Many trails on Moose Mountain were originally created as ski trails, and aren’t well-suited for year-round hiking. We are working with the landowners and the Town’s Trails Committee on a master plan for this area that will close some lesser-used, duplicate trails and will focus more attention and maintenance on the best connections. Volunteer-led trail work is expected to start in late spring of 2021. In the meantime, we’ve created a map that includes the trails to be closed as well as those that will be improved and better signed. We hope this helps while you’re out on the trails this winter!
- From Etna village, turn R onto Ruddsboro Road
- Follow Mink Brook as the road curves up its narrow valley for 1.5 mi.
- Turn L onto Three Mile Road
- After 1.2 miles, arrive at the AT parking area on L, opposite telephone pole 31-50
What You Should Know
- Foot travel only.
- Dogs are welcome but must be under close control.
- Wear blaze orange Sept. 15-Dec. 15 (your four-legged hiking buddy, too!)
- Hunting is permitted on the AT and other lands you cross at the beginning and end of this hike, but not on the private land crossed by the southern half of the General’s Trail loop.
- You’ll visit lands owned by the federal government, Dartmouth College, and private owners including the Shumway Forest, protected by the Hanover Conservancy (outlined in yellow above).
- As of 2021, some trail names are being updated.
- Take the AT east from Three Mile Road
- Turn R onto the Fred Harris Trail
- Bear L onto the General’s Trail, following uphill
- Bear L where Northwest Passage comes in at R
- Turn L onto AT going west
- Continue straight back to your car at Three Mile Road
Full Hiking Directions
- Begin your hike on the Appalachian Trail on the E side of Three Mile Road. The federal government bought this 21-acre parcel from the Mascoma Beagle Association in the 1980s. It must have been a lively place with the beagles in charge.
- The white-blazed AT passes over a rise and then gently down into the valley of Mink Brook.
- Seven minutes into your hike, cross the brook on a log bridge. Nearby, deep purple infuses the fall foliage of a hobblebush, decorating the scene at this time of year.
- Cross the brook and follow the AT as it climbs back out of the stream valley.
- Six minutes’ walk from the brook, step over a rotting log and cross onto Dartmouth College land. On this part, the federal government holds a permanent easement to protect the AT.
- Just after a log crossing at a small wetland, arrive at a 4-way junction. The Harris Trail, former route of the AT, honors the Dartmouth Outing Club’s founder (1909). It offers wonderful skiing when conditions are right. The AT was re-routed off this path onto the ridge of Moose Mountain in the 1980s.
- At this junction, the AT continues straight ahead – you’ll return down that path to this point. At L, the Harris Trail looks well-traveled. Today, you’re up for the path less taken – turn R. A few yards ahead, a wooden sign reads, “Old Harris Cabin Access.” [new trail name: North Cabin Trail]
- The wide and grassy trail soon begins to descend gently through northern hardwoods. For the next 5 minutes, you’re traveling through a part of the 313-acre Shumway Forest that was protected by an AT trail easement in the 1980s and in 2017 by the Hanover Conservancy’s more comprehensive conservation easement. Both easements guarantee public access to the trails.
- Soon a wood sign with arrow directs you L. You have arrived at another parcel of private property. Say a silent thanks to this generous landowner who gamely goes along with the network of hiking trails on Moose Mountain, and take care to leave no trace of your visit.
- Shortly after the arrow sign, an orange sign at L marks the W end of the orange-blazed General’s Trail, a pine-needle-strewn path that makes a wide loop back to the AT.
- In autumn, it seems the whole trail is decked out in orange – from the trail signs and blazes to the brightly colored red eft salamander you might spot at your feet, to the brilliant mushrooms that spangle the forest floor and the fallen leaves of red and sugar maples.
- The trail initially has the look of an old woods road but soon narrows, offering gentle and comfortable hiking, unlike the often rooty and rocky AT. This trail was built in the early 1990s by a former owner of this property with the help of his boy scout troop. Why the “General’s Trail?” For a quarter century, it’s been the favorite daily hike of a neighbor who retired from the Air Force Reserve as a two-star general. When his friends and neighbors Peter and Kay Shumway met him often on the trail, they decided to name it for him on their Moose Mountain Lodge trail map. Recently, his daughter asked the Dartmouth Outing Club to make the orange signs as a special birthday gift.
- Ten minutes from the orange sign, you arrive at an open grove of hemlocks – a good place for a snack. The trail swings L here to follow the rim of a steep valley, but before taking that turn, look over the escarpment to the brook far below.
- The trail turns L past an “elbow tree” at R, a leaning yellow birch that lost its top and headed for the sun.
- Climbing gently up along the stream, the trail soon brings you to an up close and personal look at the tiny Mink Brook tributary. Cross it on impossibly green, luxuriantly mossy logs. You’ll soon encounter a few more “corduroy” log crossings. These places don’t look like much, but they are ecologically valuable. Headwater seeps, kept shaded and forested, serve as an important “sponge” in a downpour and start a stream off on its downhill tumble in the right fashion, cool and clean. Abundant moisture in the forest floor and a rich layer of duff support a fun and fantastic array of fungi.
- The trail reaches the head of the little stream valley and follows the land’s contour as it heads north toward its junction with the AT. As the trail is less distinct here, it’s important to keep an eye out for the orange blazes; stay left at a fork. It’s hard to miss a jumble of pure white boulders of quartz.
- 20 minutes from the hemlock grove, a vertical white “US AT Boundary” sign appears on a white birch at L, and you know you’re getting close.
- Three minutes later, arrive at the AT; note the orange “General’s Trail” sign.
- Turn L and follow the famous path as it heads gently and pleasantly downhill.
- What a difference thousands of feet per year can make! The AT treadway is well-worn but also well-loved, evidenced by some clever bits of trail work that carry the path over small drainages.
- Five minutes after bidding the General goodbye, you return to the familiar four-way intersection with the Harris Trail. Cross it and continue straight on the AT.
- Seven minutes from the intersection, the brook and bridge come into view. If you didn’t stop for a picnic at the hemlock grove, this is a great picnic spot too.
- These waters and the rest of the Mink Brook watershed were part of a statewide study by Trout Unlimited and NH Fish and Game biologists in 2011. They found that “Hanover’s little Mink Brook and its tributaries showed a surprisingly healthy population of native Eastern Brook Trout.” They counted 213 brookies in 16 study sites and noted how important cold clean water is for this species. Almost 70% of the trout were found in five sites (including this one) with an average water temperature of 59.8 degrees. If you have such a stream on your property, what can you do to help brook trout? Keep a lush buffer of trees and shrubs to shield it from the summer sun.
- Cross the bridge with its handrail and head back up and out the seven minutes’ hike to your car.
Please respect the generosity of these landowners by leaving no trace of your visit and enjoy the memories and photographs you take home.
9/2018, revised 1/2021
- From Etna village, turn R onto Ruddsboro Road
- Follow Mink Brook as the road curves up its narrow valley for 1.5 miles
- Turn L onto Three Mile Road
- After 1.4 miles, arrive at a big dip in the road with space for parking on both sides. (The AT parking area just S of it is not plowed in winter).
- Today’s hike, shown on the map at R, takes you on a loop that crosses Mink Brook twice.
What you should know
- In winter, we suggest hiking poles and micro-spikes or snowshoes for traction, especially for the brook crossings. The first part of this hike and the Harris Trail offer fine skiing, but the last part of the loop, on the AT, is narrow and often too steep for all but the bravest skiers.
- You’re about to visit lands owned by the federal government (permanently protected) and Dartmouth College (partially protected for AT corridor). The route also crosses a small portion of the Shumway Forest, protected in 2017 by the Hanover Conservancy (outlined in yellow above).
- Dogs are welcome if under your control; please pick up after your pet.
Brief Hiking Directions
- Begin at the orange Dartmouth Outing Club sign that reads “Parking/No Camping”
- Follow the gentle trail 7 minutes to the first crossing of Mink Brook
- Cross the brook and continue another 3 minutes to the Harris Trail
- Turn R on the Harris Trail
- Cross a stream (no bridge)
- Turn R on the Appalachian Trail and hike 10 minutes to second crossing of Mink Brook
- Continue on the AT for 6 minutes to Three Mile Road.
- Turn R and walk 0.2 miles along the road to your car.
Full Hiking Directions
- Begin your hike at the orange Dartmouth Outing Club sign that reads, “Parking/No Camping.”
- Known as the New Fred Harris Cabin Access Trail, this blue-blazed, half-mile-long trail was built by the Dartmouth Outing Club as a direct route to the college’s Class of ’66 Lodge (built on the site of the Fred Harris Cabin). We won’t visit the Lodge today, but you’ll find it on the map above.
- The trail is easy and rises gently to a plateau, passing through a long-abandoned sheep pasture. Here, small saplings are creeping into the understory sheltered by towering pines above. Years ago, all these lands between the road and the mountain ridge were owned by Luther Brown.
- Here and there, last year’s fragile leaves seem to shiver on beech trees. It’s believed that beeches evolved in the south and migrated to this area in the wake of the glacier, but never quite got the hang of dropping their leaves in fall like their northern brethren, the maples and birches. Admire the delicacy of their slender, cigar-shaped leaf buds.
- Seven minutes’ walk from your car, the appearance of a rivulet and its small steep valley at R signals the approach to Mink Brook. At L, a rough stone wall marks the plateau’s edge and the boundary of the old pasture.
- The trail takes you down a short, moderately steep section to a fine bridge installed a few years ago over Mink Brook. Look L upstream; the brook drains a rich and complex beaver-influenced wetland just out of sight on the Shumway Forest. Downstream, the brook may be covered in ice but still can be heard murmuring beneath. At R a small brook joins. You’ll cross this one soon; it is the same stream that pools near the Class of ’66 Lodge.
- The trail continues gently back up to a matching plateau on the east side. Deer trails cross and you may find leftovers from a red squirrel’s dinner in a pile of pine cone scales or acorn tops. The forest is different here – less pine, more hardwood – belying a different history. Could this have been Luther’s woodlot?
- Ten minutes from your car, you reach the Harris Trail, but if there’s been a recent snowfall, it’s easy to miss the junction. An orange DOC sign hangs on a red oak at R, facing the other direction. The sign reads, “To AT” and “To 3 Mile Rd & Parking,” indicating the path you just took. Across the intersection is a wooden sign reading, “<- Harris Trail ->” installed by energetic volunteers of the Hanover Conservation Commission’s Trails Committee.
- The Fred Harris Trail, former route of the Appalachian Trail, honors the Dartmouth Outing Club’s founder (1909). It offers wonderful skiing when conditions are right. The trail once ran from Moose Mountain Lodge Road N into Lyme, but a section N of Ferson Road can no longer be traced. The AT was re-routed off this path onto the ridge of Moose Mountain in the 1980s.
- Turn R onto the wide Harris Trail and head down to meet the brook you saw earlier. Alas, there is no bridge here, but with care and help from your hiking poles you can cross on the ice. Slow-growing hemlocks and yellow birch shelter the stream and hold its banks in place. At L, beyond the brook, a yellow blaze and white boundary sign signal the edge of the federal easement over Dartmouth land that protects the Appalachian Trail.
- The Harris Trail continues on its gentle grade. In a few minutes, an unmarked trail joins from L. Some maps identify it as the “Ski Loop,” a difficult ski trail built well before the AT.
- Bear R here as the Harris Trail continues its easy path downhill. Step over another rivulet.
- From this direction, especially in winter, you might not notice the Appalachian Trail crossing unless you’re alert for a rusted metal gate standing open across the Harris Trail. At L, the famous white blaze of the AT stands out on the trunk of a fine white pine about 40 yards uphill. At R, another orange DOC sign is posted on the far side of a white birch. 20 yards ahead a wooden sign reads “Old Harris Cabin Access Road.” If you continued straight on this for 1.25 miles, you’d come to a pull-off on Moose Mountain Lodge Road.
- Instead, turn R onto the AT to head W toward Three Mile Road (and ultimately, S to Georgia!).
- A few paces from the Harris Trail, you get an intimate view of the underside of a large fallen tree, up close and personal! Rising and falling are all part of a tree’s life cycle, and soon the trunk will become a nursery for its successors. The root mass will slowly melt into a mound, one of many sprinkled across New England forests.
- Eight minutes from the Harris/AT junction, the trail abruptly heads downhill across an arm of the Shumway Forest. This area was protected in 1983 with narrow easements embracing the newly re-routed trail. In 2017, the Hanover Conservancy strengthened this protection with a new easement over the entire 313-acre parcel that stretches nearly to the mountain ridge behind you.
- The trail displays a distinctly different character from those you’ve walked earlier today – it’s narrower with more twists and turns. It soon turns R then sharply L as it attains the spine of a narrow little ridge adorned with hemlock. Small branch tips and tiny cone scales on the snow at your feet reflect the foraging of porcupines and squirrels. Listen for Mink Brook before you see it.
- Head down a short steep section to enjoy the brook and a swig of hot tea from your thermos. Look around this tiny but dramatic little valley. Thick hemlock forest protects the watery home of wild brook trout, keeping waters shaded, cold, and full of oxygen in summer, just the way our native trout like it.
- These waters and the rest of the Mink Brook watershed were part of a statewide study by Trout Unlimited and NH Fish and Game biologists in 2011. They found that “Hanover’s little Mink Brook and its tributaries showed a surprisingly healthy population of native Eastern Brook Trout. In 16 survey sites, 213 Eastern Brook Trout were counted. The survey data also underline how important cold, clean water is for this species. Almost 70% of all the Eastern Brook Trout were found in five survey sites (some tiny upland tributaries) that had an average water temperature of 59.8 degrees.” You are now standing at one of those sites. If you have such a stream on your property, what can you do to help brook trout? Keep a lush buffer of trees and shrubs to shield the water from the summer sun.
- In winter trout are tucked away, but you can enjoy the glittering play of water against ice and snow, all the more glamorous on a bright day.
- Cross the two-log wood bridge, sending a silent thanks to the person who added the handrail. Head up a short slope, leaving Mink Brook to continue on its way to the Connecticut.
- Here, the AT moves fitfully across 21 acres purchased by the federal government from none other than the Mascoma Beagle Association. We’d really like to know the story behind that.
- Six minutes from the bridge, you arrive at Three Mile Road. Turn R and head back along the road 0.2 miles to your car, soon within view in the dip below.
- Be sure to come back in the spring, when Mink Brook will have even more to say!
February 2018, revised July 2020
- From Etna Village, head N on Hanover Center Road
- Turn R on Ruddsboro Road and drive 1.8 miles
- Turn L on Old Dana Road
- Turn R just past large red barn on R, onto Moose Mountain Lodge Road (not marked)
- Drive 0.8 miles to top of road. Park in marked trailhead parking area just past the beaver dam.
What You Should Know
- Foot travel only. Dogs are welcome but must be under close control.
- Consider bringing binoculars and a bird book for viewing waterfowl on Mill Pond.
- This hike passes through six major conservation parcels on Moose Mountain that are part of a 3,800-acre block of protected, un-fragmented wildlife habitat. The newest and largest is the 313-acre Shumway Forest, conserved by the Hanover Conservancy in June 2017.
- Begin your hike at the green Mill Pond Forest/Huggins Trail Access sign. The Huggins and Shumway families donated a conservation easement on this area in 2015 to ensure that the public would always be welcome on their trails and have a dedicated place to park.
- The trail heads E along a beaver-managed section of Mink Brook – look for evidence of beaver chews, slides, and an impressive series of dams.
- You’ll soon reach a fork; a big pine at R bears a sign for Pasture Road. Bear L on the other trail. You have arrived at the 130-acre Dana Pasture Natural Area, a wonderful piece of land that holds an important place in the Dana Family history. Today, the Town of Hanover and a Dana heir own undivided half shares.
- 15 paces from the fork, look for a cellar hole at L. This was the home of miller David Woodward, who built the dam on Mill Pond and an impressive sawmill and gristmill on the steep falls of Mink Brook below where you left your car (a visit for another day).
- Continue 75 yards to the pond’s edge and a bench that beckons you to admire the view across the 10-acre pond. This is the highest water body in the town of Hanover and the primary source of Mink Brook, the town’s largest stream. Set in a saddle on the mountain ridge, it may have originally been a small pond or perhaps a marsh. In the late 1700s, Woodward built a drylaid stone dam (just out of view at L, beyond the spruces) to raise the water level some 6-8 feet (it has since partly silted in). Then beavers took over and have been managing the pond ever since. Today, the entire shoreline remains undisturbed: Hanover Conservancy easements protect the N side with the Dana Pasture Natural Area on the S.
- Directly across from the bench is an impressive beaver lodge. Scan the pond’s surface for waterfowl and other birds. You might be welcomed by the slap of a beaver’s tail.
- Retrace your steps for a short distance to the Pond Loop (unmarked) at L, and begin your trip around the pond. In 3 minutes, come to a Y with the Baboon Bypass at R and an arrow pointing L.
- Turn L here, keeping the pond at L. You’ll encounter some wet places, an old corduroy (log) crossing, and lush growths of sphagnum moss, goldthread, and club moss.
- About 10 minutes’ walk from the bench, you meet a massive old white birch and side trails to the water. Continue straight to another big birch and a large maple snag, an apartment house for a variety of creatures. The trail continues around them.
- Just a few minutes later you’ll arrive at a trail junction, and you have a decision to make.
- The arrow points L to the tower road. If you just remembered you left something on the stove, this is the first of two bail-out points. To return to your car, bear L on the Pond Loop, heading N. The trail is easy to follow if you keep the pond in view at L and bear R at an arrow. You’ll leave the Dana Pasture Natural Area for the Shumway Forest before you reach the tower road 10 minutes from your decision point. Turn L to return to your car in another 4 minutes.
- If you’re game for more adventure, bear R toward the sign reading “To the O.D. Ridge Trail.” The Orange Diamond Trail was built by a local snowmobile club in the 1970s but hasn’t been used that way for years. The trail, deemed by the club as unsuitable for today’s snow machines, is now restricted to foot travel.
- Thank the Hanover Conservation Commission’s Trails Committee for restoring this and the Tom Linnell Ridge Trail, which it joins in 4/10 mile. The trail sees heavier use in winter than summer, so follow it with care.
- Continue on the Orange Diamond Trail as it heads northeast through mixed northern hardwoods for 20-25 minutes. Bear L at forks in the path. Soon you leave the Dana Pasture Natural Area, briefly visit the Shumway Forest, and enter two lots fully owned by the Town of Hanover. The Conservancy helped the Town acquire the N one in 2002. Didn’t notice a break in the forest, did you? Wildlife doesn’t either! That’s the point of keeping habitat un-fragmented here on the mountain.
- This is prime habitat for the kinds of wildlife that need large blocks of cold mountain habitat, including the snowshoe hare. We’ve seen not only the tracks but the creature itself, a white blur whizzing across a whitened winter landscape, with a bobcat in pursuit. Sheltered rocky crevices provide fine bobcat dens.
- As the Orange Diamond Trail joins the Tom Linnell Ridge Trail, bear L to head due N. The Hanover Conservancy is assisting the Upper Valley Trails Alliance and Hanover Trails Committee with their project to formalize and protect public access to the Ridge Trail for its entire route from Enfield to the South Peak, under a grant from the Quabbin to Cardigan Partnership.
- 20-25 minutes from the Pond Loop, arrive at the tower “road,” which was visible at L for the last few minutes. Here’s your second bail-out point: you can walk down the road to the gate and turn L to your car.
- The tower road was built in the 1960s for construction and maintenance of the nearby communications tower. Despite what a surprising number of maps say, it is NOT a public Class VI road that goes over the ridge to Goss Road, nor is it part of Moose Mountain Lodge Road. A private right of way, it is blocked by a locked gate just above the entry from the Lodge Road. Hanover Conservancy easements on its lower half prevent use by vehicles except for forestry, wildlife habitat management, and of course, by the tower folk.
- We hope you’re up for more adventure – if so, cross the road at its hairpin turn and re-enter the woods at the sign of the moose. The Orange Diamond / Tom Linnell Ridge Trail is wide and easy to follow here.
- In 3 minutes, the O’Brien Trail (named for the Shumways’ forester, John O’Brien) leaves at L. John has an endearing habit of arranging skid trails so they make good hiking and XC ski trails.
- Stay straight; you’ll soon encounter evidence of federal boundary blazes as the trail begins to snake the line between the Shumway Forest and federal land acquired in the 1980s for the Appalachian Trail.
- In 2 minutes, bear R at a fork and sign reading “To the A.T.” The trail becomes a narrow footpath again, easy to follow as it begins to climb along the boundary. Look for some old sugar maples whose nearness to the line may have spared them the woodman’s axe.
- Soon you’ll get hints of views to the E (R) as the trail swings L and continues up, not blazed but easy to see.
- 20 minutes from the tower road, arrive at the Appalachian Trail. An orange Dartmouth Outing Club sign rests on the ground by a tree, pointing the way to the South Peak. Here, you can turn R to head to Mt. Katahdin in Maine. Turn left for Velvet Rocks, downtown Hanover, and if you’re really ambitious, Springer Mountain in Georgia. Today, we’ll turn R and take the AT for about 15 minutes to the S summit along the well-worn, gently but steadily climbing path.
- Relish your reward at the South Peak: glorious views E, with Goose Pond at your feet and Mt. Cardigan, Sunapee, Kearsarge, and more visible on the SE horizon. At one point, the Presidentials are visible in the distance to the NE. Bedrock ledges offer comfortable seating. Search the raspberry thicket for ripe berries. You can bet the bears do.
- At this season, native steeplebush is in full bloom (L), its rosy spires of tiny flowers alive with native pollinators. Dragonflies cruise the peaceful scene today, but in 1968, Northeast Airlines flight 946 crashed near this area. The rescue effort required bulldozers to clear a path to the wreckage.
- The orange DOC sign indicates that the South Peak’s elevation is 2222’ above sea level. More refined measurements indicate it’s actually 73’ higher.
- When you’re done drinking in the view, head back down the AT the way you came. The junction for the O.D. Ridge Trail appears just after a raised log/stone section of trail. Enter the Shumway Forest once again and continue down the AT past this trail. Volunteer AT trail maintainers have been here – step over rock water bars that keep water from sluicing down the trail and creating gullies.
- About 8 minutes from the O.D. Ridge Trail junction, the trail flattens out – your cue to look for the Logging Road entering at L. Find the trail sign mounted on a large paper birch a short way in.
- Turn L here, off the AT (if you continued, you’d arrive at Three Mile Road). You’re passing through a “sandwich” of easements placed by the National Park Service in 1983. A 200’ Trail Right of Way Easement follows the AT itself with a pair of protective easements 200-461’ wide, one on each side of the Trail ROW.
- The Logging Road heads briefly uphill and then follows the contour S. You will follow it for half an hour through the Shumway Forest. This is your best chance at seeing moose that use this trail as a highway. Watch for their dinner plate-sized tracks in a few wet areas that appear here and there.
- About 9 minutes from the AT, the Picnic Trail comes in at L. Ferny openings indicate the Logging Road’s path SSW. A few minutes further at a small opening, bear L and the trail, now more clearly a former skid trail, leads on.
- Note the carefully constructed water bars on the route, built for past years’ logging operations to control water flow. Brush piles were laid to help return nutrients to the soil and provide small mammal habitat. The Shumway Forest has been under the supervision of a professional forester ever since the current owners, Kay and Peter Shumway, purchased what was then a heavily logged property in 1986 from a timber company to prevent construction of a mountaintop vacation home by another would-be buyer.
- The Shumways manage the land primarily for public recreation and also to steer the forest back to a healthy and ecologically intact system with a variety of habitats for wildlife while protecting streams and wetlands. The new conservation easement ensures that this management will continue, adding a 100’ protective buffer for those waters.
- About 20 minutes from the AT, the Bear Cub Trail comes in at L and soon you arrive at a grassy log landing. Bear L, away from the large open area, and continue up into the woods. Wildlife feed in such openings surrounded by forest cover. The Logging Road becomes stony here, hardened to take the weight of forestry vehicles. You’re starting to think this might be a wonderful ski route in winter, and you’re right!
- In 4 minutes the Middle Mountain Trail and Mountainside Trail leave at R, and in a few more, you arrive at a second log landing. Just beyond is the tower road. Signs on a tree at L include a trail map. Turn R on the tower road.
- Now it’s time to explore the north shore of Mill Pond. Two minutes from the Logging Road, the pond comes into view as you leave the Shumway Forest and enter the Mill Pond Forest, where the Shumways and Hugginses donated a conservation easement to the Hanover Conservancy in 2015.
- Turn L opposite a telephone pole and take the short trail to the water’s edge. The beaver lodge is close by, and the bench you visited earlier is visible on the far shore at 2 o’clock. Lush northern shoreline vegetation is underfoot: sphagnum moss, ferns, and lichens. This thick carpet captures sediment running off the mountainside and helps keep Mink Brook crystal clear.
- Turn R to follow the path along the shore, crossing a few beaver slides, noting the reeds with their tousled “bad hair day” seedheads. At a fork in the path, stay L on the pine-needle carpeted trail to where a small cove indicates the old dam overflow. The dam is just beyond, obscured by beaver engineering and shrubs.
- Bear R and head for the green gate at the entrance to the tower road. Turn downhill past the gate and L to return to your car.
The Hanover Conservancy holds permanent conservation easements on the Shumway Forest, Mill Pond Forest, and Huggins Trail Access, which remain privately owned. Please respect the generosity of these landowners by leaving no trace of your visit and enjoy the memories and photographs you take home.
Download a newly updated trail map HERE.
Our conservation work continues on Hanover’s highest ridge with the permanent protection of the 313-acre Shumway Forest – the largest project in our half-century history! The parcel stretches from Three Mile Road to the crest of Moose Mountain and creates a link both to other conservation lands – federal Appalachian Trail lands, town-owned parcels, and the Mill Pond Forest – and to a vast network of foot trails including the AT. This connected high elevation habitat assures room for wildlife – and hikers – to roam. The parcel includes headwater tributaries of Mink Brook and a variety of other types of wetlands, including a fen (left), vernal pool, and black ash and red spruce swamps.
The Shumway Forest is the center of a mountainside trail network that includes not only the Appalachian Trail as it travels from Three Mile Road to the South Peak of Moose Mountain, but a dozen other foot trails totaling 3.4 miles, linking the AT with others on the mountain and beyond. Many are trails that Kay and Peter built and/or maintained for skiing as the owners of Moose Mountain Lodge. Coincidentally, they signed the conservation easement on the 40th anniversary of their acquisition of the Lodge.
The Shumways and their neighbors, Elisha and Anne Huggins, previously donated a conservation easement on the abutting Mill Pond Forest and Huggins Trail Access, protecting a key public access point as well as the primary headwaters of Mink Brook.
Two grants allowed us to purchase a permanent conservation easement on this prominent property. New Hampshire’s Aquatic Resource Mitigation Fund provided a major contribution, the largest single grant in the Conservancy’s history. A second grant from the Quabbin to Cardigan Partnership helps with transaction costs. Owners Kay and Peter Shumway have generously made a bargain sale of this easement, far below market value. Learning of the awards, the Shumways replied, “We are thrilled with your news and the idea that our land will be forever open for people to enjoy and not covered with no trespassing signs (and houses…)!” We look forward to a mountain-side celebration on July 17.