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Glen Oakes Town Forest

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The Glen Oakes Town Forest offers a wide variety of forest and wildlife habitats to explore, via trails that are minimally maintained and not groomed for winter use.
Trail Activity
Length
3.9 miles, Network
Difficulty
Easy, Moderate
Town
Fremont (NH)
Surface
Grass/Meadow, Sand, Snow, Ungroomed, Road, Unpaved
Pets
Permitted
Fees
No
Other Activities

Description

The Glen Oakes Town Forest in Fremont, NH is 389 acres. It offers a wide variety of forest and wildlife habitats to explore on well-marked trails. The trails are minimally maintained. They are not groomed for winter use. Also note that there are stream crossings and small sections that may be wet. Glen Oakes abuts and is an upland buffer to Spruce Swamp, a large wetland of regional significance in the coastal watershed of NH. Please read the Fremont Town Forest Ordinance at the trailhead before proceeding.

Easy Trails: The Link and Forest Loop Trails. These trails are wide and obvious. All major intersections have signs.

Link Trail: This trail connects the parking lot on Andreski Drive with the rest of the trail network. It is about 0.1 mile to where the Homestead Trail heads into the forest canopy on the right. Another 300 feet down the Link Trail is the Forest Loop Trail.

Forest Loop Trail: As the name suggests, this trail makes a loop in Glen Oakes. It is about 1.0 mile in length. It is generally flat but has some moderate slopes to negotiate.

Moderate Trails: Woodland Trail, Homestead Trail, and Barred Owl Trail. These trails are a mixture of wide, well-worn paths and new woodland trails. You may have to balance on a rock or two as you cross some small streams. Watch for small arrows at key turns.

Woodland Trail: The Woodland Trail leaves the Forest Loop in the northeast corner of Glen Oakes. The first 100 yards follows an old road, then the trail quickly turns to the south entering the forest canopy. The next 0.4 miles is an adventure, crossing three streams, encountering glacial erratics (big boulders), with numerous twists and turns before coming out from under the forest canopy onto an old road. Here the trail turns north for the last 0.1 miles to where it meets the Forest Loop Trail.

Homestead Trail: This trail is 0.6 miles long and makes a nice loop with part of the Forest Loop Trail. It leaves the Link Trail about 0.1 miles from the parking lot. The first section meanders in the woods for about 0.4 miles. There are numerous twists and turns and an adventuresome water crossing or two. It exits the woods very close to the southern border of Glen Oakes where the last 0.2 miles follows an old road to reach the intersection with the Forest Loop Trail.

Barred Owl Trail: The Barred Owl Trail is our most advanced trail within the Glen Oakes Trail Network. It is 1.2 miles and has a number of water crossings. It is purely a footpath ideal for hiking or snowshoeing. It may not be suitable for cross-country skiing except for the most adventurous. The trail is divided into two sections: East and West. Completing the loop requires venturing 300 feet into the Southeast Land Trust Kelliher Memorial Forest which is open to the public. On SELT lands, the trail circumvents some wetlands and crosses a seasonal brook, and connects the two halves of the Barred Owl Trail. The Barred Owl Trail is blazed in blue.

Barred Owl West begins at an intersection with Forest Loop just after the end of the Link Trail. It follows an old road for 0.3 miles before turning east into the woods. This turning point is marked with an arrow. It reaches a water crossing amid glacial erratics and turns north up the hill to a wonderful open ridgeline with views to the west. Diving into the woods once again, it follows the perimeter of the wetlands running west then north and then back east to where a large wetland is encountered at the border with the Kelliher Memorial Forest. It has been about 0.5 miles since leaving the road. Barred Owl East can be found after a 300-foot detour through Kelliher.

Barred Owl East begins at an intersection with Woodland, about 300 feet to the east of Forest Loop. It is quite hilly and twisty initially following some smaller erratics. Smoothing out, it crosses through a rock wall and out on a peninsula surrounded by wetlands. Here is an interesting water crossing, again surrounded by erratics. There are multiple ways across it and it is left to the hiker to choose. Now heading northeast through a pine and hemlock forest until reaching the rock wall boundary with the SELT Garrison Memorial Forest. The rock wall is followed to the west and then continues north at the corner. The trail leaves SELT Garrison and heads west in a gentle curve to the north around another seasonal wetland. Finally, the trail turns north, again staying near the perimeter of the wetland until the Kelliher Memorial Forest boundary. It has been about 0.7 miles since leaving the Woodland Trail. Barred Owl West can be found after the 300-foot detour through Kelliher.

Note: All lines labeled "road" are two paths wide. ATVs are NOT permitted in the forest and there is up to a $1000 penalty if this regulation is violated.

Funding assistance came in part from the State Conservation Committee's Moose Plate grant and The Land And Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP).

There are 4 geocaches available right in Glen Oakes - Caching in on Spruce Swamp, Keep the Cache Under Rock and Tree, Fremont EZ Loop, and My 100th Hide. Happy hunting!

Other Information

Starting in 1960, Oakes Kent Lawrence, Jr. began acquiring land parcel by parcel as land came up for sale by different owners in Fremont. Much of the land he purchased had been heavily logged. Mr. Lawrence enjoyed his land and practiced good forest management. Years later, he began selling a few parcels, and decided that he wanted to conserve some of the undeveloped land. He and his family worked with the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests (SPNHF) and the Town of Fremont from 2003 until 2005. The family sold 313 acres to the Town for conservation. The Society for Protection of New Hampshire Forests, on behalf of the Town, holds an easement for this land protecting it in perpetuity from development.

The acquisition of Glen Oakes has substantially helped to protect the single, most distinctive and valuable environmental feature in Fremont know as Spruce Swamp. Spruce Swamp is a large wetland complex of regional significance in the coastal watershed of NH. Glen Oakes acts as an upland buffer to Spruce Swamp. This multi-town wetland complex has 711 acres in Fremont. These wetlands are part of a much larger area of pristine forest. Conserving buffers like Glen Oakes is the best way to protect Spruce Swamp and the surface and groundwater that flows through it. This water is flowing through the Lamprey and Exeter River watersheds. Of the five rivers that are flowing into Great Bay, The Lamprey and Exeter Rivers bring the largest volume of water into the estuary.

In 2009, Charles A. Moreno, a licensed forester who was hired by the town as a consultant, completed a Forest and Wildlife Action Plan for Glen Oakes. The Plan provides a baseline inventory of the forest and wildlife habitats and wildlife sightings and recommendations for ongoing sustainable management. While most of the property is hemlock-hardwood pine forest, a portion of it is Appalachian-oak-pine. These forests provide an abundance of nut-bearing oaks and hickories, a rich food source for wildlife. This forest type is rapidly disappearing from southern NH because its dry soil is desirable for development. Conserving as much of the Appalachian-oak-pine forests as possible means that our children will be able to enjoy them and the wildlife dependent on them.

Our newest addition to Glen Oakes includes 76 acres formerly known as the Smith property. These 3 parcels were added to Glen Oakes and designated as a Town Forest in 2013. Glen Oakes is now 389 acres. Because of the dedication of the citizens of Fremont to protecting water resources and wetlands, the Town has received 11 grants for the acquisition of Glen Oakes and the Smith parcels, now part of Glen Oakes.

To the north and to the east, Glen Oakes abuts properties owned by the Southeast Land Trust, opening up new opportunities to link to their trails.

Endangered, threatened, and species of concern are known to live in Spruce Swamp and the area around it. According to the 2015 Wildlife Action Plan of Fish and Game, this area, including Glen Oakes, is among the highest quality habitat in NH.

We are enthusiastic about giving the public access to Glen Oakes for low impact recreation and education by connecting existing trails with new ones. The Open Space group, which works through the Conservation Commission, is dedicated to maintaining existing trails and using best management practices to create new ones.

Please come and enjoy the beautiful views of Spruce Swamp as you enjoy exploring Glen Oakes. Migrating birds come here in the spring and fall. Migration provides a great opportunity to see birds that don't live here year-round. At our Bioblitz in 2011, 41 species of birds were observed, some of which were resident species.

If you are very quiet, you may spot an endangered, threatened, or species of concern or evidence that they have been there. If you do, please photograph what you find and report: Wildlife Sightings or Amphibian and Reptile Sightings

Trail Manager

For more information, visit Fremont Conservation Commission online, or contact: Fremont Land Use Administrative Assistant, Casey Wolfe, 603-895-3200 Ext. 17, fremontpz@comcast.net.

Please visit our Facebook page for upcoming events and more.

Fremont Conservation Commission
295 Main Street
PO Box 120
Fremont, NH 03044-0120
Phone: (603) 895-3200 x17
fremontpz@comcast.net
View website

Trail Tips

Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
Walk single file in the middle of the trail. Wear the right shoes and enjoy the mud – you're in the great outdoors!

Trailhead Information

The trailhead is at the end of Andreski Drive in Fremont. The parking area is an unpaved cul-de-sac with plenty of spaces. There is a kiosk, a Glen Oakes Conservation Area sign, and a gate at the entrance to the trail. Please read the Fremont Town Forest Ordinance for rules and regulations.

Directions: Take NH-107 to Copp Drive in Fremont. It is located on the north side of NH-107. A sign for Evergreen Estates marks the entrance to Copp Drive coming from the east. The sign is difficult to see because of the trees and shrubs surrounding it. Turn onto Copp Drive, proceed about one mile and turn left onto Andreski Drive. Glen Oakes is located at the end of the road. There is ample parking in the unpaved area at the end of Andreski Drive and at the entrance to Glen Oakes.

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