Giving Thanks at Sheldrick Forest

This past Thanksgiving brought me through New Hampshire’s southern tier, where I usually must hurry through on my way to Boston.  Taking advantage of the situation, I decided to tarry an hour or so at Sheldrick Forest, a Nature Conservancy preserve just off NH Route 101 in Wilton.With just 3 miles of trails, it is not a particularly large preserve, but it connects SPNHF’s Heald Tract (6 miles) and Pratt Pond (2 miles) in the Russell-Abbott State Forest.

One of many bird nests sheltered under the kiosk roof.

But I’ve never been disappointed with a Nature Conservancy preserve, and this being Thanksgiving Day, I had the trails to myself.  I tried all the trails – it doesn’t take long to cover 3 gentle miles.  The thick leaf and needle cover made it feel like I was walking on a sponge.

The mountain laurel would be spectacular in the summer.

I especially enjoyed the gentle Charles Davisson Trail which is lined with mountain laurel and stone walls.  It must be wonderful in the summer when the laurel is in blossom.  Other trails meandered through a dense white pine forest.

But this was a day for giving thanks, and what better way to give thanks to those people who had the foresight to preserve this and other special places in the state, and to those who maintain the trail system.  The story of how this tract of land narrowly escaped development is available in the Conservancy brochure and trail map.

And just in case you’ve had your fill of nature, consider visiting the nearby village of Harrisville, NH with its great country store.

Harrisville NH scene

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