Little River Conservation Area

Utilizing the resources of this very site I found information about this location and I’m very happy to have explored it. It took me a while to find the parking area which has a sign, but is too far back from the road to really see. Basically you’re parking on some grass across the street from the trailhead which is reached by walking through a wide residential driveway. After you’ve walked through a bit of what is basically someone’s dumping ground for old tires and lumber, you’ll come to more pristine forest. Once you hit the bridge over the old mill site, it’s in a mostly natural state. Only the main trail is marked well and though some show to the left on the map, they seemed to peter out.

The main trail takes you from the old mill site with some impressive cascades, to quieter confluences with the Bloody Brook and then the Little River, which itself is a vital tributary to the Exeter River. The loop to the Little River footbridge is an easy hike of 1.7 miles with many opportunities to see the waterways which change from a raging torrent to a placid stream. I found some freshwater mussel shells on the bank when composing a photo. Going off trail in some places I found rich swaths of Christmas fern which were still vital in October. I can only imagine the wildflowers in high season (I did find a few Indian Tobacco plants in bloom, one of the area’s latest to hang on, and some Indian Pipe as well).

How to get there –

Head for the town of Exeter, NH

Take exit 9 on Route 101 and head south on Route 27. Turn right onto 111A which is also Brentwood Road. The primary trail is accessed by a trailhead at the top of the Dolloff’s driveway for 143 Brentwood Rd. Parking is located in the field directly across the street on the south side of Brentwood Rd/ Route 111A. Alternately there is additional access on Continental Drive, between 5 and 8 Dolloff Farm Drive, or Old Garrison Lane.

Find a trail guide with map here.

More photos can be found here.

Happy trails and remember to carry out what you carry in (and pick up after those who don’t) and please leash your dogs! Also please respect local rules and regulations.

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Posted in Seacoast

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