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.
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 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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
Though no one could have paid me enough to set foot in the water, it was beautiful to look at.
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.
Though I planned to take that eastern turn, I nonetheless wanted a peek of what was up ahead.
After that, I turned eastward to make my way back around. However, this trail was a lot more tricky than the map originally suggested.
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.
Finding My Way Out
Thereafter, the fiery foliage intensified in colour, and new paths sprang up to my left and right, along the way.
I 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.
With 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
I 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.
As it so happened, Blodgett Hill Summit wasn’t all I imagined it would be — unless, of course, I never truly found it.
The 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.
Along 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.
My camera would have done a much better job, but I had only brought my phone for this trip.
Back Out Again
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.
And 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…
My 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!