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Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
450.00 ft (137.16 m)
Trail type
Loop
Distance
5.10 mi (8.21 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The Red Loop Trail is a nice introduction to the terrain in the Oaklands Town Forest. In just over 5 miles the trail crosses through forest, swamps, boulders, hills, and even a neighborhood. Bikers and hikers share the trail for most of the year, with snowshoers and Nordic skiers using the snow-covered trails in winter.

The Oaklands Town Forest in Exeter, New Hampshire, is managed by the Exeter Conservation Commission. This 230-acre parcel of land is crisscrossed with miles of marked and unmarked trails. A map and a general sense of direction is useful when exploring this area. Watch for frequent red blazes on the trees to stay on this route. 

Deciduous and evergreen trees share space in this mixed woodland. In the understory, flowering shrubs, ferns, grasses, mushrooms and wildflowers carpet the ground. Vernal pools and wetlands are prominent throughout the forest, providing sanctuary for young fish and amphibians. Land-dwelling wildlife also flourishes here, as evidenced by burrows, tree damage and tracks. Look closely for signs of life all around you. 

An extensive system of boardwalks allows passage across the wettest portions of the forest. These sometimes narrow and wobbly structures can feel a bit unnerving to cross, but they get the job done! Enjoy the excitement of standing over a wetland and pause to look around you for frogs, turtles and wading birds.

If you're looking to extend this adventure, take the trail under Highway 101 to the Henderson-Swasey Forest, where many more miles of trail await you.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

None

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Unique scenery. Quiet.

Cons

Trail is shared with mountain bikes.

Trailhead Elevation

100.00 ft (30.48 m)

Highest point

140.00 ft (42.67 m)

Features

Family friendly
Geologically significant
Wildlife

Typically multi-day

No

Suitable for

Biking

Permit required

No

Location

Field Guide

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