If you’re looking for an outdoor adventure that the whole family can enjoy, the Urban Forestry Center in Portsmouth, NH is the place to go!
I’ve been to the UFC for their Christmas Tree display thing that they do every other year. Basically local organizations and business decorate a tree then they either raffle or auction them off. Not entirely sure – but a fun experience! It’ll be back in 2021 if you’re interested. ANYWAY. So I’ve been there, driven by it a million times, and I had always wanted to go back in the summer and explore the trails. So I did.
First of all, it’s technically a state park but it’s free to get in so that’s a huge plus. Also, they allow leashed dogs! When I first got there, I drove down the driveway past the first parking lot into the second parking area. I was intently looking at my map but couldn’t figure out where to begin my adventure. I noticed people were just sort of meandering around the property so I decided to do the same. I went down this little mowed grass path right past this random graveyard which I meant to back and investigate, but forgot. It was a short little path that went along the marsh (technically Sagamore creek but it’s pretty marshy) and eventually it got so muddy I decided to turn back.
As I was walking back, I noticed the trail veer off to the left so I decided to follow. That’s where the main trails are. The trail takes you into the shady forest, across little streams and brooks. A little ways in, I came to a split in the trail and decided to go right, away from the couple I had unintentionally been following for the last 20 minutes. I ended up on a trail that paralleled Elwyn road (if you know the area). Eventually I came across this little pond that was full of frogs! I traveled on and saw a little path off to the left that seemed to go further into the marsh land. So I decided to take it. So glad I did. It took me up this hill so I had a decent view of the water. Trees covered a lot of my view but it was still worth it. There was a tiny bit of steep rock scrambling but nothing crazy!
Overall: I would go back here! I would even take my parents who aren’t into the intense hiking. Trails are relatively flat and are so beautiful. I love all the little trails off of the main path, too. Makes adventuring fun!