Powder Major's Forest

The Oyster River at Powder Major's Forest

About the Property

Powder Major's Forest was acquired by the Forest Society in 2017. The highlights of the property include frontage along the Oyster River, a beaver pond complex along Dube Brook, and an extensive recreational trail network.

These lands were once the home of Revolutionary War hero Major John Demeritt, aka “The Powder Major.” Major Demeritt was celebrated for his role in a raid on the British Fort William and Mary (now called Fort Constitution) in Portsmouth Harbor. He is credited for hiding the stolen gunpowder on his Madbury farm and then transporting it to the Continental Army fighting in the Battle of Bunker Hill at the outset of the American Revolution. 

Since then, subsequent generations of the Demeritt family and then the Goss family lived on and farmed the Powder Major's land.  

The trails of this reservation are easy to moderate. An outer loop trail marked with yellow blazes (2.4 miles) runs through several wetlands and includes a spur trail (unmarked) in the far northwest that reaches the beaver complex. 

Two other trails marked with green and with orange blazes provide hikers the opportunity to shorten the 2.4-mile outer loop.  Some areas may be very wet. 

The Forest Society will be working over the next few years to make improvements to the trail system that should include some treadway hardening, new bridges, a more defined and clear trail system.

We hope you enjoy your visit!


Please see our Visitor Use Guidelines page for a complete list of rules and regulations for Forest Society reservations.