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 2 States, 2 Forts, 2 Hikes w/ a 2 Year Old - 1/30/15 
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Hiking Forums Are My Crack
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Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2010 8:37 pm
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Location: Exeter, NH
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 2 States, 2 Forts, 2 Hikes w/ a 2 Year Old - 1/30/15
Saturday I had to distract my youngest from the fact that the older two were going to a birthday party and she wasn't, and she wanted to go hiking and look for birds! :D Where to go with a two year old in balmy January weather?

We started looking for the Snowy Owl in Rye but he was out to lunch, so we continued up the coast to Forth Constitution in Newcastle. Not much in terms of hiking trails because it's an active Coast Guard station and home of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse, but there is a painted blue line we can call the "trail" that leads you past the active buildings to the old fort where the first acts of the Revolutionary War took place. From there you can wander and poke around, up and down, wherever you want unless otherwise noted. There's remnants of the fort from various stages of it's life. Brick, granite, concrete... Nice views of the river and NH coast and an interesting little piece of history in the NH State Park system if history is your thing. I like it, so I'm sharing.

Could use a new sign, but you get what you pay for I guess, and it's free soooo....
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Follow the blue line...I mean trail :wink:
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Got it!
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Swithcback 8)
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Shortly you wind up at the fort
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Exploring the various nooks and crannies
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Views from the lookout/rifle tower downthe NH coast
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Portsmouth Harbor Light
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Forth McClary across the river
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Cool looking but off limits part of the fort
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On the way through Portsmouth. Just because I like to post pics of every tree I go by...
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As well as because this one was keeping with the theme on the way through Portsmouth
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From that fort we could see another across the river, and after coffee and a donut went to check it out too because my daughter wanted to "hike" some more. Fort McClary in Kittery, Maine also dates back to the 1600's and guarded Portsmouth from the opposite side of the river. This one has a small (but perfect for a 2 year old) hiking trail from the seasonally closed gate where we parked. It leads through the woods to the fort itself, which has a bit more to explore than the previous stop. Great coastal views from higher up on the hill as well as a lot of buildings still very well preserved from the 1800's, including the block house that sits highest of them all. We wandered in and out of the various tunnels, walls and buildings for a bit enjoying the great views across the water to NH before taking the trail back to the car. You do not have to take the trail, you can walk right up the road, but what fun would that be?!

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It's not much of a trail, but it is actually a hiking trail
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Takes you along a bluff with some views of the fort
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You can loop right around and climb up to the block house
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View out over Portsmouth Harbor and the mouth of the Piscataqua River from the "summit" :D
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Forth Constitution across the river
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Everything had a great name around here too! :wink:
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Exploring
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Portmouth Harbor Light from the end of the tunnel
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Climbing back out
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How much does a canon weigh you may ask?
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Looping around and headed out you get a few last looks
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And that as they say is that. Two State Historic Sites, perfect for little legs and a small sense of adventure. I'm sure she had a lot more fun wandering around these places than she would looking out from yet another mountain top. Hopefully the day will come where that is exciting and adventurous for her too, but for now this seemed to be the perfect adventure. If you have little kids, grand-kids or just want some fresh air and nice views check them out yourself sometime.


Mon Feb 01, 2016 12:06 am
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Sovereign Woodsman

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 Re: 2 States, 2 Forts, 2 Hikes w/ a 2 Year Old - 1/30/15
That's a fun age, if you pick stuff they'd enjoy. Following the line is almost like a game to little kids.

When mine were little, I always tried to have some time where it was just one on one. Sometimes it's good NOT to get invited to the party, look at the fun she had!


Mon Feb 01, 2016 8:41 pm
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 Re: 2 States, 2 Forts, 2 Hikes w/ a 2 Year Old - 1/30/15
My Dad took me to both of those places when I was a little kid. I had a blast looking and crawling in all the caves and chambers :D ! Almost went to Fort McClary on my way home from Saddleback and the Horn in Maine, but I had zero cash, so I couldn't pay the entry fee :(

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Tue Feb 02, 2016 6:06 pm
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Hiking Forums Are My Crack
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 Re: 2 States, 2 Forts, 2 Hikes w/ a 2 Year Old - 1/30/15
hiker0200 wrote:
My Dad took me to both of those places when I was a little kid. I had a blast looking and crawling in all the caves and chambers :D ! Almost went to Fort McClary on my way home from Saddleback and the Horn in Maine, but I had zero cash, so I couldn't pay the entry fee :(


Good for your Dad! I wish my parents had started me hiking at a young age. Hope my girls take to hiking like you did. These certainly were fun for a 3 foot tall kid to wander around. She wants to take her sisters and Mom back soon.

Also, the park is closed for the season and gated, but you can walk past it and up the road to the fort a hundred yards or so, or take the trail through the woods to the left and get there too. The Iron Ranger is there at the kiosk, but no pay envelopes. Plenty of other people and nobody else paid either so I think it's free in the off season next time you feel like stopping.


Tue Feb 02, 2016 6:51 pm
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 Re: 2 States, 2 Forts, 2 Hikes w/ a 2 Year Old - 1/30/15
Granite Guy wrote:
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NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. Come Back!! Don't go toward the light!!!!

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Wed Feb 03, 2016 6:26 pm
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Peak Bagger
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Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2010 9:04 pm
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 Re: 2 States, 2 Forts, 2 Hikes w/ a 2 Year Old - 1/30/15
Good idea! My crew always wants to "do" something, not just take a walk. Lots to see there. This will work out nicely.

Terry


Wed Feb 03, 2016 10:13 pm
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