Salisbury Beach State Reservation

A few weeks ago, Stephen and I decided to go explore a new beach since it was another warm, sunny Sunday. I know.. I’m always ranting about how warm and beautiful it is, but it was 56 degrees so we just had to get out and enjoy this unusual weather in January. We drove out towards Hampton Beach in New Hampshire and followed the coast towards Massachusetts. Just while looking at my Google Maps while Stephen drove, I picked Salisbury Beach State Reservation as our location for the day.

Salisbury Beach State Reservation is located on Beach Road. Route 1A in Salisbury, MA, right on the coast of north-eastern Massachusetts. During the summer there is a daily parking fee of $14 for MA vehicles and $16 for non-MA vehicles, however, since it is the dead of winter there was no fee to enter the park. This 521 acre park offers swimming, boating, fishing, and camping. Facilities include a 484 site campground with bathhouses and restrooms.

Salisbury Beach is apparently one of Massachusetts's most popular ocean beaches during the summer and I’m not surprised. With 3.8 miles of sand stretching along the Atlantic Ocean, this is the beach to visit. According to the park’s website, in the fall and winter harbor seals often sunbathe themselves on the jetty… quite disappointed I did not see a seal during this adventure.

Clearly many other people had the same idea as we did; I was surprised by the amount of people walking the beach. Many families were enjoying the weather with their children or letting their dogs run the beach. In the distance, we could see a couple riding horses along the beach. I was shocked by how well-kept and clean the beach was, much nicer than Hampton Beach in New Hampshire. My highlight of the day was being able to snap a few images of the horses and riders walking along the beach before they loaded the horses.

I would highly recommend this beach to others in the area, although it was about a 30 minute trip back home from Salisbury Beach, I would definitely visit again. It will be interesting to see how crowded it gets in the summer.

Fort Stark Historic Site

Fort Stark Historic Site is located on a peninsula on the southeast corner of New Castle Island. It over looks the Piscataqua River, Little Harbor and the Gulf of Maine. Fort Stark was named in honor of General John Stark, commander of New Hampshire forces at the Battle of Bennington (1777). A former military installation, Fort Stark was one of seven forts built to protect the Portsmouth Harbor. Fort Stark, Washington, Constitution (William and Mary), and Dearborn (Odirone Point Start Park) in New Hampshire, and Forts Sullivan, McClary and Foster are in Maine.  The earliest forts were built to protect the colonists. As the Portsmouth Harbor’s increased in importance and the Revolutionary shipbuilding industry grew the need for additional fortifications became important. The defense concept was to mine the harbors and erect gun batteries. The final fortifications occurred during World War II when batteries were added to Fort Foster, and Fort Dearborn was built.

Fort Stark provides beautiful views of the lighthouse, Piscataqua River, Little Harbor, and the Gulf of Maine. Majority of its buildings are tagged by graffiti, it was apparent where other have explored beyond the fences and barriers. Although tempting, we did not break any laws yesterday. 

Newmarket, New Hampshire

Saturday I headed out to Adams Point in Durham, New Hampshire. Adams Point juts out from the west into Great Bay; Great Bay is New Hampshire’s second largest estuarine system. The estuary is home to a variety of diverse habitats. Today, waterfowl hunting and shell fishing are a popular activity at Adams Point and it also a popular spot for bird watching, including viewing bald eagles.

 Adams Point, Durham, New Hamsphire

Adams Point, Durham, New Hamsphire

 Adams Point, Durham, New Hampshire

Adams Point, Durham, New Hampshire

I left Adams Point and headed back into Newmarket to explore the mills. The Newmarket Manufacturing Company was established in 1822, at this time Newmarket entered into an industrial era. This began the development of factories, homes, shops and institutions. In the 1920’s the development in Newmarket began to level off and into the next decade with the Great Depression. Local buildings and manufacturing significantly ended at this time. Today, the mill buildings are taking on new uses, including residential housing, and shops including The Bloom’n Cow, an ice cream shop that offers handmade ice cream and gelato, and Joinery restaurant, “a field-to-table restaurant”.

 Lamprey River, Newmarket, New Hampshire

Lamprey River, Newmarket, New Hampshire

 Newmarket Mills, Newmarket, New Hampshire

Newmarket Mills, Newmarket, New Hampshire

 Newmarket Mills, Newmarket, New Hampshire 

Newmarket Mills, Newmarket, New Hampshire