What a gorgeous day for a hike. We met in the morning cloud or fog at Winslow State Park and carpooled downhill to the starting point, by now sunny, at Proctor Academy in Andover. One of the less travelled sections of the SRK Greenway, Trail #10 connects Ragged Mountain at Proctor Academy with Mount Kearsarge at Winslow State Park. This is a great section for walk-and-talk hiking. Jim Block was in the lead and photographing:
Gloomy people rarely hike in groups, if they hike at all. After brief introductions our group of 15 is chatting and off, walking across Proctor’s lawn, across NH Route 11 in downtown Andover, across the rail trail, around the base of the school’s ski hill and away. Sharon and Sue, our self-proclaimed slow hikers, are part of the pack. I (the leader) am throwing on my backpack, catching up with Art, the designated sweep and himself a world class slow hiker, and Charlie, our designated slacker. Our trio never caught up.
Section 10 is less travelled probably because there are no impressive vistas, no peaks or panoramic views. But everyone commented on being surprised by the trail’s charms. We’re walking initially from Proctor’s athletic fields, following the Blackwater River for a short section, then heading up hill on a town road leading to old Class 6 roads used mainly as snowmobile trails. We are in shade most of the way to Kearsarge State Forest and the State Park.
The views are mostly close up woods, stone walls, and a few cellar holes, with Fall sunshine angling through with intense highlights and shadows. Occasional old logging roads uphill offer opportunities for exploration towards openings that might be logged clearings or wetlands. At a woods road junction among the tall trees is an impressive cellar hole with two tall chimneys, one clearly fitted for a stovepipe. The rusted steel skeleton of a big front fender car chassis sits across the forest road, the driver long departed.
When I arrive at Winslow SP parking, the group is lounging in the picnic area or looking out towards Pleasant Lake and the northwest view while preparing to drive off with half a beautiful day still at hand.
Gerry Gold - firstname.lastname@example.org