I had some free time on Friday so I headed out to Southwestern NH to bag some towns. I ended up plotting out 5 different runs for a total of 16 miles. It took the better part of the daylight hours to drive and run in 9 towns that I’ve never run in before.
I started with a scenic run in Rindge out and back from the town center. It was a bit hilly but there were some excellent views of Mt Monadnock.
The second run was an interesting 4 mile ascent/descent of Little Monadnock which got me the towns of Fitzwilliam and Troy. I parked at Rhododendron State Park which seems to get very little activity in winter. The run was great, there was just enough snow on the ground to cover the rocks and it was packed out in spots. I used kahtoolahs and had pretty decent traction for the entire run (except for one icy section). There wasn’t much of a view from the summit but a nice view of Monadnock from the shoulder.
Next up was a 3 mile run on Westbrook road in Richmond and Swanzey. This “class 6” road wasn’t bad, but not suitable to travel by car. It was also packed out well so it was fine for running.
My fourth run was on Bigelow Hill road in Troy and Marlboro. I parked near the local slaughterhouse and run on the road which became a trail. Footing was poor at best, a road run where I could have used traction devices.
The final run of the day was a “threefer”. I parked at the Center for Chamber music (while Green Day cranked on the car stereo) and did an out/back run on Apple hill road. I got in about 50 meters of off-road running to get around the tri-town marker for Nelson, Roxbury, and Sullivan.
With these runs I passed the 80% completion mark for all of New Hampshire. It looks like I just need to go out to the Keene area one more time and I’ll have all towns south of Route 89. I’m having a lot of fun looking at maps and planning out interesting runs all over NH.