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Hemenway State Forest New Hampshire Ramble 10/8/2011

My wife and I celebrated our 23 wedding anniversary by coming up to New Hampshire for Columbus Day Weekend. We were blessed with much better weather than what we had 23 years agowhen we came up to Whites for our honeymoon. I've wanted to explore the Hemenway State Forest for a long time. A ramble in this forest seemed to be the perfect hike for my wife Alli who has knee and ankle issues. We parked at parking area located on Great Hill Road so we could visit the old Fire Tower and check out the foliage.

Views from the top included entire Sandwich Range to the north and Ossipee Range to the south. Only fly in the ointment was the wasp nest somewhere near the top so we had to share the tower with a dozen or so buzzing hornets. Here is sample of some of the photos taken.

Passaconaway and Mt Paugus

Mount Chocorua

Having no trail map I wasn't sure where to go so we descended via Peg King Trail. It was steep at first, but before long it became less steep and the trees became more interesting. This is a very nice climax forest! And it goes on for quite a ways. We kept alert for the Tamworth Pine, but in mean time we observed tens of fine specimens of pines & hemlocks.

I love to look up at the many side branches spiraling in all directions. This is an American Hemlock. Wooly algelids (thank God) don't appear to be a problem here.

We observed many giants with twin trunks like this White Pine.

We came to junction with the Betty Steel Trail which was a loop trail. We didn't have time to do the whole loop. We had to pick one leg and hike it. Hopefully we'd find the Tamworth Pine. We found this one big white pine that was far bigger than any of the trees we'd seen so far. The tree's girth is almost exactly three outstretched arm spans at least 16 feet. It could have been the Tamworth Pine.

We arrived at the bridge crossing the Swift River and crossed it and arrived at Rt 113. We found a mailbox containing trail maps for Big Pines Natural Area. We walked along Route 113 and located a woodland road enabling us to regain the hill via very gentle walk along the woods road. We spotted this cute little baby pine. Who knows what will become of this little guy? What a nice place! Well worth re-visiting!

by Jazzbeaux
Wed Oct 12, 2011 10:16 pm
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