The Rosemary Littledale Rieser Trail and Sample’s Woods

by Kevin Hybels (reproduced here by permission of the Norwich Historical Society)

Our Town 
Expeditions and Explorations
on the trails, street and on the couch
During COVID-19
First published September 6, 2020 on Norwich Lists. Editorially revised September 27, 2020
Hopson Road entrance to the Rosemary Littledale Rieser Trail

The Rosemary Littledale Rieser Trail, one of the newest walking trails in Norwich, was established in 2015. This trail is named after the late Rosemary Littledale Rieser, a Norwich resident for more than 50 years who worked to conserve the nearby Warner Meadows, and whose children donated the 11 acres of land where the trail is located to the Upper Valley Land Trust.

Ski tow that operated from the 1940s to the 1960s

The trail passes the area where Sample’s Ski Jump is located. Paul Sample, a well-known American artist and the longest-serving Dartmouth artist-in-residence, owned the land before the Rieser family. The ski jump was near the Altow ski hill, pictured above, which operated between the 1940s and the 1960s and was used by the Ford Sayre Ski School to teach schoolchildren to ski at a cost of $1.50 per winter. Altow was also used by the Dartmouth ski team and Olympic skiers.

The location of the ski jump is visible from the trail.The location of the ski jump is visible from the trail.

There are several mid-century modern houses located near the trail. Paul Sample’s house, built in 1939, is pictured above, and the Warner House, built in 1952, is pictured below under construction. Learn more about Norwich’s mid-century modern houses here.

Warner Meadow, located next to this trail, is owned and conserved by the Warner Meadow Association. The area contains a pine grove and a wetland, and is home to many species of animals including frogs, beavers, and birds.

We hope you have enjoyed these posts about Norwich trails, and perhaps have gone out for a hike over the summer to enjoy time outside while many places are shut down during the pandemic. Read all of the Norwich hiking history posts here.
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