Since I had some things to do in Littleton on 29-November, there was no time for doing a big hike. However, there was time for a couple of small local hikes.
PART 1: Franconia, NH
Rather than take the direct route from Bethlehem to Littleton, I took a side trip to Franconia along the way. Here, I stopped at Coffin Pond which is a lovely piece of public land. Shown below are two snapshots taken of mountains in the Franconia Range as viewed from the shoreline of frozen Coffin Pond.
Before leaving Franconia, I made one more stop at a spot along the Gale River where I took the snapshots shown below.
PART 2: Littleton, NH:
After finishing up my business in Littleton, I walked some of the pathways in the Pine Hill Trail system which is most easily accessed from Remich Park, located just a few blocks from downtown Littleton at the junction of Oak Hill Avenue and Pine Hill Road.
Shown below is a map of the trail system. The route that I followed is highlighted in yellow.
This trail system is very well maintained by Bill Nichols and his crew. Also, the trails are very well signed. Shown below are just a few of the many trail signs.
Oh! And when there isn't a trail, there is a sign to tell you this! (The sign in the next photo is suspended by a cable stretched across the "Not A Trail" corridor.)
And regarding blazing, recycling and quaintness are intermixed by using metal pull-top can lids to mark the trails (next photo).
I did a loop hike which involved following signs to Palmer Brook, and a Ski Trail to Elm Street (next photo).
Palmer Brook is small, but picturesque (see photo below).
Another spot along my route was Teapot Rock, the site of an early 1900 logging camp (see photo below).
The trail system also includes tall pines, and typical New England rock walls (next photo).
To sum it up, although my two hikes for the day were small, they were very enjoyable. I'm grateful to have options such as these for those days when the opportunity for a longer hike is unavailable.
ADDENDUM (added 03-Dec-2012):
This additional information and photos was added in response to a question received from a reader named "Hiking Lady" (see Comments to this Blog report). The question concerned the location of the old ski slopes on Eustis Hill (Littleton, NH) in relation to the Pine Hill Trail System.
On the map shown below, it can be seen that the old Eustis Hill Ski area is in the south part of town, and the Pine Hills Trail System is on the north side. However, Littleton isn’t that big. It’s very easy to get from one place to the other. Parking for the old ski slope is available on the west side of Mt. Eustis Road (see red "P" on map below).
Map showing location of old Eustis Hill Ski area in relation to location of Pine Hill Trails
Below is a photo that I took from the Eustis Hill Ski area about a week before doing my trek on the Pine Hill Trails. The vista from the top of the old slopes includes a portion of downtown Littleton along with several mountain ranges on the northeast horizon.
Photo taken from top of old Eustis Hill Ski area
Another fine spot for a short hike while in Littleton is Kilburn Crags. The current (as well as older editions) of AMC's White Mountain Guide contains a trail description for this hike. The trek is only 1.8 miles (round-trip). Views from the Crags include downtown Littleton, plus high peaks in the Presidential, Franconia-Twin, and Pilot mountain ranges. The next photo shows a portion of this vista as seen a few years ago on a day in early April.
A portion of the vista available from Kilburn Crags (just outside downtown Littleton, NH)