Wanderlusting in Redstone Quarry
“What I do like is hiking. And that’s what filmmaking is. It’s a hike. It’s challenging and exhausting, and you don’t know what the terrain is going to be or necessarily even which direction you’re going in… but it sure is beautiful.” ~ Joss Whedon
During the fall there is nothing like the colorful leafs painted, gently crackling in the wind, with whisperings of colder, cozier days soon to arrive. Yet, at this moment they choose to celebrate. A reward before the doldrums. A last ode of “Remember me” to get you through the dreary days soon to come with, Winter encroaching upon the door.
Fall is the time when you want to soak it in. Because you know what is ahead especially for a quintessential New England town in the mountains. Which is why my brother, his kids, and I decided to go for a walk. Disclaimer: It could perhaps, potentially, possibly, be argued that it should be called a hike. Of course growing up in said mountains, hikes generally trend towards a 4,000 footer or something with a decent elevation gain, even if it is short one such as Black Cap.
Beggars couldn’t be choosers with two toddlers who were itching to go on an adventure walk as they call it. Thus we began our jaunt, to a place I had heard my brother talk about, but had never ventured too.
Filled with pink and green granite, Redstone Quarry was discovered in the late 1800s and subsequently became a bustling village on the outskirts of Rattlesnake Mountain and has since been incorporated into the town of Conway. In its hey day, it had a huge boarding house, (which was only recently torn down) a school, church, connivence store, as well as permanent housing for those who worked year round on the quarry site. While the Quarries were only operational for about sixties years. In its’ prime, it supplied granite to towns and cities up and down the East Coast even as far as Cuba. In fact New York City was one of its’ biggest customers. In 1948, years after the quarries had been shut down, they restarted production so that an addition for the criminal courts building in New York, would match the original building, which had been made out of Conway green.
The quarry and encompassing village have long since been abandoned. Many of the surviving buildings and discarded farm equipment are dilapidated and overgrown with moss and shrubbery. It has a M. Night Shyamalan feel making my imagination run on over drive. This is no Strawberry Bank or Williamsburg, and I am not sure if I want to be caught in the dark here.
There are many intersecting trails used for hiking and biking, which run through the historic remnants of the village. You could literally lose yourself for hours taking in the old buildings as well as the foliage.
One such trail, takes you not just past building ruins, but an abandoned marble pillar that belongs more in ancient Rome then laying in the forest. As you continue past, the trail leads you to the top of the quarries with scenery of not just exquisite foliage, and abandoned excavated rock, but also of surrounding mountains and part of the town of Conway.
it may not be Mount Washington breathtaking, but like the forest opening her arms, showing a glimpse of what it has to offer, the incredibly easy one mile hike to the top, is well worth it, if you are limited on time, but still craving a view and some history. I can not wait to go back and explore some more.