The 4.3-mile Sweet Trail runs from Longmarsh Road in Durham to Great Bay at the Lubberland Creek Preserve in Newmarket, New Hampshire.
The Sweet Trail The 4.3-mile Sweet Trail runs from Longmarsh Road in Durham to Great Bay at the Lubberland Creek Preserve in Newmarket, New Hampshire. © Megan Latour/The Nature Conservancy

Places We Protect

The Sweet Trail

New Hampshire

The 4.3-mile Sweet Trail in Durham and Newmarket connects the land to the sea.

Looking for a great trail to hike this summer or snowshoe this winter?  Put on your hiking boots or snowshoes and head to the Sweet Trail. Follow the tin squares to hike from Longmarsh Road in Durham to the shore of Great Bay at our Lubberland Creek Preserve in Newmarket. 

Just over four miles long from Longmarsh Road in Durham to Great Bay Estuary in Newmarket, the Sweet Trail leads hikers by a remarkable array of upland forests, freshwater wetlands and tidal salt marsh. In 1973, shipping and oil magnate Aristotle Onassis planned to build the world’s largest oil refinery on these lands here on Durham Point, with a pipeline stretching all the way out to the Isles of Shoals. Had those plans materialized, they would have forever changed the nature of Great Bay and New Hampshire’s coast. In 1974, however, the plans were defeated by well-organized local residents who understood these lands’ value for nature, recreation, and beauty.

The trail was named in honor of Cy and Bobbie Sweet of New Castle, New Hampshire, who have generously supported our conservation work at Great Bay for many years. A special dedication with granite benches was created and installed by our staff at the end of the trail at the shore of Great Bay. Bring your lunch and binoculars and plan for a picnic while enjoying beautiful views of Vols Island and the bay.

The Nature Conservancy, the Town of Durham, and the Great Bay Resource Protection Partnership helped plan and develop the trail, which highlights diverse wildlife habitats through the 2,500-acre Crommet Creek watershed. The trail crosses land owned by New Hampshire Fish and Game, the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, Town of Durham, and The Nature Conservancy.

The goal of the trail is to create a longer and more remote hiking and wildlife viewing experience. It was constructed with the help of local volunteers, New York City youth and Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) trail crews. There are several picturesque overlooks and bridges along the trail offering views of beaver ponds and a great blue heron rookery. It is not unusual to see American black ducks, osprey, beaver, turtles and many songbirds along the way. From freshwater marshes to tidal creeks, you will see the interconnections between fresh and saltwater habitats and the abundance of life that depends on these ecosystems.

Finding Your Way:

Because the Sweet Trail crosses property of varying ownership, you will encounter different trail markers along the way. The Sweet Trail is marked with white tin squares containing a blue arrow and the logo of the Great Bay Resource Protection Partnership.

Enjoy the Trail Responsibly:

• Pedestrian use only.

• Dogs are allowed on the Sweet Trail ONLY and must be on leashes.

• No ATV’s or dirt bikes.

• No camping or campfires.

• Please carry out all of your trash (and even some that the less thoughtful have left behind)

• No removal or destruction of plants, wildlife or minerals.