These trails have been an obvious blank spot on FindMyTrail. The Oaklands/Henderson Swazey/Fort Rock trail system is one of the longest most diverse trail systems in the seacoast. My guess is that there are 40+ miles of trails in this system. A trail map can be found on The Rockingham Conservation Commission’s website: trail map. The Exeter Town Website also has good trail maps but I haven’t been able to find one that contains the northern section that I most frequent.
After running the Newfields 5k today we decided to take our faithful dog Ziggy and son on a hike along the sometimes confusing trails that I refer to as the Oaklands North Trail System. I’m not quite sure if this is still part of Oaklands. The trail head that I use to access these trails is the northern most official trailhead and lays in a quiet neighborhood off of route 85 in Newfields, NH.
The northern trails are less rocky than the southern counterparts in Henderson Swazey. I have not yet mustered the courage to take my mountain bike out on the trails, though you will most definitely see others on bikes. I have taken many long(15+ miles) runs from this trail head.
These trails are beautiful and are golden fox status worthy. They have varied terrain, ecosystems, and miles upon miles of choices. Well constructed bog bridges and boardwalks make easy stream crossings. My one complaint about this trail system is the blazing. Almost all of the trails are exclusively blazed in red. I need to spend more time on the trails to learn them but very often get confused and lose my bearings. There is one specific 4 way intersection that I swear you can get to more than 5 ways.
But don’t let the complexity of the trails scare you. Take your time and bring a map to go explore some of the best trails in the seacoast!
Have you hiked these trails? Let us know below in the comments!