Enjoy the Outdoors in Epping
Please note that some of the land listed below is privately owned. Be courteous, stay on trails, take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints. If any information here is out of date, let us know, but please respect any no-trespassing or other posted signs.
Policies on the use of land managed by the Epping Conservation Commission can be found in our land-use policies (LINK to be updated). We also have a 2004 map of all the conservation land in Epping, but it’s a large PDF file.
The Lamprey River was designated a Wild and Scenic river in 1996. More information on the “Wild and Scenic” designation can be found under the ‘Watershed’ link at the Lamprey River Advisory Committee website.
Epping hosts an annual canoe race on the Lamprey, starting at Mary Blair Park, usually on the last Saturday in April. The river is suitable for canoeing in the spring, and sometimes in the summer and fall as well. It does contain some rapids, so be prepared. The AMC River Guide/New Hampshire and Vermont can provide more information.Many people also fish and swim in the Lamprey. And the Lamprey River Committee has also created two pamphlets about hiking and historic sites along the Lamprey. Click on the ‘Recreation’ link on their website.
The Rail Trail
The Rockingham Recreational Trail runs east-west from Manchester to Newfields, and crosses through the southern part of Epping. There is usually space for one or two cars at most road crossings. The trail is heavily used by snowmobiles once the snow falls, and cross-country skiers should keep an eye out for them. During the summer, it is available for walking, horseback riding, and bicycling. It is a lovely walk through both scenic and downtown Epping, and you can go all the way to Manchester if you’re ambitious.
The Fresh River Area
The Fresh River Road area consists of several adjoining conservation parcels behind Walmart and Lowe’s, near the intersection of Routes 125 and 101. It connects to the rail trail that runs east-west across Epping.The pond behind Walmart is sometimes visited by mergansers, cormorants, and herons. Many shoppers don’t realize what’s right around the corner.
Fox Run Conservation Area
Fox Run Conservation Area, off High Road, contains a small pond with fishing for those 16 and under. It is often stocked in the spring before the annual youth Fishing Derby, sponsored by the Knights of Columbus. Fox Run is about 25 acres of forest, last harvested in 2002.
There is a trail through the woods, and a geocache if you can find it! Fox Run is owned by the town of Epping, and the Southeast Land Trust holds a conservation easement on the property. It abuts privately held conservation land that includes most of Muddy Pond.
Dimond Hill Road
Dimond Hill Road is a Class 6 (unmaintained) town road that runs from Route 87, just east of the Lamprey River, all the way up to North River Road, near the Flag Hill Winery. It is rough, and hilly, and runs past several working forests. All the property on both sides of the road is private, so please respect that, but some of the private property has been permanently conserved through conservation easements, and on those properties pedestrian access is welcome. Or you can just stay on Dimond Hill Road and enjoy the hike.
Like Dimond Hill Road, Birch Road is a Class 6 unmaintained town Road. The picture on the right is a little out of date; all of the property on the east side of the road is protected with conservation easements, although it is still all privately owned. Birch Road is about a mile long, running from Mast Road, near the Epping town line, south to Chapman Way at the Brentwood town line, where it becomes a regular town road. Birch Road crosses both the Piscassic and the Fresh Rivers, although they are both more swamp than river at these locations.
The Lamprey River Floodplain
This is a small conservation area off of Route 87 near Jacob’s Well Road. There’s a paved ramp doing down to the river. Here’s a brochure about the site.
The Lamprey River Forest
The Lamprey River Forest is owned by the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests. Public access is welcome, but as always please respect private property. Take the path down to the Lamprey and enjoy this beautiful, protected shorebank along the river.