The Piscataquog river watershed is protected and preserved by the Piscataquog Land Conservancy and through their efforts many parcels of land are accessible to the public. The Martha’s Brook/Sam’s Trail property is on the small side, but it’s lush, enchanting and has many beautiful features. The trail is well blazed and an easy hike of about 1.5 miles. If you visit in late spring or summer one of the first things you’ll notice is the thick blankets of ferns crowding the sides of the trail and the hillside as you enter Martha’s Brook trail. A brief open space is dense with the more delicate species of fern such as hay-scented fern. Just inside the forest are masses of ostrich and cinnamon fern crowding the extensive stone walls that crisscross the property. And the profusion of Christmas fern on the hillsides is impressive.
Winding through is Martha’s brook which is picturesque and has many little bridges to help you across. After crossing a dirt road the sound of this little brook got louder and I soon found out why – a little cascade and a waterfall. Neither is enormous, but they are part of what makes this bit of New Hampshire so special. Along the waterway there are many wildflowers to see including foamflower, jack-in-the-pulpit and fringed polygala. While you’re exploring the banks, watch out for spotted newts.
How to get there –
Head for the town of New Boston, NH
From New Boston Center: Right onto RT 77, Left onto RT 136W for 2.1 miles, Left onto Thornton Rd, Right onto Pine Rd, to end of road where there is parking. The sign for the preserve is a set back from the road.
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.