"Canned" description follows with additions by me on sections we have hiked.
The New Hampshire Heritage Trail, a 230 mile walking path from Massachusettes to Canada was created by countless volunteers. It is a way for you to discover the state's rich and unique heritage, its natural beauty and culture. This project was started in 1987 by the NH Division of Parks and Recreation, the Student Conservation Association, and several others. Governor Judd Gregg dedicated the first twenty-two miles in Franconia Notch in 1989.
Lancaster's section of the Heritage Trail is fifteen miles long. It travels along paved streets and country gravel roads, up and down hills, along one side of Mount Prospect, and over a covered bridge.
We begin at the south end on Martin Meadow Pond Road at the town line with Dalton, a few yards off Route 142. The trail follows the road in a north-easterly direction to US Route 3. More to the point, the road (unpaved) is the trail.
Break in "canned" description.
One of my daughters and I snowshoed the off the road part last weekend (1/12/97) We drove down to Martin Meadow Pond road, and started looking for where the trail went off through the woods towards Weeks State Park. I went back on October 30, 1997 and took the pictures you see here. The marker is barely visable on a tree about 8 feet up. More visable is a large mound of dirt to keep people from going up the old road that is the trail now. The mound is about 1/4 mile in from Route 3 on the north side of the road. If you're coming from the other (Dalton) direction the mound will be on your left just after the first road after Martin Meadow Pond.
You'll pass a large section recently logged. Watch this in the next few years for the variety of flowers and berry plants that will spring up now that sunlight has been allowed to reach the ground. Also watch for the many animals that will thrive on the plants that will grow here.
You'll notice there are few signs of animals in a forest where there are only large trees. That's because there is nothing for the animals or birds to eat. You'll find a great variety of birds and animals where there have been logging operations. For the next few years the critters will dine on the young shoots and trees, the berries and other plants that appear. Eventually the trees grow large enough to shade out the forest floor again and the animals will either move on or starve.
The trail goes on to Page Hill Road, following it to the town line with Northumberland.
There are numerous other hiking trails in the Lancaster area. Maps and information are available at the Ammonoosuc Ranger District Headquarters, Trudeau Rd, Bethlehem NH. Phone: (603)869-2626 Mailing Address:
Ammonoosuc Ranger District Headquarters PO Box 239 Bethlehem NH 03574
If you write or call they have free maps and info. They also offer some maps for a charge. You'll find several of their maps here.
Franconia Notch State Park
The following from John Colburn:
I saw your excellent pages on the NH Heritage Trail, especially as it goes through Lancaster.
Because info on the Heritage Trail in the southern part of the state is sketchy, I have started a bare-bones page of my own. You can see it at:
Heritage Trail - An outside link to info. Not a great deal more here. This is the state's "Official site". Cute, but useless!
Heritage Trail in Hudson - This may or may not be the "Heritage Trail", I couldn't find a direct reference to it. Appears to be some trails in a conservation area.
(Ed S.) Perhaps we can find other trail related pages and link ourselves all together to provide info people can follow to trails that link If you don't mind, I'll post this e-mail on my page to hopefully instigate more people to put up trail info.