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Trailhead

To access the property from the northeast: From NH-125, head north on NH-107 for just over 0.5 miles. A small parking area with a kiosk will be on the left.

To access the property from the south: From NH-125, head north on NH-107 and make an immediate left turn onto Ladd Road/Church Street for 0.3 miles. Turn right onto North Road for 1.1 miles. Turn right onto Tucker Road (a gravel road) and proceed until you see a small parking area and gate on the left. Alternatively, continue 1 mile on North Road until it makes a sharp turn to the left, where there is a parking area and kiosk.

Description

French South Trail: From NH-107, this trail parallels the Little River through a mature oak/pine forest with views of the river and abutting wetlands and provides easy access to the Tucker Trail and Patten Island.

Patten Island Loop Trail: This out-and-back trail winds its way to Patten Island with a great view overlooking the Little River. Hikers can see beaver dams, an esker, and the historic Bean Canal.

Tucker Trail: Young dense forests and several wildlife openings edge the meandering Tucker Trail, which includes views of several beaver ponds.

Moses Way: This short trail links the Tucker Trail and Mill Pond Loop through oak forests.

Driftway: The Driftway leads visitors to the Joseph Young Foundation and John Page Boulder and was laid out in 1729 to provide access from North Road. Note the neatly arranged drill holes and slabs of unused granite that Page and earlier owners quarried from this impressive boulder.

Mill Pond Loop Trail: This trail is an interesting loop around beaver flowages in the Little River and the French Mill Pond. There are great views of the river and ponds, two bridges, several wildlife openings, and the historic French Mill site, a sawmill that operated here from the early 1700s until 1910.

French Connector: This trail links the Spofford Mill Trail and the Tucker Trail and crosses right next to an active beaver dam. Watch for basking turtles, otter, great blue herons, and lots more!

Spofford Mill Trail: The Spofford Mill Trail at one time serviced the Spofford Mill, a steam-powered sawmill on land owned by Osmond Spofford and leased to John Elkins around 1870. Carefully explore the ruins and imagine how the mill worked.

French North Trail: Featuring a 220-foot long raised boardwalk, this trail goes through an interesting wooded swamp with abundant black ash and black gum trees. Its northwesterly spur leaves the property.

Other Information

Conservation of the Tucker & French Family Forest began in 2009 with the heirs of Moses Tucker. His three sons inherited the family land and initiated discussions with the Southeast Land Trust of New Hampshire (SELT) about conservation options. SELT also approached the French family who owned abutting parcels as a timberland investment. With funding from the US Natural Resources Conservation Service's Wetlands Reserve Program and other sources, both the 192-acre Tucker and 370-acre French properties were acquired by SELT in 2010. In 2012, Conrad Magnusson conserved the adjacent 27-acre tract, enlarging the conserved land to 589 acres in Kingston, Danville, and Brentwood.

The Tucker & French Family Forest features a diverse mix of upland forests, shrublands, and wetlands. Appalachian oak/pine forests of varying age dominate much of the dry areas. Early successional habitats include old gravel pits and young birch and aspen forests. Wetlands are extensive and vary from numerous beaver flowages to wooded swamps. The properties also include more than 2.5 miles of shoreline on the Little River.

In 2015, dozens of volunteers helped SELT complete an extensive trail improvement project on these properties. The Tucker & French Family Forest is owned by SELT subject to conservation restrictions held by the US Natural Resources Conservation Service.

  • Leave no trace - please carry out what you carry in.
  • Respect our neighbor's privacy.
  • Stay on marked trails.
  • Hunting is allowed. Be aware of hunting seasons.
  • Dogs are welcome but must remain under the control of owners. Please carry a leash, leash any aggressive dogs, and pick up after your pet.
  • The following uses are NOT permitted:
    • Camping
    • Fires
    • Target shooting
    • Trapping
    • Wheeled motorized vehicles

Trail Manager

The Southeast Land Trust of New Hampshire is a membership-based, non-profit whose mission is to protect and sustain the significant lands in our communities for clean water, outdoor recreation, fresh food, wildlife, and healthy forests. SELT works in the 52 communities of southeastern New Hampshire to voluntarily conserve special places for the public benefit through conservation easements and ownerships. Once land is conserved, SELT ensures the conservation goals are met through our landowner easement stewardship program and through sustainable management of SELT-owned lands. Join as a member or volunteer today!

Visit SELT online for more information, or contact:

Southeast Land Trust
6 Center Street
Exeter, NH 03833
Phone: 603.778.6088
info@seltnh.org

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Leave No Trace Principle

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Avoid the introduction or transport of non-native species. Use local firewood from within 50 miles and clean, drain, and dry water equipment when moving between water bodies.