Some chose skis, others stuck to sturdy feet, but everyone who came along on UVLT’s hike to welcome in the first weekend of spring brought smiles and energy for exploring our remote property in North Grantham, NH.
Starting out on the surprisingly good snow, we began the climb along the class VI Leavitt Hill Road from its end at Miller Pond Road. UVLT staff Pete Helm and Sara Cavin got to chat with new friends and share the story of how UVLT came to acquire this 90 acre forest with its 8-acre wetland complex. The Leavitt Hill Wetland property is now owned and managed by UVLT as a result of partnerships with the Town of Grantham, the Conservation Commission, and the NH Department of Environmental Services Wetland Mitigation program.
During our trek, we saw evidence of the old community atop Leavitt Hill, including homestead cellar-holes, abandoned farming machinery and numerous stone walls. Once we headed off the trail and into the conservation area, our senses were perked even more, tuning in to the breezes moving through the ice-storm damaged tree crowns, and noticing the many signs from wildlife that had passed before us. Once at the wetland edge, we walked (and skied) lightly across the still-(mostly!)-frozen stretches, overseen by the snags from the long-abandoned beaver ponds. Pausing for hot tea, peanut butter, granola bars, and other lunchtime snacks, we watched the spring snow flurries swirl about across the wetland.
The skiers enjoyed the relatively open understory throughout much of the property, and hikers had the help of traction spikes but hardly needed them in the fluffy spring snow! Once back to Leavitt Hill Road, the skiers had an exciting descent and the hikers struck up lively conversations about public access on conservation lands and UVLT’s role with easements compared to fee-owned properties. It is always fun learning, laughing and adventuring together in the outdoors – we hope you can join us next time!
Sara Cavin, Hike Leader, Project Manager