A very short walk from our neighborhood are the Phillips Exeter Academy Trails, 140 acres of woods along the Exeter River. It’s a haven for dogs and their owners, cross country skiers, bicyclers, joggers, hikers, Exeter Academy sports teams, and for strollers like us.
Tranquility of nature abounds. Trails are wide and picturesque with hemlock and pines beckoning us along.
Most of the trails were well maintained, either covered with thick leaf litter or wood chips over muddy spots. Several well-shaded areas were still covered in icy snow, packed well from cross country skiers earlier in the season.
It was fun to see the newly emerging plant life along the way, some of the familiar flora we left behind in Virginia.
Partridge Berry (Mitchella repens)
Skunk Cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus)
Princess Pine (Lycopodium obscurum)
We saw evidence of fauna along the way too.
The work of beavers
Numerous bogs were alive with the chorus of wood frogs… that were quickly silent on our approach.
It’s Spring. Bogs are everywhere!
Our only misadventure was not knowing exactly where we were two miles back in the woods. There are numerous side trails and Y’s along the way that were not on the map. Should we go this way or that way?
Is that a trail marker? We almost missed it.
Can’t miss this one but should we turn here?
Thank goodness we were saved by the Phillips Exeter Academy track team who pointed us the way out.
We have since downloaded the app Map My Walk, an amazing GPS pedometer that tracks our route, pace, calories, distance, and time. We’ll never be lost again!