As the new Land and Recreation Manager for the Monadnock Conservancy, I recently visited our Chamberlain Conservation Area on Sip Pond in Fitzwilliam, NH. The Conservation Area is a 77-acre property owned by the Conservancy since 2018. The property runs beside the Cheshire Rail Trail and is relatively flat, making it an enjoyable walk for families with young children.
I used the large parking area on Old Turnpike Road and the short connector trail to access the Cheshire Recreational Rail Trail. Heading north, the rail trail followed Sip Brook. Woodland birds sung to my west, while redwing blackbirds answered from the shrubby water’s edge. A variety of shrubs and perennial wildflowers were in bloom and offered many photo opportunities along the way. Farther along the rail trail, pines and maples offered shade on a hot summer’s day.
A gravel path continued from the rail trail into the Chamberlain Conservation Area, winding through the wetlands and open spaces beneath the hemlocks and pines. I reached a fork in the trail: a short walk to the left was the snowmobile access to Sip Pond; the trail to the right meandered through blueberry bushes to the peninsula, which was a quiet place to sit and enjoy the beauty of Sip Pond.
The Chamberlain Conservation Area’s history includes the transportation of ice blocks from Sip Pond to the railroad and on to Boston. Remnants of an old shack remain. Out of respect for the land and its visitors, I am gathering a volunteer work crew to return the peninsula to its natural beauty by removing the remnants of the old shack. We will also prune the blueberry bushes that line the peninsula trail. If you are interested in participating later this summer, please contact me: Janine Marr, Monadnock Conservancy, 603-357-0600, ext. 105, janine@. Together, we can protect this beautiful spur off the Cheshire Recreational Rail Trail. MonadnockConservancy.org
For a map and other information about the property, visit monadnockconservancy.org/explore/hiking and look for “Sip Pond Peninsula Trail.”