This weekend if you are looking for a nice day hike with your family, you should consider Londonderry New Hampshire. The Musquash Conservation Area was established in 1979 to meet the goals of preserving wildlife habitat, developing recreational opportunities, and establishing an active forest management program. The original Musquash Conservation area started with over 550 acres of land. Today the preserve has over 900 acres. The area is made up of forested, rolling hills dotted with wetland areas that provide natural habitat for moose, deer, beaver, and painted and Blanding’s turtles to name just a few species. This landscape also provides an enjoyable place for outdoor recreation for the citizens of the area, and visitors from all over New England. Located throughout the Musquash are “cellar holes” foundations of earlier times of Londonderry. Each “cellar hole” has a story, just like the stone walls that are seen on our streets, on our properties, and will continue to be part of the Londonderry landscape.
One of Londonderry’s many Eagle Scouts project s was to map out and locate many of the existing “cellar holes” in the Musquash. Located in the kiosks at that start of the trails is a map detailing the different locations of those remnants of Londonderry’s past. One of the “cellar holes” is The Hardy/ Parker homestead.
The home closer to the trail was owned by Edward (Edwin)P. Parker. Parker got the land from his father, Reverend Edward L. Parker who was the Pastor of Londonderry and Derry’s Presbyterian churches. The foundation was most likely laid sometime between 1812 and 1825. Those interested in a contemporary Londonderry history of that time should check out Rev Parker’s 1851 “The History of Londonderry Comprising the Towns of Derry and Londonderry, N.H. “
The second house on the homestead was that of the Parker’s daughter Clarrissa and her husband Benjamin Hardy. It was built around 1830. This would have been just after the east part of Londonderry split off to become Derry. By 1892 a map showed a third generation of the family had taken over both houses. The ‘Parker’ property was deeded to Benjamin Hardy Jr who was Benjamin and Clarrissa’s eldest son. Their second son John is listed as owning the ‘Hardy’ house that they once lived in.
After your hike stop by one of the four farms and purchase fresh locally grown products.
Please remember that what you carry in, you need to carry out. Any pedestrian activity is OK. No camping without permission of the town; no fires without a permit from the Londonderry Fire Department. NO ATVs are allowed anywhere in the preserve.