRAIL DESCRIPTIONS:

<GREEN – Easy and Moderate grades> <BLUE – Moderate some steep/loose footing> <RED – Difficult with steep/loose footing>

PHOEBES NABLE MT. LOOP ~ 2.2 MILES ~ 550' ELEVATION GAIN:
- via Phoebes Nable Mt. trail, Phoebes Nable Loop trail and Burrows Farm trail

BEAUTY LEDGE LOOP ~ 3 MILES ~ 600' ELEVATION GAIN:
- via Burrows Farm trail, North trail, Beauty Ledge trail, Beauty Knob tr, North tr, Burrows Farm tr

Phoebes Nable Mt. Trail ~ .6 MILES ~ 550' ELEVATION GAIN: Starting at the kiosk climb moderately using several logging roads and making several steep climbs. The trail begins at the bottom of the parking lot over rock stepping stones. Follow the path for 70 yards and bear left onto a woods road. Continue for another 100 yards climbing stone steps and at .1 miles take a sharp right onto another woods road. Climb a steep hill with restricted views behind you. The trail levels out and then climbs again. At .3 miles turn left and again climb steeply along a skid road. Ferns grow plentiful along this section and as the trail levels out the woods begin to open up around you. The trail hugs a patch of pine trees and makes a sharp right onto a foot path, curving left and then right again as you make the final push to the summit. A view will open up on the left and at .6 miles the spur trail leads 25 yards to the summit of Phoebes Nable Mt. 1,178'. There is a 180* view down to the valley below across several marshes and ponds and out to the Teneriffe range and into Maine. Panning right you look over to the Blue Hills range. From here you can make a loop via Loop trail and Burrows Farm trail.

Burrows Farm Trail ~ 1.1 MILES: From the parking lot Kiosk this trail is the heart of the trail system connecting you to all of MMR's scenic points. Begin at the green gate along a woods road that runs parralell to a brook just through the trees. At .2 miles on the left is the Hall Spring. At .3 miles you cross a bridge over the brook and bear left away from North trail to the right. Climb gradually and cross over the brook again. At .8 miles turn left at the Moose Mountains trail junction, crossing the brook once again and past another green gate. Make a short climb and at .9 miles you enter out to an open field. To the left down the hill is the Steven's Cemetery. Just ahead and to the right you can make a short climb to the Burrows Farm home site. A large rock with a plaque sits here. Continuing on the main trail pass the Burrows Cemetery on the left and near the top of the field bear left at the sign post. There are views across the field to the long ridge which once was sheep pasture hence the name Bald Mt. Cross the field and enter the woods where at 1.1 miles the Burrows Farm trail ends at the Phoebes Nable Loop trail.

Phoebes Nable Loop Trail ~ .5 MILES
1.6 MILES ~ 550' ELEVATION GAIN (from parking lot via Burrows Farm trail): This newly constructed (2015) trail begins at the end of Burrows Farm trail, just as you enter the woods from the field. The trail begins almost level until you come to the first switch-back. At the top of the switch-back you climb slightly and pass along a couple rock boulders. You then pass alongside a ledge and gently climb to the second switch-back which passes through a pine glade. The trail enters back into hard-wood than descends slightly again through pine forest before climbing to a stone staircase built by volunteers. From here you make the final climb slightly right past more ledges and take a sharp left onto the old woods road (lower portion no longer maintained). The summit of Phoebes Nable Mt. is reached in 150 feet.

Bowser Pond Trail: Beginning on New Portsmouth Rd. a few hundred feet below the kiosk this woods road climbs moderately before leveling off (blue blazes). Bear right shortly past this and follow the unmarked road (Private Property – stay on trail) to the shore of Bowser Pond with excellent views up to Beauty Ledge. Back on the main trail continue along level ground passing a short path on the right to the West shore of the pond and soon ending at Piper Mt. Trail.

North Trail: Beginning off of Burrows Farm trail past the river crossing this logging road serves as a connection to the trails on the East side of the Reservation. Grades are moderate and offer various restricted views along the way. The trail bears right at a large clearing and continues past a gate.

Moose Mountains Trail: Beginning from Burrows Farm trail make a very steep, rocky climb to an open, pretty rocky-ridge pitch pine forest with various restricted views. (Upper section crosses onto Private Property – stay on trail.)

Piper Mt. Trail: This woods road makes various steep drops and climbs down to Bowser Pond. It bears left at Bowser Pond trail and curls around a marsh area before climbing up to Piper Mt. Road. Crossing onto Middleton Town Forest take a right and at the top of the hill another right onto a foot path to Piper Mt. and it's ledges.

Beauty Ledge Trail ~ 1.2 MILES ~ 600' ELEVATION GAIN: The trail begins via Burrows Farm trail and .4 miles up North trail. Trail head is on the left at a collection of rock ledge. The trail climbs steeply up a banking of young pine and birch making some small switchbacks and passing various large rocks and a rock wall. The trail levels off and you pass Snapping Turtle Rock at ___. From here bear right passing several other large rocks as you follow the base of the massive ledge. The trail switchbacks through a pine glade then breaks away from the ledges and then coming back to them again. At a sharp left make a short steep climb up stone steps and switch back up a steep section. The trail levels again as you pass an attractive granite lichen hill with wild columbine and rock harlequin in season. The trail curves around this hill, over the top of it and back down again to the Beauty Knob trail junction at .4 miles. Here you can make a loop on your way back (keeping right at the bottom of Beauty Knob trail onto North trail). From the junction hike ahead towards the knob and climbing around it's North end. Pass just a few feet from Beauty Knob (1,238') on the left and continue, bearing left and out to the top of the ledges. Here there is a partial view North to Milton Mills. Now descend down rock with some loose footing and across to Beauty Ledge (.5 miles) where the trail ends at a 180* view looking below to Bowser Pond and several marshes and out to the Piper Mt. range, the Teneriffe Mt. range, Blue Hills Range, Prospect Mt. and Phoebes Nable Mt. at the far right and beyond out to the horizon to the Mt. Agamenticus in York, Maine. 

Beauty Knob Trail ~ .2 MILES: This trail begins from the large clearing at the upper section of North trail at 1 mile. It can be used as a loop with Beauty Ledge trail. Following blue blazes climb easily through young forest taking a left past broken rock where a porcupine lives. Walk over a sandy area where a tree fell over leaving exposed sand. Look down just past this on the right...there are snake skin orchids growing here! Begin climbing as you switchback moderately through a pine glade over a few large stones. Entering back into hardwoods make a short level walk to Beauty Ledge trail. Take a right to climb to the knob and ledges.

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