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From Penacook, take Washington Street and River Road. Turn right across the Contoocook River onto Horse Hill Road, travel 0.3 miles to the parking area on your left.

Description

Cross the grassy area southward to an opening onto the woods road, with a deep ravine on the right. Yellow blazes lead you down the hill. Bear left where you will cross over a snowmobile trail which can be used to bypass the trail along the river during times of high water. Many varieties of ferns and flowers decorate this path. Bring along your plant identification books to enhance your enjoyment.

Lush ferns edge an overflow area on your right and bunchberry plants on the ground lead you to a wooden bridge. Notice the snag full of holes made by pileated woodpeckers looking for insects.  The holes shelter small birds and animals.  A picnic lunch can be enjoyed at the tables.

Follow the river beneath towering white pines. Don’t trip in the animal holes, probably made by bank beaver. Notice partridgeberry and Canada mayflowers along the way.

Cross a granite footbridge, reportedly weighing 4500 pounds, moved into place by the Boy Scouts, and go up the hill on the cinder path. At the top of the hill, turn left for a lunch break or snack overlooking the river and the steep abutments of the old railroad bridge.

Turn right to continue your walk on the abandoned rail bed. Those small round clumps of moss are called helmet moss by some and there are also star flowers, goldthread and club mosses under foot.

Cross another wooden bridge and walk uphill into another pine grove. The trail bears right along the back of an ancient cemetery. Notice the tombstones now buried in the roots of the large white pine. Was the tree there when the stones were first placed?

Stroll back to the opening where you left your car, through a patch of clover, goldenrod, meadowsweet, evening primrose and toadflax.

Other Information

History of the Trail

Follow the river beneath towering white pines. Don’t trip in the animal holes, probably made by bank beaver. Notice partridgeberry and Canada mayflowers along the way.

Cross a granite footbridge, reportedly weighing 4500 pounds, moved into place by the Boy Scouts, and go up the hill on the cinder path. At the top of the hill, turn left for a lunch break or snack overlooking the river and the steep abutments of the old railroad bridge.

Turn right to continue your walk on the abandoned rail bed. Those small round clumps of moss are called helmet moss by some and there are also star flowers, goldthread and club mosses under foot.

Cross another wooden bridge and walk uphill into another pine grove. The trail bears right along the back of an ancient cemetery. Notice the tombstones now buried in the roots of the large white pine. Was the tree there when the stones were first placed?

Stroll back to the opening where you left your car, through a patch of clover, goldenrod, meadowsweet, evening primrose and toadflax.

City of Concord
14 Canterbury Road
Concord, NH 03301
Phone: 603-225-8690

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Nearby Geocaches

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Check for nearby geocaches to O'Reilly-Fleetham Trail.

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