Friday, October 8, 2010

Abbott's Grant and Meetinghouse Park 10/8/10

Abbott's Grant (pictures)
With such a wet, crummy weak and not able to get out and enjoy the foliage today's fabulous weather had me itching to find some woods to disappear in. I printed out a bunch of State, town, fish and game, and NHFS PDF's with plenty of spots in my area to find. I headed down Old Bay Road in Farmington headed to check out Coldrain Pond in New Durham. I spotted a sign I have passed before and had yet to check out. I stopped, sign read "Abbott's Grant, Farmington Town Forest". So I parked in the very small parking area with another sign that read "Waldron's Woods". This area seems to have an identity crisis or something! After scratching my head in confusion off I went down the gated logging road!

The trail travels through the woods and to the Northern most tip of Waldron Pond and Cocheco River. It then passes a small marsh and continues through the woods passing a camping area on the right. Once past this you come to another marsh along Cocheco River. The trail follows back from the marsh and narrows where there are orange tape markers. I assume this marks the property line, but perhaps not. You enter an area that has been logged within the past couple years with skidder roads going every which way. I would say it was 1/2 a mile to this spot.

Not sure if I was still on town property and not wanting to get lost I made my way back, noticing on my left just past the campsite a stone cellar hole. Back to the truck I decided to walk back down the road to the bridge to view the pond from there. On the way back I noticed a logging road across the street, a cable across it and yellow signs reading "Absolutely no ATV's". I took this as meaning walkers are welcome so off I went. The road brings you to the edge of another marsh of Cocheco River and I could see an old dam on the far South end. I continued down the road and noticed a narrow path to the left. This must be a path to the dam, I figured. Sure enough after winding around a hill I arrived at the old dam. It was an interesting structure, the middle knocked out and a nice cascade. After investigating this spot I continued on the path which ended at another camp area with a fire pit and tree platform next to a cascade.

"Meetinghouse Park" (pictures)
Back on the road I decided to can my trip to Coldrain Pond and stop up the road at the Meetinghouse Park. Another place I had often passed by and was unaware of what was there. Besides the 1772 meetinghouse, there are a cattle pound structure, a pauper's grave (the oldest in New Durham) a vernal pond and 3 loop trails. The trails were small and were not in any sensible order but it was a nice short walk in the woods, something that would be great for kids or older folk who don't get out much. The trails were very easy to follow and well taken care of. I went around in circles in order to walk each loop! Would be a nice little walk in the winter too. Not sure o distance but it is less than 1/2 a mile. That wrapped up the day. Glad to get out in the woods and explore some more spots near home. And got the foliage views I wanted. Hoping to get up to the Belknaps and Whites this Columbus Day weekend! :)

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