The Nashua Telegraph reports today that several trails in the Ossippee Range in New Hampshire have been closed by property owners due to “irresponsible trail use.” Public access to about 12,000 acres has been shut off, including trails to the summits of Mount Shaw and Bayle Mountain. The area affected is north of the landmark “Castle in the Clouds” and south of Routes 25 and 16.

This is unfortunate. The area is somewhat less known than the more popular destinations around Mount Washington, and it offers wonderful opportunities for good hiking without worrying about overuse. This makes the closure puzzling. I was last up there a year ago for a pleasant day of hiking, and I didn’t see any sign of overuse. Far from it. I didn’t see any other hikers the whole day. The trailheads and trails didn’t seem to go near any dwellings. The area is fairly remote. Admittedly, this is just my personal impression.

The news article doesn’t specify exactly which trails have been posted, nor does it describe the nature of the “irresponsible use.” It does say that the responsible state agency is discussing the matter with the landowners. Hopefully this situation can be resolved. I think I made it clear in an earlier posting that widespread posting of No Trespassing signs is a real pet peeve of mine.

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