A work crew of five students (ages 18-24) with the Student Conservation Association recently spent 10 days working at the Cranberry Meadow Pond Trail in Peterborough, New Hampshire. Up until now, a popular section of the trail crossed a wetland on low plank bridges, where seasonal high water meant wet feet and frequent repairs. But now a new design is under construction.
This section of trail, east of Old Street Road, is a popular choice for hikers who don’t want to hike the entire 2.6-mile length. It passes through the wetland and along a winding brook through hemlock and oak forests on its way to the namesake pond.
High and Dry
An elevated boardwalk, two feet off the ground, is being built across the wetland to replace the old planks. In wet, muddy conditions, the students set posts, framed the walkway, and started to affix decking — a lot to accomplish in 10 days! Now, another team of local volunteers (thank you!) and Conservancy staff will finish the work. The goal is to have this section of trail open again by the end of August.
Thank you for your patience while we build a better structure that will require less maintenance and reduce impacts on the wetland. Your dry feet will thank you, too! With climate change increasing the frequency of heavy rains, more trails may need boardwalks like this.
About the Cranberry Meadow Pond Trail
The Monadnock Conservancy and local forester Swift Corwin worked with private landowners to create the 2.6-mile Cranberry Meadow Pond Trail — a key missing link in Corwin’s vision for a 4.5-mile town-to-mountain trail from downtown Peterborough to the summit of Pack Monadnock. Officially opened in the fall of 2009, the trail links with the Raymond Trail at the Miller State Park for the last 1.6-mile climb to the summit. Trailheads are located at Cheney Ave, Old Street Road, and East Mountain Road.
Many sections of the Cranberry Meadow Pond Trail cross private property thanks to the generosity of landowners. Accordingly, please stay on the trail. A trail guide is available online and posted at the kiosk on Old Street Road.
This boardwalk project was made possible by a generous bequest from the estate of Robert Pugh.