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A Change of Scenery

September 24, 2020

When I entered the Walter/Newton Natural Area Trail, the forest was silent except for the occasional sound of dropping acorns. As I made my way along the trail, criss-crossed with exposed roots, the woods came alive, chattering squirrels gossiping about my presence in their quiet sanctuary.


The short hike to Rainbow Falls ended in a dried-up creek bed full of deadfall and rocks. So off I went back to where I started, hoping another trail would be more rewarding. By now the blue jays had begun calling, their strident voices carried by the soft autumn breeze.


This trail followed a rock-strewn creek, and moss-draped glacial boulders dotted the hillside. A short detour led to a meadow rimmed with blazing trees.

From this direction it was an easier climb to the falls, and while I could hear trickling water, the stepped granite face was dry as a bone. It was easy to imagine spring snow melt surging over this enormous rock face.


I’m in the lakes region of New Hampshire, staying outside the town of Plymouth, which lies between Squam Lake and Newfound Lake. Quarantine in Connecticut has gotten dreary, and I really needed a change of scenery, if only for a few days. At least those of us who live in New England can travel freely in the region, without having to lock ourselves down on returning home.

My afternoon hike took me to Ahern State Park, which has a small beach on Winnisquam, a much smaller lake just west of Squam, in the town of Meredith. The broad, flat fire road — no roots! — hugged the shoreline for a good while before turning steeply upward. Rugged mountain bike trails cut through the forest, and I was startled by an intrepid biker emerging from the wilderness. I can’t even imagine…

  1. Patricia Swan permalink

    Loved having your post to read this morning, started by day with a smile. Thanks for sharing.

    Sent from my iPad


  2. Cheri L. Anderson permalink

    I enjoyed seeing the shady trails and colorful leaves. It’s still 100+ here though the nights are cooling off into the 60s. I only notice it’s fall by the early sunsets.

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