Hikin' Herons! Part 5: Remick Natural Area
The Remick Natural Area is not far from downtown Tamworth and looks to me like it might be the most well-trod trail on the Hikin' Herons list. It even has its own interpretive guide to take along for the hike, which made it more interesting and fun. There are numerous features that make the two loops through the woods more novel.
Wilder and I started out down an old logging road with the intention of turning left ASAP and looping down to Mill Brook. I didn't see the path, which was right at the trailhead, so we found the back end of the loop down the logging road and went that way. I could see scrappy blueberry bushes poking out of the fallen leaves, but obviousy not a berry was left this time of year. The trail guide suggested they are “struggling for survival in the dim light” so I wonder how slim the pickings are come summertime.
Nonetheless! We were here for the brook and what a scene it was. If ever I wanted to write spellbinding poetry to conquer some Victorian lady's ironclad heart, I think I'd write it here. I'm just not sure which season I'd do it in. There'd probably be flies, mosquitoes, and ticks every season except now – and today, it was cold. But the brook didn't care about the weather. It burbled on, a refreshing sound, a relaxing sound. The sudden bend of the brook, the fallen trees and piled up rocks, the high banks and the low sun – it was dramatic. And classic New Hampshire. It could have been a Bierstadt painting (known in these parts for his epic The Emerald Pool).
It was tough to leave a spot like that. But we looped around back to the logging road then ventured to the other side, along Esker Ridge Trail. We were looking down at the forest. The trail guide pointed out an oak, a hemlock, and a pine all competing in the same space for the sun's rays. A few of them looked pretty wacky. Once a tree gets an edge on the others – or if one of the others gets chopped down – it'll take off and dominate the canopy.
At the farthest point from the trailhead this trail went, we found the exciting glacial kettle hole. It's just a ditch, a couple of feet deep, but that didn't stop us from having fun. I released Wilder's leash and let him dive into it. I jumped in with him. It's posited that this hole was formed by glacial ice covered in sand and gravel. The ice didn't melt until the sand and gravel got washed away by streams over thousands of years. After the ice melted, we had a kettle hole.
It was covered in leaves, which took some of the fun out of it, but any hole is fun to jump in, regardless. Now, if only it was filled to the brim with leaves! That'd be a party.
I think the Remick Natural Area is a must-visit for anyone looking for a quick hike on a nice morning. I really look forward to visiting this area again, when the flies, mosquitoes, ticks – and blueberries – are all at the top of their game.