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Sunday, April 14, 2013

MMR 4/13/13

"MMR Tour for Forest Notes Article" (pictures)

We were very excited to be contacted by The Forest Society's Communications Manager about including Moose Mountains in the "Forest Notes" June issue. This is the Forest Society's magazine and this addition will be a recreation-oriented issue showcasing some of the Forest Society's properties with great hiking opportunities and the Stewards that manage the trails. We are so happy that Moose Mountains Reservation is being recognized as a great nature and hiking destination after our two years of trying to turn the Reservation around from a vandalism ridden, off-road truckin', non-marked trail ridden, little cared-for property into a family friendly, well kept, well marked and beautiful place this area is! The Land Steward Coordinator and Forester at SPNHF had faith in us to provide the love and attention it needed. And we really fell in love with this place and all it has to offer the community.

After post-poning our Friday date because of rain and snow, we met Brenda at the parking lot at 10am Saturday. She had brought her two boys along for the hike. After introductions we made the hike up to Beauty Ledge, answering questions along the way and talking about the tasks that were accomplished and ones that were still needed. The day was back-and-forth with weather. The sleet event we had Friday left a couple inches of frozen snow on the ground which was a little slippery but we managed fine.

At the ledge we took a nice long break. The three loved the view and loved the trail. It is so rewarding to see how much people enjoy this spot and makes the hard work of building the trail so much more worth it! After our stay we made a loop down Beauty Knob trail and then headed up to the Burrows Field. We pointed out the farm sites and called it a day. It was great to be out and always great to show this place to others and tell them about how wonderful a place t is. Keep an eye out for the "Forest Notes" and read all about Moose Mountains and the other properties the Forest Society makes accessible to hiking. Not a Forest Society member? It's easy and you can help with conserving our precious forests for recreation and sustainable forestry for future generations to enjoy and benefit from! Join NOW!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

MMR Plowing Fund

Moose Mtns Parking Lot Plowing Fund
Hi everyone! We’ve had several inquiries about having the parking lot plowed at Moose Mtns for winter access. While the Forest Society normally does not plow its parking areas for winter use, they’ve set up a fund to build up enough reserve to have this done occasionally. If you are a winter user of the property and would like to see it get plowed, please consider making a donation to this fund.
How can you donate?
You can send a check to The Forest Society with a note “Moose Mtns Reservation Plowing Fund.” Send this to
The Forest Society
54 Portsmouth St.
Concord, NH 03301
You can make an online donation. Please go to their Donations Page:
Please be sure to indicate in the “Other Information and Instructions” box that this is for the “Moose Mtns Plowing Fund.”
Thanks so much for your support and enjoy your visit to Southern NH's largest, undeveloped forest!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Phoebes Nable Woods Roads 3/23/13

"Exploring the North East Side of Phoebes" (pictures)

Scott and I did some "off trail" snow shoeing today. There is so much for us to still explore at MMR and the myriad of logging and skid roads allows ample opportunity to do that. And it's so easy to trek through the woods on snow shoes! We hiked up Burrows Farm trail and at the bridge went left onto an old logging road along the brook. It soon turned left climbing at a moderate grade. The climb continued up past a rock wall, old oak trees and connected to the logging roads we had been on in the summer that connect to our Phoebes Nable Mt. trail.

We took a left and sure enough connected to the upper junction. This would make a great trail instead of our original plan of the Phoebes Link, which would come straight up very steeply from the bridge. This route is more gradual and makes an awesome loop option. We will have to mark it out and get approval, perhaps a project for the Autumn season. We then took the "Phoebes Link trail" down to the view across to Beauty and Boulder ledges. Here we found some wolf tracks in the snow. I have been seeing a lot of wolf activity here at the property! We continued left down a woods road then another left back up to the upper road.

Here we retraced our steps down to an intersection. We went down another logging road towards the field before losing the road. We then cut through the woods to the brook and followed it back towards the bridge. The view from this side, of the rock wall built along the river and the mill site is pretty neat. We also passed by a large stone erratic before coming back to the bridge and heading back to the parking lot. Always fun exploring MMR!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Beauty Ledge Group Hike 2/16/13

"The Perfect Snow Shoe Hike" (pictures) (more pictures)

The day started with mild temperatures and a fresh couple inches of snow on the ground and on the trees. The sky soon broke into blue patches and the sun began to shine warmly through. It was going to be a fabulous day in the woods! We arrived at the freshly plowed MMR parking lot to find our group already there getting their gear on. We were joined by our two friends Marty and Jill whom we have formed a friendship with at Moose Mountains. Also joining us were two fellow Forest Society Land Stewards John and his wife Lise who take care of the Parker trail on Mt. Monadnock. They had brought along their friend Carol. It was a neat scenario, Scott and I 2011 Land Steward Grads, John and Lise 2012, Jill soon-to-be 2013 and Marty hopefully can get in for 2014.

This was the first hike we would be leading on our own. We began shortly after 10am, heading up the Burrows Farm trail. We made a stop at the Hall Spring where I was able to expose a Woolly Snake Skin Plantain from the snow to show a leaf to the group. We carried on now onto the snow mobile trail and we headed up North trail. After passing the Piper Mt. trail junction and moving over for a few snow mobiles we arrived at the Beauty Ledge trail-head. After a break we began the unbroken trail of deep snow, Scott at the lead. It was slow going!

After making the steep climb up to Snapping Turtle Rock we took a break. Then it was onward around the ledge, jutting out from the hillside above us. The woods along here are so beautiful and quite. We were all pointing out bark scrapings made by porcupines, birds nests in the trees and animal prints in the snow. One more steep climb we passed the Beauty Knob trail junction and made our way across Beauty Knob. Here a curious Chickadee greeted us and seemed awfully friendly.

We now made the descent down to the ledge. The reaction from the three that hadn't yet been here was the same as when Scott and I first found this ledge. It didn't disappoint! Even Jill said it's different everytime and is always a wonderful sight. We carefully climbed down to the ledge, posed for a group photo and it was time for lunch! We hung out there for a good half hour. Talking, snapping pictures, taking in the view and this perfect day. It doesn't get any better than this! As we packed up the clouds were now closing in and the wind began to pick up a little ahead of Sundays not-so-pleasant weather.

We carefully made the descent back the way we came and down at the Burrows Farm trail junction decided to call it a day. We arrived back at the parking lot at 2:30pm. It was a great day and a great group of people. All enjoying the hike and the beauty of Moose Mountains. We all seemed to jive well together; nice easy and enjoyable pace; great conversation and a love of the forest. We had a few wipe-outs, the most notable was Carol. As she was coming back out of Beauty Ledge trail she exclaimed "this trail was beautiful", and not a second later cur-plunk! Down she went face-first. Luckily no harm done and we got a good laugh of it! Hopefully she comes back :) Thank you all for a memorable and wonderful Snow Shoe Hike!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Phoebes Nable Mt. Loop 2/10/13

"Breakin' Trail After Nemo" (pictures)

After spending Friday evening into Saturday shoveling to keep up with Winter Storm Nemo, we ended with 32+ inches of snow! With Sunday warm, calm and sunny what better thing to do then snow shoe! Despite being a little worn out and sore from so mouch shoveling Scott and I headed off to MMR. We got to the parking area at 12:30pm. As we got our gear together a Connecticut car, after some issues with parking (lot is not plowed out and the driveway of the log house should not be blocked in any way) parked along side us after I moved to allow room for them. Looks like they were out for a hike as well. We began our hike by ascending Phoebes Nable Mt. trail from the parking area.

The snow was 2-3 feet deep and was light and fluffy. We made the long hike up the steep hills on this side of the mountain, snow drifts were particularly tough to get through. Scott led the way up to the second junction, than I took over to the flat upper section where Scott lead the rest to the summit. Views as we trudged up this trail were wonderful across to Beauty Ledge and along the ridge to Piper Ledge. Glimpses now-and-then below to parts of the woods road where we would see and hear snow mobiles passing through. We reached the summit at 1:30pm. It was a very crisp, clear view today and it was lovely standing there in the sun taking in the view.

We then headed down the other side where we passed the Connecticut couple who was ascending in cross-country skies. Must have been some work out ascending the steep trails of Phoebes Nable Mt! Probably a blast coming down, hope it wasn't too steep on the other side! We introduced ourselves and chatted shortly. We then headed down onto Burrows Farm trail down to the field. Snow mobiles had left their marks across the field, not exactly wise given the hard sumac stumps left behind from being mowed this past fall. Despite the deep snow they were jutting up from where the tracks were and I can only assume that it can't be good to be riding on such rough terrain.

We crossed the field and rounded the back side of Burrows Cemetery avoiding a large group of snow mobilers who were gathered around on their sleds just chilling. We took the un-broken haul road down past the Stevens Cemetery where we connected back onto Burrows Farm trail. It was an easy walk now along the groomed snow mobile trail, being passed by 6 or so snow mobiles. After the North road junction the trail returns to strictly foot traffic and it was an easy walk along what must have been groomer tracks that had come up the road to groom the sled trails. We ended our loop at 2:30pm.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Snow Shoe Hike 2/16/13

The Forest Society's MMR Land Stewards Jason & Scott, will lead a snow shoe hike on Saturday, 10am. Due to parking restrictions we will most likely be utilizing the South trail .7 miles down New Portsmouth road before the tar changes to dirt (we will be there early to direct traffic).
See the many natural and historic spots at MMR and enjoy 2, 180 degree views and a breathtaking view from the Burrows field. See animal tracks, possibly wildlife and travel on new trails and even areas that are off the beaten... path!

 *This will be a strenuous hike containing some short steep sections,
please be capable of a day long snow shoe hike and have proper winter gear and food. No pets please.
Trip time is estimated and may vary, we will change our intended route due to weather or should the hike take longer.
In the event of bad weather we will reschedule this hike for the following day Saturday 2/23.
**Please email me if you will be attending ( or click the "going" icon on this event page. Hope to see you there!
Find directions on the MMR blog>

Monday, January 21, 2013

Burrows Farm Trail and Brook Walk 1/21/13

"A Quick Jaunt and a Wet Droid" (pictures)
Scott and I did a small walk today after he got out of work. It was nice to see the trails heavily used! We walked up Burrows Farm trail and took a right onto North trail. Then another right onto Piper Mt. trail. At the bottom of the hill we took an old logging road we use to cut back to the brook and across back up to the parking lot. The river had some nice ice forms on it and I was excited to take some pictures.

As I stood up from a shot I snagged my cell phone clip and the whole thing with my Droid phone plopped into the brook! Completely emerged in the water for a few seconds I was sure it was a goner! Some how the case I had on it kept most of the water out. The screen has some water marks behind it but otherwise it still works!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Burrows Farm 1/14/13

"Back to Bare-booting" (pictures)

After a rather crummy weekend of weather Monday was beautiful! Go figure! Sunny, 60 degrees...there go's the rest of the snow! When Scott got home from work we made a quick drive to MMR for a walk. No snow shoe's required now :( We walked Burrows Farm trail up to the field and back down. The brook was flowing good and the feel of Spring was in the air..not so fast, still have February to get through!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Beauty Ledge Loop 1/6/13

"Our First Snow Shoe to Beauty Ledge" (pictures)

Having snow shoe'd the weekend before up Phoebes Nable Mt. we were excited for a nice day this Sunday for another hike at MMR this time up to Beauty Ledge. After searching the stores for reasonably priced gaiters we were back at Kittery Trading Post. We were about to buy the mid-range priced ones when I spotted more on the rack furthest back out of sight. They were Yukon Charlie's brand for $20 bucks! We tried them on and were looking good! We had this happen last time we were here when I was looking for some poles. After settling for $35 dollar poles Scott spotted Yukon Charlie poles for $15 bucks! I am really liking this brand :)

So now after making several purchases all of which we got great deals on, we were equipped with fleece lined Carhartt pants (from the Village Barn in Barrington) $49, gaiters $20, new Koppen ski socks (to replace our old ones we loved) $11, poles $15 and our winter clothing and snow shoes we began with a few years back. Bring on the snow!! We arrived and drove into the parking lot. I should point out this parking area is not plowed in problem when you have a Jeep Wrangler! We got our snow shoes and back packs on and began. It's still odd to be snow shoeing here as the only chance we got was November 2011. We hadn't got any sizable amount of snow since. Snow mobiles had been down this section of Burrows Farm trail so it was packed down. We turned onto North trail which is part of the snow mobile trail in winter. The hike up to the upper landing on North trail was quite and enjoyable. The weather was perfect. Cool air, no wind and warm sunshine!

At the upper junction we now were able to go off the snow mobile trail and onto unpacked powder! It was exciting to see how Beauty Knob trail was as a snow shoe trail. We saw snow shoe tracks that were covered over from the previous couple inch storm. Odd...they came from the woods and onto the trail and out. And we didn't see the tracks on any other part of the trails. We joked that it might be a Sasquatch. We climbed the perfectly graded trail past the porcupine burrow and through the steeper pine grove reaching the Beauty Ledge trail junction. An awesome ascent trail for snow shoes!

We continued on up to the knob and down to the ledge. It felt so strange and exciting to actually be snow shoeing trails that we built. We were loving this fabulous day! The view from the ledge was beautiful as always. It was rather warm up here so we dropped our bags and hung out for a while, listening and watching the snow mobiles that were now making their way up and down the various roads visible from the ledge.

As we ate some snacks we could here some sort of howling or barking coming from the direction of Burrows Field. The sound was of two animals, I figured it was wolves or coyote's. Then thinking it might be owls. And after some time it sounded like dogs, maybe hound dogs. Scott was thinking someone was training sled dogs up on the trails, but the sound didn't really move. Not sure we just shrugged it off.

Scott had the idea of making a snow man and as he did I ventured off into the woods to search for the pieces for it's eyes, etc. It turned out pretty good for a back country snow man! After our fun the clouds began to fill in and it began getting a little cooler. We made our way down the Beauty Ledge trail passing it's now, snow covered features like Turtle Rock. Back down we stopped at the trail head and listened to snow mobiles approaching. We waited off to the side as they passed by. Then we made the trek down back to the parking lot.

It was here we learned what the noise was we had heard on the ledge. The Coyote Creek truck was there (from Rochester) and a trailer and writing that said something to the effect of rabbit hunting/dogs. Hmmm, that might also explain the odd snow shoe tracks coming from the woods, might have been a rabbit hunter.

Awesome day! Hoping to get another big storm and have a group snow shoe up here. Hoping to see some other's enjoying this wonderful place!