My friends and I recently headed to Horse Hill Nature Preserve, in Merrimack NH, to play in fresh snow and to burn off some calories from the previous night’s holiday party. Places like this prove you don’t need to drive too far to feel away from it all.
Horse Hill Nature Preserve has over 500 acres of protected land with rolling hills, swamps, steams and hardwood forests. Two 400 foot hills are about all the elevation you will find here but they can provide enough of an incline to get the pulse going.
We headed to Horse Hill Nature Preserve for a quick snowshoe hike the morning after 10ish inches of fresh snow had fallen. We were also hoping to burn off a few calories from a holiday party the night before!
Once we got to the non-plowed parking area we saw that the area has a lot of trail choices. The trail system is built on former logging roads and it is extremely well marked and easy to navigate. Most trail posts even have directional areas and numbers that correspond to locations on maps that are available at the trail head. These are luxuries that I am just not used to on the trail!
We chose to follow the Loop Trail which explores much of the preserve with a few hundred feet of elevation gain in about 4 miles; a perfect Sunday morning snowshoe route. Our group headed off into the mostly undisturbed snow.
The trails were very wide, easy to follow and very well marked. The terrain is not physically challenging but if you want a peaceful walk in the woods then Horse Hill Nature Preserve delivers. Our group casually took on the loop trail as we shared snacks, great conversation and the pure joy of being out in the woods.
We soon found ourselves back at the car feeling refreshed from a walk in the woods. We were also all surprisingly hungry but a stop at the nearby Homestead Deli fixed that!
Horse Hill Nature Preserve is a great place to quickly get away from it all. Check it out if you are ever in the Merrimack area.