Usually, I have a very hard time embracing “stick season” (the time of year between wonderful fall foliage and the quiet beauty of a newly fallen snow), but this weeks trip to Nelson almost made me forget what time of year it is.  I, once again, had the pleasure of being joined by my husband, Steve, and, together, we explored Nelson. We live less than 15 miles away, but had never taken the 30 minute drive. If I had known what we were missing, I would have insisted we do it a long time ago.

Let me start by saying that this is a trip that might best be taken between late May and late November because most of the roads are dirt and some are closed to thru traffic December 1 to May 15. Since we haven’t had any real snow and the roads were in good condition, we didn’t avoid any of the “closed to thru traffic” roads. I think that there are, maybe, 5 paved roads in all of Nelson and with the exception of the center of town, the dirt roads, by far, offer the best views and scenery. We also did quite a bit of back tracking because there are also a lot of dead-end roads.


There is at least one omission on the map, we did travel along Cemetary Road, which I forgot to mark. The center of town is postcard pretty with the Nelson Congregational Church, Town Hall, library and town offices building…


In front of the church is a boulder with a plaque honoring those who served in WWI and WWII…


The library and town hall are housed in one building (the white building on the left) and the town offices in the brick building…


Nelson does not have its own post office and apparently many of the town’s residents get their mail in the center of town…



We backtracked from the center of town to Tolman Pond Road and one of the first open fields we came to offered us this view…


I can only imagine what this would have looked like in the fall and I know I plan to go back next year to find out! At the fork in the road, we took Cabot Road, while I didn’t take any pictures, it is worth the detour. It’s lined with forest and old stone walls. Cabot Road rejoins Tolman Pond Road, technically in Harrisville, but I’m going to share anyhow…


Technically in Harrisville

We turned left, and at the intersection of Tolman Pond Road and Nubanusit Road we found…


Very helpful if you are looking for your friend’s place near the lake, but don’t know “how near”. Nubanusit Lake is a 715 acre lake, enjoyed year-round by all sorts of outdoor enthusiasts, including ice fishermen…



Again, we turned around at the Harrisville town line. The folks living on Rocky Hill Road have certainly got living on a dirt road in the winter, in New England, down to a science. All along Rocky Hill Road, you will find 55 gallon drums filled with, probably, sand and even a handy shovel for when you just can’t quite make it up the hill…



Back on Tolman Pond Road, we were treated to a lovely farm, one of many we saw in Nelson…



I love the texture of old farm buildings!



When we reached Tolman Pond, we turn right, onto Brickyard Road. I didn’t take any pictures along this road, but I did see a pileated woodpecker. I wasn’t fast enough to follow his flight into the forest or I would have been tempted to try to get a few shots of him. Tolman Pond is a very tranquil body of water with very few houses surrounding it. One of the problems with trying to photograph an entire town in one day is that, at some point, you will come to place that is beautiful, but the harsh light makes taking a great photograph difficult. So it was with Tolman Pond.

Back in the center of town, we took a right onto Old Stoddard Road. We were almost into Stoddard before I hollered “STOP, BACKUP” which Steve did with no complaint. What I had seen was a waterfall on Bailey Brook…





Instead of backtracking, we turned left onto Rt 123 in Stoddard and again turned left onto Rt 9 before re-entering Nelson. We took a right off of Rt 9 to Granite Lake Road which brought us into the village of Munsonville…


There are some great views of Granite Lake in Munsonville. From the center of the village, we took Murdough Hill Road past a number of picturesque farms. When we got to Nelson Road (a paved road, at last) we turned right. Nelson Road rejoins Granite Lake Road, which becomes Old Concord Road. From here, we turned onto Apple Hill Road. On Apple Hill Road, I was once again astounded with the views and scenery. We passed the Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music. I knew I couldn’t do it justice with only a picture or two so, I put that in my notebook of places to go back to! Suffice to say, it is a beautiful place filled with old barns and buildings on both sides of the road.  A little ways further, we came to another wonderful barn sitting on a sharp bend in the road. The sun was behind the barn and I just couldn’t quite get a good picture of it, but when I turned around, I saw a small tote road heading off into the woods…


At some point, Apple Hill Road becomes Lead Mine Road. I hate to keep repeating myself, but the farms and scenery were just spectacular…




Lead Mine Road ends on Cemetary Road. And you know, I can’t seem do a post without at least one picture from an old cemetary, this one of the monument to the Soldiers of the Revolutionary War…



Once again, back in the center of town, we turned left onto Center Pond Road.  Almost at the end of the road is a small pond, whose name I haven’t been able to find, but the view was pretty…



Just in case you ever get a chance to follow our route, I want to point out that Curtis Road and Henderson Road are one in the same.

In my opinion, Nelson is one of the prettiest towns yet. It begs exploration and discovery!

If you enjoyed our tour of Nelson, PLEASE comment. It helps me to know if there are things I’m doing right or things I should change. Do you like the turn by turn, or would you rather just see the pictures with a little description?

For more information about Nelson – visit

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2 Comments on “Nelson”

  1. Kathy January 31, 2013 at 2:13 am #

    Cemetery is all “e”s, no “a”. There are a number of paved roads in Nelson: Granite Lake Road, Murdough Hill road, Henderson, and a portion of Center Pond Road.

    Otherwise, a nice account of our little hill town. We who live here find that getting off the roads and into the woods yields far greater treasures.

    • Touring NH January 31, 2013 at 10:11 am #

      Hi Kathy, Thank you for the spelling correction. I loved Nelson! I think it is one of the prettiest towns I’ve visited so far. I agree with you about getting off the roads and into the woods. I wish I could give myself more time in each town to do some hiking and capture more of the natural beauty.

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