Robert Frost Interpretive Trail

As we recently drove home through Vermont, I was looking for short hikes we could do to break up the driving. I came across Robert Frost Interpretive Trail in Ripton, Vermont. Not too far away from Lake Bomaseen State Park, one of my favorite Vermont State Parks. The day we visited the trail the parking area was closed, as well as a portion of the trail due to construction. We were able to park along the road.

There is a small kiosk with a map and an outhouse.

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The trail starts out to the left of the kiosk and goes down a gravel pathway to a bridge.

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The fun part of this trail is there are Robert Frost poems along the path. My daughter enjoyed reading the poems along the way.

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The path is a little under a mile and goes through the woods, then a field and the along a stream and loops back to the bridge where you started. The trail provides some beautiful views.

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The day we visited it was pretty busy with a couple large groups of people on the trail. If you are in the area and enjoys Robert Frost Poems I highly recommend you check out the trail. It is easy, trail, more of a walking path good for beginner hikers and those with children.

Good Harbor Beach

We are fortunate in New England to have access to a variety of ocean beaches whether you are look for beautiful white sand, rocky coastlines, calm seas or rolling waves. I recently visited one of those beaches. Good Harbor Beach is one of those beaches you should put in your must visit list . It is located at 99 Thatcher Road Gloucester, MA.

There was a $35 fee the day we visited. My husband and I felt the fee was well worth it. There is ample parking, clean restrooms, a snack shack and a small beach store. There are lifeguards and we also saw local police at the entrance and walking the beach. The beach itself is fairly big with plenty of space. It was very busy the day we visited, but we did not feel it was over crowded or we did not have the space we like.

The cool thing about this beach is when the tide is low a land bridge forms you can walk to a small island to explore. It provides a great view of the beach.

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We spent the majority of the day playing in the waves. They were pretty big at times. My 9 year old loved playing in them.

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We have visited this beach a couple times and it has become one of our favorites. I would not recommend for young children as there is not a lot calm places for them to play. It is perfect for older kids and adults who love to play in the waves.

Thorndike Pond

Thorndike Pond has been one of our go to ponds since moving to the area. Friends who have lived here longer than us have said that Thorndike was always the place they went to catch frogs and not swimming. We love swimming there. We usually go in the evening and the beach is not too crowed, there are a couple picnic tables and grills, a shelter and an outhouse. There is a small parking area. You do have to walk several feet from the parking lot to the beach. The water is clean and cool.

Recently we decided to kayak and paddle board around the pond My husband and daughter kayaked while I rented a paddle board from Eastern Mountain Sports in Peterborough. We parked on the side of the road at the boat launch which is on Dublin Road in Jaffrey. The beach parking lot is almost across from Monadnock State Park enterenceand the boat launch is a little further up. I would say less than a mile.

The pond was very nice to paddle around.

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In the middle is Whittemore Island that is managed by the Monadnock Conservency. We paddled around it to the trailhead.

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We did not walk up the trail, but it looks like it is about a mile around the trails and an easy walk.

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We then paddled over to the public beach to enjoy a swim and to play around with the paddle board.

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I was surprised to find the beach was not too crowded for a hot summer Saturday. It was a perfect spot to sit and fuel up. The temps were in the low 90’s and I was impressed with my Pack-It lunch box, as it kept our drinks cold on this hot day. Overall Thorndike continues to be one of our favorite ponds in the area to swim, paddle and explore.

Fremont Trail

I love exploring new trails. The Fremont Trail in Peterborough has been on my to do list for a while. This week I had time to do some exploring. The trail is located on Old Jaffrey Road off Route 202 near Noone Falls. There is a small road where you can park near mailbox 100.. I did not see the trailhead closer to the road and started out the hike by walking down the old road that is all grass. Fortunately the trail looped around to the main trail through the field. The field is mowed so it is easy to follow.

You walk through the field enjoying the various wildflowers and plants.

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If you look behind you, you get a glimpse of Pack Monadnock.

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There is a small stream that you cross before heading into the woods. You walk through the woods and cross another small stream.

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There is a slight incline. for for about a half mile as you walk through the woods. The trails are not marked, but they are easy to follow.

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When you get to the to the top of the hill there is a fairly large cellar whole on your right.

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As you turn right and head down a hill you reach a beaver pond. There is not a great view of the pond, but you can see part of it. It is also very buggy here. To the pond it is about 1.4 miles.

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From here you turn back the way you came. Walking back out onto the field towards the end was very peaceful as you could hear the birds and smell all the plants and flowers.

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This is a great trail for beginners, families with young children and anyone who want to get some time in the woods without much effort

High Five Reservation

Do you ever hear of a trail and think, I will get to it someday and it goes on a list of “to do’s. Today all I was thinking about was going for a sunset hike after dinner. Of course all the mountains I was thinking of faced east. Then my husband said, “doesn’t High Five have a good view?” A friend of mine has been telling me about High Five for a while and I have not gone yet. This was the perfect night to do so.

From the Society of the Protection New Hampshire Forest Website, to access to the property is from the south via Sky Farm Road in Deering. From the town of Hillsborough, take Route 149 East for 1.6 miles and then take a slight right onto Old County Road. Follow this road for 4.2 miles and then turn right onto Sky Farm Road. The property is located on the right after 0.8 miles. Parking is only available along the shoulder of the road. You will see a green gate and property sign. Please remember not to block the gate.

You walk up an old road that is mostly grassy.

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After the first quarter of a mile to come to an open field with beautiful wildflowers and a view of Crotched Mountain.

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As you continue up the trail you come to an open field with amazing views. To the north we could see Kearsarge and the White White Mountains.

To the west we could see the new windmills in Antrim and various ridge lines.

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To the southwest you can see Mt Monadnock.

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It was only 4/10’s of a mile to the top, making it an easy with some of the most stunning views in Southern New Hampshire.

There are also many beautiful wildflowers to enjoy.

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A small bench and plenty of grass to lay out a blanket. Watch out for ticks and bugs as they are plentiful.

Not only are the views amazing the sunsets are pretty spectacular.

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This short walk is a must do.

The Adventures of Buffalo and Tough Cookie Book Review

I love to read books about the outside. When I can find books about the state I live it, it is even better. When I can find a book about my state and hiking with kids, it is the best. Adventures of Buffalo and Tough Cookie by Dan Sczczesny was such a fun and easy read. I read the book in four days, which I rarely do.

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The book is about Dan and his neighbor, a 10 year old girl who complete the the 52 with a View list, which is 52 peaks that are often overlooked when hiking in New Hampshire. The book takes you through the hiking journey of not just completing the list, but building a friendship on the trails. The book is a good reminder of how to hike with kids and go at their own pace. Which is a good reminder for all of us with children in our lives. The book is an easy read which short chapters on each hike with great trail information at the end of each chapter. This book as quickly become one of my favorites and I highly recommend it to anyone who hikes with kids.

This post contains affiliate links for which I may receive a small amount of compensation at no cost to you.

Gilmore Pond

It can be hard to find a good swimming hole that is clean, open to the public and allows dogs. I am constantly on the lookout for a place that I can swim with my Golden Retriever.

Located on Gilmore Pond Road in Jaffrey is Gilmore Pond. This is a small pond with road side parking, a small beach and boat launch. This is a perfect place to get a swim in with your dog.

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The bottom of the pond is mostly sandy. I am not sure if motorboats are allowed here, but every time I visit I see kayakers out on the pond. It is not a big swimming area, but perfect on a warm day when you want to cool off with your pup.

Update: My family and I recently explored Gilmore Pond by water. My husband and daughter kayaked and I rented a stand up paddle board from Eastern Mountain Sports in Peterborough. We parked at the boat launch and paddled a crossed the pond. It was very calm not a lot of people on the water.

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As we rounded the corner on the right there is a small beach where the water is very sandy. There is not much actually beach space, but the water is clear and very sandy and you can walk out pretty far. Since it was a hot day it was pretty packed. The parking to walk to the beach is located on Sandy Lane off Gilmore Pond Road in Jaffrey. The walk is only about a quarter of a mile. There is a small parking lot. Another great place to take a dip.

Temple Mountain

Located off Route 101 in Peterborough across from Miller State Park and Pack Monadnock is an old downhill ski area and Temple Mountain. There is a large parking lot with kiosk, provided ample parking. I have only done Temple Mountain a couple times, one when I hiked the Wapack Trail and a couple other times I have gone up to a lookout point. With having a local hiking group it can be difficult to find new trails to do.. When planning today’s group hike I decided it would be a good time to hike up to the rock chairs on Temple Mountain.

From the parking lot you walk up an old road. You can bare left and follow the Beebe trail, which is relatively steep and goes up various rocks. You can continue to follow the old road, which is also part of the Wapack Trail. There is a lot of loose rocks so if you are not sure about your footing you may want hiking poles. A little under a mile up there is a trail off to the right that continues up the mountain along the Wapack Trail. If you continue up the road you will come to a lookout with a view of Pack Monadnock. There are remnants of the old ski area along the hike.

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From there you head back down the road a few feet and follow the Wapack Trail south.

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The trail meanders through the woods, it is fairly flat and very peaceful.

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A little over a half mile from the lookout you come to the Rock Chairs. There is not view, but the chairs are pretty cool.

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If you are looking for more views you can continue south on the Wapack trail until you come to the Sharon Ledges. Below the ledges are another parking spot if you wanted to leave a car. It is about 5 miles from the Temple Mountain Parking Lot to the Sharon Parking Lot.

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The hike is a good work out and something different to see along with opportunities for further hiking if desired.

Beaver Brook Falls

I am constantly on the look out for a new waterfall to explore. I had heard about Beaver Brook Falls through my various google searches. After Easter festivities and breakfast I was itching to get a hike in, but wanted something kind of quick. With all the snow melted and rain we have had I thought it would be a great time to check out the falls.

From Route 9 heading east out of Keene take a right onto Washington Street. Take a left onto Concord Road and then an immediate left onto Washington Street Extension. Drive to the end and there is a gate. Park near the gate, but not in front of it. Also be mindful that this is residential area.

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This is not a true hike, but more of a walk, as you are walking down an old tar road along power lines. I feel you could push strollers down this road. My husband said he liked walking down the old road because he felt like he was in a scene of the Walking Dead.

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As you are walking up the road you are following Beaver Brook which provides a relaxing sound and a beautiful stream. Along the hillsides we saw several cascades flowing down due to the recent rainfalls.

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There was a sign about an Old Man of Keene, we looked for it, but are not sure if we found the correct one as many of the ledge outcroppings looked like they could be a man.

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There is a small incline heading up to the falls, but nothing that is hard. You can also start to see the falls from the road. In order to get a good view it is best to climb down the embankment to the bottom of the falls. Just use cautions as it is very steep, the rocks are loose and slippery when wet.

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Once you get to the base of the falls it is pretty enjoyable.

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I would not consider this a real hike, but it is a nice walk to a pretty waterfall. It was about .8miles to the falls. There is a section at the top of the falls if you wanted to spread out a blanket for a picnic. Good walk for young families or beginner hikers. I would only caution if you chose to walk to the bottom of the falls due to the loose rocks and it being steep.

The World is Our Classroom Book Review

I love to read. I do not read as much as I like, but I still love to read. I mostly enjoy books about the outdoors and romance. On a recent trip to my town library I noticed they had a new book in. The title intrigued me. It fit with my beliefs and what I like to read so I grabbed it to take home. It usually takes me a few weeks to a month to read to a book, but once I picked this book up, I could not put it down. I finished this book in four days!!

The World is Our Classroom by Cindy Ross is one of the best outdoor books I have ever read. The books takes you through different aspects of Cindy, her husband Todd and their two children Sierra And Bryce travel lifestyle and how they used the outdoors as the children’s playground and education.

The book talks about backpacking and biking long distances with children. How they educated their children through their various travels and adventures from learning about biology while dissecting various animals in the wild, taking place in reenactments to learning about history and by spending time with a family in Morocco to learn about other cultures.

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Even when at home in the modest log cabin they built by hand, they lived a simple life with limited technology and items. They focused their time on being outdoors and traveling, which worked very well for their family. When reading this book it made me thing of my own family and lifestyle. We live a modest life in a small home, which allows us to spending time doing many day trips around New England and slowly starting to be able to travel outside of New England.

I love the view point that the author gives about their lifestyle and why it worked for them. It opens your eyes that there is a lot more out there then just going by what modern society tells you, you should be doing. It reminds you to pave your own way to what you feel is best for you and your family. If you have any interest in the education, outdoor and travel I highly recommend this book.

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Girl in the Woods by Aspen Matis

When I am looking for a book to read, I tend to head towards outdoor books featuring women hikers or sappy romance novels. I recently picked up the Girl in the Woods by Aspen Matis at my local library. Tip, if you do not like to buy books like me, always check with your local library. I am able to get the majority of the books I request through the interlibrary loan system.

This book is about a young college age girl who's mother has always coddled her, dressing her, helping her shower, basically planning every minute of her life. When she goes to college across the country to try to separate herself from her childhood she is raped within the first few nights there. In a way to escape and find herself she leaves college to hike the Pacific Coast Trail.

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The book follows her expedition on the trail, the various people she meets and how they impact her. It talks about the journey of finding herself, trying to figure out the person she is and to get out from under her mother’s thumb She also tries to learn to love herself and allow herself to be loved after being raped.

I am not sure why, but i had a really difficult time getting into the book. It took me about a month to read, which is unusual for me. I usually read a book a week or every two weeks. I did not think the book was written poorly, but just difficult to hold my attention. I overall enjoyed the story, but I would not call it one of my favorites.

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Wildcat Waterfall

I love when I find hidden gem in a suburban area. We had to run some errands in Nashua and my daughter had some tokens to Fun World. After spending a few hours in crowds I needed some time in nature. That is when I remembered about a waterfall in Merrimack that my co-worker had told me about.

Located off of Baboosic Lake Road on Currier Road in Merrimack is a nice conservation area, Wildcat Falls Conservation Area. There are a few different trails in this area, but the main attraction is the waterfall.

From the parking area we started on on the path, which was still icy and muddy. There is a small pond to your right where we saw some ducks swimming around.

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At the first intersection we went right to take the Falls Loop Trail. This was a nice walk along the Souhegan River. There were a couple benches along the way if you wanted to relax and enjoy the view. It was flat, until right before the falls.

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Then there was a series of steps leading up to an outcropping of rocks that overlooked the waterfall. It was about a half mile to the falls.

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There were signs that said swim at your own risk, so I am not sure if people swim here in the summer.

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With the recent rain and snow melt the falls were pretty impressive.

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After enjoying the view of the falls, we looped back to the Connector One Trail. Which was also flat.

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In total we walked about an easy mile loop. I love that this waterfall is easy to get to, but also provides some time in nature. Perfect hike for beginners or with children. Just use caution by the falls as the rocks can get slippery if wet and there is no railing.

There are options for other trails as well. Due to not having appropriate footwear and it being later in the day we opted out of a longer hike today. It was still nice to get a quick mile in with a beautiful view.

Gregg Trail at Crotched Mountain

Located on Crotched Mountain Road in Greenfield, New Hampshire is the Crotched Mountain Accessible Trails. These are great trails for beginners. There are two trails here, the Dutton Trail, which is treat for strollers, little legs, and beginner hikers. There is also the Gregg Trail that provides some elevation gain through a series of switchbacks. There is also a trail that goes straight up if you want a little more challenge.

I recently did the hike with my Hike Like a Woman Monadnock Group. We started out from the parking lot, heading towards the right, which provides a beautiful view of Rose and Pinnacle Mountains to the east.

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We then followed the trail into the forest.

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Along the trail were various signs with poems on them. I am unsure if these are done my local artist, but the poems were related to nature.

About a mile up the switchbacks you reach a observation deck that looks towards Mt. Monadnock and to the north west. The views were beautiful.

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At the recommendations of a follow hiker we hiked up a little further to what one of my group members stated is a blueberry field in the summer. From here we were able to get a much better view to the east and west.

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From here it is about another mile to the top of Crotched Mountain up the Shannon Trail. My family and I have been to the top, but we took the Bennington Trail. We chose to turn around at the blueberry fields and we did about a two and half mile hike.

The accessible trails Dutton and Gregg are great for beginning hikers. I love the view that you get from the Gregg trail with minimal effort. I’m not sure if the view is just as good in the spring in summer due to leaves on the trees, but I am sure you are able to still get a view.

Mile Slip Forest Mitchell Brook Trail

Located at the end of Mile Slip Road in Milford is a great town forest. I recently did the Badger Hill Trail with my Hike Like a Woman Monadnock Group. On the trail map I noticed another trail that followed a brook and I wanted to check it out.

My family and I recently visited the trail. From the parking lot there is a hiking sign marking the start of the trail. The trail slowly goes down a hill. There is a junction of the trail, yellow markers goes to the right and white trail markers go to the left. I am not sure where the yellow ones went, but I followed the white ones towards the brook.

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We continued down until we could see the brook in the faint distance. The trail goes along the brook, no really close, but you can see it. There is a spot on the trail with a map that shows some benches near the water, so you are able to get closer. We did see two benches beside the stream which looked like a nice place to relax.

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We followed the stream for about a half of a mile. We saw some large dear tracks. Signs of porcupine eating a tree. Along with a couple trees with some cool mushrooms on them.

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The trail looped up around to the main trail where you can also connect to the Badger Hill Trail, link above, if you wanted a longer hike with some incline . At the connecting trail there is a nice hill for doing some trail sliding.

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The main trail is a multipurpose trail, we did see a couple snowmobiles so just use caution when you are on the main trail heading back to the parking lot. From where the Mitchell Brook Trail connects with the main trail it is about a half mile back to the parking lot.

This trail is great for beginner hikers and family hikes. The whole loop is about a mile and a half with minimal incline.

Beaver Brook Trail off Proctor Hill Road

Located across from Diamond Machine on Rt 130 in Hollis is an another trailhead for the Beaver Brook Trail Association. My husband and I recently had an hour to ourselves while our daughter was at art lessons so we decided to check out this trail as it was close to her art studio. We followed the Beaver Brook Trail to Cow Lane and then to Eastman Meadow Trail and then back to the parking lot. The map is a great resource of all the trails through the Association.

The trail is fairly flat. It was a little icy, but were were able to walk without any type of crampons.

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There are some pretty sections of the trail over looking, streams, bogs and a pond.

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As well as a platform viewing area.

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My favorite part was a boardwalk that went over a bog connecting Cow Lane and Eastman Meadow trail.

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We only spent an hour on the trail, but really enjoyed it and were able to hike three miles. It was also nice for my husband and I to get some alone time, which does not happen very often. If you are looking for a cheap date, hiking is a great way to do it. These are great trails or all abilities of hikers and those with young children. In the winter they are good for snowshoeing and cross country skiing.

Mile Slip Town Forest Badger Hill Trail

I love when I can find a new trail that I have never been on. I find most of my hikes either through word of mouth or Google searches. This one I found on a recent Google Search. Mile Slip Forest is located at the end of Mile Slip Road in Milford, NH.

A great thing about this trail is there is a large parking lot. Many of the trails in Southern New Hampshire do not have great parking, which makes it difficult when you hike with many people, like I do. There are a few different trails that you can take. From the parking lot you can do about a mile loop following Mitchell Brooke. Or you can do a loop up to Badger Hill. There are some different variations you can do of this trail. I would recommend either using the All Trails app or printing off a map to bring with you.

My Hiking Group celebrated Galentines Day, (a day to celebrate our gal pals) with a hike up the Badger Hill Trail. A short section of the trail does follow a snowmobile trail. We meandered through the woods with some steep inclines at times. Steeper than I expected. The trail was fairly easy to follow with trail markers and using the the All Trails Map.

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There was one section that I went the wrong way because I think the trail sign was pointing in the wrong directions. We had to do a little bush wacking, but I was able to get us back on the trail without issues. Half way around the loop there was a map of the loop which mentioned a bench, which I thought would be fun to find.

We continued on the trail and when we got to the top of the hill there was some view of the Wapack Range. It was not a clear view due to trees in the way, but we were able to get a decent view. At the top of the hill we did not see the bench. As we started down the rest of the loop we did come cross the bench. Even though there were some tress obstructing the view, it was still a good view looking again towards the Wapack Range.

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As we finished up the hike there were up and downs with some steep sections, with the ice it made it little challenging. As long as you had good Microspikes it was not that bad.

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Towards the end of our hike we all took turns doing a little but slide down a small hill, which was so much fun.

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I was a little surprised to find out we only did two miles as I left like we did a lot more. I look forward to going back and doing the Mitchell Brook Trail. Due to the elevation gain and some steep sections I would recommend this trail for people who had some hiking experience and not for young children

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Senter Falls

Waterfalls, I just cannot say how much I love them. I usually love them just in the summer, but the last couple winters I have really found a new love for frozen waterfalls. The different formations they take with the change in weather and the beauty of the water rushing below the ice. I recently watch a video on Facebook with Live Free with Kris where she visited four waterfalls in the Wilton/Lynborough Area. i had visited three of them, Purgatory Falls, Tucker Brooks Falls and Garwin Falls. I had not been to or heard of Senter Falls. After a week of being held up inside due to illness I was itching to get out.

Located on Lyndeborough Road in Lyndeborough NH is the trailhead. The best way to get to the trail head is from Second NH Turnpike near the Francestown town line. From there you turn onto Lyndeborough Road, which is a dirt road. When we visited the road had a lot of ruts in it. I’m not sure how well it is maintained when we have snow or what it is like in mud season. Please plan accordingly. The trailhead is about a half mile in on the right hand side. There is a trailhead sign that says Alan and Edgar Rice Nature Area. There was not much of a parking area. There was only enough room across from the trailhead for one car.

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With all the melting and rain we have had the trail was covered in ice requiring microspikes for the hike. You start out by going down a small incline and over a nice wooden bridge.

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After you cross the bridge and bare to the left you will see that you have the option to go right and follow the blue trail markers or go left up a hill following the yellow trail markers. I recommend going right for the best views of the falls. Within just a couple minutes you come to the first set of falls.

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Then you climb up along the waterfall for about a quarter of a mile for some great views.

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With the final cascade being the best off all.

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When you get to the top of the waterfall the trail goes left up a incline, then you follow a ridge and then have a steep downward incline connecting you back to where you started.

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Of course there was a little time to play on the ice on the side of the trail. 

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The trail is a little less than three quarters of a mile. I would only recommend it in the winter if you have some form of microspikes. My daughter did the hike with us, but she also had a form of grips on the bottom of her boots. At times my husband and I still had to help her.

I cannot wait to go back in the spring time to see what it looks like then.

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Out with the Old Pack and in with the New Pack

About 13 years ago, my husband and I moved into our first and current home.  We were excited about living in the Monadnock Region due to the almost unlimited outdoor activities in our backyard.  For my first birthday in our new home my husband bought me a camelbak day pack and the Hiking the Monadnock Region Book.  This is what started my journey of exploring the trails in our area.  For the last 13 years I have been using the same backpack for all my hiking adventures.  This fall I noticed that there were holes forming in the bottom of the pack.  My husband tried to convince me to get a new one, but I was not emotionally ready.  I know it sounds silly, but this pack is a symbol of so many hikes since moving to the Monadnock Region. Such as hiking Mt. Monadnock, exploring other trails in Vermont and New Hampshire. As well as hiking so many trails solo and with my husband. Also, my daughters first hike, hiking with friends and starting my women’s hiking group

I was recently chosen as an ambassador for the 365 Mile Challenge.  One of the many perks of being an ambassador is receiving amazing swag to try out and review.  I was lucky enough to get picked for a Deuter Speed Lite 22 Hiking Backpack. I figured now was a good time to start making the transition to a new pack. When it arrived I was in love with the color, we did not get to pick which color, but I feel I lucked out as other ambassadors got red and black, but I am partial to the green.  The other part I noticed and love is there is a yellow flower attached to the pack.  It is such a fun talking point.  As I emptied out the old pack and filled up the new one I was feeling a little sentimental. It was time to move on, it is just a backpack, right?

Out with in old and in with the new.

Out with in old and in with the new.

I worked on organizing my new backpack.  There was plenty of room for all my items.  The only thing I missed was there is only one small pocket instead of several small ones like my older pack It did seem a little disorganized.  I like there is a pocket on the side for my water bottle. There is also a small pocket on the hip belt to put small items like chapstick. The biggest part of the backpack had plenty of room for my first aid kit and all my winter essentials. There is also a front pouch that does not have a zipper that will be great for when I walk to yoga and can put my mat in it. 

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I tested out the backpack on an easy three and half mile hike.  Even though the pack is not broken in yet, it was comfortable.  The hip straps fit nicely, which is good because I have wide hips.  The straps were comfortable and easy to adjust.  I am also large chested and the chest strap did not make me feel like I was pressing my breasts together like other packs have. The pack was easy to get on and off.  When I did need to find something it was not hard to find items in my pack even though I was worried about being able to organize some of my things.   

Some of my fellow ambassadors from the 365 Mile Challenge also had feed back on the pack. 

Julie: “I love all the straps and loops, awesome pockets on the waist. I’m 5’10 and once I was able to get the straps adjusted for my height it fit well. There is Good airflow. I looooove the color! It's sort of a ruby red. And who doesn't love a cute flower on their pack? Overall a good pack and a decent fit for my tall frame.” 

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Kari: “I have never invested in a pack for myself. I have always had hand-me-down or borrowed packs. They have worked fine for me, but I have never LOVED a backpack. I have a new Deuter Speed Lite 22 SL backpack that is a lady's fit and I cannot believe how great it is! My two favorite features is the chest strap and the shoulder adjustment straps. All of the backpacks I have used have chest straps that are not effective because of their location. I cannot move it high enough for it to be effective and comfortable. This pack adjusts so it is actually across my chest (and not my breasts) and helps carry the weight. I also love the shoulder adjustment straps because it pulls the pack nice and close to my body so I am able to carry the weight close to my body. It makes all the difference. I am still learning about the different features and storage space. I have been using my backpack for sledding excursions and for day to day. I am looking forward to using it on a longer skiing trip and cannot wait for it to be my go to summer hiking pack!” Kari can be found on Instagram @pofahlpaths

Kari and her new pack.

Kari and her new pack.

Overall I am really enjoying the pack as it’s perfect for my height of 5ft 3 inches. If you are a taller women I would recommend trying it on first. I have only used it twice, but I have not found any complaints about it. I would highly recommend this pack to other women. I do always recommend that you go to a store to try a pack on before buying as they fit all body types differently.

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Dinsmore Brook Conservation Area

I recently did this trail with my Hike Like a Woman Monadnock Hiking Group. Let’s just say that the hike did not go as planned. There are two locations for this hike. I chose the trail located on Old County North Road. There is a small kiosk and on the kiosk at the trail head was a sign that said bridge out. There was no other information. We decided to try the trail anyway. About a two tenths of a mile down the trail the bridge was out. The stream was too wide and high to cross. We ended up going back to the cars and headed for the other trailhead on Second NH Turnpike North. From Route 47 turn onto School House Road, then take the first sharp right turn onto the Turnpike, a few hundred yards and look for the woods road on the left hand side for the trailhead. There is a small white sign nailed to a tree.

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The trail follows an old road/ATV/Snowmobile trails. I’m not sure if we were on the trail the whole hike or if we were just following the ATV/Snowmobile trails. There are trail markers making the trail, but halfway through the hike I did not see them anymore. There were views of wetlands and a flowing stream.

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If you are going to hike this I would recommend printing off a map, it’s not the best map, but it gives you an idea of where you are going. The day that we did the trail it was very icy and of course I was the only one that did not have my micro spikes. My husband had bought me a new pair for Christmas and I was excited to try them out, but I figured with the warmer weather and rain that the trail would be muddy not icy. I was wrong.

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The trail is relatively flat, my guess is it can be really muddy. There is not official parking area so you have to park on the side of the road. This would be a good trail for snowshoeing if we ever get any snow or if you are looking for a leisurely walk into the woods.

On a happy note three of us, a friend, my daughter and I finished the 365 Mile Challenge, meaning we did 365 self propelled miles in 2018. Click here to read more about the challenge.

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Pulpit Rock Trail

I have been hearing a lot about this trail and was recently in the area so I wanted to check it out. I ended up doing it on two different days because the first time we hike the trail, I parked at the wrong end and we did not make it to the main feature of the trail, which is the waterfall.

The first time we hiked it we parked the the trailhead located off Horace Greeley Road in Bedford. From Rt 101 we turned onto Joppa Hill Road. We followed the road until the intersection of Horace Greeley Road and Joppa Hill Road. There is a farm directly in front of you. Turn left and the trail head is on your right I would guess between a quarter of a mile to a half mile from the turn. There is a small sign marking the trailhead, but it is easy to miss. There is room for 1-2 cars to park here or your can drive a little bit down the dirt road. It can be muddy if we have had a lot of rain. There is a little bit bigger parking lot for 2-4 cars depending on the size of the cars. There is a small kiosk marking the start of the trail.

You start out of by walking along a bog where you can see beaver and birds. There are planks to walk over.

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Then you head into the woods for a few minutes before coming to a split into the trail. You can go straight which loops you further up the trail, but is longer or you can take a left into the field. We went left through the field. There are signs stating animal activity in the field so they ask that you walk on the outskirts of the field to the other side and go back into the woods.

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You meander through the woods, up little hills and over streams. We talked about a mile and half in, but due to having movie tickets, we did not have enough time to complete the whole three and half mile trail. I was disappointed that we did not make it to the main feature of the trail.

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Since some of my coworkers live in this area I asked them about the trail. Of course we parked at the wrong end to see the falls. There is nothing wrong with doing the hike from where we started, but if you are on a time crunch I would not recommend it.

Since I hate to leave a trail unfinished I followed my co workers instructions and went back a second time, this time we parking at a much bigger parking lot off of New Boston Road in Bedford. This parking lot was better marked and had room for multiple cars. There is a sign that you need to lock your cars and secure your belongings, which I do not see at many trail heads so I wonder if there has been some break ins here.

We followed the Kennard Trail for almost a mile to Pulpit rock. We started out by walking on some board walks. Then following a fairly flat trail until we reached Pulpit Rock. There are a few side trails, but you want to stay on the Kennard Trail.

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Once at Pulpit Rock there is a kiosk with information about the area.

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You can stand and look down in to the gorge.

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There are trails around the rock and down into the gorge. Due to the ice we were not able to get all the way down, but were able to get some decent views.

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I am excited to come back and explore when there is no ice. Please use caution as the rocks can be very slippery, if you are hiking with kids make sure they stay away from the rocks.

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If you want a shorter hike I would start from the New Boston Road side, if you are looking for a longer hike I would start from the Horace Greeley Road Side.