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Monday, July 6, 2015

Phoebes Nable Loop Trail Opening July 2015

Rock Steps

Final work days last Wednesday and this past Friday to get Phoebes Nable Loop trail completed (to a passable state) was done. This trail has been a year-and-a-half in the making! It was first laid out and cut under the direction of Nate Preisendorfer of North Star Trails in September 2013. 500+ back-breaking work hours with 2 dozen volunteers later we are near completion! We fixed some sections along the treadway and opened up the trailhead and top of the trail. Roots, rocks and stumps had to be removed along with some more duff layer on the treadway. We also got a rock work project done Friday placing 3 large steps on the upper portion of the trail.

Our Trail Opening hikers
Saturday July 4th, 2015 we had our trail opening hike. Our friends Joann and Tony who abbutt theproperty were in attendance as well as my brother Jeremy and his girlfriend Cate and fellow land steward Kate W. After meeting at the parking lot we headed out 10:15am up Burrows Farm trail. It is a gentle woods road walk past Hall Spring and along the Burrows Brook which you cross over a couple times (bridges). We entered the Burrows Field where once the 1800's farm sat and entered the woods to the trailhead for the new trail.

Tony paints first blaze (by: Joann Coskie)
Tony had the honors of putting up the first trail blaze (blue). It was this day in 2011 we put up our first blaze on this property so it was fitting to open this trail on the same day 4 years later! The new trail replaces the more direct trail to the summit of Phoebes Nable Mt. The old trail is severely washed out and not a pleasant hike especially for kids or elderly. 

Stone Staircase
The new Phoebes Nable Loop trail is a sustainable trail approximately 1/2 mile long, with gentle grades, good footing, stone steps and long gentle switchbacks. Along the way enjoy rock erratics, ledges, a pine grove and an impressive stone staircase built by volunteers. In winter partial views are seen to the North side of the property.

Phoebes Nable Summit
We blazed the trail all the way up to the summit where we took a break for lunch. It was such a beautiful day! Mt. Agamenticus was visible in York, ME as was the nearby Blue Hills Range of Blue Job, Hussey and Parker to name the trailed peeks. Also many marshes were visible in this, the largest non-developed forest in South Eastern NH which is also the main watershed for the Salmon Falls River.

Trail Section along ledge
After lunch we blazed our way back down the way we came (a loop can be done from the summit using the Phoebes Nable Mt. trail - which is steep - that follows woods roads directly to the parking lot). I believe it was 1:30 when we arrived back to the parking lot. The trail is now open (temporary signs in place) and the old trail section is brushed-in at the junction points with the new trail. There is still some work to be done so watch out for the occasional stump, root or hole in the trail! We plan on getting it to 100% this summer and host another hike for a Grand Opening in September :) Look for this and other trail descriptions for Moose Mountains Reservation in this years 4th Edition AMC Southern NH Trail Guide Book!

Thanks to all who have given their time and effort to get this trail done! Hope to see you on the trails, and be sure to post pictures and reports if you visit on our Facebook Page>

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Phoebes Nable Loop Trail Opening Hike

- PLEASE email me to sign-up for this event!

* All hiking abilities are welcome as well as children who are comfortable and able to hike.

* Bring/wear appropriate clothing, food/lunch and water.

*We will meet at the parking area at the end of New Portsmouth Road in Middleton, NH. We will hike out and back to Phoebes Nable Mt. summit via Burrows Farm trail and Phoebes Nable Loop trail. We will break for lunch on the 180 degree open summit.

*When: July 4th, 2015 at 10:00am to 3:00pm

The time has finally come! This project at Moose Mountains Reservation began with the desire to cut out a side-path to by-pass an extremely washed out, slippery section of the North side of Phoebes Nable Mt. Trail. We wrote a grant to get funds so the Forest Society could hire a trail builder to help and train us and volunteers on trail building.

A grant was awarded (if I remember right by the September 2013 we began the lay-out of a 1/2 mile new trail that would completely replace the old one! Guided by Nate Preisendorfer of North Star Trails, we scouted, flagged and cut the corridor and began a 2-month long construction of a stone staircase. The year-and-a-half to follow Scott and I spent dozens of hours a week building the trail and leading work days that saw nearly 2-dozen volunteers putting in approximately 500 hours of trail work!

This will be the first sustainable hiking trail built on Forest Society property and perhaps the first in decades in all of NH. (what is a sustainable trail? It was with great excitement that Steve Smith of White Mountain Book Store thought it would be great to include this and our other trails in the 2015 AMC Southern NH trail guide book. The timing was perfect! And now as we make finishing touches to the trail the book is released and we want to get it open for everyone to enjoy.

July 4th is a special time for us at MMR. It was the day we put our first trail blaze on this neglected property in our first year as land stewards in 2011. So much has changed here to make MMR a family friendly, wonderful place to hike and enjoy the natural beauty of this area! We hope you join us, and if not, hope you can hike it on your own soon!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Phoebes Nable Mt. Loop 4/15/15

"Spring is Here!" (pictures)

Scott and I hiked the Phoebes Nable Mt. Loop Wednesday evening. The parking lot is now accessible and free of snow! Burrow Farm trail is very muddy with patches of deep snow in the shaded areas. We hiked up to Burrows Field which also was very muddy, the sink-to-the-top-of-your-boots kind of muddy! We then made our way up the new Phoebes Nable Loop trail to check on the melting for our first trail work day May 2 (

This trail was mostly melted, again with some minor wet spots and some patches of deep snow. We made our way up the trail and over the stone staircase. Stopped for a picture and then up to the summit. There was a crystal clear view as we hung out there for a bit welcoming the greatly anticipated start to Spring! We then made our way down Phoebes Nable Mt. trail (trail conditions the same as aforementioned). All the snow should be melted by end of next week!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Phoebes Nable Mt. Snow Shoe Hike 2/28/15

"Beautiful End to a Rough February" (pictures)

This was our annual snow shoe hike at MMR. The original date of Valentines Day was scrapped due to below zero wind chills. Unfortunately participation dropped from 8 to 2, but we still had a good time! We met at the Coskie's home about a mile up the road from the parking area. The parking area is inaccessible because of all the snow we've had this winter.

Once gathered Scott, Jill, Kate and I made our way to what we call South Trail. This is an unmaintained woods road that begins just before New Portsmouth Rd. changes from tar to gravel. I had broken in and brushed out the trail the previous Wednesday in preparation for the hike so that the going through this first section would be easier. There were many snowshoe hare and mouse tracks along the way and partial views to the Piper Mt. and Beauty ledges. At the junction with Phoebes Nable Mt. trail a porcupine burrow was discovered along with his highway of tracks through the snow.

Now began the hard part. The steep hike up the unbroken Phoebes Nable Mt. trail. Scott led the way most of the climb through very deep snow. Coyote tracks crossed and followed the woods road most of the way. We past yet a known porcupine "hang out area" and found him in his favorite tree, high up on a branch facing the bright, warm sunlight. He had the right idea! We continued on up to the summit of Phoebes Nable Mt.

The summit was a giant mound of snow, the view across the valley to the hills back-dropped by a bright, crisp blue sky. There was no wind and the sun was warm. What a great day! We took a break, taking in the view and taking pictures. Then decided to head back the way we came, so that we wouldn't have to break another 1.5 miles of trail! The hike back was fairly quick.

The hike wasn't without falls, kind-of inevitable when on snow shoes! Kate had the most, and had us laughing (with her, not at her, LOL) as she had a camera in each when she went down it was elbows out and face first into the fluffy snow. Ahhh, what us photographers put ourselves through! The day ended with the Coskie's inviting us into there home for hot chocolate, sandwiches and hot-out-of-the-oven cookies...YUM! Thanks so much Tony and Joann :)

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Phoebes Nable Bush Whack 1/19/15

"Learning How to Walk Snow Shoes!" (pictures)

Our first time throwing the snow shoes on this season. We parked in the MMR parking lot (not-plowed) and we got our gear on. We headed up Phoebes Nable Mt. Trail. Not even 5 minutes into it I tripped and fell! I then stopped to cut a small tree that had bent into the trail. Went to back up and again tripped but caught myself this time. "you can't back up in snow shoes remember!?" laughed Scott.

After turning right we climbed the first steep hill along this logging road and then up the second hill. Here where the trail goes left we went straight down an unmaintained logging road. We followed moose tracks for a bit and also crossed some coyote tracks. The trail began to descend now and this is where I once-again missed-stepped and fell! Usually Scott is the clumsy one in snow it was me I guess!

The road ends at a heavily overgrown section of woods. Here we bushwhacked and began to descend heading back in the opposite direction until we reached the stream. We followed it for a little ways until we found a crossing and hiked up the banking to Burrows Farm Trail. From here it was an easy jaunt back to the parking lot.