(Part Three of a Three-Part Series on Portsmouth, New Hampshire)
Peirce Island in Portsmouth, New Hampshire used to be home to Fort Washington, which was built around the time of the American Revolutionary War. The 27 acres that comprise this island were purchased by the city of Portsmouth in 1923. Today, Peirce Island is a major recreational area with excellent walking trails and a large pool for swimming.
Unless you're arriving by boat or helicopter, the bridge to Peirce Island near Prescott Park will be your necessary entry point to begin exploring. You can cross the bridge by foot, but if you do drive over the bridge to park on the island, be sure to walk back and stand on the bridge for some fabulous views!
I really like this view of the South End as seen from the bridge.
There is an adjoining island to Peirce Island known as Four Tree Island which you might want to visit first - the causeway leading out to it is very near the first parking lot and not far at all from the bridge. It's the perfect spot for a picnic and has several covered picnic tables. As an added bonus, you get a great view of the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.
I find the name for the island to be intriguing, and you'll probably be tempted to count the number of trees on it as I did. Let me know if you come up with four, because I certainly didn't! Come to think of it, since the causeway to Four Tree Island was build in 1976, it's not really an island either. Go figure...
While on Four Tree Island, I came across this woodchuck on lunchbreak eating a sandwich, so if you do decide to picnic here be sure to be on the lookout for some company! (Hint: He lives underneath the boards shown here.)
Peirce Island is also home to the Portsmouth Commerical Fishing Pier and there are many opportunities from the Island to view the colorful lobster boats that are based around here.
There are several trails to explore on the island, including some with excellent lookouts back towards the mainland. I find the way these particular houses are grouped together to be fascinating, almost forming a "pyramid" shape as seen together like this.
It's fun to watch the colors and reflections change in the late afternoon light.
Watching the recent "supermoon" rising while on Peirce Island was a great way to end the day!
Visit www.abovetheglow.com for more poetry and photography from David Mark Fowler.
(This is Part Three of a Three-Part Series on Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Part One introduced Portsmouth with a feature on Market Square, and Part Two recorded a visit at Prescott Park and Strawbery Banke).