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MAPS & TRAIL RECOMMENDATIONS FOR BEAR BROOK STATE PARK (a.k.a. my backyard!)
LOCAL SOURCES FOR HERBS & SUPPLIES
HERB SHOPS & HERBALIST-RUN BUSINESSES:
Shops with Regular Business Hours:
- Misty Meadows, Lee, NH - Mostly Organic! * 185 Wednesday Hill Road Herbalist Wendy Fogg’s shop is among my favorite herb shops in the state. Loose herbs and teas of impeccable quality, usually organic & sometimes harvested on the property. She also has locally-made tinctures, a great selection of bottles, essential oils, flower essences, gathering baskets, bodycare-making supplies, as well as an adjacent metaphysical gift shop. They will mail orders! www.mistymeadows.org or 603-659-7211
- Sacred Tree Herbals, Meredith, NH - Mostly Organic!* This store just opened in September, 2016 and is the store front for Sara Woods Kender's Sara's Herbs business. Offering medicinal teas, natural skin care, consults, classes, and more. Click here for the website.
- Tangled Roots Herbal, Nashua, NH - Mostly Organic & Alcohol-Free!* This cute herb-metaphysical opened in 2016 right in downtown Nashua. You'll find bulk herbs as well as alcohol-free tinctures and flower essences, books, gemstones, candles, and more. Click here for the website.
- Moore Farm Country Store & Herb Shoppe, Alton, NH - Mostly Organic! * 15 Moore Farm Lane, Alton, NH (1 mile on New Durham Road from Alton traffic circle) Kim Moore runs this country store that offers loose herbs, homemade soap, tinctures, and beauty products as well as farm goods including grass-fed beef and lamb, vegetables, eggs, etc. Herb and homesteading classes take place regularly. www.moorefarmherbs.com or 603-859-0464
- The Mustard Seed, Nottingham, NH* 80 Stage Road (Rt 152) Herbalist Salandrea founded this metaphysical and herbal mecca in Portsmouth and has recently moved it home to Nottingham. She has a large selection of loose herbs. She also sells bottles, jars, essential oils, bodycare making supplies, her own line of products, and other herbal goodies. Friendly & helpful staff. www.mustardseedherbs.com or 603-679-1800
By-Appointment or Mail Shops & Businesses:
- For a Listing of Small-Scale Wildcrafters and Growers Nationwide, organized by state, check out www.herbalremediesadvice.org/Herb-Farms-Wildcrafters.html You may need to call ahead or visit the website to find out what is offered and/or preorder for the season. Some of these suppliers make specific remedies for their product lines (tea blends, extracts, etc) while others sell loose herbs (fresh and/or dry) and seedlings. Thank you for to herbalist Rosalee de la Foret for compiling and sharing the list!
- Herbal Energetics & Journey Within, Northfield, NH - Mostly Organic! Carolyn Kelley offers unique condition-specific tinctures, flower essences, sugar-free cocoa, seaweed-based seasonings, much more. www.injoynow.com
- Langford Homestead Farm, Candia, NH - Organic! Herbalist and farmer Mimi Alberu uses organic methods for her cultivated and wildcrafted herbs (and veggies!) on her small, multifaceted backyard farm. She grows many of the wild and cultivated herbs that do well here in New Hampshire, and will sell dry, fresh harvested, and seedlings upon request. Excellent quality. Preorders recommended. Best reached by phone at 603-867-7397. www.facebook.com/LangfordHomesteadHerbs
- Bee Fields Farm, Wilton, NH - Organic! Lior and Elad offer beautiful herbs and herbal products grown on site with organic and biodynamic methods. Check out the teas, culinary herbs and delights, and healing salves. The farm also hosts educational events throughout the year and travels to key farmers markets in NH and VT. www.beefieldsfarm.com
- Terra Basics, Chichester, NH - Organic! Small-scale but diverse with excellent quality, Teresa Downey cultivates and wildcrafts medicinal and culinary herbs available for sale fresh or dried. Superb quality. She also sells to chefs and restaurants and offers cut flowers, edible flowers, and vegetables in addition to medicinal herbs. By appointment or preorder. Her newsletter tells you what's fresh in the garden. Did I mention she's one of my star herb school graduates, too? So she grows a lot of the plants I love. terrabasics.com
- Lichenwood Herbals, Nottingham, NH - Mostly Organic! Christine Tolf--herbalist, flower essence practitioner, and reiki master--sells flower essences (many made locally by her) and other products. She occasionally offers herbal courses including a special program for flower essence practitioners. Her website offers quality information on local flower essences, among other things. www.lichenwood.com.
- Heartsong Farm Healing Herbs, Groveton, NH - Organic! My first herb teacher, Nancy Phillips, has some of the most fantastic quality organic medicinal herbs around (grown on her farm), although this part of the business is smaller than it once was. She continues to teach and host some herbal classes. www.herbsandapples.com
- Zack Woods Herb Farm, VT - Organic! Certified organic, nearly local, and an amazing selection and quality of loose herbs, fresh plants, and potted plants. www.zackwoodsherbs.com
- iFarm, MA - Organic! Certified organic, GREAT selection of dried herbs as well as fresh, superb quality. It's a small, diverse farm, so preordering is best as supplies are limited and often sell out shortly after the growing season ends ifarmboxford.com.
- Healing Spirits Herb Farm, NY - Organic! Well-known in the herbal community for their lovingly grown and wildcrafted herbs. They sell dry and fresh herbs, as well as other products. www.healingspiritsherbfarm.com
NATURAL FOOD STORES:
- A Market Natural Foods Market, Manchester, NH* www.myamarket.com or 603-6682650 •
- Concord Food Co-op, Concord, NH* They do NOT have a big loose medicinal herb selection, just loose culinary herbs. They also offer a wide selection of prepared herbal products, and most other supplies. www.concordfoodcoop.coop or 603-225-6840
- Granite State Natural Foods, Concord, NH * granitestatenatural.com or 603-224-9341 •
- Portsmouth Natural Foods Store, Portsmouth, NH * www.portsmouthhealthfood.com or 603-436-1722
- The Herbal Path, Dover, NH* www.herbalpath.com or 603-740-8400 smaller store in Portsmouth as well
- Sunflower Natural Foods, Laconia, NH * sunflowernh.com or 603-524-6344
- Earthward Natural Foods, Amherst, NH* www.earthwardnatural.com or 603-673-4322
- Mountain Rose Herbs, Eugene, OR* Mountain Rose is one of our best online sources for loose herbs and almost any other herbal goody you’d like. The sell wholesale to the public and offer one of the best selections of organic medicinal herbs available. They sell by 4 oz quantities or more. This is by far my FAVORITE online herb supplier; however, they are hardly local. www.mountainroseherbs.com
- iFarm, MA - Organic! Certified organic, GREAT selection of dried herbs as well as fresh, superb quality. It's a small, diverse farm, so preordering is best as supplies are limited and often sell out shortly after the growing season ends ifarmboxford.com.
- Zack Woods Herb Farm, Hyde Park, VT* Certified organic, nearly local, and an amazing selection and quality of loose herbs, fresh plants, and potted plants. www.zackwoodsherbs.com
- Wildcrafters, Growers & Medicine Makers: Jim McDonald put together this great page with details on his favorite wildcrafters, growers, and “plant people” sources for quality herbs.
- Also check out Pacific Botanicals and Starwest Botanicals
BOTTLES & JARS
- SKS Bottles, Watervliet, NY This is my primary source for bottles and jars. They sell in case quantities, which is a pain. But, their prices are the most reasonable I’ve found AND wholesale to the public. They usually arrive within about two days. www.sks-bottle.com
- Specialty Bottle, Seattle, WA I mostly use SKS, but Specialty Bottle also has a great selection, good prices, and the added perk of being able to buy any quantity of a specific product (rather than just cases). Might take a little longer or have a slightly higher shipping rate compared to SKS b/c of the distance. www.specialtybottle.com
- Burch Bottle, Waterford, NY I haven’t used this company yet, but one of my colleagues recommended it because you can purchase bottles and jars in relatively small quantities, and the shipping prices are reasonable because they’re coming from NY. www.burchbottle.com
- Bramble Berry, Bellingham, WA A student recommended this site for small counts of cute bottles, lip balm containers, etc. They also have soap, candle, and makeup making supplies, but be aware that not everything is natural or organic. www.brambleberry.com
ORGANIC SEED SOURCES
High Mowing Organic Seeds (VT) – www.highmowingseeds.com
FedCo (ME) – www.fedcoseeds.com
Strictly Medicinal Seeds (formerly Horizon Herbs) (OR) – www.strictlymedicinalseeds.com
SEEDLING SOURCES ~ Shipping Nationally
- Zack Woods Herb Farm, Vermont - Organic! Certified organic medicinal, at risk, and less common potted plants. Not cheap, but worth it - plant size and quality is amazing. www.zackwoodsherbs.com
- Strictly Medicinal Seeds, Oregon - Organic! Far away, yes, but Richo has the largest selection of medicinal herb seeds and potted plants available by mail. Formerly known as Horizon Herbs. strictlymedicinalseeds.com
- Companion Plants, Ohio: A huge selection of unusual, rare, and common herbs and plants. They're not organic but use environmentally friendly practices. companionplants.com
- Crimson Sage Medicinal Plants Nursery, California - Organic!: Excellent, large selection of certified organic medicinal herbs and plants. www.crimson-sage.com
- Mountain Gardens, North Carolina: Joe Hollis specializes in Traditional Chinese Medicine plants sold as seeds or bare root live plants very affordably. www.mountaingardensherbs.com
- Grower's Exchange, Virginia: GMO and naturally grown herbs. www.thegrowers-exchange.com
- Richter's, Ontario, Canada: Large selection of live herbs, trees, shrubs, and seeds. www.richters.com
SEEDLING SOURCES ~ NH and Nearby
- NH Herbal Network Herb & Garden Day Plant Sale! Lots of great herb seedlings and potted perennials are available from local and organic growers. Popular and hard-to-find culinary, medicinal, ornamental, and native plants. We no longer do a preorder. Just come to the event and buy what you want! Mark your calendar for Saturday, June 17, 2017 at McLane Audubon Center in Concord, NH. nhherbalnetwork.wordpress.com
- Red Fox Farm, Gilmanton, NH - Organic! Wonderful organic herb & vegetable seedlings and MY FAVORITE for holy basil! www.redfoxfarm.org
- Warner River Organics, Webster, NH - Organic! Great selection of the classic culinary and medicinals in spring. All the herbs are *gorgeous* and one of the few sources of Korean licorice mint seedlings, white sage, gotu kola... plus all the usual culinary herbs. Contact them to order: email@example.com
- The Herb FARMacy, Salisbury, MA (near NH seacoast) - Organic! AMAZING selection of organic herbs (primary focus) as well as veggies and fruits. www.theherbfarmacy.com
- Found Well Farm, Pembroke, NH - Organic! This small business, run by ecological landscaper Ayn Whytemare, specializes in organic and native plant seedlings and landscaping and a great spot for native perennials (including fantastic bee balm), and medicinal/native/edible shrubs, and trees. It is also a by-appointment nursery for unique culinary, medicinal, and decorative seedlings. www.foundwellfarm.com
- Evenmore Gardens, Canaan, NH Culinary, medicinal and spiritual herbs, potted herbs and native plants, and more. Organic methods. Specializing in at-risk native plants. www.lacassep.byregion.net
- Pickity Place, Mason, NH Herbal seedlings, restaurant, and beautiful herby spot to have a nice luncheon! www.pickityplace.com
- Good Earth Farm, Weare, NH Organic! High-quality organic herb and veggie seedlings in the spring. www.goodearthfarmnh.com
- Gilberties Herb Gardens, Westport, CT Sells a good selection of culinary, medicinal, and less common herbs. Sold at garden centers and online. www.gilbertiesherbs.com
- Cole Gardens, Concord, NH Common culinary and tea herbs. www.colegardens.com
- Rockingham Acres, Derry, NH Not organic, and the selection of unusual herbs has lessened (due to demand - if you want it, she’ll get it for you!), but this inspiring garden center is *full* of creative nature-based whimsy and unique, magical garden design. I’ve never seen another garden center quite like it! Classes and event hosting, too. www.rockinghamacres.com
- New England Wildflower Society Their Garden in the Woods location in Framingham, MA offers one of the (if not THE) largest selection of native plant seedlings, many of which are medicinal. www.newfs.org
- Keep Your Eye Out for Local Plant Sales in Spring! The Rockingham Herb Society has an annual sale in Chester Center. The NH/Seacoast chapter of the Herb Society of American offers one on the coast. Herbs are often for sale at local herb conferences like NH Herb Day, Women’s Herbal, and International Herbal Symposium.
HERBAL WEBSITES FOR FREE & GOOD INFORMATION
Bioregional Herbalism, Modern Herbalism, Old Herbal Texts, Photos
- Southwest School of Botanical Medicine | Michael Moore: www.swsbm.com TONS of photos, old herbal texts, Michael Moore’s books, and more, available for anyone to read/see, download, etc. Warning: This can be overwhelming to the newbie.
- Henriette's Herbal | Henriette Kress: www.henriettesherbal.com This is one of the oldest and largest herbal information websites out there. Run by Finnish herbalist Henriette Kress, it's got at least as much information as Michael's (in fact, they mirror each other), and it's more crisply designed, easier to navigate. Definitely worth the look.
- Great Sources for Herbal Monographs (write ups on individual herbs/Materia Medica)
- Herbs with Rosalee: Check out Rosalee de la Foret's lovely monographs here.
- HerbRally: Contributions from various herbalists, here.
- Herbal Academy Herbarium: Subscription-based service (~$45/year) with great monographs and more intermediate- advanced articles. Access here.
- You'll also find monographs at various links mentioned separately here, including Sharol Tilgner's site, A Modern Herbal (more than 100 years old, though, so balance it with more recent sources), The Naturopathic Herbalist (note that these are brief and not very detailed), the science-y sources listed below, and herb books.
- HerbCraft.org Article Index | Jim McDonald: www.herbcraft.org/articleindex.html Jim has compiled tons of informative herb writings from the world's top herbalists, well-organized by topic.
- Herbal Transitions: http://www.herbaltransitions.com/BotanCom.html Sharol Tilgner, ND,’s website with nice materia medica from the first edition of her book (one of my fave’s) Herbal Medicine. Good balance of herbalist expertise with science. The second edition of the book is even better, but you’ll have to buy that.
- Herbal Remedies Advice/Herbs with Rosalee: www.herbalremediesadvice.org/Herbs.html Rosalee de la Foret has generously compiled a list of inspiring and informative materia medica monographs on individual herbs and be sure to sign up for her mailing list! Also check out the Learning Herbs mailing list for regular recipes, videos, as well as opportunities to sign up for neat online herb classes, buy kids’ herb games, etc.
- A Modern Herbal | Maud Grieve: www.botanical.com This classic (but no longer "modern") herb text available to read for free. Traditional and early scientific herbalism on a large selection of plants. Limited safety data. Always cross reference.
- The Naturopathic Herbalist: thenaturopathicherbalist.com A nice mix of herbal information including herbal actions, constituents, herbal monographs, “pharmacy” remedy-making, and more. The write ups meld modern and classic clinical information, including plant energetics and clinical indications.
- One Earth Herbal Sourcebook | Allan Keith Tillotson: oneearthherbs.squarespace.com Alan's One Earth Herbal Sourcebook (Great book!) online. Lots of great information on Ayurvedic, Chinese, and Western herbs. One of my favorites for body system/A&P.
- Bear Medicine Herbals | Kiva Rose: bearmedicineherbals.com/archive-index Lots of great articles featuring bioregional herbalism. Advanced and inspirational, yet accessible to the newbie.
- Grian Herbs | Guido Masé & Anne Dougherty: www.grianherbs.com Vermont Herbalists Guido and Anne have generously compiled the handouts from many of his workshops and classes for anyone to download and read.
- Northeast School of Botanical Medicine | 7Song: Ithaca herbalist 7Song has compiled his handouts, videos, and a blog. His specialties include botany/plant identification, bioregional herbalism (he's in NY but travels across the country and the world), and first aid.
- Lichenwood Herbals - Local Flower Essences | Christine Tolf: www.lichenwood.com/flower%20essences.html This site offers unique information on flower essences, particularly those that can be grown or wildcrafted in the Northeast.
- HerbsHealing | Susun Weed: Herbshealing.com 3000+ pages of women's wit and wisdom the Wise Woman Way. Herbal healing for fertility, childbearing, breast health, cancer prevention, menopause, nutrition, spirit healing, the Wise Woman Way. Thousands of articles, plus video, audio, herbal ezine, woman's forum, weblogs, bookshop and more.
- Mother Earth Living’s Herbal Database: herbs.motherearthliving.com/herb-database/ provides easy access to easy-to-read articles on growing and using herbs.
- Foraging With the "Wildman" | Steve Brill: www.wildmanstevebrill.com Learn about edible and medicinal wild vegetables, herbs, greens, fruits, berries, nuts, seeds, and mushrooms with NYC's favorite naturalist, "Wildman" Steve Brill. Find out about his public Wild Food and Ecology tours in local parks, and the work he does with kids. Read excerpts from his books, and enjoy his botanical artwork and vegetarian recipes.
Science-Based Herbalism (Monographs, Condition-Specific, Interactions...)
- A.D.A.M.: Write ups on individual herbs, supplements, and conditions, including interactions information. This was formerly available at the University of Maryland Complementary & Alternative Medicine Index, but that was dropped in 2018. You can now access it at the PennSate Hershey Health Information Library.
- Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center: Very detailed (albeit scientifically conservative) monographs on herbs including herb-drug interaction information. It will let you know how much scientific evidence exists for particular uses and ignores any other traditional data on a plant. Well annotated.
- Natural Standard, available via Living Naturally: Nice, detailed overviews on the herbs as well as conditions and other topics. Uses are scored in order of scientific rigor/support. Overly cautious (like most science-y sources). Includes potential herb-drug interactions (though overly cautious). Unfortunately not annotated, though it does have a bibliography of studies at the end. Often a bit out of date (not updated in several years). Useful dosage information based on human studies. Note that the newest incarnation of the Natural Standard (now called Natural Medicines) is available here but requires an annual paid subscription.
- Aisle7/HealthNotes: A science-based, unbiased source of information on herbs, supplements, drugs, conditions, interactions, etc. Particularly good at giving up to date safety data & study references. This is currently available on Publix
- Medline Plus + NIH: The National Institutes of Health’s listings of monographs from various respected authorities (from the conventional medicine world). Specific herbs, drugs and supplements, etc. This combines monographs from the NIH's National Center for Complementary and Integrative Medicine (NCCIM) and the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database on one page. Note: This is a source but not as plant-positive as I'd like and often limited in the data.
- HerbalGram | American Botanical Council Database: A hub of information of the more scientific type. Higher levels of ABC membership give full access; however, a great deal of information is also available for free. It can be a lot to wade through, but the herb and food-as-medicine profiles are nice summaries of plant info, and the HerbClips will give you good overviews of individual studies. Some plants are available on HerbMedPro for free, but not all - this source on ABC is loaded with info but often overwhelming. (Note that if you join Gaia Herbs Professional Solutions as a practitioner/student, they have a broader array of HerbMedPro profiles there for free, but you need to apply for a free log in. But the general public is not allowed to join due to FDA/FTC regulations. This is a GREAT resource for free webinars and other info on herbs if you are able to join, though, even though it's compiled by a supplement company.)
- Mayo Clinic: Information about herbs and supplements as well conventionally minded information on drugs, conditions, interactions, etc.
- ND Health Facts: This website offers a wealth of information compiled from quality sources. Check out the botanical monographs here, and all monographs (foods, vitamins/minerals, supplements, homeopathics...) here. Condition-specific natural health advise here, and you’ll also find other great info on the site.
- PubMed Study Search | NIH: PubMed is the National Institutes of Health website for searching study abstracts. A great resource, but you have to wade through research/science language. I highly recommend narrowing your search to "clinical" "review" and/or "human" studies by clicking on the options in the left sidebar after you pull up your search. Often the abstract will include a link to pull up the free full study text. If not, you can copy and paste the full study title into GoogleScholar - if the full text is available for free on the web, it will show as a link in the right sidebar. Sci-Hub (exact link changes due to laws, but you can find the current on on Wikipedia) will often get you a full study if you plug in the study PMID (from pubmed). Note that looking at individual studies can be overwhelming for the newbie and may be too myopic for students doing monograph homework.
- HerbMed Database: Extremely in-depth science-based abstracts on individual herbs. You need a paid membership to access the whole site (can be done through higher levels of American Botanical Council Membership). 20 free monographs open to the public are available here.
- European Medicines Agency: The European Committee on Herbal Medicine Products summarizes the evidenced based uses (including the influence of longstanding traditional use) of many medicinal herbs on this site. Too bad it is not annotated with the study references, just a few summaries of the details.
- Health Canada Herbal Monographs: In a similar veins a the European site (above), these monographs summarize the scientific and longstanding traditional uses of plants allowed for sale in their holistic and integrative yet more regulated (compared to the US) medical system. They do annotate with sources, which is nice, and these sources include well-respected herb books as well as actual scientific studies.
- Phytochemical Database | James Duke & USDA: The late, great Jim Duke's phytochemical research in easy-to-search formats. Dry but nice for herb geeks who want to know if hibiscus gets its color from anthocyanidins or which herbs are good sources for calcium or iron. It's been relocated to the USDA site here.
- NOT RECOMMENDED: WebMD is really NOT a great source of information on herb uses (ignores good evidence) nor safety (is ridiculously overcautious, often with limited proof). I also recommend against using Dr. Axe, Medical Medium, and David Avocado Wolfe as primary resources - the data is sometimes weak and often mean to drive web traffic and product sales.
My practice is nestled in the pine forests of Bear Brook State Park in Allenstown, NH. If you’re planning on coming to the area for a class or consult, I highly recommend giving yourself some extra time to explore the trails. They’re great for walking, hiking, mountain biking, snowshoeing, and xc skiing (ungroomed). BUT, be aware that there are a lot of unofficial trails, things aren’t always perfectly marked, and they rarely loop back easily. I LOVE THESE TRAILS, BUT IT'S REALLY EASY TO GET LOST. You could go a LONG ways if you don’t know where you are... trust me. Download/print the Most Current BBSP Trail Map and bring it with you because maps are only available there when the park is officially open (summer), yet the park is accessible year-round. Trust me, you'll want to know where you're going. It's very easy to get lost! Mountain bikers are also constantly cutting new trails - the Hemlock Trail section around the clear cut is cool but particularly easy to get turned around in. Various new and old trails are NOT on the map, so be aware. AllTrails also maintains a map of trails that is sometimes more complete than the one by the park. If you use the "record" feature of the All Trails app on your phone, it will show exactly where you are on the trail map, which is handy!
Other useful maps: WinterTrails (for XC and snowmobiles - I still use the regular map, too) • Topo Map • State Park BBSP Page - Includes up-to-date trail notices
Just a few ideas for you! The park is officially closed for much of the year, but you can always go in and play during the daylight hours. If the park is officially open, the fee is very reasonable at a few dollars. There are some museums, swimming areas, small stores, and a very popular campground that are open seasonally (rarely).In spite of what the website says, you don’t actually have to pay when the park is closed during the off-season - that’s why they don’t leave envelopes out.
Maybe we’ll see you out there!
- One Mile to Catamount (back same way) - Great quick hike with an elevation climb and great views. Look for lady slippers in May. Also keep an eye out for porcupines near the top.
- Continue from Catamount Hill peak along ridge, down Short Cut, to Cascade, back on One Mile - Longer trek. Cascade has lovely waterfalls in spring and after heavy rains, especially when the Hobblebush is in bloom.
- Little Bear to Bear Brook Trail (back same way) - Moderate hike with great views of the brook. This trail ends around the base of Cascade trail and the end of One Mile, if you want to continue further. Look for blackberries in fall. In spring, keep an eye out for the ephemeral dwarf ginseng and anemones near the river towards the end of the trail.
- Little Bear, go right on Bear Brook Trail not far from the parking lot (near Podunk Rd. Bridge) for a nice spot full of great plants, good fishing, and a lovely place to picnic.
- Hedgehog Ledge Loop - This is really neat trail that goes along an area of huge boulders where porcupines (erroneously one called hedgehogs) live with stone steps as well as a hemlock forest, and an easy side trip to see Bear Hill Pond. There are a handful of ways to do this, loop, and some trails have different names depending on which map you're looking at, and a few newly cut mountain bike (super curvy) trails in that area aren't on the maps at all. When Podunk road is open, park at the gate for Hedgehog Trail. It take about an hour to hike, give or take, and you won't run into very many people on it. You'll want to do it when the gate on Podunk isn't closed, so you can drive up and park right next to Hedgehog Ledge Trail's start point/gate.
_ Take Hedgehog Trail (a snowmobile/class 6 road beyond the gate) OR pop up Podunk a few feet to take Bear Hill Trail, then the second unnamed right trail (named Bear Hill Ledge Trail on the BBSP map), which runs more or less parallel Hedgehog trail with a narrower woods walk.
_ Either way, take a left to go onto Hedgehog Ledge Trail (aka Ledge Trail), which is where the trail heads through a Hemlock grove into the area of stone steps and large boulders. Follow this trail to the end, then...
_ Take a left onto Ferret Trail (a wider snowmobile/class 6 road). Shortly further up on your right will be a side shoot for a nice view of Bear Hill Pond. Continue on Ferret trail where you can complete you loop by either...
_ Taking Bear Hill Trail on your left (this can be hard to find b/c of all the logging cuts and often being unmarked), the trail can be found shortly before the landscape turns to larger pine forest, which will bring you through a wet spot, up Bear Hill (neat ant hills at the top, should you take the short side trip), down Bear Hill, where it then banks left (as opposed to going straight down to Podunk) to loop through the woods (parallel Podunk) back to near where you parked.
_ OR take the unmarked trail on the left (once you get into the pine forest), which is a newly made mountain bike trail of wide S curves that runs parallel Podunk and eventually dumps you out on Bear Hill Trail (right where you can continue on to stay int he woods or go right to connect to Podunk) to loop back through the woods to your car.
_ OR take Ferret trail right to Podunk, left onto Podunk Road to walk back to your car. This is about 1.5 miles from your start point along the dirt road (kind of a boring way to walk it). You're only about .5 miles from where Bear Hill Trail connects to Podunk road, so you could just run the road for .5 miles, then jump onto Bear Hill Trail to complete the last mile in the woods. (This avoids the wet spot on the earlier stretch of Bear Hill trail and also the somewhat-maddening-to-a-hiker S curves of the newly cut mountain bike trail.)
- You can either take that Hedgehog Ledge snowmobile/class 6 road in or (I prefer), take the side trail just up Podunk a few feet onto Bear Hill Trail, then the second connector trail on your right (Bear Hill Ledge Trail, though no signs give you the name). Don’t miss the left turn off to stay on Hedgehog Ledge and then again to get on Bear Hill. Check out the wild fire ant hills on the top of Bear Hill, then come down to Podunk or the parallel Bear Hill Trail to get back to the car. Great longer spring hike when the gates are open and you can park up off Podunk. The rocky ledges on Hedgehog Ledge trail are otherworldly, and you an get great animal sightings from the side trail at Bear Hill Pond (nice picnic spot). Wide diversity of plants, particularly lovely in spring as things are really greening up.
- Beaver Pond Trail is a really gorgeous loop around the pond near the campground with great bridges over swamp. Stunning during foliage peak.
Snowshoeing & XC Skiing (NOT groomed):
- Little Bear to Hayes Field down Podunk - fun little ski up then down, also good for snowshoes, be aware of snowmobiles in Hayes Field and Podunk. The routes changed a bit in 2012 but are still very nice. The downhill Big Bear trail is a tad sketchy in some spots for skis - lots of switchbacks with some very tight turns.
- From Hayes Field go up Podunk then take Bobcat to Salt Lick to Pitch Pine Loop - Nice slightly longer trip with some fun hills on Pitch Pine, but be careful crossing snowmobile trails
- From Hayes Field to Podunk to Bobcat Broken Bolder, stop at Smith Pond Shelter, down Pitch Pine - Really long xc ski or snowshoe, but it’s cool to stop by the shelter (watch out for cars on the campground road - the AmeriCorps kids live up that way)
- One Mile trail is nice for beginners though boring and busy with snowmobiles on weekends
- Parallel to One Mile is an unofficial narrow trail that is nice for snowshoeing and sometimes xc along the brook. Access by taking a left off-trail to climb the mini-hill after the bridge behind the pavilion. It also connects a few times via side trails to One Mile and ends around the Cascade/One Mile/Carr Ridge/Bear Brook/Lane trail junction.
The park is primarily utilized by mountain bikers, and you can find more information about that here. There's a wide range of trails for varying abilities. Beginners should be aware that the trails are rough, rocky, bumpy, filled with roots, and sometimes sandy. These are not cushy paved trails, rail trails, or Acadia-like carriage trails. Lots of single track opportunities winding through the forest and hills. Not ideal for road bikes. Wear a helmet, and know that cell service is spotty.
Herbal Education Opportunities
A variety of beginner, intermediate, and advanced studies awaits! Check out this nice article by Rosalee de la Foret with tips for choosing an herb school.
Wintergreen Botanicals, LLC
Allenstown, NH & Online
Maria Noël Groves
Beginner & intermediate studies. Home Herbalist series and individual classes, on-site and online. Traditional and science-based herbalism, bioregional herbs, nutrition, anatomy & physiology, classes & events, walks, body care, and more. See my Herbal Education page
Herbal Academy of New England (Online)
HANE offers several different herbal online study programs for a range of experience levels including beginner, intermediate, entrepreneur, and advanced. They also offer a subscription to the online Herbarium to access excellent quality herbal monographs and articles. I'm honored to be a contributor to both the advanced course and the Herbarium, and if you use the above links to access and pay at HANE, your purchase will directly support the work that *I* do (without costing you any extra money).
New Hampshire Herbal Network
Throughout the State Various Instructors Visit nhherbalnetwork.wordpress.com for various workshops, special events, and other opportunities to learn about herbs from a variety of herbal experts in the state. Beginner and advanced opportunities. A chapter of the American Herbalists Guild.
Beginner and intermediate/advanced study opportunities including hands-on time harvesting, medicine making, in the shop, etc. Strong focus on intuitive herbalism and plant spirit medicine.
Beginner and intermediate/advanced herbal study programs.
One of the best multi-year intermediate/advanced clinical training programs in the northeast.
Beginner through advanced training programs.
Beginner through advanced training programs.
Beginner through intermediate training programs.
Free Introductory Health Classes
are offered at
Beyond New England
-Check out Henriette Kress’s page on natural schools and correspondence programs.
-Or visit the American Herbalists Guild for a list of on-site and correspondence programs, as well as webinars and other educational materials for the public and for members