dePierrefeu-Willard Pond Wildlife Sanctuary
Stewardship: New Hampshire Audubon
This 1700 acre reserve is the largest Audubon property in NH, contiguous with other conservation land making over 2000 acres of protected wildlife habitat. The 95 acre Willard Pond, 2083’ high Bald Mountain, 1620’ high Goodhue Hill, more than 4 miles of trails (great southeast view from top), many glacial erratics (huge boulders deposited by receding glaciers), an unusual mixture of trees and plants, and an abundance of wildlife (including a pair of loons) making this sanctuary a unique and attractive area. Much of the land owned by NHA has come about through the foresight, generosity, and environmental concerns of Elsa dePierrefeu Leland and her family.
Directions: From Rte 202, go west on Rte 137, take a right on 123 at Hancock Center and then go three miles where you will turn right on Willard Pond Rd. Continue .7 miles to a grouping of mailboxes under a roof, bear left and continue for .9 miles to the end.
Activities: walking, hiking, fly fishing only (no ice fishing), canoeing/kayaking, x-country skiing and snowshoeing, nature observation.
Use Policies: No motorboats, carry in-carry out, camping, swimming, hunting, smoking or fires are allowed. Dogs on a short leash permitted on some trails - see signs at Sanctuary.
Amenities: Kiosk with trail map, schedule of guided walks/hikes, there are no restrooms Contact: New Hampshire Audubon at 603-224-9909
Web Link: www.nhaudubon.org/locations/sanctuaries
Maps: Maps usually available at Willard Pond Sanctuary kiosk, but best to print one out from website
Mill Pond Trail (yellow blazes; approximately ½ mile loop, easy): The Mill Pond Trail circles the Hatch Mill Pond, which was originally dammed to provide water power for the Hatch Sawmill. White Pine, Eastern Hemlock, White Ash, Paper Birch, Red Maples and bog-loving shrubs can be found along this trail. Half-way around the mill pond is the start of the Goodhue Hill Trail
Goodhue Hill Trail (red blazes; approximately 1 mile, moderate): Goodhue Hill sits above Willard Pond’s southeastern shore and is a prominent feature of the sanctuary. The trail is steady with some steep climbs to a rocky outcropping with a moderate view. The Goodhue Hill Trail is reached via the south side of the Mill Pond loop trail. At the end of the one-way trail is the summit of Goodhue Hill and its rocky southeastern face that provides habitat for reptiles and the elusive bobcat.
Tudor Trail (yellow blazes; approximately 1 mile, easy):The Tudor Trail affords several wonderful opportunities to observe the pond life. Look closely for Hooded Mergansers, Wood Ducks and Common Loons. At the fork of the trail, bear right to continue on the Tudor Trail eventually reaching scenic Pine Point. Bearing left at the fork starts the Bald Mountain Trail.
Bald Mountain Trail (red blazes; approximately ¾ mile, strenuous): The Bald Mountain Trail will allow you to climb Bald Mountain (850’ ascent). An impressive ledge of boulders deposited by receding glaciers can be seen to the left of the trail. After the boulders, the trail veers sharply to the left, away from the pond, to begin the steep climb to the summit. The hike up this trail is well worthwhile for its spectacular view of the Monadnock Region.
Tamposi Trail (yellow blazes; approximately 1 ¾ miles, including loop of Bald Mountain, strenuous): Starting at the southwest corner of the parking lot this trail is the longest and most popular hiking trail at Willard Pond. It climbs steadily through northern hardwood forest, crossing several stone walls, and passing large boulder formations. After ¾ of a mile, the trail splits becoming a loop. Stay right for the quickest route to the Bald Mountain ledges. You can return to the parking lot via the Bald Mountain Trail and Tudor Trail or you can continue to the Bald Mountain summit (great views.) Stay left at the Tamposi Trail loop and you will pass the beginning of the Spur Trail as you proceed to the summit.
Spur Trail (blue blazes; approximately 1 ¼ miles, including short summit loop, moderate): The trail has moderate elevation change and is the most remote part of the property.. The beginning of trail is reached by turning left at the Tamposi Trail loop. Moose, bear, bobcat, and fisher sign have all been found along this trail. Starting at the southwest corner of the parking lot, follow the Tamposi Trail until it splits. Go left for a short, steep climb until you see the Spur Trail marked on your left.
Go to www.bellowsnichols.com