Family Travel Stories

South Mountain at Pawtuckaway State Park

We recently took a hike to South Mountain at Pawtuckaway State Park. We wanted to go on an Pawtuckaway South Mtn 4-24-09heasy first hike in the hopes that our four year old would enjoy hiking and we could do additional hikes this summer. We wanted to stay close to home, but do a walk that we have not already done. I found this hike trough Trails.com (a pay site, but very good details about hiking trails).

The hike was supposed to be a 0.8 mile hike up a 885± foot high mountain to a fire tower, which on a clear day you are supposed to be able to see Boston. As we followed the directions to the parking lot we found the access road was gated.  The sign said that the trail head was 0.8 mile up this access road.  We decided to put our four year old in his stroller and push him to the trail head, then let him walk. (As long as the stroller has medium sized or larger wheels, the access road is not a problem to push the stroller along.)

As we started our hike we walked past a brook, pond with beaver dam, beaver hut and numerous stone walls. We also came across a small stone foundation on the right of the access road, an old cemetery and another stone foundation on the left. Since I am a Land Surveyor and like history, I wanted a closer inspection of the foundations and the cemetery.  This area was the homestead of Barnard & Sally Goodrich and later of George Goodrich, grandson. My curiosity was peaked and I wanted to learn more.  Later I found a book called “The Barefoot Farmer of Pawtuckaway” written by Paula Casey Wood and an article about George in the Bear-Paw Print with photographs of what the homestead used to look like.

Pawtuckaway South Mtn 4-24-09fJust after the homestead is the parking lot and trail head. We parked the stroller and started our climb.  The trail winds through mature woods and around multiple rock formations. The trail was a bit wet and slippery in spots. There was only a couple of steep sections of the trail and the hike to the top was fairly easy.  Our kids would take turns leading, which provided an incentive for our youngest son to walkPawtuckaway South Mtn 4-24-09o all the way to the top. 

At the top we found the fire tower, which we climbed up to a viewing platform.  The stairs are very steep, so if you have young ones you might want to stay close behind them. After sitting at the top for awhile, we descended the mountain and headed back down the access road.

Even though our hike became a 2.4 mile hike, it was an enjoyable way to spend a beautiful spring day and we are hoping to do this hike again this fall when the leaves are changing.

Click here for Pawtuckaway Trail Map

Click her for Directions and Additional Information about South Mountain

Author: rbisson

I am a licensed land surveyor in New Hampshire and Maine, enjoy the outdoors and being with my wife and two boys.

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