Monday, May 17, 2010

Cranberry Meadow Pond Trail

It seems there are always new ways to get out and enjoy the outdoors in the Monadnock Region.  Last year the state designated Temple Mountain (formerly Temple Ski Area) as the newest state preserve.  Ironically it is right across the road from Miller State Park, the New Hampshire's oldest state park.

This year brings us the Cranberry Meadow Pond Trail.  It is maintained by the Monadnock Conservancy and is promoted as a trail you can start right from downtown Peterborough and hike all the way to the top of Pack Monadnock.

Of course we had to hike it for ourselves so we parked in Depot Square in Downtown Peterborough, crossed the Main Street Bridge, and followed Pine Street to Cheney Avenue where the trail begins.  We spent about the first mile on sidewalks and residential streets until the entrance to the trail takes you through a wide open field and across Old Street Road.

From there, we hiked past a marsh land where we watched the ducks and birds, through a forest alongside and across a babbling brook for quite a distance, then past Cranberry Meadow Pond which was remote, undeveloped, and very relaxing.  Through some more woods led to a connector to the Raymond Trail that took us to the peak of 2300' Pack Monadnock and some very rewarding views of the region.

By the time we returned to the car, more than seven hours had passed and we had hiked at least eight miles.  This is a very scenic trail and a great addition to the area's hiking options.  The ability to park in downtown Peterborough and without spending much time on busy streets end up at the top of Pack Monadnock is fantastic!  Anyone who wants to get out and hike all day, this one is a highly recommend.

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