O’Reilly – Fleetham Trail


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.

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At the rail road bed a left brings you to a river overlook with slippery pine needles right up to the edge. Caution!

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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.

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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.

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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.