For our second Daddy-Daughter Hike, I targeted Garrison Hill in Dover, NH. Other than knowing they set the 4th of July fireworks off from this hill, I knew very little about it. I recall hearing there was a fire tower or observation tower on the hill but had no idea if there were hiking trails or not. After doing a little research, I found this site (http://nhtricitytrailblazers.com/Trails.html) discussing a trail that connects the hill with other locations, but again, it wasn’t much to go on. Also, many of the historical sites I found on Garrison Hill were "under construction" or "info coming soon" watermarked.
We headed up there early in the morning and found the road that lead up to the top of Garrison Hill. There, I found a parking lot, a large round building (the Garrison) and a large, green tower. I also noticed the perimeter of the park area had a road barrier around it. My first intuition was that we had a very slim chance of finding any hiking trails.
Lylah and I walked up the dirt walkway to the tower. There, we found three individuals doing a pretty intense stretching and aerobic workout by running up and down the tower while doing exercise at the top and bottom.
The tower was green and extremely well built. A lot of fire towers we visit seem old and rickety. This one was solid and the stairs were not steep at all, but instead were standard dimension stairs like you’d find in your house.
At the top, there was a great view of the whole park area including the large, round Garrison building, a couple nearby cell towers and a small children’s play area. In the distance, we could see some mountain profiles but I’m not sure which ones. There was also a great view downtown Dover.
After we made our way down, we checked out a bench on one side of the park which looked like it was donated by the rotary club. Just beyond the bench, on the other side of the road barrier fence, it looked like there was a trail heading down the hill. Since there was no kiosk, trail sign or map…and the fact that you needed to jump the barrier to go down the trail, I opted not to take my 3 year old down it.
All in all, Garrison Hill is a pretty uneventful location with respect to hiking. It is however, a very nice viewing park for a picnic or to get some great views of the surrounding city.