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Powder Major's Forest



  • Directions

  • Size

    192.28 acres

Contact Information


Powder Major's Forest was acquired by the Forest Society in 2017. The highlights of the property include frontage along the Oyster River, a beaver pond complex along Dube Brook, and an extensive recreational trail network.

These lands were once the home of Revolutionary War hero Major John Demeritt, aka “The Powder Major.” Major Demeritt was celebrated for his role in a raid on the British Fort William and Mary (now called Fort Constitution) in Portsmouth Harbor. He is credited for hiding the stolen gunpowder on his Madbury farm and then transporting it to the Continental Army fighting in the Battle of Bunker Hill at the outset of the American Revolution.

Since then, subsequent generations of the Demeritt family and then the Goss family lived on and farmed the Powder Major's land.

The trails of this reservation are easy to moderate. An outer loop trail marked with yellow blazes (2.4 miles) runs through several wetlands and includes a spur trail (unmarked) in the far northwest that reaches the beaver complex.

Two other trails marked with green and with orange blazes provide hikers the opportunity to shorten the 2.4-mile outer loop. Some areas may be very wet.

The Forest Society will be working over the next few years to make improvements to the trail system that should include some treadway hardening, new bridges, a more defined and clear trail system.

Help us care for this property by following these guidelines during your visit:

  • This property is open dawn to dusk
  • Carry out all trash
  • Dogs must remain under control and owners must pack out all dog waste
  • No motorized wheeled vehicles
  • No camping
  • No campfires
  • Hunting and fishing are allowed
  • Leave natural and cultural features undisturbed
Allowed Activities
Dog Walking
Wildlife Watching
Good For
Seasons of Availability

Additional Information


Open dawn to dusk

Visitor Use Guidelines

Full list of use guidelines available HERE

Winter Access

Please note that this property may be difficult to access in winter due to winter roadside parking bans and/or unplowed parking areas.