The entire trail system (Woodland Loop and two off-shoot loops) is 1.8 miles long. These trails travel over moderate terrain with some hills and uneven footing. In places, the trail system joins discontinued trails - be careful to watch for Nature Conservancy trail markers at these junctions.
Woodland Loop - This central trail winds through a mid-successional forest of white pine, red oak, and yellow birch. You will encounter several boulders, which are large glacial erratics that speak to the glacial history of the area.
Rhododendron Loop - This trail branches off the Woodland Loop, passing through a damp hemlock forest with mossy rocks and thickets of giant rhododendron, a plant with large clusters of pale flowers and evergreen leaves.
Cedar Loop - This short trail leads off the main loop to a small cove of a much larger cedar swamp, full of Atlantic white cedar and red maple, along with giant rhododendron and winterberry.
A trail guide with more information is available from the NH Natural Heritage Bureau.
This area is open to the public for recreation and education. Please, for the protection of this area and its inhabitants:
The Nature Conservancy is a global non-profit conservation organization. Our mission is to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends.
The Nature Conservancy in New Hampshire has been safeguarding our state's most precious natural resources since 1961, conserving 290,000 acres of forests and files and 680 miles of river and estuary shoreline. Our preserves are open for hiking, fishing, skiing, hunting, and wildlife viewing. Learn more at: www.nature.org/newhampshire.
The preserve is in the Hackett Hill section of Manchester, on the west side of the Merrimack River. From Interstate 93, take Exit 10 and head south on West River Road (aka Front Street) for about 1 mile (crossing the town line from Hooksett into Manchester). Turn right (west and north) onto Hackett Hill Road. Continue 0.7 miles, and turn left (west) onto Countryside Boulevard. The parking area is location 0.5 mile down the road on the left.
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