Jean Wood’s family roots go way back into the history of Weare. In the 1800s her family had a homestead farm on land located around General Knox Road and Barnard Hill Road.
Wood Conservation Area
Jean Wood and other town residents remember old hay fields and pastures as well as the forest now located here. Several years ago, Jean had expressed interest in preserving roughly 200 acres of this beloved and beautiful family woodland. In 2003, the Town’s Conservation Fund had sufficient funds to allow the Conservation Commission to enter an agreement with the Wood family to purchase approximately 208± acres on the Town’s behalf. The Weare Conservation Commission completed the purchase in June of 2004 for $175,000.
The Wood Family Forest is backland that can be accessed on foot via the gated entrance to the Bolton Memorial Field. Outdoor enthusiasts are welcome to enjoy hiking or snowshoeing, horseback riding and other passive recreational uses. Hunting is permitted. Continuing a longstanding arrangement with the Wood family, the Weare Winter Wanderers Snowmobile Club holds an easement for their trail through the property. The Open Space Committee has ideas for a sign or information kiosk with maps, birding lists and other information, at the point where an old woods road enters the property from Bolton Fields. Year-round vehicle access to the trailhead may be realized in the future through negotiation with other Town entities.
In addition to human recreational uses, this property has many attributes that make it a very significant parcel in terms of wildlife habitat and natural resource protection. Several types of forest cover and wetlands occur on the parcel. This property is especially pleasing to the Conservation Commission and Open Space Committee volunteers because it meets an important criterion of the town’s Open Space Plan - to link protected parcels thus maximizing a property’s potential for wildlife usage. Preserving large undeveloped areas is particularly important if Weare is to continue to be the home of wildlife like bear, moose, bobcat, and fisher. The Wood property abuts a 70-acre parcel protected by the Piscataquog Watershed Association, as well as acreage owned by the Goffstown Fish & Game Club. There are additional undeveloped parcels in the immediate area and the Conservation Commission / Open Space Committee is hopeful that the Wood family’s action will encourage these land owners to consider preserving their land as well.
If you have questions concerning the Wood Family Forest, open space conservation in Weare, or if you would like materials on protecting your family land, please contact the Weare Conservation Commission through the Town Office at 529-7575.
Directions to The Wood Family Forest Conservation Area (access via Bolton Memorial Park, directions are modified from those on the Weare Athletic Club’s webpage):
Bolton Memorial Park is located on Route 114 (South Stark Highway), adjacent to Granite State Telephone. From the flashing yellow light on Route 114 in Weare Center, go south on Route 114 (South Stark Highway). Bear left at Country Three Corners, and continue on South Stark Highway for approximately 1 mile. The entrance to Bolton Memorial Park is a dirt road on the left (east side) of 114, immediately before (north of) Granite State Telephone. There is a granite monument at the entrance.