With A Name Like Eagle Cliff, How Can You Go Wrong?

Eagle Cliff – that’s got to be good, right?  That’s the name of the main feature in the Merriman Forest, a preserve of the SPNHF located in Sandwich NH on the shore of Squam Lake.  And if great views are your thing this is a great spot.

Squam Lake and Rattlesnake Mountain from Eagle Cliff

Squam Lake and Rattlesnake Mountain from Eagle Cliff

North from Eagle Cliff

North from Eagle Cliff

The trail gets pretty steep so probably not good for small children, but if your kids like a physical challenge then let ’em loose.  It’s just a little more than a half mile to the cliffs.  From there it’s just a short distance to the top of the hill where you can catch an alternate trail down (the Teedie Trail) and make it a loop hike.

A hiking companion

Today’s hiking companion

For November color you have to look carefully

For November color you have to look carefully

I chose to do just that but also included the 4-mile side trip to the top of Red Hill, whose fire tower gives terrific 360-degree views.

The view from the fire tower was great too!

The view from the fire tower was great too!

Although the map shows the Teedie Trail to be a straight line, it has actually been lengthened (and strengthened) by the addition of switchbacks.  The trail down crosses some amazing stone walls going in multiple directions.  Big ones like these seem normally to have been built as early major boundaries since most landowners rarely put that amount of effort into them later on, unless it was for sheep.  There were also quite a few short red trees, which one book said were blueberries but I doubt it.  Red Hill was said to have gotten its name from the red leaves.

One of the trees giving Red Hill its name?

One of the trees giving Red Hill its name?

It's a little longer now but the switchbacks make it a lot easier

It’s a little longer now but the switchbacks make it a lot easier

Happy travels!

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5 responses to “With A Name Like Eagle Cliff, How Can You Go Wrong?

    • Yes, it’s a bit of a workout. The advantage is that it’s not crowded here at all, as opposed to Rattlesnake Mountain just a few miles away, which has great views too but is probably one of the most popular (and crowded) hikes around. Unless I’m with my kids, I much prefer the road less traveled.

    • Thank you for sharing this with me. It was a very good article. I had my doubts at first when the author shared theories of Phoenicians and such but was happy when he came around to give the 19th century farmers credit. As a (former) archaeology student, I’m always amazed at how people often unconsciously underestimate the knowledge and abilities of our ancestors. These folks, just like those of us today, were extremely resourceful, observant, and in tune with their surroundings.

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