Another park that I would rate as one of Concord’s jewels is Winant Park (click link for map) (click here for text accompanying map) off of Fisk Road. It was a beautiful warm day (3-30-2016) and after a day of intense winds the trails were dry. The trail from the parking lot is boulder covered and again I use and recommend walking sticks. After 0.4 miles I took a left onto the Rivington Winant trail because it is a longer but less steep way to the top of what was a ski tow area for St. Paul’s School. A couple of hundred yards up the trail I saw this flower on the side of a culvert cut. It is a Coltsfoot flower and is native to Europe. They were brought to America as a medicinal plant, and are now considered invasive by Maine and Massachusetts.
The top of the hill, at about 0.8 miles from the parking lot, is capped with an old growth Oak that measures 22 feet in circumference at 4.5 feet from the ground. Be sure to find the overlook that looks down on the State Capital gold dome. Governor John Winant, for whom the park is named, has a fascinating history. I continued over the hill and followed the trail to the water tower going past a pool of noisy frogs. From the water tower I took the access road down the hill taking a right at the “Y” in the road.
Just before the road ends you will see the rock and trail pictured above. There is no trail marking, but this is where you take a right to head back to the marked trails.
You will know you are on the correct path if it is more boulders than dirt. There are several large boulders covered with lichen, which I thought was a plant but I discovered is actually its own entire ecosystem. When you get to the logging road take another right. The entire loop back to the parking lot is about 2.5 miles with 250 feet of vertical rise and takes about one hour.