Hiking, biking, snowshoeing, some areas perfect for horses.
Ethan owned this land and had dreams of subdividing, however, fortunately, it did not happen. There was some talk of windmills, but access was impractical. The land was acquired in 2017, with help from the Harris Center, a bequest from Sidney and Claire Partridge(for whom the land is named), and grants from the Land and Water Conservation Fund, the Quabbin-to-Cardigan Partnership, and the NH Conservation Committee (the Moose Plate program).
Ample parking. A definite alternative should parking be full on the Bailey Brook side. Even enough room for horse trailers. And, a bonus for those of you who can’t back your horse trailers! The old road is a great place to enjoy this area on horseback.
Make sure to visit the foundation on the right of the driveway. It was the home of Nathaniel Woods. Check out: Nelsonhistory.org for more information.
The trail is unassuming to start. You enter the old road, cross a gentle stream and then, begin to climb. and climb. and climb. The footing is easy so one feels a bit wussy having to stop and breathe on the way up. The eye does not notice the incline, the lungs do. We did notice some shards of glass which we tried to move, but if you are with a dog or horse, you might want to keep an eye out.
As you come to the crest there is a sign urging you forward. A beacon in the sun and ferns.
The trail dips down a little. One thing about this route. You will get your cardio, but you will also get respites as the trail undulates along. And there is plenty to enjoy. On one of our hikes, I met someone who makes a figure 8 out of this network of trails. What a great idea.
For those of you on horseback, there is a small section that is a bit rocky. However, most of this trail is amazingly soft on one’s feet, whether you have 2 or 4.
As you begin the Hurd Hill Loop, take a moment to enjoy the critters along the way.
The Hurd Hill trail is a loop, so you may decide to go right or left at the junction. We did both and I believe we prefer taking the clockwise direction as catching the view on the way back is better.
We joined the Ridge Trail where we saw a couple of great crooked trees.
Pause for the wonderful view of the Nelson Town Barn, Nelson church steeple, the French’s farm, and, beyond, the Green Mountains and Stratton.
A bit more Cardio
Travel down a slope and follow the stone wall. A bit swampy here.
The Ridge trail is highly recommended. A bit of a climb but well worth it!
There will be cardio. But when you finish getting your heart pumping, You are blessed with an awesome view of Monadnock.
It is a well-known fact, that I LOVE trees. This old guy really must have stories to tell.
Some have had their day, and serve another purpose, like this Swiss Cheese tree.
The Ridge Trail ends and we turned right on the Holt Trail heading to Osgood Hill Summit. Otherwise known as Black Top. So named, not because many of the rocks are black, but because the Spruce Trees look black, especially in the winter. Perfect picnic spot as the boy scouts delivered a table/bench. We have made it more than halfway on our loop!
Following Holt, we pass some interesting trees.
Right toward Greengate parking takes us to the old carriage Rd. The Wheeler Road is the third oldest road in Nelson.
Wheeler’s house is on the right.
I have taken both Ethan’s Way and the direct way to the Brickyard parking lot. Each has its own attributes. Following these roads, one realizes that the adventuring pioneers, who headed west in the early 1800s, were much better equipped for handling a wagon in steep and unforgiving terrain. Imagine if you will, bumping by wagon down these steep hills.
ETHAN’S WAY TO PARTRIDGE WOODS PARKING:
WHEELER TRAIL TO GREENGATE AND ON TO PARKING.
Wheeler house will be on your left as you head down Wheeler Road.
Reuben Wellman fought in the revolution.
The old Monadnock Sunapee trail passed this way.
This is a private drive. Walking allowed. Please do not park here. Keep straight to Brickyard and Partridge Woods parking will be on your right.
THE SIGNS OF THE TRAIL:
AND JUST SOME FUN STUFF.
Thanks to the Nelson Trails Committee and the Harris Center
Your comments are welcome. For the Harris Center: Contact Miles at firstname.lastname@example.org or (603) 525-3394 or me, email@example.com
Harris Center trails are made possible through the support of donors like
For the Nelson Trails Committee, http://www.townofnelson.org/conservation-commission/ and Nelson in Common; https://nelsonincommon.org/about/ Please consider donating to help the Trails Committee keep up their good work.