Whether you are birding, strolling, picnicking, or looking for a challenging hike, the Harris Center’s trail systems have something for you! Our trails are free and open to the public year-round. A kiosk is located at the trailhead just outside our office, a good place to start exploring. Hard copies of our trail maps are available in the Harris Center entryway, and electronic versions can be downloaded via the links below. Dogs are welcome on Harris Center trails, but they must be on-leash at all times. Safe trekking and enjoy!
West Side Trails to Skatutakee Mountain, Thumb Mountain, and Cobb Hill
The West Side Trails to Skatutakee Mountain, Thumb Mountain, and Cobb Hill offer moderate to steep climbs to dramatic vistas in the highlands surrounding the Harris Center in Hancock. A hike up Skatutakee Mountain on the Harriskat Trail is about 3 miles round-trip. A loop over two summits via the Harriskat, Thumbs Up, and Thumbs Down Trails is about 4.5 miles. A route to the top of Cobb Hill and back is nearly 2 miles round-trip.
PLEASE NOTE: the parking areas for the Cobb Hill and Cadot Trails may not be plowed in the winter months.
East Side Trails
The East Side trail system features fairly easy hiking from the Harris Center in Hancock to huge glacial boulders through cool hardwood and hemlock forests. Trail lengths vary from 0.4 to 1.6 miles, with the potential to stitch together a loop hike of up to 4.5 miles via Old King’s Highway and the Dandelyon, Boulder Train Loop, Babbitt, and Channing Trails.
The Nelson Trail Committee recently established (and now manages) an improved route to Kulish Ledges, which replaces the former trail that once ran from Greengate Road. The hike to Kulish Ledges is 3.0 miles round-trip, and includes two spectacular vistas. (This interpretive trail guide, produced by the Nelson Trail Committee, provides detailed information on the site’s natural and cultural history, as well as a labeled diagram of the view from East Pinnacle.) The Bailey Brook Trail is an easy, 0.9-mile loop to a former mill site along Bailey Brook. (This interpretive trail guide, produced by the Nelson Trail Committee, provides information on the site’s cultural and natural history.) Parking for both trails is on the south side of Old Stoddard Road in Nelson, 1.4 miles from the junction with Route 123 (where Old Stoddard Road is called Bailey Brook Road) and 3 miles from Nelson village.
PLEASE NOTE: the parking area may not be plowed in the winter months.
The 1.9-mile Hiroshi Loop Trail gently winds its way through forest, field, and along Nubanusit Brook, and offers a fantastic view of Dinsmore Pond. We’re still putting the finishing touches on the map and accompanying description for this newest Harris Center trail, so consider this map a draft and check back soon for the final version. The trailhead is located in the Hiroshi field on the east side of Route 137 in Peterborough, 2.1 miles north of the intersection of Routes 101 and 137 in Dublin and just south of the Harrisville town line. Look for the brand new kiosk, built by craftsman Carl Von Mertens.
Harrisville Trails recently built a beautiful new footbridge over Nubanusit Brook, opening 1.6 miles of former railroad bed between Hancock Road and Jaquith Road in Harrisville to through-hiking. The rail trail and much of the surrounding land is conserved by the Harris Center, and the bridge is the culmination of a decade-long, volunteer-led effort. We’re still putting the finishing touches on the map and accompanying description for this trail, so consider this map a draft and check back soon for the final version. You can access the rail trail from Hancock Road in Harrisville, just southeast of the Skatutakee-North Pond dam and opposite a large granite abutment.