Goodwill Conservation Area

This town-owned conservation land hosts the very popular Winnie-the-Pooh Trail, perfect for families with young children as well as natural features like Richardson Pond, Mallego Brook, beaver ponds, ledges and habitat for a wide variety of plant and animal species.
Trail Activity
Hiking Mountain biking Snowshoeing Ungroomed cross-country skiing Horseback riding Snowmobiling
Length
4.6 miles, Network
Difficulty
Easy, Moderate, Advanced
Town
Barrington (NH)
Surface
Packed Earth/Dirt, Rock/Ledge, Snow, Ungroomed
Pets
Permitted on leash
Fees
No

Description

To get to the trails from the parking area you must cross the bridge over the spillway in the dam that forms Richardson Pond. A short ways past the bridge the Pooh Trail goes to the right and the Goodwill Trail to the left.  

The Winnie-the-Pooh Trail (aka the Pooh Trail) features signs and pictures celebrating the children's classic with text by A.A. Milne and illustrations by E.H. Shepard. The trail is well-signed and marked with white blazes. It is less than a mile round trip. A separate map of the Pooh Trail can be found at the Barrington Conservation Commission's website. (To best appreciate the area marked on the map as "Where the Woozle Wasant," it would be good to have read the chapter "Pooh and Piglet Go Hunting" in Winnie the Pooh.)

Going left after the bridge on to the Goodwill trail, you will climb up away from the brook, and pass an entrance for snowmobiles on the left. After looping around next to an old stone wall that marks the property boundary, you will pass the exit from the Pooh Trail and then come to the Melvin Trail. The Melvin Trail offers good views of Richardson Pond and the marsh before connecting to the Pooh Trail.

A short way further down the Goodwill Trail there is a very steep Spur Trail to the left that will take you up on top of one of the property’s fine ledge outcrops. Please be careful, as this trail is very steep and is a bit risky under any conditions. The Trails Committee plans to relocate it in the near future so that it is neither as dangerous nor as conducive to erosion. The ledge’s round, rocky top sports a fine view of the surrounding forest. Also, note the gnarled old pitch pine trees at the top. Pitch pines have three needles per bundle, while the more common white pine has five. Red pines, not seen on this property, have two.

Come down from the ledge the same way you came up, and be very cautious! Almost directly opposite the trail to the ledge is a short Spur Trail down to the marsh, where you might spy frogs, turtles, or waterfowl.

A bit further down the Goodwill trail you’ll encounter a large Big-tooth Aspen tree, with beautiful deeply grooved bark. As the plaque next to it states, this aspen was once the largest of its species known in Strafford County. A bigger one has since been found, but it’s still an impressive tree, and the NH Big Tree Program, which keeps these records, has the philosophy of “once a champ, always a champ.”

Further along, on both sides you will see more evidence of the ledges that are a prominent feature of the Goodwill Conservation Area. Another steep Spur Trail to the top of a ledge exits on the left and takes you to a lovely clear area where you can look down on the trail below you.

A bit past this path to the ledge there is a fork in the trail: the Goodwill Trail continues to the left. To the right, the Oak Ridge Loop makes a pleasant ~1/4 mile loop that takes you down within sight of Richardson Pond again. It returns to the Goodwill trail only about 150’ further on down the trail.

There are a couple more side trails off of the Goodwill trail, and they take you down near marshes and wetlands.  At this time they are not very well defined, especially at their ends.

The addition of 135 acres to the Goodwill Conservation Area in 2020 extends the Goodwill Trail on to Ross Rd. (reached from Beauty Hill Rd.), where another parking area is planned. The trail system on this part of the property is as yet undeveloped and unsigned, but old woods roads, etc. are present. A beautiful beaver pond is a highlight.

Other Information

Snowmobile access is from a trail and bridge a short ways down Richardson Drive.  Snowmobiles are only allowed on the Goodwill trail.  

The southern half of the property was added in 2020 and its trail system is not yet developed. The map shows existing woods roads/trails, but as of now they are not maintained. 

A parking area to directly access the southern part is expected to be built in the next few years.

Trail Manager

For more information, contact:

Barrington Conservation Commission and Trails Committee

Barrington Conservation Commission and Trails Committee
PO Box 660
Barrington, NH 03825
Phone: (603) 664-5798
BarrTrails@gmail.com
View website

Trail Tips

Respect Wildlife
Avoid known animal mating or nesting areas during sensitive times.
Legend
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Trailhead Information

Parking area is on NH-9, 1.5 miles west of its junction with NH-125, to the right of Richardson Drive.

Parking on Richardson Drive is  prohibited by town ordinance. A parking area at the end  of Ross Rd. is planned for the future.  

NOTE:  the parking area is not generally plowed in the winter.

Click on a parking icon to get custom directions
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