Wagon Hill Farm - Durham, NH - 8/30/14
I'll make this one quick. I doubt there's much interest in it but I know almost all of you have seen and driven right by it. Wagon Hill Farm is a conservation area in Durham that sits on the shores of Little Bay and the Oyster River. If you looked up the bay while crossing the General Sullivan Bridge headed up route 16 you'd see it on the right. We had to be in Portsmouth for dinner Saturday night but my wife wanted to take the girls for a little hike in the afternoon and we decided on this place we'd never been to. It's a well preserved 140 acre farm that gives you a glimpse into what the New England coast looked like before it was developed. About half rolling fields and half woods it's a rather enjoyable place to walk. Trails are not well marked but are easy enough to follow and with a map you can find your way around simple enough.
We started by climbing up the hill to the namesake wagon. The trails through the old fields are just mowed and worn paths that were easy enough for even my one year old to walk on, although she kept wandering into the high grass trying to get the flowers after her sisters left her i the dust. The open top is worn down to the ledgy rock underneath and has nice views over the rest of the farm and peeks of the bay.
Climbing Wagon Hill. So simple a baby can do it!
Trails are a mix of mowed paths, boardwalks and lined wooded paths
After the wagon we followed the trail down into the woods and passed a creek to the small sandy beach and picnic area on the bay where the tidal Davis Creek flows in. Views were nice across the water to the shore of Durham Point and out to some small islands. Lobstermen and sailboats cruised around as traffic steadily flowed across the general Sullivan Bridge in the distance well out of ear shot. The girls had fun throwing rocks, picking flowers and chasing butterflies before having a snack and moving on.
Eventually you should end up on the shore of Little Bay
Davis Creek enters into the bay near the picnic area
You can watch the boats do their thing or traffic flow over the bridge
Is there anyone on these boards who hasn't driven across this?
Our kids chose to just pick flowers and throw rocks!
The wooded trails were lined with branches and often had wood chips laid down for better footing. we hugged the shore of the Oyster River, passing a spur to a great little point of land near Smith Creek before turning back towards the fields and farmhouse. We checked out the community gardens and headed off to downtown Portsmouth, only a couple miles away but a whole different world of hustle and bustle. Personally I prefer the farm!
The shady wooded trails were entirely lined with branches and sticks which made following them childproof
The trail we took hugged the banks of the Oyster River and led to a neat little point near Smith Creek
Smith Creek at high tide
Headed back through the fields past the old farm house, orchards and gardens
Bat houses on the farm house
So that's it. Short and sweet. Trails are easy and well graded and maintained and we spent about two hours wandering 1.5 miles or so with lots of little breaks along the way. This is a great spot for a quiet stroll only minutes from the cities of Portsmouth and Dover yet away from it all. If you want any more info on this one you can click right here...
And a printable trail map of the place...