Staying Open to Adventure

Hikers recommend Heald Reservation as Rx

Dave Anderson | March 17, 2020
David and Lynne Bishop pose in front of the kiosk at Heald Tract.

David and Lynne Bishop at the Heald Forest Reservation in Wilton, NH are working on the Forest Reservations Challenge having hiked 10 of the 33 Forest Reservations to earn their patch. (All photos by David and Lynne Bishop)

Lynne and David Bishop found a "Nature Rx" over the weekend and headed outdoors for healthy exercise and a break from the recent news stories of our time. 

They took the time to tell us about their adventure on the Heald Forest Reservation in Wilton and Temple, NH.  Lynne writes:

Hello! Believing strongly that Mother Nature offers the best environment for our health and wellbeing, we decided to break away from the news cycle today and explore the Heald Tract, and boy oh boy, are we glad!  

We have hiked the neighboring Sheldrick Forest several times over the years, but this was our first visit to the Heald Tract and after walking 6 miles of the trails there, we are charmed by it.

Parking at the northernmost parking lot on Heald Road, we began by following the orange-blazed Fisk Hill trail uphill, spotting 7 whitetail deer along the way.

After admiring the views from the height of land we continued on the Fisk Hill trail, heading downhill toward Castor Pond loop trail and saw LOTS of moose scat and evidence of browsing.  

Finding an abundance of moose scat.

We admired the views from the old orchard, but the stretch between the bottom of that hill and the Castor Pond loop trail is gorgeous!

We enjoyed watching a pair of Canada geese in Castor Pond, while we sat on one of the blown-down hemlocks along the shore and ate our lunch.  What a sky today!


The salamanders and tadpoles were out in abundance! 

Check the lower right-hand corner of this photo for a salamander.


As we followed the trail along the northeast edge of Castor Pond, we saw a mammal in the water, either a beaver or an otter.  I am never again leaving my binoculars at home!


We connected with the blue blazed Camp Trail and appreciated the foresight of whoever designed it. Such fun!

We followed the Camp Trail all the way along Camp Pond (between the manmade embankment & brick debris there’s interesting history there), across Kimball Hill Road, along the Camp Loop,

Then crossed Kimball Hill Road again, further south, where we saw two turkeys exiting the hay field onto Kimball Hill Road, and followed the trail to Batchelder Pond, again admiring the skills of whomever laid out the trail.

We emerged onto Heald Road by the kiosk, realizing that it is time to put away the micro spikes and instead pack the sunscreen.

Our sincere thanks to everyone at the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests for what you do!  We enjoyed another fabulous day exploring trails new to us, and we are very grateful to you as well as to both the farsighted landowners who have chosen you to protect these wonderful habitats, and all who contribute funds to enable you to purchase at-risk land. 


This is our 10th submission in 2020 to the Forest Reservation Challenge

Happy hiking,

Lynne & David Bishop

NH Forest Society members 


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