Little Harbor Loop, Portsmouth NH

• 3-star hike
• 1.9 miles
• Easy difficulty | Gain 140 feet
• Portsmouth, NH | Seacoast Region
• Driving Directions: Trailhead

Enjoying the views as a landlubber from Sagamore Creek.

Just a mile-and-a-half South of Portsmouth, this Sagamore Creek-side promontory is the former home of Benning Wentworth a shipping merchant who became New Hampshire's first governor back pre-Revolutionary War times. In fact, without Wentworth's close ties to the lawmakers of the day, the lands of New Hampshire might have just been another part of Massachusetts. That's enough to boil the blood of some Granite Staters!

The Little Harbor Loop Trail combines a shoreline route along the creek across NH Forest Society Creek Farm lands with a narrow forest trail that neighbors the Wentworth-Coolidge Mansion. In this sheltered coastal inlet where the Piscataqua River meets the Atlantic Ocean you'll find freshwater wetlands, tidal pools and at low tide, access to the tiny Goose Island.

Loop Trail Expand Map

Little Harbor Loop Trail 3★
1.9 mi, Loop, Easy, Gain 140 ft
Trailspotting Map: AllTrails, GPX File

After scoping out the headlands around the mansion, the trail ducks into the forest on the North side of Little Harbor Road where you'll find tall white pine trees that would make perfect masts for new sailing ships, if Portland was still a shipbuilding town. A short out-and-back spur within the forest leads to a secluded harbor viewpoint. After leaving the forest, continue following the yellow blazed route along the paved Creek Farm Road for a third of a mile, which leads back to the farm and completes the circuit.

We found this to be a pleasant and varied walk with opportunities for birdwatching or visiting the museum, and its proximity to Portsmouth can make this a good destination or starting point for those looking for a longer walking route. The Forest Society also welcomes paddlers to put in or take out their boats here, so long as boats are carried manually across the lawns of Creek Farm.

Wentworth-Coolidge Mansion is open May to October for guided tours.

After the narrow forested trails, the last third of a mile is along a quiet paved road.

• Trail Links: Wentworth-Coolidge Museum, Creek Farm at NH Forest Society, Public Map at AllTrails
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NH Forest Society
Trails in this article are maintained by the Society For The Protection of New Hampshire Forests.

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