Margaret Wood Memorial/Pinnacle Trail

 

The Margaret Wood Memorial is a 20 acre conservation easement in East Deering, at the top of Peter Wood Hill Rd.  The land is privately owned but the conservation easement on the Margaret Wood Memorial has been held by the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests since 1970.

Margaret Wood was the wife of Peter Wood. In 1917 the Woods purchased a large farm on what is now Peter  Wood Hill where they raised cattle and grew potatoes. Part of this farm is now the Margaret Wood Memorial.

Margaret Wood was a founding member of the Deering Community Club. The members of Deering Community Club were originally all women. Among other good deeds, the women of the Club were responsible for arranging running water in Deering Town Hall in the mid 1920’s. Many men in town contributed their labor to this project. The men impressed the ladies of the Deering Community Club so much that in 1927 men were admitted to membership in the club.  Soon thereafter town hall was extended to what we know today.

Margaret and Peter Wood were grandparents of several generations of current and former Deering Residents including Tom Coppadis, the owner of  the land on which the Margaret Wood Memorial is found.

How to get there: Please contact me if you would like to download the Pinnacle Trail map. From the Hillsborough end of Deering Center Rd. (NH Rt 149) turn on to Clement Hill Rd. Follow Clement Hill until it turns sharply right (about 1.5 mi). North Rd continues straight at this point. Follow North Rd to a T at Pond Rd (about 1 1/4 mi). North Rd continues to the right. Follow North Rd, turning sharply left at Clement Hill Rd to become Peter Wood Hill (approx. 1 1/4 mi). Continue a short distance to a small parking area on the left (approx. 300 yds). The trail head is about 20 yds downhill from the parking, on the left.   From points to the east pass through Weare on NH rt. 149 to Cross Rd., at the Wilds. Follow Cross Rd to a T at E. Deering Rd. (about 3/4 mi). Turn Right on East Deering Rd. and follow, turning sharply left at Gove Rd. (about 3/4 mi) and following to a T (approx. 1 mi) at Peter Wood Hill Rd. Turn left on Peter Wood Hill Rd and continue approx. 0.6 mi, passing Glen Rd. on the left and where the road becomes dirt, to the parking area on the right at the crest of the hill.

The Pinnacle trail is a loop that begins and ends on Peter Wood Hill. The lower end is opposite the point where Glen Rd meets Peter Wood Hill and the upper part is about 500 ft further uphill. There is a pull off large enough for 1 or 2 vehicles at the upper end, where Peter Wood Hill turns left. The entrance to the trail is slightly downhill on Peter Wood Hill from that point and is marked by a sign.

What’s the trail like?  The Pinnacle Trail loop is about 1 mile in length. The trail is reasonably well marked with white blazes on trees (but the blazes could use renewal as I write this in 2017). The trail has been well trodden over the years and is easy to follow. The trail is even underfoot, so walking is easy. For the most part the trail is level with little gain or loss in elevation however at the Glen Rd end there is a slightly steepish slope over maybe 50 yards. An option to returning to parking from Glen Rd is simply to walk through the woods, parallel to the road. Near the midpoint and the picnic table there is a side trail to ledge with an overlook however I did not see blazes on this overlook trail. Nonetheless, it would not be possible to miss the overlook or to become lost as the loop is very short and the edge of the ledge with overlook obvious. A log bench has been placed at a view-worthy spot near the picnic area, and vegetation has been kept at bay to allow for the view.

What’s the payoff? The forest in the Margaret Wood Memorial is a mixture of pine, oak and maple. The forest is very open, with little undergrowth. This makes the Pinnacle Trail a pleasant ramble through non-threatening woods. The two views are to the north and northeast, and this includes a good view of Dudley Brook and the hills beyond Henniker. There is a rustic picnic table at the highest point in the Memorial providing a great place for picnicking while taking in the views. The open forest gives lots of room for kids to run around. In early days Peter Wood Hill was known for winter sports. Today the Pinnacle Trail is a good place for snowshoeing or cross country skiing.

 

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