One of our favorite places to walk or jog when we’re in New Hampshire is the trail that runs along the shore of Willand Pond between Somersworth and Dover.  The pond provides municipal drinking water, so no swimming is allowed, but people enjoy fishing, canoeing, and sailing on the 66-acre pond.  

Along the one-mile trail there is a picnic area with several tables. Spread out along the sides of the trail there are also fitness stations, such as balance beams, a sit-up bench, posts for support while stretching, and pull-up bars. Where the trail runs through marshy areas, there are low boardwalks, but most of the path is dirt. The boardwalks are made of a synthetic lumber that has a lot of flex, and so are very springy to run across!

Dogs are allowed and are required to be leashed.  However, our experience has been that many people disregard the leash laws and enforcement is poor. I do wish people would be responsible enough to keep their pets leashed, but since it is an issue, you should be aware. 

On the Somersworth side of the trail is a parking area and a not-very-clean porta-potty. There are no trash cans to be seen, either at the picnic area or either end of the trail. Please pack out your trash! Informational signs tell of the area’s history as a recreation center; the park that was by the pond boasted a dance hall, penny arcade, and bandstand, and was accessible to local factory workers by streetcar. You can even walk into the remnant of a pit where bear cubs were once kept and displayed.

 

Willand Pond straddles the border between Dover and Somersworth.

What we like about this trail, in addition to the pull-up bars, is the distance markers every quarter-mile. The unpaved surface is also much easier on the joints than walking on asphalt or a concrete sidewalk! Wild blueberries grow along the sides of the trail and there is plenty of shade.

An unpaved walking/jogging trail follows the pond’s shore

All in all, despite the lack of trash service and toilets, Willand Pond Trail is a good place to jog or walk and squeeze in a bodyweight workout.

Hiking Glen Ellis Falls

Glen Ellis Falls trail is an easily accessible, kid-friendly hike in Pinkham Notch. Some may classify it more as a walk, with stairs, than a “real” hike. Whatever you choose to call it, the views are worth the small effort to get to the falls.  The trail is about .3 mile each way, with approximately 100 ft of elevation change. The trailhead and parking lot are right off Rt. 16 just a bit north of the AMC Pinkham Notch Visitor Center.  Although the parking lot is big enough for dozens of vehicles, it does fill up on sunny weekend days.  A vault toilet is available near the parking lot.

 

Girl near sign
Tiny excited to begin our hike

 

The trail is heavily used and can be muddy after a rainstorm.  Well-constructed stone steps are on the slopes, but handrails are often only available on one side.  The trail follows the river on its  way to the 64-foot waterfall, providing a pretty view along the whole hike. We stopped to take lots of pictures as we went and read the informational plaques.

Waterfall
Because it is so easy to get to, Glen Ellis falls is very popular on sunny summer days.

When we got down to the base of the falls, there was a set of steps to go up near the top of the falls. On a breezy day, this was a lot of fun because the spray from the falls misted over us! We went to Glen Ellis Falls on a Saturday afternoon, and it was rather crowded. We had to circle around the parking lot to find a space, and there were a lot of people on the trail and at the falls.  I would recommend visiting on a weekday, and going in the morning if possible. This was a very rewarding hike for young children and beginners.