Lincoln Woods was the site where timber baron James E. Henry’s East Branch & Lincoln logging railroad branched deep into the forest, following the tributaries of the Pemigewasset River and stripping the land of its resources. By the time The Weeks Act was passed, little was left of the forests in this area. Today, the rails have been replaced by recreation paths taking you into the regrown forest.
The Lincoln Woods Visitor Center marks the beginning of the Lincoln Woods trail. Here you’ll find several interpretive displays on the land and its history before coming to a 180-foot suspension bridge spanning the East Branch of the Pemigewassett River. The trail follows the old railroad grade for 2.8 miles and is very popular with families for hiking, mountain biking, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing because of its straight, flat stretches. There are also several challenging hiking trails that branch off the Lincoln Woods Trail. Remnants of the old railroad include railroad ties that are still part of the trail, and if you look closely you may see trestle abutments along the banks of several brooks and rivers.
Directions to Next Site:
At Lincoln Woods, forests have returned in full where they had previously been eradicated. The slash and burn philosophy of timber baron James E. Henry has been replaced by the heavily considered management of The USDA Forest Service. To learn more about modern forestry practices in the National Forest, continue to The Discovery Trail. Take a left out of Lincoln Woods. The Discovery Trail parking lot is on the left 2.2 miles east on the Kancamagus Highway.