Visitor Use Guidelines
We hope you enjoy your visit to the many properties conserved and managed by the Forest Society.
Help us care for our properties by following these guidelines during your visit:
Access Hours: Forest Society reservations are open daily, dawn to dusk, except for hunters during hunting season.
Trash/Waste must be carried out when visiting any Forest Society reservations. Trash receptacles are not available at Forest Society reservations and visitors must take all of their trash with them.
Parking is available at many, but not all Forest Society reservations.
- Parking in front of or blocking access gates is prohibited.
- Access to some areas require roadside parking and visitors should follow all relevant state and local parking regulations or any additional guidance posted at access points.
- Forest Society controlled parking areas are not typically plowed for winter access (aside from some exceptions) unless a Forest Society sponsored or approved winter event is scheduled in advance.
Public Use Liability: Any members of the public accessing Forest Society reservations do so at their own risk. Pursuant to RSA 508:14, RSA 212:34, and other principles of law, the Forest Society is entitled to certain protections from liability, and assumes no responsibility for, and absolves itself from, any liability to members of the public for personal property damage or injury occurring on its reservations.
Alcohol may not be consumed in areas that have been posted against drinking.
Smoking and E-cigarettes are prohibited on Forest Society Reservations, except in designated areas.
Recreational Trails: New trails may not be marked, constructed, or rerouted on Forest Society reservations, unless a trail proposal has been reviewed and approved in advance by the Forest Society.
- Bicycles are only allowed on vehicular access roads and designated mountain bike routes.
- Bicycles are not allowed off-trail.
- Bicycles may be prohibited on any trail or Forest Society reservation for any length of time if such use is determined to be damaging to resources or conflicts with other uses.
- Bicycles should not be used during seasonally wet conditions or whenever soils are saturated.
- The creation of biking trails without permission is prohibited. Proposals for mountain bike trails will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, and only when a request is submitted by an organized and established group capable of high quality construction and long-term maintenance.
Horses and Horseback Riding:
- Horses are only allowed on vehicular access roads.
- Horses are not allowed on hiking trails, which are not maintained to accommodate horse traffic.
- Horses may be prohibited on any road or Forest Society reservation for any length of time if such use is determined to be damaging to resources or conflicts with other uses.
- Horses should not ride during seasonally wet conditions or whenever soils are saturated.
Snowmobile Use on Forest Society reservations is limited to reservations where designated snowmobile trails are maintained by a state-registered snowmobile club.
- Snowmobile trails may only be open for public use between December 15 and April 1 with eight or more inches of snow required for riding between December 15 and January 1.
- Off-trail riding is prohibited and riders must respect all trail signage.
Dogs and Pets are generally allowed under the following conditions:
- Pets must be under direct owner control at all times. Voice or leash control is permitted, but leashes may be mandatory at certain Forest Society reservations (as posted).
- Pet owners must pack out all pet waste on trails and high use areas.
- Dogs are prohibited on Monadnock Reservation and the gorge area of Lost River Reservation.
Boating is allowed on water bodies with appropriate access/parking, and where not otherwise prohibited. This includes Forest Society reservations that:
- Have existing boat access.
- Have shoreline frontage and launch access from other points. .
- Have parking and trail access from which a boat could be carried to water.
- Boating is not allowed at Heald Pond in Wilton.
Swimming is allowed at the users’ own risk, unless otherwise posted. There are no staffed public swimming facilities on any body of water accessed by the Forest Society’s reservations.
Camping is not allowed except by written permission or in designated shelters on specific Forest Society reservations.
Geocaching and the placement of geocaches is permitted on most Forest Society reservations. Anyone seeking to place a new geocache must submit an application for review and approval by Reservation Stewardship staff. The following restrictions and considerations also apply:
- Caches may not be located within, on, beneath, or near cultural resources such as, but not limited to stone walls, dams, and cellar holes.
- No cache will be permitted in any sensitive natural area including, but not limited to, sites of known rare, threatened, or endangered species or natural communities, critical habitat or nesting sites, wetlands, watercourses, or shorelines.
- The Forest Society retains the right to remove any cache on any reservation at any time. Cache owners will not be notified if any land management activity is likely to disrupt their cache. The Forest Society will not be responsible for damage to geocaches or their contents as a result of any land management activities.
Metal Detecting is not permitted.
Paintball and Airsoft Guns may not be used. The development of paintball courses is prohibited.
Target Practice: Discharge of firearms, bows, or any other weaponry for target practice or the development of shooting ranges is prohibited. Firearm discharge is limited to hunting only.
Fish and Wildlife Activities
Fishing is allowed, subject to New Hampshire Fish and Game regulations.
Hunting is allowed, subject to New Hampshire State Fish and Game regulations as well as any applicable local laws. The following additional provisions apply to Forest Society reservations:
- Certain reservations or parts of certain reservations may be closed to hunting as posted.
- Tree stands that are affixed to trees with screws, nails, or other hardware that is inserted into the tree are prohibited. Temporary (strapped) tree stands are allowed and owners are encouraged to list their name and contact information on their stand. Temporary stands must be removed following the hunting season for which they were erected. Tree stands may be removed by the Forest Society if no contact information is listed and they are in place outside of the season.
- Baiting requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis and otherwise subject to New Hampshire State Fish and Game regulations.
- The Forest Society shall not be responsible for any loss or damage of tree stands or game cameras.
Trapping may be permitted on Forest Society reservations, subject to state regulations, which require written permission from the landowner. Requests to trap will be considered on a case-by-case basis and may be denied if the requested site(s) are near residential areas, recreational trails, or where dogs are regularly present.
Game Cameras may be used. Owners are encouraged to list their name and contact information on their device. The Forest Society is not responsible for theft, loss or damage of any game camera.
- Common edible plants (i.e. berries, fiddleheads) and mushrooms may be collected for limited personal consumption.
- Collection of any plants listed as state rare, threatened or endangered is prohibited.
- Requests for commercial collection of plants or mushrooms may be considered on a case-by-case basis, require a Special Use Permit (SUP), and may be subject to fees.
- Cutting and removal of entire trees or Christmas trees/holiday trees is prohibited except by direct sale through the Forest Society.
Cultural Resources of any kind may not be disturbed, excavated, or removed.
Rocks, Gems, and Minerals of any kind may not be disturbed, excavated, or removed.
Campfires are not allowed except by written permission.
Firewood: Cutting or removing trees, portions of trees, or downed logs for firewood is prohibited.
Fireworks are prohibited.
Academic Research may be conducted with advance permission by qualified professionals, professors, undergraduate and graduate students and is subject to the conditions of the Forest Society’s “Memorandum of Understanding Concerning Research on Lands owned by the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests.” Please contact the Forest Society for additional information and guidelines.
Monuments and Memorials including benches, plaques, and other tribute markers are generally not permitted. Occasionally, such items may be placed on a Forest Society reservation after review and written permission. Please contact the Forest Society for additional information and guidelines.
Group Uses and Special Activities
Group Use: Any group with more than fifteen (15) participants who wish to utilize a Forest Society reservation must request approval in advance of their activity or event. Such uses include group hikes, picnics, weddings, corporate team-building activities, school field trips, athletic events, or other similar group uses.
- In some cases, a Special Use Permit (SUP) or other written permission may be required in order for an activity to proceed.
- For certain group uses, the Forest Society may require a fee for permitting an activity.
- Groups will not be granted exclusive use of Forest Society reservations and will continue to remain open to the public during any group use or activity. Unless specified through written permission—all other rules and use guidelines remain in effect during the time of the activity or event.
- Please contact the Forest Society for additional information and guidelines.
Wedding Ceremonies are a group use activity permitted on a case-by-case basis and require a Special Use Permit (SUP) and may be subject to a fee. Please contact the Forest Society for additional information and guidelines.
Trail Races or similar events are a group use activity permitted on a case-by case basis and require a Special Use Permit (SUP) and may be subject to a fee. Please contact the Forest Society for additional information and guidelines.
Commercial Outdoor Activities
Sale of and Goods or Services or Solicitation of any kind is not allowed, unless by written permission, and may be subject to a fee.
Commercial Photography activities may be allowed through written permission on a case-by-case basis and subject to a fee.
- Many Forest Society reservations have additional use restrictions not explicitly described on this webpage. Added restrictions include deed restrictions, conservation easement restrictions, land donor wishes, acquisition funding restrictions, local zoning ordinances, or other types of obligations. Please visit the individual property pages on this website for additional restrictions, or contact a Forest Society staff member for more information.
- Exclusion of specific uses from this webpage do not imply they are allowed, and written permission may be required for uses not detailed herein.
- A variety of New Hampshire state and local laws also pertain to many of the uses described throughout this guidance (hunting, fishing, OHRV, snowmobile, etc.). Visitors must respect all relevant laws and regulations while on Forest Society reservations.
- Our policy on the use of Other Power-Driven Mobility Devices (OPDMDs) for use by individuals with mobility issues is currently in development. Please contact the Forest Society for additional information.
- The guidelines described on this page only apply to Forest Society Reservations and not on properties where the Forest Society holds a conservation easement. For additional information about our easement properties, click here.