Bruce Edes Forest

• 3-star hike
• 1 mile loop • Easy difficulty
• Elevation gain 80 feet (650 - 720ft)
• Monadnock Region • Bennington NH
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Tracks of the former Milford-Bennington line cutting through the trees.

Judging by the number and variety of mushrooms I had to sidestep that were growing directly on the trails at Bruce Edes Memorial Forest, I’d wager this forest doesn’t get a great deal of traffic. However, this local park is well maintained, well signed and well worth a hike.

Named for lifelong resident Bruce Edes, we happened upon this very pleasant 34 acre woodland park in the center of Bennington, NH while researching a nearby rail trail. Pick up a map at the trailhead and you’ll find on the back a number key identifying the many different trees you’ll find on your walk.

The trail is very easy going, with mostly moss and pine needles under foot. Only at the South end of the White Trail will you find significant elevation gain, where you can step up the hill to a bench at the summit.

Former railroad building located at the trailhead.

The rushing waters of the Contoocook River can be best seen and heard from the Blue Trail, which traces the banks of the river bend, though as you head closer to the White Trail there are also the industrial sounds of the paper mill to the north. Mosquitos are thickest on the Blue Trail also, although they are to be found throughout the entirety of this small park unfortunately.

Notable is the still present track of the defunct Milford-Bennington railroad which begins at the trailhead that is shared by a former railroad building, now in use as a Veterans of Foreign Wars Post. The track bisects the park and continues past a locked gate, to the long trestle bridge that spans both the river and the parallel Antrim Road. We've has mapped an informal rail-trail access at this point that leads North to the Hillsborough Recreational Rail Trail.

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