Alex Heads to New Hampshire PT 3: Horse Hill Nature Preserve

1 Horse Hill Nature Preserve Sign.jpg

After lunch at the Lobster Boat in Merrimack, it was time to head back to the trails. This time, I went to Horse Hill Nature Preserve. While it didn’t have a roaring waterfall like Wildcat Falls Conservation Area, it was a beautiful hike, pleasantly littered with autumn colours all throughout the park.

2 Horse Hill Nature Preserve Map.jpg

I started at the Parking Lot Loop Trail, then turned east at the Lastowa Pond, wandered around in the trails to the north of that, and then headed back out to the parking lot. Here’s what I saw along the way.

The Trail-Head 

3 Horse Hill Nature Preserve Parking Lot.jpg

The parking lot was almost entirely boxed in by trees, in the midst of their autumn changing. Once I saw that, I knew this was going to be a beautiful trail. Judging by how few cars were present when I got there — about 3 in total — I knew it was also going to be fairly quiet.

4 Horse Hill Nature Preserve Hiking Trail.jpg

Unlike the other trails I visited, though the trail-head was near a residential area, the rest of the routes I hiked were nowhere near main roads and houses. For new hikers and solo hikers, it’s probably safer to use trails in busy areas. But can anything really beat being fully immersed in nature without the honk of a truck on the highway, nearby?

5 Horse Hill Nature Preserve Hiking Trail in the Fall.jpg

Up ahead, I came across this little bridge across the trench, leading to another path. Curious as to what was there, I turned left to do a bit of poking around.

6 Horse Hill Nature Preserve Well in the Woods

I found this well, which looked as though it hadn’t been used in years. When I peeked inside, the hole had been wisely covered with a sheet of metalwork.

Lastowa Pond

8 Horse Hill Nature Preserve Swamp and Trees.jpg

After walking along for a while, I came across Lastowa Pond. The eerily black water was bordered on all sides by tall, fiery-coloured trees.

9 Horse Hill Nature Preserve Loop Trail.jpg

Though no one could have paid me enough to set foot in the water, it was beautiful to look at.

10 Horse Hill Nature Preserve Loop Trail.jpg

Where I stood, the trees were no less a-flame. It was stunning. Of all the parks I visited, Horse Hill likely had the most fiery foliage.

13 Horse Hill Nature Preserve in the Fall.jpg

Though I planned to take that eastern turn, I nonetheless wanted a peek of what was up ahead.

12 Horse Hill Nature Preserve Boardwalk.jpg

Turning East

14 Horse Hill Nature Preserve Summit Trail.jpg

After that, I turned eastward to make my way back around. However, this trail was a lot more tricky than the map originally suggested.
15 Horse Hill Nature Preserve Turning Off the Loop Trail.jpg

Even so, one can hardly complain about the inconvenience of unplanned detours, or getting lost, when one is surrounded by beauty such as this.

I did stumble upon something strange in the woods though. It looked like prayer sheets, in Arabic or Hindu. Has anyone seen anything like this before, or knows how to translate it? It was windy, so this was as clear a shot as I could manage.

19 Horse Hill Nature Preserve Arabic Horses.jpg

Finding My Way Out

20 Horse Hill Nature Preserve Autumn Leaves.jpg

Thereafter, the fiery foliage intensified in colour, and new paths sprang up to my left and right, along the way.

21 Horse Hill Nature Preserve Fall ColorsI was beginning to suspect that I was now lost, but took comfort in the fact that I could always turn back and retrace my steps.

22 Horse Hill Nature Preserve Autumn ColorsWith that back-up plan at my disposal, I continued into the woods. After another 15 minutes or so, I found my way out, but realising I had maybe another half hour to an hour of sunlight, I went right back in.

Back Into the Woods

23 Horse Hill Nature Preserve Bridge Merrimack Hiking.jpgI set a timer for 20 minutes, and followed the trail that would take me to Blodgett Hill Summit. I promised myself that when the timer went off, wherever I was, I would turn back and retrace my steps.

24 Horse Hill Nature Preserve New England Fall HikingAs it so happened, Blodgett Hill Summit wasn’t all I imagined it would be — unless, of course, I never truly found it.

25 Horse Hill Nature Preserve Discontinued TrailThe trees had come to high up to the summit, for me to get the kind of aerial view I had pictured. And so, I turned back, with minutes to spare.

26 Horse Hill Nature Preserve AutumnAlong the way, I did find this little guy. It’s always a dose of pure luck when I find macro-shot opportunities in the fall and winter.

27 Horse Hill Nature Preserve Ant Macro CloseupMy camera would have done a much better job, but I had only brought my phone for this trip.

Back Out Again

28 Horse Hill Nature Preserve Nature Photography

After that, I made my way out to the main trail, and continued on to the entrance, with the autumn colours, golden and bronze overhead.

29 Horse Hill Nature Preserve Travel Photos.jpgAnd below, the ground was strewn with bronze and orange leaves — going crunch, crunch, crunch beneath my feet. It was a little sad, knowing this was the last I would see of New Hampshire. But maybe next fall, I’ll come running right back…

Alexis Chateau Ask Me How I Got Here.jpgAlexis Chateau Black CatMy trip to New England was booked by 1 View Point, our in-house travel agency at Alexis Chateau PR. My wardrobe (ASK ME HOW I GOT HERE shirts and hoodies) was designed, and sponsored by 1 View Point and Alexis Chateau PR in celebration of our #November31 campaign.

We’re providing 1/2 off booking fees this November to celebrate a year of travel-testing, and our official launch. Email us for details!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

34 thoughts on “Alex Heads to New Hampshire PT 3: Horse Hill Nature Preserve

      1. I live in Kenya (the rural parts) so there is a lot of mini forests and footpaths where I take my walks. I even go cycling there sometimes as I also love cycling.

      2. That’s amazing. I don’t know many people in Africa who go hiking. I’ve always thought that such a terrible waste, considering the expanse of nature spreading across the content!

        Most women told me it was unsafe. Have never asked the men. Do you feel at all threatened hiking in rural Kenya?

      3. No. Unless you are going hiking in an unfamiliar territory then it’s not that safe. But where I go is just around my locality so I never feel unsafe

      4. Yes, that’s probably where it starts. I think women probably don’t like giving out their real names to nosey men. That’s how mom got hers. She had several 😂

        I was always called by my first name growing up, though. I was the only one in the family without a pet name lol.

  1. Those are Tibetan prayer flags. What an usual find here. “The Tibetan word for a horizontal prayer flag is Lung ta, which translates literally as “wind horse.” The prayers of a flag become a permanent part of the universe as the images fade from wind and sun. Tibetans renew their hopes for the world by continually mounting new flags alongside the old.” from dharmashop dot com

  2. Wow enjoying through New Hampshire on fall season and leaves around you, it could be wondrous pic besides you´re a lucky woman and you´re as a wild horse in the mother nature… take care and cool days.
    A hail from Spain

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