The The Souhegan River Trail in Milford, New Hampshire is an easy 1.2-mile out-and-back hike that leads to Emerson Park and features views of the Souhegan River.
Trail name(s): The Souhegan River Trail, The Nature Trail
Location: Keyes Memorial Park, East Entrance, 45 Elm Street, Milford NH
Parking and Fees: There is no fee to park or use the trail. The park is quite large and offers plenty of parking in multiple parking areas around the park. It is unclear if the park is open in winter or if any of the parking areas are plowed.
Pets: Dogs are welcome but are supposed to be kept on a leash and owners are supposed to remove dog waste.
Accessibility: The majority of the trail is not wheelchair accessible. Only a small portion of the trail near Emerson Park is paved that would allow access. That part of the hike can be accessed by parking at the Milford Masonic Temple on 30 Mont Vernon Street, Milford, NH, however, there are multiple signs posted in that parking lot that state permission is needed in order to park there. The phone number for the Milford Masonic Temple is (603) 673-3681.
Allowed activities: Walking, Biking, Birding, Nature Study, Fishing*
Prohibited activities: *Although fish is allowed, Anglers are STRONGLY warned NOT TO EAT any Fish caught in this section of river due to the fish being contaminated by high levels of PCBs. The area surrounding the park has a history of toxic chemical exposure. No Skateboarding, No Rollerblading, No Hunting
Sanitation: There were two Port-a-potty toilets and trash bins near the tennis courts that are beside the trail.
Hours: Keyes Memorial Park is Open Monday - Friday from 12:30pm to 7:00pm and on Saturday and Sunday 12:00pm to 7:00pm. The Gregg crossing bridge gate closes at 10:00pm.
Length and Trail information: This 1.2-mile journey was done as an out and back hike and is easy. Don't let "easy" fool you, this short hike is jam packed with lots of educational information as well as beautiful views to enjoy. We parked in the parking lot next to the tennis courts close to the Gregg Crossing Bridge and began our hike there. This sturdy Pratt Truss bridge was erected in November of 2004 and crosses over the Souhegan River. On the West side of the river is a small information kiosk installed by the Boys and Girls Club of Souhegan Valley that gives visitors a map and a brief overview of the trail. There is a white trail blaze pointing the way to the trail but it's the only one we saw during our hike. Instead of trail blazes, this nature trail has multiple education plaques installed along the trail as well as small tan tree identification tags. Thanks to the tree ID tags, we were able to identify a surprising amount of different tree species including: American Elm, Sugar Maple, White pine, American Basswood Linden,White Oak, Red Maple, White Birch, Black Oak, Sassafras, American Hornbeam Blue Beech and Shag-bark Hickory. Some of these trees we had never seen before. We were also lucky to hear and see several different birds such as Canada Geese, Black-capped Chickadees, Blue Jays and Carolina Wren. This hike is surrounded by an urban area, and sadly there are sections of the trail that run behind businesses which don't necessarily offer the best views. The Milford Trail Committee has made an effort to make these areas nicer by installing several small gardens along the Nature trail that also have educational information for visitors to enjoy. There are also several wooden benches for visitors to use so they can stop, rest and take in the beauty of the slowly flowing Souhegan River. The Nature trail ends at an information kiosk located at a parking area on Mont Vernon Street, from here The Souhegan River Trail continues. Hikers will pass a granite veterans memorial plaza and then continue on to Emerson Park. Emerson Park is a beautiful urban green space with lots of benches for sitting and gazing at the river or the Stone Bridge that is stop #7 on the QR Tours of Milford NH. Emerson Park is also one of the locations of the Summer Concert Series for the Town of Milford and is maintained by the Milford Garden Club. This was a lovely, short, easy hike to reconnect with nature.Explore 75 trails near Milford, NH
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