Explore the Great Outdoors
Whether you're looking for a gentle stroll or a challenging hike with rewarding views, the Harris Center has a trail for you. All of our trails are free of charge and open to the public year-round. Dogs are welcome, but they must be on-leash at all times.
New: We're hosting a Hike-a-thon in October 2022! Learn more here.
The West Side Trails to Skatutakee Mountain, Thumb Mountain, and Cobb Hill in Hancock offer moderate to steep climbs up to dramatic vistas. Trail lengths range from 2.0 miles roundtrip up Cobb Hill to a 4.5-mile loop over the summits of both Thumb and Skatutakee. The Harriskat Trail is also home to a series of popular trailside wood carvings by local artist Jack McWhorter.
Parking: Park at the Harris Center for the Harriskat and Thumbs Down trails. The Cadot Trailhead is on Old Dublin Road, and the Cobb Hill Trailhead is on Jaquith Road, both in Hancock. The parking areas for the Cobb Hill and Cadot Trails may not be plowed in the winter months.
The East Side trail system in Hancock features fairly easy hiking through cool hemlock and hardwood forests to huge glacial erratics. Trail lengths vary from 0.4 to 1.6 miles, with the potential to stitch together a loop hike of up to 4.5 miles via Old King’s Highway and the Dandelyon, Boulder Train Loop, Babbitt, and Channing Trails.
Parking: Park at the Harris Center for all the trails in the East Side network.
The Bailey Brook Conservation Corridor in Nelson offers two fantastic options: the Bailey Brook Trail, an easy 0.9-mile loop to a former mill site, and the Kulish Ledges Trail, which features a moderately strenuous 3.0-mile roundtrip hike and two spectacular vistas. The Kulish Ledges Trail also connects to the Partridge Woods trail network (see below), offering additional options for longer routes.
Parking: The original parking area serving the Bailey Brook and Kulish Ledges Trails from Old Stoddard Road is closed, and the new parking area 0.5 miles west on Old Stoddard Road is not yet connected to the trail system. To access the Bailey Brook and Kulish Ledges Trails, you can park at the new lot — which does not yet have signs — and walk 0.5 miles east to the Kulish Ledges trailhead, which is marked with a yellow “black fly” sign. You can also access Kulish Ledges via the Partridge Woods trail network, with parking off Brickyard Road in Nelson. Please review the Partridge Woods trail guide (below) for more details on this alternative route. (Note that trail maps and signage have not yet been updated to reflect these recent changes.)
The 1.9-mile Hiroshi Loop Trail in Peterborough gently winds its way through field, forest, and along Nubanusit Brook, and offers a gorgeous view of Dinsmore Pond. It’s also home to two musical hiking experiences: The Singing Stream and In Fine Feather.
Parking: Trailhead parking is in the Hiroshi field on the east side of Route 137, 2.1 miles north of the intersection of Routes 101 and 137 in Dublin and just south of the Harrisville town line.
The Eastview Trail in Harrisville runs 1.4 miles along the old rail bed for the Manchester & Keene Railroad line, which opened in 1878 and was abandoned in 1936. The nearby North Pond Trail follows the shore of North Pond for additional 1.6 miles.
Parking: You can access the both trails via a small trailhead off Hancock Road in Harrisville, just southeast of the North Pond dam and opposite a large granite abutment.
The Jaquith Rail Trail in Harrisville and Hancock runs 1.5 miles along the old rail bed for the Manchester & Keene Railroad line, and includes a repurposed historic steel truss bridge across beautiful Jaquith Brook. It connects to the Eastview Trail at Jaquith Road in Harrisville.
Parking: You can access the Jaquith Rail Trail via a small trailhead off Jaquith Road in Hancock, just west of a large granite abutment.
This section of trail offers an easy, flat 0.7-mile walk (oneway) along the old Manchester & Keene Railroad bed from Old Dublin Road to Eaton Road in Hancock. To extend your hike into a 2-mile loop with views of farm and field, follow the trail from Old Dublin Road to Eaton Road, take a right onto Eaton Road and another right when it joins Old Dublin Road, then follow Old Dublin Road back to your car.
Parking: To reach the trailhead from Hancock Village, head west on Main Street and turn left onto Old Dublin Road opposite the Hancock Post Office. Continue for 0.9 miles. Then, turn left into the driveway for #92, which is marked by a large boulder. Continue to the parking area.
Partridge Woods is a 588-acre parcel owned and managed by the Town of Nelson and protected by the Harris Center, which holds a conservation easement on the property. The 6-mile trail network follows a combination of old woods roads and newer paths up to the summit of Cheshire County’s second-highest peak (Osgood Hill: elevation 2233′), and connects to the Harris Center’s nearby Kulish Ledges and Bailey Brook Trails.
Parking: You can access Partridge Woods from a trailhead off Brickyard Road in Nelson. Look for the distinctive partridge sign!
For more information on Harris Center trails, please contact Eric Masterson at (603) 525-3394 or by email.