EASY.                                                        Historic, hiking, biking, xc skiing snowshoeing. Horses allowed on trails.

I usually resist posting about well known, popular, trails around us. My followers asked that I explore the Monson community trails in Milford, NH. We were not disappointed.

Monson Village was one of New Hampshire’s first inland towns settled by Europeans. In 1735 six settlers from Massachusetts and Canada purchased the land, which was then part of Massachusetts. In 1737 they moved there with their families, cleared the land, and built a tight cluster of residential dwellings. For a few years, the town thrived under the leadership of such people as Thomas Nevins, a sergeant in the French and Indian War who lost three sons in the Revolutionary War; Joshua Bailey, whose 11 children narrowly escaped a fire that destroyed their home; Dr. John Brown, a prominent physician whose fancy chaise carriage was the talk of New England; and Russ Dickerman’s (caretaker) great-great-great-grandfather, Richard Clarke.

The main trails are wide. Dogs are allowed off leash if well behaved. Please leash by the caretaker’s cottage as he has a small dog.

The road opens to beautiful stone wall bordered fields.

Spring brings beautiful flowers. Lillies, Columbine, Bleeding Hearts, soon many others.

And other visitors.

The museum is open when Russ and his dog are there. Stop by for a chat. With the Heron’s nesting in spring, He is a very busy man patiently answering many questions.

Had time to enjoy the area around the museum.

We saw a plaque in the distance and headed across the field to investigate.

Our first venture we explored from there, down the yellow trail. Many have left their mark here.

The old cellar holes are cataloged and information about the famlies is displayed.

Interesting that most traveled by foot. Not horseback. Some came from faraway to settle here. Hope they had good boots. On another sojourn, we took the Bailey Lane trail.

First exploration we detoured around the Beaver pond. Worth the extra steps. And with spring, come the Herons! They should be hatching mid May.

A place to view the wildlife and do a bit of journalling.
before herons
before herons
waiting for shift change?
Turtle pow wow.
Double beaver dam.

Loved the old house signs, pre metal information plaques.

We walked by the pound. Curious that no walls were still in existence.

Also of note, some of the roads only had a stone wall on one side. Usually roads have walls on both. Could it be they didn’t move livestock, so had no need for the containment? If so, why the need for a pound?

What a treasure. A tie up for horses, complete with a water bowl.

On a side trail we found some human artwork. Certainly not original to Monson period.

This is an interesting study. Would like to see this in more places.

The goal of this Picture Post is to understand how quickly the hemlocks are declining at Monson, and to assess how the forest responds afterwards.  Interestingly, the forests of Monson were once dominated by American chestnut trees, which were killed off in the early 1900s by a non-native fungus. How will forests respond to the loss or major decline of another major tree species? Since the infestation at Monson was one of the earliest detections of this insect in a forested setting in New Hampshire, it could provide valuable insights into how we can expect the insect to affect more recently infested areas. 

And, of course. Trees.

And, just for fun.