The season warms and nature walks become a daily event in the woods around Portsmouth, NH. From our New Hampshire Inn, you can day hike forests and fields, beaches and meadows. Here are three of our favorites with maps and driving directions from the Martin Hill Inn.
Odiorne Point State Park: Drive 4 miles from the Martin Hill Inn to this unique park that features forest trails, beach and rock walking and a science center. The 135 acre park contains seven distinct natural habitats which can be visited in an hour’s rambling walk. Inside the Science Center, adults and children alike learn about ocean life, seashore biology and local maritime history. Parking lot, handicap access and picnic areas are available. After your walk, continue down Route 1A to the beaches in Rye and Hampton, NH.
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Great Bay Wildlife Preserve: Put this one into the “I Never Would Have Known” category. Just a 6 mile drive from the Inn, the preserve is tucked behind an old air force base and next to the Great Bay. It is hard to believe that you start by driving towards the local mall, go around the airport runway and find yourself in a parking lot next to an old ordinance storage area. But really, this is one of the prettiest and least trodden two mile walks in the area. You will pass by an old orchard and field, wander the woods on a broad track, watch the birds and squirrels, stop at the waterside deck and look out over Great Bay toward Durham then return back to your starting point. If you have time, there is also a half mile loop along a wooden walkway to a duck blind where you can scan the pond for wild fowl. At the right time of year, you will see Jack-in-the-Pulpit blooming on the forest floor (these are protected species!). Restroom facilities are available at the parking area.
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Urban Forestry Center: Displaying the incredible bio-diversity of the area, the Center features a salt marsh wetland, red pine plantation, birds and native wildflowers. The trail is about 2 miles round trip, self-guided with maps available at the parking lot. Dogs are permitted. When you are finished with your walk, Stop in the Me & Ollie’s Cafe inside Philbrick’s Fresh Market for a delicious lunch of hot soup, fresh bread and/or sandwiches.
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There are many other day hikes and walks the Inn staff can tell you about. Describe the scenery, length of walk and terrain and we will do our best to match you with a great walk in either New Hampshire or across the bridge in Maine.
We will be sure you have a good start to the day with a hot breakfast and a good night sleep at the Martin Hill Inn.
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