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So Many Hikes!

September 25, 2020

It’s hard to believe I’ve now lived in New England most of my life and haven’t explored New Hampshire’s lakes region. Shame on me! The mind boggles at the sheer number of hiking trails there are in this area. Today I decided to explore Newfound Lake, which lies west of the great Winnipesaukee, and it is much smaller.

The Paradise Point Trail is an easy loop within the Newfound Audubon property, rewarding the hiker with lovely views of the lake and gigantic glacial boulders along the trail. The path is so soft it almost feels springy underfoot — a comfortable blend of moss, sawdust from felled trees and pine needles. But hidden roots and rocks are still hazardous, and ;it’s easy to lose track of where the trail is.

The lake’s glassy surface is broken by the wakes of a few power boats grabbing the last vestiges of summer on this perfect 75 degree day. Hemlocks lean precariously over the water, their prehensile roots clutching the trail for dear life.

It’s hard to imagine the geological forces that deposited these boulders here. Desiccated fungi cling to the side of the one below.

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Around a bend, a window in the branches reveals a picturesque rocky peninsula, and across the water, a blue-trimmed dollhouse, snug on its own island.

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A few miles down the road I found Wellington State Park, with its charming sandy beach perfect for kids. Trails web the park, and I took one promising a 30-minute nature walk along the water. Ninety minutes later I emerged at the end of a peninsula and the boat launch. It was worth the extra time, though, and the trail was, mercifully, well-marked.

I encountered a woman walking her dog at the Audubon who’s been coming to the lake all her life, and she put me onto Sculptured Rocks, a site I never would have seen otherwise. This is a deep gorge with a stream running through it — no doubt smaller than usual because of the drought we’ve had this summer and fall. The rock sides have been sculpted by rushing water into fantastical curves and shapes. I’ll let the images speak for themselves.

All in all, the day was a treat for the senses! One more hike in the morning, then on to Massachusetts to see my sweet babies.

2 Comments
  1. Love the fall colors, streams, and the sky was a perfect backdrop!🍂🍁

    Like

  2. What a glorious day to discover the beauty lurking in your own backyard! Love the sculptured rocks.

    Like

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