Barrington’s Conserved Land: Public Trails

Barrington Trail

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Motorized wheeled vehicles are not permitted on the Barrington Trails.

The Barrington Trail was formed by the town trails committee in 2001. It crosses both public and private lands, and can only continue to exist through the generosity of these landowners to allow the public to traverse their properties. Please be respectful.


Text Copyright 2008 James H. Schulz, Portsmouth, NH

This description is taken from a booklet describing certain trails in Barrington that was last published in 2008. The author of the guide was approached in October, 2010 for permission to put its contents on the Web site for the Town of Barrington. Readers and users of the guide should keep in mind that the nature and condition of the trails discussed will in some cases be different from the description in the booklet. The information in the guide was correct at the time of initial publication. However, the author and the Town of Barrington take no responsibility for trail-walking problems arising from changes since its initial publication.

The following private landowners have given permission for people to walk on their land and share in its beauty:

John Barr

James Dombrosk

Ann & James Schulz

Jean Schulz

Paul Sherwood

Please be respectful of the land, and thank these individuals should you see them.

The Barrington Trails Committee began in 1999 as a part of the Town’s Natural Heritage Committee. Its first major project was to plan a trail that would go from one corner of the town to the other. In 2002, the Trails Committee, by a vote of the Board of Selectmen, became an independent town committee. It later became a part of the town’s Recreation Department.

The “Barrington Trail” was completed in 2001 and was named after one of the Town’s leading citizens, Colonel John Barr. The trail starts at Greenhill Road ( and ending up at the ball fields near the town’s Recycling and Transfer Station on Smoke Street. It includes one of the most beautiful sections of the Isinglass River, with lovely little

Winkley Falls, once the site of two colonial mills.

Directions to the Barrington Trail (north end):
• From the Route 125 and Route 9 intersection in center Barrington, go north toward Rochester a little over a mile (See map).

• Turn left onto Greenhill Road (an indoor archery range is on the far right corner). Go about a

mile to a small bridge (which crosses the Isinglass River).
• Immediately before the bridge, turn left onto Seavey Bridge Road (a dirt road) and park off the road to the right. The trail begins here.

  1. Walk up Seavey Bridge Road and after a very short distance, the trail leaves Seavey Bridge Road and goes off to the right down to the river. Blazes or bars in white and directional arrows mark the route of the trail. At the end of the trail you will come out of the woods near the ball fields off of Smoke Street.

  2. If you have two cars available, drop off one car at the ball fields and then go on to start your walk from Greenhill Road. Of course, you can start your walk at the ball fields, but the trail is somewhat difficult to find from this end. So we do not recommend that you start from the south end the first time on the trail.

This is a walkers only trail with no wheeled vehicles allowed on most sections
(watch the signs which indicate restrictions.)

Trail Description and Directions:
• After parking near the bridge, walk up Seavey Bridge Road (which is dirt). Almost immediately the trail turns right off the road into the woods and heads down towards the river. Except for very dry periods, there are beautiful rapids on this section of the river. Eventually you will come to a little waterfall. This is the site of two colonial mills, one on either side of the river bank. You can still see some of the stonework from the mill on the far side. As you go further up river, the rapids suddenly disappear, and you enter a tranquil portion of the river. Often there are ducks on this part of the river. The trail goes along the river for quite a ways, but eventually it turns sharply left into the woods.
(At this turning point, a trail along the river continues, but it is not part of theBarrington Trail.)

After turning here, the trail eventually comes out on a Class 6 town dirt road. (Actually, it is a portion of Seavey Bridge Road that is not maintained, an extension of the same road you started out on at the trail head but turned off of when going down to the river.)

Continue the walk by turning right onto this road. Down the road a few hundred feet (on the left) is a big vernal pool that usually dries up in late summer. Vernal pools are temporary pools of water formed by the collection of rainwater or run-off in a depression of the land. Vernal pools are ecologically very important -- serving, for example, as nurseries for frogs and salamanders.

Be sure to notice any time of the year the beautiful ferns growing on the big boulders beside the pool. These small ferns are green even in the coldest weather. Soon thereafter the trail (road) crosses a depression or ditch, with a field through the trees on your left.

• A couple hundred feet later, the trail turns sharply left into some woods. Before turning, look right and notice the big, beautiful “Swedish” red barn on your right that dates back to the 1930s. Immediately after turning, the trail passes through a very old cemetery. Shortly thereafter you will come to Scruton Pond Road.

  1. Turn right and walk a few yards to the intersection of this road with Brewster Road. Then continue walking west on Scruton Pond Road (you will see a horse pasture and a track for trotting horses on your left). Very soon you will see a pond on the left.

• Just before the pond turn left onto the continuing trail. Reentering the woods, you will see on your right (through the bushes and trees) a small but beautiful beaver pond. The trail is flat for a short time and then rises gradually. Notice as you walk through the woods in this area the magnificent big, straight White Pine trees. These are trees that have survived the logger’s saw, a rare occurrence in New Hampshire. When the trail reaches the top of the small hill, you will see a path to a “lookout” where you can get a good look at the pond. For many years the trees in this pond have been home to Great Blue Herons. If you look closely from the “lookout” you can see their stick nests in the dead pine trees standing in the middle of the pond. The Great Blue is the largest heron in North America – standing 3 to 4 feet tall and with a wing span of almost 6 feet. It is often seen wading in shallow water looking for food to eat -- fish, frogs, crayfish, and other inhabitants of ponds, streams, and wetlands. Great Blues return from the South very early in the spring. You are likely to see them starting late March till early October. They are very shy birds. You must be very quiet near their nests or they may abandon the nest.

Other creatures you should look for from the lookout are ducks, Canadian geese, swallows, turtles, muskrats, otters, and hawks. Leaving the lookout, the trail circles around the horse pasture and reemerges onto Brewster Road.

• Here you must choose whether to jog left and cross the road where you will find a trail sign that marks an optional trail loop that climbs up to a beautiful ridge and lookout.

Caution: the ridge climb is extremely steep and difficult. It is definitely not suitable for small children or
people with climbing difficulties.

  1. If you take this ridge route, you will loop around and come back further south on Brewster Road. The regular trail continues just across the street, a little to the right.

• If you do not take the optional loop, turn right and walk down Brewster Road a few hundred yards to where the trail begins again at a dirt road (turning in to the right). After turning off of Brewster Road, the trail (dirt road) crosses over water and wetlands, and (after the gravel cross-over) immediately turns sharply left at a clearing. About a hundred yards after you turn left the trail turns right again and at this point passes (on the left) a big beaver dam (12 ft. off the trail). The dam is often hidden by tall grasses, but you will usually hear water leaking out of it. At this point the trail climbs very briefly and flattens out.

• The old section of the trail turns sharply left and follows beside a beautiful marshland filled with cattails. However, there is a new section of the trail being constructed (September 2007) which branches off to the right and continues climbing and shortly reaches the ridge on the top. The marshland and the ridge portions of the trail eventually merge and the trail continues through the wetlands. You will eventually come to an “intersection” where the rail turns sharply left. (There is a trail going right, but it is not for public use).

  1. After about 50 yards, the trail turns left onto land owned by the town. At this point, the alternate “Loop Trail” (see trail description #2) goes straight ahead and is marked by yellow bars on trees. The Loop Trail rejoins the Barrington Trail further to the south.

• Continuing on the Barrington Trail, it soon turns right and climbs a steep but short hill, goes over a rock surface, and then goes down again. The trail continues generally south and is eventually rejoined by the Loop Trail. About 200 yards beyond this junction, the trail turns sharply right, passes through a wet spot, and then turns sharply right. [Note: At this point you will see an old section of the trail that has been closed, with passage barred by brush across the trail.] The Barrington Trail soon emerges from the woods near the town mulch pile and sand pits – near the ball fields.

This is the end of the trail.