Carter Hill Orchard Trail

The Carter Hill Orchard Trail ( click link for map)(click here for text accompanying map) is kind of like two trails to me.

04_30_2016 014

One trail is an orchard tour which, while probably good cross country sking was not where I wanted to go.  I  started at the NH Audubon Raptor Observatory tower.  This hike starts with a beautiful view of Mt. Warner, Mt. Ragged and Mt Cardigan. (left to right in the picture)

04_30_2016 013

I then headed for the Kalahan K. Emery Memorial Trail and around the pond, which is full of small catfish.


The trail is a farm road at the far end of the pond, and a short ways up on your right is the way to the “High Trail”.  I recommend taking this trail for two reasons. First, the “Low Trail” is always wet with lots of mud.  Second, the “High Trail rises rapidly then becomes a leisurely walk getting all the hard stuff over when you are fresh.  The “High Trail” is about 800 feet above sea level and the hill, called Parsonage Hill, is the highest hill in Concord however it is wooded over and affords no views of the surrounding areas.  At the top of the rise the West End Trail will head off to your right.  It is clearly marked; don’t go that way.  After about a half mile of easy walking the trail coming in from your left, also clearly marked, is your turn to head back towards the orchard.  There is one muddy spot on this trail.  I suggest staying on this trail until you enter the orchard, again avoiding the “Low Trail” that comes in on the left about a quarter of a mile after the previous turn.

04_30_2016 016

The paths through the orchard are clearly marked.  The apple blossoms had not quite opened this day, but in a couple of weeks they will be beautiful.  Total mileage is about 1.7 miles (from the lower parking lot) and plan on an hour of walking.