Property Description The Farnum Hill Reserve comprises 864 acres with 5.7 miles of trail.
The area around Farnum Hill is rich in early Lebanon History. King’s Highway, the first planned colonial road in Lebanon is now a class A trail running along the north boundary of the reserve. Lebanon’s earliest settlers proposed a meeting house to be built in the northern slopes of the property but opted for an alternative site offering better proximity to existing homesteads.
In recent times, the Dr. W. Myric Wood, Jr. family owned much of the land in this area of Lebanon. It was the desire of the Wood family to create a natural reserve with 864 acres of their property. Through a complicated process involving the Federal Land and Water Conservation Fund, the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, private donations, and a significant contribution by the Wood family, title to the reserve was transferred to the City of Lebanon in 1982. Through the persistence of the Wood family, this beautiful reserve of upland forestland will be enjoyed for generations to come.
Farnum Hill is a north-south trending ridge with three distinct summits. South Peak has the highest elevation, 1336 ft. Magnificent views are afforded in all directions from numerous points along the ridge. Several small streams flow intermittently from the ridge to lower elevations. The bedrock, which is exposed in many places, is a metamorphic rock called schist. Glacial boulders, mainly granite, are numerous throughout the reserve.
During the 1800s and the early part of this century, most of this area was pasture. Old fence lines and stone walls abound. Some old fence boundaries represent abrupt changes in the stages of forest regrowth. With a few exceptions, most of the reserve is forested by typical upland forest stands of mixed hardwoods and hemlock. There are pure stands of white pine, red oak, and hemlock. Native wildflowers such as trout lily, bunchberry, wintergreen, pyrola, Pointed-leaved tick-trefoil, yellow violets, and Canadian mayflowers may be found in the reserve. Wildlife species are diverse and abundant. These include white-tailed deer, bobcat, rabbit, fisher cat, red fox, raccoon, ruffed grouse, woodcock, several kinds of woodpeckers, hawks, barred owls, and many songbird species.
The hiking trails on the property climb and run along ridges and on gentle loops downslope from the main ridge trail. With permitted uses on the property limited to hiking on the existing trail system, as well as hunting, and uses such as mt bikes and forest harvest activities prohibited, it is one of the City’s few truly wilderness preserve areas.
There are four trailheads located on the property, including off of Poverty Lane with a small parking area located along the northern boundary; a trailhead on the Eastern side of the property located off of Maries Way; a trailhead providing access from the southern end of the property off of Poverty Lane; and a trailhead off of Foliage View and Rolling Ridge, providing access from the Western property line.
View the Farnum Hill Reserve Management Plan (PDF).