Like most of you, we’ve been itching to get outside and explore.
Concord is home to so many great trails and parks, the possibilities for getting lost in nature are endless. But one spot we’ve never checked out and have heard a lot about is the Merrimack River Outdoor Education and Conservation Area, which is part of the Society for the Protections of New Hampshire Forests.
Located off Portsmouth Street, we thought it might be a relatively hidden gem on the trails circuit – at least that’s what we thought until we pulled into the parking lot one evening last week and saw a ton of cars.
Armed with a trail guide, camera and notebook, we were off for a little walk in the woods. One thing to note, since it’s right next to the Merrimack, there can be a lot of mosquitos out there so it’s not a bad idea to bring bug spray. Trust us, we learned the hard way. (Insert sound of scratching uncontrollably.)
We started out walking down the path and quickly noticed how quiet it was out there.
You could hear the birds singing away and squirrels and chipmunks running through the fallen leaves and brush.
Not too far into the walk, the trail forks. We had been given a heads up by Forest Society Communications Manager Brenda Charpentier to take a left at the fork.
While both ways are beautiful in their own right, the one to the left (the Les Clark Trail) went along the river and would give you the opportunity to see trees felled by beavers, enjoy the moving water and have a chance to possibly encounter otters, turtles, blue herons and bank swallows. Unfortunately, we didn’t see any of the wildlife, but that doesn’t mean you won’t.
The trail was nice and easy. Not a lot of roots, nice and flat, peaceful, and it’s only about a mile and a half.
Along the way, you’ll find benches to sit and enjoy the sights, but without bug spray that wasn’t happening for us.
It is also a flood plain forest, so if you go out soon you might encounter the flooded areas.
You could really spend hours out there, and we can’t wait to go back and do more exploring.
We didn’t encounter any people except for in the parking lot and a nice woman walking her dog right before we got back to the trailhead.
So if you’ve never been, we highly recommend making the trip.