Heald Tract guided hike

I joined 17 people and one tiny-but-mighty dog for a leisurely three-mile amble through a portion of the Forest Society’s Heald Tract in Wilton, New Hampshire.

Castor Pond, where we enjoyed lunch on our hike. It’s home to heron and other water birds, as well as beaver and otter.

 

Our guide was David, a volunteer for the Harris Center for Conservation Education. Two of my fellow hikers owned property near the tract and knew a lot about the history of the area. This made for good company and good conversation for the three hours we spent together.

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We walked through an area with old wells and foundations, and heard tales of the people who had built them and settled the area. We saw the most imposing beaver dam I’ve ever laid eyes on. I heard kingfisher as we sat pondside enjoying our lunch. No one was in a hurry, the company was congenial, and the weather was fine. I left determined to keep an eye on the Forest Society and Harris Center calendars in the future for other walks like this one.

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This barn foundation dating back to the nineteenth century is about six feet high. The rest of the structure was lost to fire long ago.

For more about the Heald Tract including a map of the trails, go to forestsociety.org. Learn more about the Harris Center at harriscenter.org.

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This little terrier is an unlikely-looking hiker, but she proved to be an intrepid and friendly companion.

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The opening to this old well is about five and a half feet across – easily the largest I’ve seen.

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David from the Harris Center led the hike.

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