This short hike is best done with snowshoes unless the trail is packed. Many winter hikes have limited parking, but you can park behind the Town Hall for this one. The loop is through a wooded area with a variety of hardwoods and softwoods, many animal tracks, and a brook that runs all year. There are also a couple of hunting perches. The trail has metal markers on trees, but you can lose track of them. You are mostly within earshot of route 113 so if you get turned around, you can hear your way out.
Snowshoes are the way to go since the last snowstorm. This trail meanders so much that skis would be awkward. There is a lot to see: tracks, trees, and tributaries along a fairly level walk of about three quarters of a mile. Breaking trail will be more exercise. See if you can find the structure built in the tree to wait for deer to pass.
Take Colby Hill Road to the end and turn left on Modock Hill Rd to a Cul-de-sac. Park here and proceed northwest on the discontinued portion of Modock Hill Rd. (sometimes spelled Modoc). This class six road heads generally downhill over varied terrain: some wet areas some washed out ledge areas. At about .8 mi the road bears right where there is a brook crossing. At about .85 miles notice a cemetery on the right in the woods. At just under a mile you arrive at Town Line Road where you could get picked up, or retrace your steps back to the driveable part of Modock Hill Road, or head south on the discontinued part of Town Line Road which leads to another cul-de-sac. In the 1800’s and early 1900’s these were important roads to the farming communities in these rough lands.
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Madison Cascades Trail
Parking is easiest at the Madison Church, located just north of the junction of East Madison Rd and Route 113. Once out of the parking lot, turn right and head about two-hundred yards down the road, cross over to East Madison Rd, and find the Madison Historical Society (the Granville Homestead.) The trail begins behind this building. You will notice a guest book at the start of the trail, please sign in.
The forest around the trail begins as mixed hardwood. Try to spot the change, noticing how undergrowth vanishes as you continue along the trail. Watch out for poison ivy on the first stretch of the trail, around the old well on your left. The trail cuts through a clearing of tiny pines, and it is easy to lose the trail in there. Once you are out of the pines, however, the trail is once again clear. Keep your eyes peeled for Lady Slippers in the spring and summer! The trail descends slightly after the pine clearing, and there is a stream crossing once the ground levels out. You can leap across, or use the stepping-stones. Soon the trail will climb moderately then the ground levels out into a ridge. You can look down onto Forest Brook from here. After reaching the top of the ridge, you will see the trail fork. The right path is steep and takes you down to the Madison Cascades. There are many flat rocks by the Cascades and shallow water. The left will take you through some lovely woods, past a grassy clearing, and end at an old class 6 road.
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Written by Students at the Community School
- 3/4 mile
- Park at Burke Field on Rte 113 (Conway Road, between Madison Elementary School and Madison Town Hall)
The Ward Parcel trail is a short walk behind the ball fields on Rte 113 near the school. The total Ward Parcel is 47 acres. The trail is flat and wanders in the trees. The trail was first laid out in 2004 before an Old Home Week Conservation Walk. The trail was updated by resident Torin Laliberte for his Eagle Scout project in 2012. A new entrance was constructed by Torin.
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NOTE: This trail is closed in summer 2014 while construction on Madison Historical Society building takes place.
- 1 mile
- Limited parking on road by Madison Historical Society at corner of Rte 113 and East Madison Road
Marked trail, follow signs starting to right of Historical Society Building. Various wooded terrain gains elevation to a cascading brook.
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- Varies in distance
- Access at many places along tracks
Tracks travel through Madison from West Ossipee in the south to Conway/Albany in the north.
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