The Granite State Series  LbNA # 22749 (ARCHIVED)

Placed DateMay 28 2006
LocationNew London, NH
Found By Bell Lady
Last Found Nov 26 2006
Hike Distance?

This series is located at the Esther Currier
Wildlife Management Area at Low Plains offering
a 2.5 mile round trip easy walk. There is a self
guided tour available. There is also a bog and it
can be damp so protect yourself with ample bug
spray. Just up Route 11 toward I-89 is the Flying
Goose Brew Pub. They offer homemade beer and a
tasty menu. I especially enjoy their mozzarella
and roasted red pepper salad.

Directions: From I-89 take exit 11 Route 11 East
toward New London. Stay on Route 11 East passing
the junction of Route 114. The Esther Currier
Wildlife Management Area is approximately 1¾ miles
from the exit.

The entrance is hidden on the side of Route 11 so
look carefully. When heading east, the entrance is
on the right just after the speed limit changes to
55 mph and the wooden guard rail posts end. There
is a cemetery across from the dirt road entrance.

Clues: Stop at the wooden sign before the trail to
get your tour guide map. Enter into the trail. At
your first right, you will see a wooden sign that reads “overlook.” Take this right. Sit on the
Bill Kidder, Jr.” granite bench. Look across the
trail to your right for a leaning birch tree.
Behind the birch tree and off the trial find a rock.
Look behind the rock for Live Free or Die.

You can continue to the overlook (not much to see but
the bog). Go back the way you came to continue your letterboxing.

Stop at the trail junction. Go to the curved pine
tree in front of you and look for the Purple Finch.

Continue along the trail away from the parking lot
and over the wooden foot bridge. Continue past the sign “Davis Path and Observation Blinds.” Continue straight on the path. If your path is flooded, look
for the “High Water Detour” sign and follow the
detour. Continue until you find the “Rugged Rocks”
marker on your left. Look uphill between rocks #1
and #2 for the White Birch trees. You have found
New Hampshire’s State Tree.

Continue on the trail keeping a close eye out on the
left for the “Salamander Pool.” Directly across from
the pool sign and off the trail find the State Flower “growing” under the rock.

Congratulations! You have gotten some exercise, went
on a self guided nature tour and learned some New Hampshire History all in one day. Whew!

Trail Guide

The numbers on the map correspond to numbered signs
along the trails :

1. Enter the area from the Route 11 where there is parking. The Davis Path leads to Mountain Road
(about 1¼ mile). This path was a road to gravel
pits in the 1960s and to old pastures before that.
About ¾ mile along this path leads to two observa-
tion blinds on the beaver pond shore.

2. This side trail leads to an overlook. Approach
slowly and quietly and you may observe some of the numerous animals and birds. A panoramic view of the beaver pond and Mt. Kearsarge can be seen.

3. On your left was a gravel hill, now excavated.
The gravel was used in the construction of Route 11
near the area's entrance. This area is now overgrown
with early successional forest species (alder, aspen, willow, grey birch, red maple and various shrubs).
Note signs of beaver activity

4. Close to the pond shore you can see remnants of
beaver lodges. The beavers change the location of their lodge to be near their current food source. A sign is posted on the trail to indicate where the active beaver lodge is at present.

5. This impressive beaver dam, has been maintained by beaver since the 1960s. A man-made "beaver pipe" in the dam helps keep the water level constant and prevents flooding. In addition, the beavers have had the benefit
of human help to keep their favorite wood species
growing here.

6. On both sides of the path here, painted turtles lay eggs in the sand in areas warmed by the sun.

7. A side trail here off the Davis Path leads to observation blinds on the shore of the beaver pond.

8. Here the trail divides:
Turn right along the side of the esker ridge to an observation blind at Turtle Point or turn left along
the side of a quaking bog on a trail leading to
the observation blind at Marsh Point.

9. The Turtle Point observation blind provides
concealed viewing across the beaver pond. Turtle Cove
is one of the places where you may see turtles sunning on logs.

10. Here the trail crosses the quaking bog,
Danger! Stay on the Boards!
This bog is in late stage of development and supports cotton grass, bog cranberry, leather leaf and tamarack saplings. The dominant plant is spaghnum moss.

11. The trail crosses the crest of the esker ridge.
The diagram shows how the esker was formed.). The
trail leads down to the observation blind at Marsh
Point. Many small trees are felled by beaver. But
also see the huge birches cut!

12. The Marsh Point blind permits concealed observation
of the many water and shore birds.
Quiet! Ducks nest in this marsh and in the nearby nest boxes. These boxes are maintained for wood duck nesting sites but also used by hooded mergansers and some song birds.

13. Continuing along at the side of the quaking bog
the trail rejoins the Davis Path. Here you can see
the steep side of the esker ridge
Turn left here to return to Route 11. Turn right to Mountain Road.

14. Big Pond, formed by gravel excavation, and vernal pools are where you may see salamanders and frogs. If trail is flooded here, take the short detour up on to
the esker.

15. This boulder collection shows the variety of rocks carried by ice age glaciers. Pebbles found along the trail match these boulders.

16. This is the trail access from Mountain Road.
Trail maps are only available at the Route 11 end of
Davis Path.

17. Across Mountain Road, there is a short woodland
trail loop to Shephard spring which is the source of Chandler Brook.