dePierrefeu-Willard Pond Wildlife Sanctuary - NH Audubon
From Hancock Village go west 3.7 miles on NH-123 to Davenport Road on the right. Merge onto Willard Pond Road, bearing left, following for 1.6 miles, bearing left at the fork with a line of mailboxes. Parking is only permitted in the large parking lot on the left before the end of the road. A kiosk serves as the trailhead where trails branch off from here in a number of directions.
- Mill Pond Trail - [Yellow blazes, approximately 0.75-mile loop, moderate] - The Mill Pond Trail circles the Hatch Mill Pond, which was originally dammed to provide water power for the Hatch Sawmill. In addition to White Pine and Eastern Hemlock, a mix of hardwoods typical of the area including White Ash, Paper Birch, Red Maples, and bog-loving shrubs can be found along this trail. Beavers and otters are often seen foraging in this pond, and wood ducks, mallards, and geese nest here. Half-way around the Mill Pond is the start of the Goodhue Hill Trail (blazed in red). Take caution in crossing bridges and rock fords when conditions are wet.
- 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 Goodhue Hill Trail is reached via the south side of the Mill Pond loop trail. The trail is a steady, but in some places, steep, climb to a hilltop with great views in several directions. A recent patch cut of about 15-acres in size near the summit has been created to provide early successional habitat, which will provide food and cover for mammals and birds like deer, turkey, and grouse. Moose sign is often found along the Goodhue Hill Trail. Typical forest birds of the area such as thrushes, vireos, warblers, and woodpeckers can be found along this trail during warmer months. At the end of the one-way trail is the summit of Goodhue Hill and its rocky southeastern face that provides habitat for numerous animals including the elusive bobcat.
- Tudor Trail - [Yellow blazes, approximately 1 mile, moderate] - The relatively flat Tudor Trail affords several wonderful opportunities to observe Willard Pond. Look closely for Hooded Mergansers, Wood Ducks and Common Loons – which often nest near the pond’s edge. At a left fork is the start of the red-blazed Bald Mountain Trail; bearing right continues on the Tudor Trail and eventually, the scenic Pine Point on the northern end of the pond.
- Bald Mountain Trail - [Red blazes, approximately 0.75 miles, strenuous] - The Bald Mountain Trail is the steepest access point to the Bald Mountain ledges, and can be combined to form a loop with the Tamposi Trail and Tudor Trail. Near the junction with the Tudor Trail, an impressive ledge of boulders deposited by receding glaciers can be seen along the left side 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 to the ledges is well worth the effort for its spectacular view of Willard Pond and the Monadnock Region, but this spot can also be accessed via the Tamposi Trail.
- Tamposi Trail - The Tamposi Trail is the longest and most popular hiking trail at Willard Pond. It climbs steadily through northern hardwood forest and crosses several stone walls that indicate former pasture use. Some large boulder formations are visible along the trail, and there is often porcupine activity noticeable in this area. Upon reaching mixed stands of conifers after about ¾ mile, the Tamposi Trail splits. Stay right for the quickest route to the Bald Mountain ledges (best view of Willard Pond), where the trail becomes steep (and can be slippery!) just prior to arrival there. If you’re feeling ambitious, return to the parking area via the Bald Mountain Trail and Tudor Trail, or continue to the forested Bald Mountain summit (great ledge views along this scenic trail). Stay left at the Tamposi Trail loop for a steady climb through mature Red Spruces to the summit and return via the loop trail. The Spur Trail begins just a short distance from the left loop.
- Spur Trail - [Blue blazes, approximately 1.75 miles (including short summit loop), moderate] - THIS TRAIL IS CURRENTLY NOT OPEN FOR HIKING.
At nearly 1700 acres, the dePierrefeu-Willard Pond Wildlife Sanctuary is New Hampshire Audubon's largest property. Much of the land owned by NHA has come about through the foresight and generosity of Elsa dePierrefeu Leland and her family. Additional gifts, easements, and adjacent protected lands bring NHA's lands in the vicinity to about 3,000 acres, and part of a "supersanctuary" that totals over 10,000 acres of protected land.
- The sanctuary is open throughout the year during daylight hours.
- Only foot travel is permitted on the sanctuary.
- Smoking, swimming, camping, fires, *hunting, *firearms, and *trapping are prohibited. (*Please note: only the Tamposi parcel - south and west of the upper portion of the Tamposi Trail - is open to hunting and trapping)
- Please stay on the marked trails and do not collect or in any way disturb any plants or animals.
- Pets are permitted on a short leash at all times and only on the Tamposi and Tudor Trails.
- Please carry out all trash and litter, including pet waste.
- Some terrain can be rough and wet, so sturdy footwear should be worn.
New Hampshire Audubon is an independent statewide membership organization whose mission is to protect New Hampshire’s natural environment for wildlife and for people. It operates nature centers throughout the state that provide educational programs for children and adults; oversees research projects, from developing a plan to preserve the bio diversity of a rapidly growing state to monitoring many of the New Hampshire’s endangered species; protects thousands of acres of wildlife habitat through its sanctuaries program; advocates for sound public policy on environmental issues.
For more information visit: www.nhaudubon.org
84 Silk Farm Rd.
Concord, NH 03301
Phone: (603) 224-9909
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