Thursday, July 21, 2016

New Hampshire: Day 1. Cotton Valley Rail-Trail

The old Cotton Valley Station
Kali and I visited with a friend and colleague in central New Hampshire during the second week of July.  Neither of us had ever been to New Hampshire (our fifth-last state to check off our list of "states visited").  We had a good four days.

Our friend had to work on the first day of our visit, so she suggested that she could drive us six miles outside town (Wolfeboro) to an access point for the Cotton Valley Rail-Trail, and we could walk back into town.  Perfect.

Kali on the Cotton Valley Rail-Trail
When Wolfeboro created the rail-trail, the town did not remove the tracks.  In places, the trail runs between the tracks (filled with limestone grit), whereas in most other places, the trail runs alongside the tracks on one side or the other.

A swamp alongside the trail
There's a beaver lodge at the lower right of the image

Bunchberry (an herbaceous perennial dogwood; Cornus canadensis) growing along the right-of-way
The day was bright, sunny, and a bit humid, but the trail was level and the walking easy.

Fernald Station - exactly half way along our walk
Fernald Brook.  There's a beaver dam visible in the center rear of the image.
The second half of the walk, closer to town, was less "wild" than the portion further away.  Development encroached up to the trail edge more frequently, and we could hear cars driving on the state route that parallels the trail.  About two miles outside town, the trail passed by a public beach on Lake Wentworth; lots of folks were taking advantage of the great swimming weather.
Public beach at Lake Wentworth
Lake Wentworth - away from the crowds and private storefront developments
When we got back to town, we treated ourselves to ice cream cones.


robin andrea said...

Looks like a great place for a nice long walk. Love that lake view!

Scott said...

Robin Andrea: By the time we got to the "lake view," we were ready for a cooling swim but opted for ice cream instead!