Since the official opening of Partridge Woods in 2019, there have been more exciting
developments on the property. In October of that year there were three named trails
some four miles in length. The Wheeler Trail ran through the property from Homestead
Lane* to the end of Brickyard Road. Ethan’s Way connected the main parking lot off
Brickyard road to the Wheeler Trail at the site of the old Wheeler Homestead (1777-
1833) A short trail branched off the Wheeler Trail so that hikers could reach the summit
of Osgood Hill. This year the Nelson Trails Committee, working under the direction of
the Nelson Conservation Commission, has added two new trails with an additional two
miles of walking opportunities.
The Hurd Hill Trail branches off Ethan’s Way about half a mile from the Brickyard
parking lot and leads to the top of Hurd Hill. At 1,821’ Hurd Hill, has been a favorite of
hikers in years past, drawn there by its considerable colony of wild blueberries. There is
a long-term plan to restore good berrying there.
From Hurd Hill the newly cleared Ridge Trail follows the ridge that connects it to
Osgood Hill a mile and a half away by trail. A view north has been cleared on the north
side of Hurd Hill so hikers can see the journey ahead. The trail heads north over a small
hill locally called Blacktop (2099’) for the spruces covering much of its summit. A view
has been cleared off the west side of the trail. The vista includes the nice red-sided
town barn and the French’s Farm. Peeking up through the trees between the two is the
spire of the Nelson Church; the hills of Vermont and Stratton Mountain grace the far
horizon. There is also a view from the summit of Blacktop to the east over Nubanusit
Lake to the mountains beyond. Crossing the Wheeler Trail and climbing gently, you
come to an area clear cut a number of years ago that features a beautiful view of
Monadnock. In another 0.4 miles is the summit of Osgood Hill – also called City Hill.
The combination of old and new trails brings the total to five miles, but, more
importantly, makes a number of loop hikes available.
At the top of Osgood Hill two other trails join the network. The Kulish Ledge Trail
ascends 2.1 miles from a parking lot on Old Stoddard Road (3 miles from the Nelson
Village) to the summit. Cut in 2013 by the Nelson Trails Committee, this popular trail
has two beautiful views overlooking Spoonwood Pond to Temple Mountain and Pack
Monadnock. Late last year the Nelson Trails Committee opened the companion Holt
Trail that leaves the Kulish Ledge Trail about 0.4 miles from Old Stoddard Road, follows
the shore of numerous beaver ponds before turning uphill along Bailey Brook. It climbs
moderately and passes three cellar holes before reaching the top of Osgood Hill to join
the Kulish Ledge Trail. Both routes to the top are 2.1 miles from Old Stoddard Road;
many hikers enjoy the loop that these two trails offer. These trails travel through part of
Partridge Woods but mainly on land owned by the Harris Center for Conservation
Note that access from the parking lot at Homestead Lane has been closed. We recommend using the Brickyard Road parking lot, as the Kulish Ledges lot off of Old Stoddard Road quickly reaches capacity.