Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Sunapee-Ragged-Kearsarge-Greenway Trail 12 – Kearsarge Valley Road to Wadleigh State Park

The Sunapee-Ragged-Kearsarge Greenway (SRKG or Greenway) is a 75-mile “emerald necklace” of fourteen hiking trails surrounding Lake Sunapee, crossing Sunapee, Ragged and Kearsarge mountains, and maintained by Greenway volunteers. The red arrow in the map points to Trail 12 Kearsarge Valley Road to Wadleigh State Park.

This section of SRKG Trail 12 coincides with the Kearsarge Valley Trail. Most of the trail signs show both signs. The trail uses old wood paths, town roads, unmaintained Class VI roads, and new wood trails. We went in early May, and although there we had some wet and muddy areas, and a few tree blowdowns across the path, we found the hiking reasonably easy. We did notice that the black fly season was beginning, and the adage, “Black fly season starts with Mother’s Day and ends with Father’s Day,” appears to hold. The level of difficulty in the SRK Greenway Trail Guide is “easy,” and based on this hike, we agree.

The eastern trailhead is on Kearsarge Valley Road, about 3.9 miles from Route 11 in Wilmot Flat. On our east-to-west direction hike, we passed 55 acres Gile Pond Sutton, NH.

The Western Trailhead is at Wadleigh State Park on 170 acre Kezar Lake in North Sutton. The picture of Mount Kearsarge was taken on the one-lane bridge over Lane River. 

According to the SRK Greenway Trail Guide, “Gile Pond is part of the Lane River, running south through Kezar to the Warner River. The theory is that Kezar Lake, elevated by a small dam, and Gile Pond were once one body of water. Only six feet in elevation separate the ponds, and the terrain between them is wetlands and a sandy plain. Gile Pond was one of the many New Hampshire ponds in which logs were placed for storage after the 1938 hurricane. Logs from trees downed by the storm but not recovered are seen breaking the pond’s surface."

We passed by a “glacial erratic” rock before crossing route 114. I have noted many “glacial erratic” rocks hiking along other SRKG trails. Speaking of noticing things, we spotted a mammoth “wolf tree” that was cut just after we crossed Route 114 and entered the woods. Trail 6 brings attention to wolf trees, and I briefly discussed them in my Trail 6 blog post referenced below.

Sunapee-Ragged-Kearsarge Greenway (SRKG) Trails Hiked by OutdoorSteve and Friends - Click below links
  1. SRK Greenway Trail 1 Old Province Rd, Goshen to Newbury Harbor
  2. SRK Greenway Trail 2 Old Province Rd, Goshen to Sunapee Town Hall
  3. SRK Greenway Trail 3 Sunapee to Deerhill Springfield (Video featured on Bedford Community TV)
  4. SRK Greenway Trail 4 ProtectworthTrail, Springfield, NH
  5. SRK Greenway Trail 5 Springfield/New London to Great Brook Bridge
  6. SRK Greenway Trail 6 Great Brook Bridge to Wilmot 4A Wolf Trees and Trails
  7. SRK Greenway Trail 7 NH Route 4A to WilmotCenter
  8. SRK Greenway Trail 8 Wilmot Center to New Canada Road
  9. SRK Greenway Trail 9 New Canada Road to Proctor Academy
  10. SRK Greenway Trail 10 Proctor Academy to Winslow State Park Mt Kearsage
  11. SRK Greenway Trail 11 Rollins State Park via Lincoln Trail to Kearsarge Valley Road
  12. SRK Greenway Trail 12 – Kearsarge Valley Road to Wadleigh State Park
  13. SRK Greenway Trail 13 - Kezar Lake at Wadleigh Park to Chalk Pond
  14. SRK Greenway Trail 14 – Chalk Pond to Newbury

" Everyone must do something. I believe I will go outdoors with family and friends"

Steve's 6th book is now available. Outdoor Play "Fun 4 Seniors" Volume III has trip preparations, routes, and narratives of bucket list places to go. Motivate friends and family to make the outdoors a key component of their daily life.

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