As I was laying in bed early this morning looking out at the clear blue sky I thought to myself, "why am I laying in bed, it looks so beautiful out." Also I'm a little behind in 52 Hikes in 2017 Challenge so I need to get more hikes in. As my family still slept, my dog and I snuck out to check out a new trail. I had recently heard about Wales Preserve Trail, located off Spring Hill Road in Sharon NH, and wanted to check is out. I love when I can find trails close to home that I have yet to explore.
Parking is along the roadside and there is a sign for the trailhead. The trail is well maintained and marked by The Nature Conservancy. You walk down to the Gridley River then you follow the river listening to the flowing water and enjoying series of cascades. Allowing your mind to wander and enjoy the peacefulness of the woods and flowing water.
Anyone who follows me knows my love of waterfalls, therefore I was very excited to have this option in the Monadnock area as there are not many waterfalls or cascades near by. You follow The Brookside Trail to the end and then it turns right onto the Woodland Trail.
There are two access points to the Woodland Trail either halfway down the Brookside Trail or at the end. I chose to walk to the end of the trail and then loop back around. At the end of the Brookside Trail it looks like it goes further, but it is not part of the Nature Conservancy. The Woodland Trail loops through the woods up and down hill sides, providing a peaceful walk through the forrest.
Update: Now that i have done the trail a few times I prefer to take the first junction up into the woods and loop around so then I can walk back up the river enjoying the views.
I recommend this trail for all ages and abilities. It's a great trail for kids as there are areas to stop and splash around in the water, so make sure you wear appropriate foot wear. My daughter likes to wear her Keen Sandals are they are good in the water and short hikes. My dog was in heaven spending most of her time in the river. In the winter it can be a winter wonderland of ice. Microspikes are recommended.
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