Open Spaces and Wild Places

Carnival Hill Recreation Area

Open for: walking, dog-walking, basketball, baseball, tennis, soccer, running, sledding, horse riding, snowmobiling, community-gardens, Power-wheeled vehicles excluded. Use by horses and/or snowmobiles may be subject to restrictions. A local farmer raises hay on the fields in exchange for maintaining them according to best management practices.
Getting there: From Main St. opposite the Post Office, go up the hill on Park St. through the stone "cut". In two blocks, pass Whiting Hill Park and the Florence Rideout Elementary School. At the 4-way intersection, go right 0.4 miles to the Carnival Hill parking lot on the left.
Management: The Town of Wilton owns and manages the area. The hay fields are used and maintained by a local farmer.

Description: This area includes, at the foot of Hillside Rd., the Wilton Community Gardens and the fields above them; and along Whiting Hill Rd., hay fields, athletic fields (a part of which extend onto Milford on Wilton-owned land), and the basketball court.
  - Open from sunrise to sunset.
  - Wheeled recreational vehicles are prohibited.
  - Land management may dictate seasonal non-use of the area for public purposes.
  - For safety and ecological reasons, the use of snowmobile, horses & self-propelled vehicles may be restricted at times.
  - Groups larger than ten require prior approval from the Select Board.
  - All nighttime use requires prior approval by the Select Board.
  - Portable toilets may be required at the expense of the organization.
  - All digging and fire building requires prior approval by the Select Board.
  - No structures of a permanent nature.
  - Clean up and restoration of the area will be at the expense of the organization.
  - This is a Carry In - Carry Out Site. Take your trash with you, including cleaning up after your dogs as required by state law.

Town-owned for more than one hundred years, Wilton residents and people from away have used Carnival Hill for recreation. "Snow-trains" from the city brought holiday makers to Wilton for the excellent sliding hill in the winter, known as "the toboggan run that goes through three towns" (Wilton, Lyndeborough, and Milford). The grassy slopes in the fall may be open to group use.

Carnival Hill Adopt an Apple Tree Form

Frog Pond Town Land

Open for: Walking, dog-walking, picnicking, bird watching. No wheeled-vehicles permitted.
- This is a Carry In - Carry Out Site. Take your trash with you including cleaning up after your dogs as required by state law.
Management: The Frog Pond area straddles the Milford town line; each town owns and manages its own portion of it (Wilton's is roughly 2/3 of the total). The Frog Pond Town Land is owned by the Town of Wilton and managed by the Wilton Conservation Commission. The hay fields are used and maintained by a local farmer in accordance with best management practices.

Description: The area consists of hay fields, and a pond surrounded by woods. The pond is retained by an earthen dam whose outflow feeds the Tannery Brook and flows under Maple and Main streets into the Souhegan River. A walking path is maintained from Maple St. to the pond during the growing season.
History: "The Frog Pond was installed by E. J. Abbott in the 1920s to provide an emergency water supply for the Hillsborough Mill." [Wilton Heritage Commission]

Frog Pond Input Sheet

Sheldrick Forest

Open for: hiking, picnicking, birdwatching, snowshoeing, XC skiing, tracking.
No dogs, horses, or wheeled vehicles permitted. No fires or camping. Do not remove or destroy plants, wildlife, minerals or cultural items. Please carry out your trash.

Getting there: From Rte. 101 in West Wilton, follow the hiking signs to Town Farm Road (dirt, sometimes mud in winter). Follow Town Farm Rd. 0.6 mi to the entrance and parking, on the left. The kiosk has sign-in sheets, trail information, and maps.
Maps: Downloadable guide to Sheldrick Forest Preserve
Management: The property is managed by The Nature Conservancy with local stewards.

Sheldrick Forest offers more than three miles of easy-to-moderate trails through 227 acres of mixed woods, some of which are approaching old-growth status. One trail connects the preserve to The Heald Tract.
Much of the forest’s topography was deposited by glaciers, including the esker topped by Margaret’s Meander. The Forest is home to deer, moose, bear, fox, mink, and many birds and small mammals. The upper fields are mowed twice yearly to maintain forage for grazers and habitat for ground-dwelling birds. Look for the vernal pond, a magnificent stand of mountain laurel that blooms in mid-late June, a piled-stone bridge, and an old town road with stone walls. Citizen Science posts allow you to participate in monitoring the Forest throughout the year.

History: Sheldrick Forest was opened in 1998, after a campaign to save it from development. Forester Swift Corwin recognized its unique status as a woodland undisturbed for over a century, and its potential as a future old-growth area. The town responded with fund drives, and in a very short time raised the amount needed and came to an agreement with The Nature Conservancy.

Heald Tract

Open for: hiking, picnicking, bird-watching, snowshoeing, XC skiing, tracking, berrying, fishing and hunting in season. Dogs permitted on leash. Please carry out your trash, and remove dog waste as required by state law. No fires or camping permitted. Open dawn to dusk.

Getting There:
From Rte. 101, take Rte. 31 South (Greenville Rd.) 2.3 mi to King Brook Road. Turn right onto King Brook. At the end turn left onto Russell Hill Rd, and take the first right onto Heald Rd. (dirt). Parking is available at the kiosk on the right after Batchelder Pond; at 0.1 further; and at less than 0.2 beyond that. Do not park on the road.

Alternately, from Rte. 101, follow the hiking signs south onto Russell Hill Rd. (paved/dirt). At 1.3  miles there is parking for MacGregor Road and the Camp Trail. Do not park in the road.
Maps: The Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests’ website has a downloadable map to the Heald Tract, including its walking trails.
Management: The Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests (SPNHF, or “the Forest Society”) owns or holds easements to lands within the Heald Tract. The tract is managed by a local land steward with the help of volunteers. SPNHF conducts periodic lumbering to encourage new growth and maintain a variety of habitats. Some areas are easements allowed by their owners; other areas are private property; please respect the owners’ privacy.

Description: The Heald Tract offers 10 miles of easy-to-moderate trails on about 1500 acres. Several trails can be muddy in wet seasons. Fishing is permitted in season on the two ponds, but boating is not. The land is home to beaver, otters, deer, moose, and small mammals, as well as a large variety of birds. The ponds are resting spots for many migratory and aquatic birds.

From the kiosk on Heald Rd., you will find woods trails around Heald Pond as well as trails connecting to other parts of the tract. The south end of the Camp Trail is located a few yards beyond the Kiosk. The road is also suitable for walking and is kept open in winter.

An easy 1-1/4 mile loop follows the Camp Trail past Batchelder Pond and out to Russell Hill Rd. Go left on the road for 200 yards to an obvious jeep/snowmobile road on the left. The jeep road meets Heald Rd. in 0.4 miles. Going left on Heald Rd. returns you to the kiosk. Or go right on Heald Rd., around a gate on the left and down the trail to the pond. Walk left on the Heald Pond Trail to the dam and a cable-gate at Heald Rd. The kiosk is to the right, just down Heald Rd.

From the kiosk at MacGregor Rd. you can find beaver dams and lodges; vernal ponds and a heron rookery. There is a network of old town roads and several large cellar holes; views from Fisk Hill; orchards, wetlands, and fields.

History: The Heald family has donated or given easements to much of the land from their former farms and orchards. SPNHF-designated the Heald Tract as a Century Forest in 1999.

Frye Field

Open for: Walking, picnicking, kite flying, dog walking, snowmobiling (in season and on trails only), observation of astronomic events (by prearrangement only). Please carry out your trash and remove any dog waste as required by state law. Fires and camping are not permitted. Open dawn to dusk.
Getting there: From Rte. 101, turn uphill on Abbott Hill Rd. Continue 1.7 miles to Isaac Frye Hwy. and High Mowing School on the right. Turn right on Isaac Frye Hwy, pass the dorms on your right and continue to the large field on the right. Park in the area provided. Frye Field is part of the High Mowing School campus. When driving in, please be alert for students and livestock.
Management: Frye Field is owned High Mowing School; The Temple-Wilton Community Farm maintains the fields.

Description: 97 acres of open space, with a view to the Monadnocks.

More Recreational Opportunities in Wilton and Nearby

Everett & Wilton Forest (SPNHF)
  Greenville Rd.

Russell-Abbot State Forest (State of NH) Rail Trail in Wilton and Mason. Walking, Cycling, Horse riding (own horses), Snowmobiling.
  Best access is at Pratt Pond, Pratt Pond Rd., Mason.

Stephen's Forest (SPNHF) - Walking
  Stephens Rd. (off the south end of Badger Farm Rd.)

Von Felsinger Forest (SPNHF) - Walking, Fishing, Kayaking
  Greenville Rd.

Sand Hill Reservoir (Town of Wilton) - Fishing, Beach, Swimming, Small Boats (electric trolling motors, hand- and wind-power only).
   Sand Hill Rd.

Wilton Town Forest (Town of Wilton)
 (Disparate parcels)

Active Recreation in the Nashua Region
 (Nashua Regional Planning Commission map)
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