Wednesday, October 13, 2010

MSG


The second portion of this years Run Across New Hampshire will take place on the Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway (MSG). After returning to Mount Sunapee after the initial 78 miles of our run, we'll head south along the MSG towards the summit of Mount Monadnock. The MSG was first created by The Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests. The trail runs through three NH state parks, and now over 80 private land owners voluntairily agree to host the trail, and in some cases, campsites on their land. Those looking to hike the entire trail in one shot typically take 3-4 days. The idea for the trail was first suggested by Allen Chamberlain whose goal it originally was to connect this trail with Mount Moosilauke in New Hampshire's White Mountains, an the vast network of trails in the north.

The trail followed the old roads past farms and small New England villages where innkeepers offered simple room and board. During the Great Depression the trail fell into disuse. The 1938 Hurricane and the advent of World War II effectively ended the original trail; it was not maintained again. The new route was developed after a summer-long study by the Forest Society in 1974. The trail travels through the towns of Newbury, Goshen, Washington, Stoddard, Harrisville, Dublin and Jaffrey.

The Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests
Around since 1901 it is now one of the nations most effective statewide land conservation organizations. As a non-profit membership organization, the Forest Society is dedicated to protecting the state's most important landscapes while promoting the wise use of its renewable natural resources. made up of over 10,000 members, this organization helps protect 928 NH Properties totaling 166,603 acres of land. They do abundant work with easements, permanent land acquisitons, land management, advocacy and education.

1915:
 The Forest Society acquires title to 600 acres on Mount Monadnock, beginning a process that ends up protecting more than 4,000 acres on the landmark mountain.
1948: The Forest Society transfers its 1,116 acres on Mount Sunapee to the state of New Hampshire.
1970: The Forest Society opens an EcoCenter at Mount Monadnock to teach the 75,000 annual visitors about the mountain's ecology.
1971: The Forest Society negotiates its first conservation easement, which allows landowners to keep their land while preventing future development.

A large portion of the final 50 miles of our journey travels along the rural roads of the Monadnock Region via the MSG. The trail wins it way through old pastures and farm lands, long since abandoned cellar holes and pieces of history many of the 1.4 million living in New Hampshire know very little about. We're excited to bring a piece of this forgotten history to life through the efforts of our run.

Pictures from The MSG
Mount Sunapee
Fern Forest on Lovewell Mtn.
Pillsbury State Park
The View from Pitcher Mountain
Mount Monadnock