NH Family Hikes

Fox Forest Swamps

Length: 3.3 mile out-and-back with loop

Difficulty (click for info): Beginner

Elevation Gain: minimal

Rating (click for info): 4/10

Driving Directions:
Trailhead and parking area are on Center Road in Hillsborough, NH. From the junction of Rt. 149 and Henniker Street in Hillsboro, take School Street north. In 0.4 miles, School Street becomes Center Road. Continue 1.5 miles to the parking area, which is on the right. Make sure to pick up a trail map at the parking area; the trail network is confusing!

About the Hike:
This scenic loop hike through the woodlands of Fox Forest passes by two swamps: Molly Jackson Marsh and the Black Gum Swamp. The hike starts at the Fox Forest headquarters, on the Ridge Trail, which goes on to encircle the entire property. From the parking area, take Ridge Trail across the road to the west side trails. The trail leads into a beautiful forest and by many large boulders. At Hurricane Road, turn right, then turn left when Ridge Trail leaves the road. The trail then parallels the boundary of the forest past some wet areas. Follow it past the junction with White Cross Trail and also past the junction with Fisher Cat Trail. Eventually, you will reach Molly Jackson Marsh. The trail passes by it at a distance, but you can walk up to it for a closer look. It is known to be a habitat for woodcocks.

Past the marsh, turn left onto Barred Owl Trail, a cut-through to the next destination, the Black Gum Swamp. Follow it to Harvey Road and turn left. Continue straight past the junction where White Cross Trail comes in on the left. Next, turn right when the trail ends at Swamp Trail. You will soon arrive at the Black Gum Swamp. This unique habitat is home to the uncommon black gum tree. Some of the trees in this swamp were found to be over 400 years old. A kiosk explains the natural features of the swamp. After visiting the swamp, turn back the way you came, but stay on the Swamp Trail and follow it to Hurricane Road. Turn left, then soon bear left, and you will be back at the Ridge Trail, which you can follow back to the parking area to complete the loop.

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