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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Great Bay Discovery Center and Sandy Point

Last week, I was home with my wife and son…and it was beautiful out. Since we only had a little time to spare due to other errands we had to run, we decided to check out the close by Great Bay Discovery Center in Greenland, NH (I thought this was in Stratham but it says Greenland online). This Discovery Center is located at 89 Depot Road (the very end of the street) and has a large facility with an exhibit room which is open Wednesday through Sunday from 10am to 4pm. Unfortunately for us, we went on a Tuesday so it wasn’t open.




There’s a small trail network behind the center that hugs the banks of Great Bay. The trailhead is located behind the main building and heads west. It quickly turns into the Boardwalk Trail and is about 1,700 feet in length. It brings you down to the banks of Great Bay to a location known as Sandy Point. The boardwalk is level and has signs setup along the way teaching travelers about the different wildlife that make up the ecosystem within Sandy Point. There are also sets of wildlife footprints painted on the boardwalk that match up with the wildlife signs close by. My 2-year-old loved following them. At the end of the boardwalk, there is a view finder that looked to the east toward an osprey nest which was very cool.

The Boardwalk Trail 

Looking Northeast at Sandy Point

Guide signs along the trail and footprints on the boardwalk 

Osprey Nest and Viewer

On the short hike back, near the beginning of the boardwalk, we took a right at an intersection and headed further west on the Woodland Walk Trail. This trail immediately brought you to a mock Western Abenaki camp dwelling with a tee-pee like structure and some informational signage. Past this, the Woodland Walk Trail drove deeper west, but became very muddy. We made it to the end but could not get out to the bank of the bay due to the wet trail. So, we turned around and headed back to the Discovery Center parking area.

Western Abenaki Camp Dwelling

Woodland Walk Trail

This trail network is about 1 mile in length, round trip. It's a fantastic little hike for little ones since it was mostly made up of a boardwalk, had some great visual teaching signs and was overall short. The GBNERR (Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve) also has a great little passport for kids to check off where they’ve been and learn about the bay. A link to this, and all the maps associated with Great Bay can be found here.


Signage

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