Moose Brook State Park – July 21, 2011

Just outside of Gorham, NH, sitting right in between the Great North Woods and the White Mountains, Moose Brook State Park is set in the perfect location for summer camping adventures.  Steeped in history, the park originally came to life as a headquarters for the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) commissioned by President Roosevelt in the 1930’s.

The original CCC designs and construction can still be seen today throughout the park.  Both the administration building and the old bathhouse stand as classic examples of the Great Depression inspired CCC projects.  Exploring the rest of the park the ruins of former CCC bunks and buildings can be found mixed between the campsites.

Today the 59 campsites in Moose Brook State Park are spread out over a peaceful 87-acres where both the Moose Brook and Perkins Brook flow from their headwaters in Ice Gulch before reaching the two natural pools in the park that make for a brisk swim any time of year.

Before hitting the swimming pond, I left the campground to take a quick hike down the Perkins Path, which starts out right across the field from the park’s historic administration building.  I followed the trail closely along the Perkins Brook winding through a majestic old growth forest before stopping at a small gorge in the brook.  Worn smooth and covered in moss the granite rocks here funnel the brook through a narrow cascade and past a peculiarly flat and vertical rock wall.

Nearing the end of the trail I turned around and retraced the Perkins Path heading out towards the swimming pond to clean up and cool off.  Decidedly cold all year long, jumping in the pool was refreshing to say the least.  Drying off as the sun dipped behind the trees, I quickly made my way back up to my campsite.

The next morning I woke up early, jumped on my bike, and pedaled across the park to Berry Farm Road.  The old dirt farm road makes for the perfect two-lane bike track.  I pedaled up Berry Farm Road making a strenuous climb a few hundred feet up before linking with the CCC Perimeter Trail.  Loosely built and maintained by a group of local mountain bike riders, riding the CCC trail down is fast, fun and just really well put together.  Berms, bridges, and rocks are all incorporated in the trail to make this whole section of single-track a blast to ride.

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