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Bethlehem, New Hampshire, United States
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29 April 2011

A Mud-Season Meander

There are times (especially during the spring mud-season) when I'll pick out a logging road on public land and simply meander. Sometimes I'll stay on the road, and other times I'll do some short bushwhacks off the road at various points along the way. These meanderings are just a simple walk in the woods, and are they are done mainly just for exercise. There are no great expectations of any panoramic vistas, or magnificent waterfalls!

This past Friday (29-Apr-2011), I opted to roam along a road located within the public land tract known as the Randolph Community Forest. There are many ways to access this Forest. My point of access was a gated road on the north side of U.S. Route 2 about a tenth of a mile west of the trailhead for the Castle Trail (Bowman, NH).

I would encourage you to read a very interesting and well-written publication about the Randolph Community Forest that is available on the RMC (Randolph Mountain Club) website (Click HERE). And just to give you a feel for the size of the Randolph Community Forest, presented below is an excerpt from that publication.

"On December 4, 2001, the Town of Randolph took title to a 10,000-acre tract of land and became the owner of the largest town forest in New Hampshire. For the Town, this was the culmination of a multiyear effort to preserve more than 13,000 acres strategically located between two sections of the White Mountain National Forest (WMNF) lands. The effort was initiated by the Town of Randolph and involved the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), the Trust for Public Lands, and the New Hampshire Division of Forests and Lands."

As I trekked along this logging road in the Randolph Community Forest, I could tell that this would be unlike my other mundane meanderings on this type of road. For one thing, there are nice views both on and off this road!

The snapshot below shows a view from the road (Mt. Jefferson prominently displayed).
Also, you can wander off the road to get views such as shown in the snapshot below. Yes, vistas such as shown below are from an old logging-cut, which to some folks is sort of like cheating to get such a view. When I go hiking, logging-cuts are certainly not my destination. However, if I happen to come across one that provides a nice view, then I'm not opposed to taking a peek!
By doing a short bushwhack off the road, I was able to get a distant through-the-trees view of a portion of the Franconia Range, as shown below.
Also by wandering off the road here and there, I was able to enjoy many wildflowers that were either in full-bloom, or about to bloom.
Other off-the-road meanderings led me to things such as a picturesque wetland area, a nice stand of birch trees, and I spotted what I think is a clavicle bone from a moose. All these are shown in the photo collage below.
The map below represents just a small segment of the Randolph Community Forest (green portion at upper left of screen).  However, this map serves to show the general vicinity of the area where I roamed during my 29-April hike. (NOTE: If you click on the map, it becomes slightly larger.)
Admittedly, it's just my opinion, but I thought the trek on/off a logging-road through the Randolph Community Forest was interesting. Therefore, I decided to share this experience via my Blog. But please be assured, my more typical humdrum ramblings along logging roads will remain "un-Blogged"!! :)

Leaving a comment via this Blog is always appreciated. However, if you prefer to ask a question or make a comment via a personal E-mail, then you may contact me at: randonneur8 at yahoo dot com.


Grant said...

Nice post...If it wasn't for your blog I would never see this part of New Hampshire! The Whites are always a 3+ hour drive for me so I have kept my focus on the 4000 footer peaks. I can't get over how much hiking awsomeness NH has.

1HappyHiker said...

Grant . . . good to read that you liked the posting about my meandering trek on/off a logging road! I was a bit uncertain as to whether to post it since it was such an oddball hike. However, since many of my other hikes sort of fall into the “oddball” category, I decided what the heck! :).


My Life Outdoors said...

I agree with Grant. Although I have never been to NH as it is closer to a 36 hour drive for me. But this is one of several NH based blogs I read. Seems to be a lot to hike there.