Alder Stream Wilderness Preserve and Bud Leavitt Wildlife Management Area, Eastern Section (Atkinson)

I hiked 4 miles after work today, splitting my time between the Alder Stream Preserve and the eastern section of the Bud Leavitt Wildlife Management Area.  

This is the fourth time I've visited the Alder Stream Preserve, revisiting the north end section I had last visited six months ago.  The preserve is managed by the Northeast Wilderness Trust, a regional land trust with the mission of conserving land through rewilding, or allowing the land to revert to a wild state.  I last visited this section in December when snow was on the ground and the trail was relatively easy to navigate.  During today's hike, I experienced first hand the effects of rewilding, as the trail was heavily overgrown in many areas.  I started on the marked red trail, hiking in half a mile until I came to an area with heavy growth and decided to turn around.  Retracing my steps, I continued almost to the parking lot before exploring a second, unmarked trail that followed an old logging road.  Remarkably this trail was in better shape than the red marked trail.  Despite the overgrown trails, this is still a nice preserve to explore.  Due to the minimal visitation, I anticipated seeing wildlife but did not.  The anticipation of seeing wildlife made the hike exciting nonetheless.  

There were some sections where the trail wasn't overgrown...  
and others where it was heavily overgrown.

The eastern section of the Bud Leavitt WMA is a short distance from the Alder Stream Preserve, so I headed there next.  I parked at the edge of the preserve and walked along John Doore Road.  After the overgrown trails in Alder Stream, it was nice walking along a dirt road, and I spotted a doe and her fawn cross in front of me from a distance, and a turtle making its way across the road.  The area is a mix of dense forest and open fields.  

Here is a map showing the two hikes.  



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