Saturday, May 9, 2020

Sunapee-Ragged-Kearsarge Trail 3: Sunapee Town Hall to Deer Hill Road


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 3. 


The trapezoidal white and green trail blaze is the trademark of the Greenway. When hiking, keep these trapezoids insight, and you know you are on the SRKG trail.


The southern trailhead of the SRKG Trail 3 is at the Sunapee Town Office, on NH Route 103B just south from its junction with NH Route 11. Parking is to the left of the Sunapee Town Office, close to the Sugar River. The northern trailhead at the intersection of Stoney Brook Road and Deer Hill Road is in Springfield, NH.

The Sunapee Riverwalk and SRKG trailhead signs outside the

Sunapee Town Hall are on the same post because the trails loop and overlap in Sunapee Harbor.

As I finished this loop, I again hiked over the footbridge at the trailhead, this time crossing route 11 and taking a left on Lower Main Street, and then a right onto School Street where I entered the woods for ¼ mile ending up in a neighborhood cul-de-sac.

There the trail follows Sargent Road to North Road, up a steep hill for another ¼ mile, then a right on Hill Top Drive, a gravel road that takes a sharp left and returns to North Road. A right on North Road, and you continue for two or so miles straight ahead, then North Road  extends past a Dead End sign, then one mile gravel to a forked road where the trail with its trapezoid blazes enters a gated Class VI road. 
The Class VI road is not town maintained. This one-mile section has ruts, muck, water run-offs crossing the trail, and follows a stonewall ... all the while going uphill. This is a very straight trail and brings you to paved Hogg Hill Road. You then go left on Hog Hill road meeting Stoney Brook Road, from whence you take a right for a mile, until just under Route 89 you come to Deer Hill Road – a dirt road. This is the northern  trailhead of Trail #3. The Trail #4 trailhead sign, Protectiveworth Trail, continues you on to the next trail of your SRKG journey.

Trail 3 has been fascinating for me. I have hiked and run many of Sunapee's roads and woods trails, but rarely paid attention to the trapezoid signs.  Trail 3 was done in three separate hikes. First was the southern trailhead at the Sunapee Town Office to School Street by the Sunapee Elementary School. The second was from the Sunapee Elementary School to the Class VI unmaintained road at the end of the gravel section of North Road. The third is hiking from the gated Class VI road at the end of the gravel section of North Road to the SRKG northern trailhead at the junction of Stoney Brook Road and Deer Hill Road.


I produced three separate videos for each of my three SRKG Trail 3 section hikes. The below video merges these videos into the full 7.3 mile hike with a prelude by OutdoorSteve. 

Grab a cup of coffee or another favorite beverage, find a comfortable loungchair, kick up your feet, and enjoy the below video, as Steve and Cathy hike Trail 3 of the Sunapee-Ragged-Kearsarge Greenway from Sunapee to Springfield, New Hampshire.



The SRK Greenway Trail Guide rates Trail 3 as moderate, and we are in agreement.  The Guide's estimated time for this 7.3 mile hike is 3 hours. I find this time very fast. I spent a 1/2 hour on the Sunapee Riverwalk loop, as I stopped at each kiosk to learn the uniqueness and history of Sunapee Harbor and the Sugar River.  I also spent three separate trips to hike the whole trail.

Now prepare yourself for a hike, get yourself a partner, stay two hiking poles apart, and never say, "I wish I had hiked the Sunapee-Ragged-Kearsarge Greenway."




References

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