Monday, August 22, 2016

Winnie the Pooh Trail - Perfect for the little ones

Views from parking area at Winnie the Pooh Trail
I heard about the Winnie-the-Pooh trail in Barrington, New Hampshire a few years ago.  Without kids at the time, I didn't have an incentive to visit the child-focused interpretive trail.  Now that many of my friends have traded their subarus for minivans, it wasn't hard to find a friend to explore the trail with a toddler.  The well signed and maintained nature path turned out to be the perfect way to spend a summer morning.  The visit to the hundred acre wood and the "homes" of Pooh and his friends kept the interest of the two-year-old and the my friend Courtney and I enjoyed the views and hike.

Sign from Route 9
Here's how to recreate this adventure...

Adventure:  Winnie the Pooh Trail in Barrington, New Hampshire

Getting there:  The Winnie the Pooh Trial is located on Goodwill Conservation Land in Barrington, New Hampshire.  To get there from Rochester, New Hampshire - take Route 125 South to Route 9.  Take a right on Route 9.  The parking area for the trail is located about 1.5 miles down Route 9 on the left.  There is a sign marking "Goodwill Conservation Area" but it was hidden behind trees.  Drive slow and look for Richardson street.  It's right after.  Parking is free and there are no facilities at the trailhead.

Trail Map
Our little hiker visits Piglet's house!
Trail:  The trail sign at the parking area provides a signed trail map.  The Winnie-the-Pooh trail is marked by white blazes.  It's well designed so that every 20-50 feet, there is a new "stop" for children.  From the parking lot, you'll see a beautiful pond.  Cross the stream on the bridge and start traveling to the "homes" of Pooh's friends.  Our first stop was Christopher Robin's house.  There is a child-sized door nailed to a tree.  Courtney's son enjoyed knocking on the door to see if he was home.  We decided it was such a nice day, he must be out playing with friends!  The walk continues, visiting characters and scenes from the Winnie-the-Pooh trail.  Although our toddler wasn't familiar with the story, he still enjoyed visiting site to site.  At the end of the trail, you reach Pooh's house with three "honey jars" up on a rock.  The little guy loved climbing the rock to the jars. We decided to return the same way, although according to the trail, it looks like we could have taking the Goodwill trail back.

The actual trail had an easy, soft terrain with a few roots and rocks.  We saw other families and children on our walk back.  Although the mileage wasn't marked or posted, I'd estimate it was about a mile out and back.

Knocking on Christopher Robin's door.
Difficulty: Easy - our two-year-old hiker handled it just fine!
Pooh's Honey Jars


- There are no bathrooms or water at the trail head.  Bring water, snacks, and rain gear.

- I have had a friend try to return on the Goodwill trail and end up getting lost.  I recommend taking a photo of the trail map with your phone and be careful to follow the signs and blazes.

- Parking is free.  We showed up at 9 am on a Thursday and were the only ones in the parking lot. When we left at 10 am, there were four cars.  I'm not sure how crowded it gets on weekends.

Signs for trail
Even though the trail was easy and short, I still enjoyed getting outside and the scenic pond and forest views. I look forward to enjoying this trail again in a few years when Lucien is old enough to walk it!

You might also enjoy these adventures:

- 3 Family Friendly Nights in Acadia National Park  

- MacWorth Island - Easy Family Trail with Beach, Forest, and Fairies!

- Winter Walk on Gonic Trails

Baby Lucien loved the Winnie the Pooh hike!