AMC Southern New Hampshire Trail Guide (5th Edition)
In the summer of 2018, Appalachian Mountain Club approached me to take on the role of author and editor of their upcoming 5th Edition of the Southern New Hampshire Trail Guide. The personal recommendation came from previous author Steve Smith, a legend in the New England hiking community, and was based on my knowledge of and hiking experience in this area of the state, as well as my connections to area land trusts. I was of course very honored as well as very humbled at the opportunity, and accepted the offer immediately. The excitement of this opportunity led to an immediate push to get out there and begin field work on trails that I'd like to include.
Throughout the fall of 2018 and the spring of 2019 (and even the following winter), I worked to cover a lot of ground in southern NH in an effort to add as many new trails to the guide as possible. In addition, I also worked with land trusts, private landowners, NH State Parks and local trail clubs to gather the latest information on trail updates.
In cooperation with the staff at AMC Books, I hope to make this edition of the Southern New Hampshire Trail Guide the best one yet.
Below are known updates and changes since the book's original publication in March 2021. Contributions are welcome:
p. 46, Ann Stokes Loop In July 2021, a section of the ruins of Madame Sherri's Castle collapsed unexpectedly. The immediate area around the ruins may be restricted to the public in the future.
p. 109, Osgood Hill and Kulish Ledges (Partridge Woods) As of September 2021, the Homestead Ln. parking area is no longer accessible to the public as the road has been posted with "private/no trespassing/authorized access only" signs. In addition, the western 0.8 mi. section of Wheeler Trail from Homestead Ln. to the new Ridge Trail has been closed. References to the parking area and this section of the trail have been removed from the revised Harris Center map and guide for Partridge Woods, available at harriscenter.org.
p. 109, Osgood Hill and Kulish Ledges (Partridge Woods) As of late July 2022, the main parking area for Kulish Ledges Trail along Old Stoddard Rd. in Nelson has been closed. Per the Harris Center, hiking is still permitted from here but there's no parking allowed, and parking is not advised along the road (there have incidents of vandalism in the past). A new parking area has been created 0.5 mi. further up the road, 1.8 mi. from NH 123. New signage is being created by the Nelson Trails Committee. A blue-blazed connector trail leads to Holt Trail from the back of the new lot.
p. 116, Spur Trail This trail is now maintained and marked for the first 0.6 mi. to the old apple orchard and outlook. Beyond this point the trail has been abandoned.
p. 151, Elwell Trail In 2021, a short section of the trail just west of its junction with Back 80 Trail was relocated to bypass a steep and slippery ledge slab.
p. 159, Little Roundtop Trails A logging operation on the northwest slope of Little Roundtop in early 2021 has restored the view toward Bristol and the White Mtns. beyond.
p. 201, Neville Peak and Epsom Town Forest The winter/overflow parking at the junction of Tarlton Rd. and Mountain Rd. has now been posted no parking. A new winter/mud season parking area (sign) has been created at Getaway (cabin rentals) on Mountain Rd., 0.3 mi. north of Tarlton Rd. The town of Epsom is proposing to expand the existing official parking lot and improve the Class VI section of Tarlton Rd. leading to it, but there is no ETA on when this might happen.
p. 205, Oak Hill (Loudon) To reach the main trailhead on Shaker Rd. go around the new traffic circle and take the third exit onto Mountain Rd. The left turn here has been eliminated by the rotary.
p. 207, Oak Hill Summit Loop The views from Swope Slope Vista have been opened up by logging.
p. 209, Jerry Hill and Swope Park in-text map The far left side should say "to West End Farm Trail and Dimond Hill Farm".
p. 218, Whiteface Mtn. (Wolfeboro) A memorial plaque on a boulder now marks the start of the trail from the parking area.
p. 223, Ossipee Mtns. parking In spring 2021, LRCT constructed additional parking in the lower field across from the original hiker parking lot at the top of Ossipee Park Rd.
p. 258, East Gilford Trail This trail now leaves from a new parking area located on private land (1,080 ft.) off Wood Rd. which was constructed in 2020. The former parking area has been closed and parking is still prohibited along Wood Rd. and Bickford Rd. From this new parking (still firmly restricted to five numbered spaces), a new section of East Gilford Trail has been cut to connect to a point just south of the old trailhead. This adds 0.2 mi. and 70 ft. elevation gain to the hike.