Monday, April 15, 2013

Demeritt Ledge 3/30/13

"Visible Ledge, Hidden Trail" (pictures)

Late in getting this TR out, but here it is!

Many, many times I have driven up and down Meetinghouse Hill road in Farmington. And we have always spotted a prominent ledge beyond the field of the farm house and barns that sit at the top of the hill. I wondered if we could find it. Is there a trail? I noticed many times people parking at an orange gate to a logging road. Even saw a group of what looked like Cub Scouts heading down the road with camping gear.

Then Scott noticed that a US flag had been erected on the ledge and we were noticing people parking at the gate and heading down the road with back packs. There must be a trail! We finally decided to check it out for ourselves and parked at the gate. I believe this whole area is a tree farm owned by the farm at the top of the hill. The grave site at the farm is that of the "Demeritt" family and I thus would assume that, that be the name of the ledge that overlooks the farm. Could also be called Nubble ledge as I remember seeing this mountain which had a communications tower on it being called Nubble Hill.

The trail begins on a logging road following blue marker tape. You pass through a landing (large logging opening) keeping to the right and continue following blue and sometimes orange/pink tape. It's a little confusing as there seems to be a couple other trails, perhaps loops. Stick to the main trail which is slightly wider and has round, brown, metal "hiker" markers here-and-there along the way. After passing a trail to the right and one to the left the main trail makes a sharp right and begins to climb the hill side. It breaks left and descends into a wet area before climbing steeply up to the ledges.

There are views from the lower section across the valley to the town of Farmington. And beyond that the Moose Mountain Range. From the main ledge where a US flag has been erected (in an esthetically, natural way using wood beams) the view looks out across the Demeritt Farm and to the Portsmouth skyline. We could see the Newington smoke tower and I95 bridge very clearly. To the North East Mt. Agamenticus in York, ME and to the South Baxter Lake was visible and further on perhaps into Massachusetts on the horizon. It is a great quite spot.

We followed a trail from there that continued up the hill side through a recently logged area, through a stone wall and ended at the communication tower. Not sure we should be in this area we headed back to the ledge and had a relaxing lunch. After our stay we took a trail on the lower ledges marked with cairns. This brought us down a different way that I assume loops back to the main trail. However with all the different woods roads and no clear markings it was tough to figure out which way to go.

We ended up coming right out into the Demeritt Farm field, which was fine because we got to check out the cemetery and take pics of the farm and the ledge behind us. We would very much like to make some wooden trail signs (like we do for the SPNHF properties) for this great hike and put up some actual paint blazes. If anyone can confirm the owner lives at the farm or knows who the owner is please let me know! This is a great family hike and we are excited to find another great spot so close to home!

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