QUICK TRAIL FACTS
- Preserve Size: Not sure
- Trail Mileage: > 16 miles
- Pets: yes
- Difficulty: easy to moderate
- Sights: woods, fields, groomed trails
Trails in orange are part of the Highland Research Forest.
The classic X-C tracks in the forest are protected, shaded, and pretty. You can also ski the perimeter of large, open fields—the shimmering white summit of Mt. Washington your backdrop for part of the way.
The most impressive part of this spot is that the whole system is maintained by volunteers (including the especially dedicated Roger), who use “well-worn machines and homemade drags.” Much of the trail system is on private land. Donations are appreciated, and there are donation boxes at the Sanborns Grove Road parking lot and at the warming hut.
Because the trails are in a valley, protected from the sun, you can ski fairly late into spring. When we visited in early March of 2019, after a not-great winter for skiing, there were still decent groomed tracks.
For the most part, the trails south of Big Sandy Road are easy, but there are some long, gradual hills. Across Big Sandy Road you get into more technical terrain, with a few good-sized and fairly steep hills. The grooming was not as consistent across the street, too. For the most carefully tended trails, stick with the trails south of Big Sandy Road.
The trails are well-marked, with maps at almost every intersection. Paper maps are available at trailheads. The two parking lots are large. The one on Chadbourne Hill Road has a beautifully constructed warming hut, too.
This is a fantastic place—what a treat for people in the area (and visitors)!
Directions: Parking at the golf club is available only for members. Parking is possible on the south side of Chadbourne Hill by the warming hut, and off Sandborns Grove Road, before the road makes a sharp bend toward the lake.