The O’Reilly – Fleetham Trail (clink link for map) (click here for text accompanying map) is a short hike of about a half mile. It is easy walking but I would say children must be closely supervised because the trail runs along the Contoocook river and has train bridge abutment with a twenty foot fall directly into the river. I started straight down the hill from the parking area where you will see an extensive area of blown over trees, all about the same age. Possible wind shear? I do not know. After walking along the river you cross a granite block bridge placed by the Boy Scouts and climb to the old rail road bed.
At the rail road bed a left brings you to a river overlook with slippery pine needles right up to the edge. Caution!
Around this area of the rail road bed you can pick up pieces of coal, which give you an idea of how old this rail line must have been.
The trail follows the rail road bed for a short while, then parallels the bed on higher (and dryer) ground. Before the trail ends you will pass a cemetery where many members of the Runnell family are buried.
This is a good little hike for when you don’t have a lot of time, say a half an hour, and would be good with closely supervised children.