Archive | Hiking

Cardigan Highlanders trail work on Mt. Sunapee set for Sat., Oct. 6

The Cardigan Highlanders Volunteer Trail Crew (CHVTC) will be on Mount Sunapee this weekend and welcomes help with the trail work at hand.

On Saturday, October 6, the trail crew will meet at Mount Sunapee State Park, ride the chairlift to the top of the mountain, and then descend the Summit Trail to work on drainage dips.

“We hope and expect to stop when we reach the fixtures we built in our earlier five days of work there this season, then hike downhill to our cars and refreshments,” said crew leader Craig Sanborn.

The Summit Trail is a popular public hiking trail on Mount Sunapee. This job is necessary for the health of the trail, explained Sanborn. Other trail work will continue on Sunday or Monday on the Newbury Trail.

On Friday, the trail crew will be on Mount Kearsarge, the Rollins Trail.

The gear needed: leather boots, long pants, and BYO work gloves or gloves will be provided. Food, water, and supplies for all day in the forecasted weather, dry and 50s.

For more information or to volunteer, contact Craig Sanborn, email: crgsnbrn@yahoo.com.

The Cardigan Highlanders is a non-profit organization recruiting new trail workers and support. It has been doing trail work on Mount Sunapee and Mount Cardigan since 1985. See the Cardigan Highlanders website.

Birds of Wendell Marsh South slideshow and hike on Aug. 30

Birds of Wendell Marsh South, a slideshow and hike led by Steve Hale of Open Word Explorers, will be held on Thursday, August 30, in Sunapee. The presentation starts at 5:30 pm at the Abbott Library. A hike of Wendell Marsh South follows at 7:00 pm. The program sponsors are the Ausbon Sargent Land Preservation Trust and Abbott Library. For sign up information, visit Abbott Library. RSVP by August 28.

Land protection: Wendell Marsh in Sunapee

The protection of the Wendell Marsh area in Sunapee has been a focus of the conservation efforts for many years. Earlier this summer (June 2018), the Ausbon Sargent Land Preservation Trust announced that 40 acres of undeveloped land, which includes a significant portion of the marsh habitat, had been preserved.

NH Fish and Game began the conservation efforts in this area in the 1960’s. They protected the 10-acre Wendell Marsh Wildlife Area, identified as a high priority for conservation by the Town of Sunapee due to its pristine wetland habitat for waterfowl, wading birds, and other wildlife, as well as for water quality protection.

In 2013 Ausbon Sargent partnered with the Town of Sunapee’s Conservation Commission to protect 136 acres (Wendell Marsh North) followed, in 2015, with an additional 143 acres (Wendell Marsh South.) Read more…

 

‘The primeval forest of Mount Sunapee’

Conservation ecologist Chris Kane, on June 30, 2018, led a hike at Mount Sunapee State Park, where he shared his knowledge of the area’s rare ancient forest.

Courtesy of the Eagle Times, July 28, 2018, this article by Steve Russell, president of Friends of Mount Sunapee, reports on a recent hike with conservation ecologist Chris Kane.

“Mount Sunapee contains as much as 10 percent of all the known ancient forest in New Hampshire, and the great majority south of the White Mountains.” – Chris Kane, June 30, 2018

In a walk through time into a forest never logged or otherwise affected by human endeavors, Chris Kane, conservation ecologist, led our small group of hikers last weekend into Mount Sunapee State Park’s primeval forest. Over the course of a three-and-a-half-hour journey, we hikers heard this naturalist identify and interpret the complexity of Sunapee’s ancient forests…

So, like those who were drawn to Sunapee’s rare forests over a century ago, we emerged from the forest with a new appreciation for the uniqueness of this special part of Mount Sunapee State Park and with an understanding that these forests represent the last vestige of wilderness in this region of New Hampshire: they are what make Mount Sunapee State Park unique, and we should do everything we can to ensure that they are permanently protected.

Read more via the Eagle Times, The primeval forests of Mount Sunapee 

Or view The primeval forests of Mount Sunapee | Lifestyles | eagletimes.com (pdf)

The ancient forest on Mount Sunapee
  • For information about Mount Sunapee natural heritage and its ancient forest, see the FOMS library of documents.
  • For info about our work to protect Mount Sunapee, please contact us.

 

Mount Sunapee advisory committee to review annual plan for ski area on May 31

“What is being planned for winter and summer programs for the ski area at Mount Sunapee State Park? The operator Okemo/Mount Sunapee Resort will discuss its Annual Operating Plan (AOP) 2017-2018 with the state’s Mount Sunapee Advisory Committee on Wed., May 31, 2017, at 9:30 a.m. at the Newbury Town Offices, Route 103. The meeting is open to the public. The resort will discuss operations and projects planned for the coming year, according to the agenda. A hiking trail update is expected, as well.

View/download the agenda here: MSAC-Agenda5-31 (pdf 24kb)

View/download the AOP here: MSR-AOP-2017-2018 (pdf 6MB)

Read related post…

Protection of the public hiking trails at Mount Sunapee State Park, including the woodland Summit Trail, is a priority for FOMS.

In March 2016, Commissioner Rose (Department of Resources and Economic Development) agreed and said, “maintaining four season hiking on the Summit Trail is a priority. To codify this commitment, DRED, Mount Sunapee Resort and the Sunapee-Ragged-Kearsarge Greenway Coalition (SRKGC) will enter into a Cooperative Maintenance Agreement, which will protect and maintain the designated trails within the leased boundary. In addition to protecting and maintaining the safety and stewardship of the trails, Mount Sunapee Resort will provide annual spring maintenance on the Summit Trail.”

As of this posting, DRED has not provided FOMS a status report on the Cooperative Maintenance Agreement. FOMS volunteers continue to follow up with DRED, and we’ll post the agreement when made available.

 

Going camping this summer? Get your free NH Camping Guide

Going camping this summer?

Experienced campers know that New Hampshire is prime camping country. The Granite State is known for spectacular vistas, serene woodland settings, crystal clear lakes and rivers, and nothing gets you closer to these scenic wonders than camping.

Under the stars, nestled in a tent or parked at the junction of civilization and nature camping is the jumping off point to a vacationer’s smorgasbord of rest, relaxation, and adventure.

For some, camping is the main event; for others, camping is a starting point. New Hampshire offers campers a huge variety in terms of campgrounds and vacation activities. A free New Hampshire Camping Guide, published by the New Hampshire Campground Owners Association (NeHaCa), is available in hard copy or electronic version.

A free New Hampshire Camping Guide, published by the New Hampshire Campground Owners Association (NeHaCa), is available in hard copy or electronic version. Visit www.ucampnh.com for more information.

For campgrounds at N.H. state parks, visit:

https://www.nhstateparks.org/park-search-results.aspx?activity=Camping

For the Mount Sunapee State Park campground, visit:

https://www.nhstateparks.org/visit/state-parks/mount-sunapee-state-park.aspx

Photos courtesy of the New Hampshire Campground Owners’ Association.

Andrew Brook Trailhead Update

A popular destination in winter as well as warmer seasons, Lake Solitude is the reward of a two-mile ascent up the Andrew Brook Trail. Access to the trail is now protected by the Society for the Protection of N.H. Forests. Photo by John Welch/johnwelchphoto.com.

A popular destination in winter as well as warmer seasons, Lake Solitude is the reward of a two-mile ascent up the Andrew Brook Trail. Access to the trail is now protected by the Society for the Protection of N.H. Forests. Photo by John Welch/johnwelchphoto.com.

Members of the hiking community around Mount Sunapee put their enthusiasm for a popular trail to Lake Solitude to work and quickly helped the Society for the Protection of N.H. Forests (Forest Society) raise funds to conserve the property where the trail begins.

The Forest Society purchased the 33-acre trailhead property, off Mountain Road in Newbury, in order to protect access to the Andrew Brook Trail, said Jane Difley, the Forest Society’s president/forester.

“So many people who love this trail assumed that the trailhead was part of  Mount Sunapee State Park, but in fact it was privately owned and therefore vulnerable when it came up for sale,” Difley said. “Now that the Forest Society owns it, public access is protected, and we want to thank the fans of this trail for helping to secure it.”

The Andrew Brook Trail is a 2-mile ascent up Andrew Brook on the eastern side of Mt. Sunapee to Lake Solitude, a pristine pond surrounded by conifers. It then meets up with other trails leading to the scenic White Ledges area and to Mount  Sunapee’s peak. Read more…

 

Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway Supermap is now available

View from Mount Sunapee looking south toward Mount Monadnock, in the far distance to the right, and showing the Sunapee Ridge and Lovewell Mountain (center-left).

View from Mount Sunapee looking south toward Mount Monadnock, in the far distance to the right, and showing the Sunapee Ridge and Lovewell Mountain (left of center).

A new Greenway Super Map is now available from the Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway Trail Club. Price: $10.00. The full color map (18 x 24 in size) includes all trail highlights of the Greenway, from Mount Monadnock to Pitcher Mountain on side one, and Pitcher Mountain to Mount Sunapee on the other side. All feeder trails on Mount Monadnock, Mount Sunapee and in Pillsbury State Park are included, as are section mileages, shelter locations, trail history, water source locations, GPS coordinates for all points of interest, and more.

For ordering information, visit the trail club website store at www.msgtc.org/store

The Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway Trail Club (MSGTC) is a non-profit organization that formed in 1994. It’s mission includes trail maintenance efforts along the 48-mile hiking trail and to provide support for their volunteers and trail adopters, and to promote awareness of  the natural beauty of  The Greenway. 

Forest Society working to buy popular trailhead for Mt. Sunapee hike to Lake Solitude

winter hiker smaller CDeegan IMG_1868

A hiker ascends the Andrew Brook Trail in Newbury. Courtesy photo.

When the Society for the Protection of N.H. Forests (Forest Society) posted on Facebook a plan to buy a property in Newbury that hosts the trailhead of a hiking route to Lake Solitude on Mt. Sunapee, hikers who know the Andrew Brook Trail responded quickly.

They posted phrases like “Love this hike,” “One of my favorite spots” and “Best way to hike Sunapee.”

“Those posts told us we were working on a project that would make a lot of people very happy,” said Jane Difley, the Forest Society’s president/forester.

There are three major hiking trails on Mt. Sunapee, but only one, the Summit Trail, is entirely within Mt. Sunapee State Park. The Andrew Brook Trail is one of two others that cross private land before entering permanently protected land in the state park. Access to the trailhead has been at the generosity of the landowner and could be denied by any future landowner.

AndrewBrook_MailingMapv5-1

Click on map to enlarge.

The Forest Society offered to buy the land, 33 acres off of Mountain Road in Newbury, when it came up for sale recently, and has a purchase-and-sales agreement with the landowner. First, however, the organization must raise $110,000 to cover the purchase, legal fees and future stewardship costs.

“We are reaching out to the hiking community and friends and neighbors in the Newbury area to ask for their support of our plan to protect the trailhead,” Difley said.

The Andrew Brook Trail ascends along Andrew Brook and climbs through a beech, birch and maple forest for two miles before reaching Lake Solitude, a pristine pond surrounded by conifers. It then connects to the Sunapee Ragged Kearsarge Greenway’s 75-mile trail system and continues to the scenic cliffs of the  White Ledges area and Mt. Sunapee’s summit.

“Most hikers of these heavily used trails have no idea that only the generosity of a private landowner allows access to the State Park,” said Gerry Gold, of the Sunapee Ragged Kearsarge Greenway Coalition. “Thus it is a rare opportunity when the hikers and the hiking community have an opportunity to help purchase such important access and permanently protect that access for themselves and future generations of hikers.”

In 2006, the Forest Society led a campaign to purchase a conservation easement on 1,100 acres of land on the eastern slope of Mt. Sunapee. This easement protects the middle section of the Andrew Brook Trail and was a collaboration celebrated by partners including the Newbury Conservation Commission, Cardigan Highlanders Volunteer Trail Crew, the Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway, Friends of Mount Sunapee and the Sunapee-Ragged-Kearsarge Greenway.

In 2010 the Goubert family of Sunapee donated 75 acres of land next to the 33-acre property the Forest Society now seeks to buy.

Difley said the property’s value for hiking is the most obvious reason to protect it, but it also contains hardwood forest that protects water quality of Andrew Brook and several feeder streams, and it provides excellent wildlife habitat. She said the organization is seeking to raise the money necessary to complete the project by Jan. 20.

More information about the project and how to donate, visit www.forestsociety.org.

Campaign underway to protect Andrew Brook trailhead

Lake Solitude_ForestSociety

Overlooking Lake Solitude at Mt. Sunapee State Park. Photo credit: Jack Savage, courtesy of Forest Society.

The Forest Society is seeking your help to permanently protect the trailhead of the Andrew Brook Trail, a favorite hiking trail to Lake Solitude and the White Ledges at Mt. Sunapee State Park.

See Current Forest Society projects.

Download/view Andrew Brook Trailhead flyer 12-14-15 (2MB)

“The owner of a 33-acre property that hosts the trailhead, off Newbury’s Mountain Road, has agreed to sell it to the Forest Society. Now we must raise the $110,000 needed to acquire the land, cover transaction costs, improve the trailhead and steward the property, and we hope you will give a donation to help,” the society release states.

Map courtesy of the Forest Society. Click on map to enlarge.

Map provided by the Forest Society.

The Andrew Brook Trail is beloved by many hikers as a sweet ascent along a babbling brook that you rock hop across as you climb through a beech, birch and maple forest. It climbs for two miles before reaching Lake Solitude, a pristine pond surrounded by conifers. It then continues to the White Ledges area on the way to Mt. Sunapee’s summit.

Additionally, conserving this parcel will help protect water quality of Andrew Brook and feeder streams in the area, provide high-quality wildlife habitat and enlarge the surrounding block of conserved land including the Andrew Brook Forest and Sunapee and Pillsbury state parks.

“In 2006, the Forest Society led a campaign to purchase a conservation easement on 1,100 acres of land on the eastern slope of Mt. Sunapee,” states the Forest Society. “This easement protects the middle section of the Andrew Brook Trail and was a huge collaborative success celebrated by partners including the Newbury Conservation Commission, Highlanders, the Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway, Friends of Mt. Sunapee and the Sunapee-Ragged-Kearsarge Greenway. The trailhead, however, remained in private ownership and unprotected, and it has now been put up for sale.”

For more information, contact Susanne Kibler-Hacker at the Forest Society, 603-224-9945, or via e-mail at skh@forestsociety.org.

Volunteer trailworker and crew chief Craig Sanborn receives Spirit of NH Award

Craig Sanborn, crew chief of the Cardigan Mountain Volunteer Trail Crew, receives a 2015 Volunteer NH Spirit Award at the awards event held Nov. 10 at the Capitol Center for the Arts in Concord, NH.

Congratulations to trailworker, mentor and crew chief, Craig Sanborn, who was recently recognized for his “commitment to service and the tradition of volunteerism” with a 2015 Spirit of New Hampshire Award.

Craig is a dedicated worker and advocate for our public hiking trails including those on Mount Sunapee.

As crew chief of the Cardigan Highlanders Volunteer Trail Crew, Craig celebrated 30 years of trail tending by welcoming new members, who learned the skills and turned out to have fun building dozens of new fixtures on Mounts Cardigan, Sunapee, and Kearsarge.

We tend 10 miles of hiking trail on the Cardigan range and 5 miles on Mount Sunapee. We see to the routine preventive Level 1 upkeep: clean 140 drains spring and fall, trim back the brush, paint the blazes that mark trails for hikers, and remove fallen trees. After 30 years we know how often to attend these chores, so our trails are almost always in good condition. We also build all the Level 2 fixtures on these trails: steps, waterbars, retaining walls, bridges, signs etc.
In 2015, the trail crew added 45 rock steps on Mount Cardigan’s West Ridge Trail and, on Mount Sunapee, 60 on the Newbury Trail and 4 on Andrew Brook Trail. Other work included building:
  • 6 rock waterbars on Sunapee’s Rim Trail, which now has 20 drains in its half mile length;
  • a 20′ bridge with the Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway Trail Club on a MSGTC maintained trail; and
  • a 12′ bridge (at State request) that required hauling PT lumber 1/4 mile up the Barlow Trail on Mt. Kearsarge at Winslow State Park.
The trail crew’s worklog totals 811 hours.

Copyright 2018 Friends of Mount Sunapee