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Ossipee Pine Barrens Preserve

The Ossipee Pine Barrens offers 7.5 miles of hiking trails, including an accessible trail of just under a mile, that provide terrific opportunities to explore New Hampshire’s last intact pitch pine–scrub oak woodland natural community, a globally rare forest type.
Trail Activity
1.6 miles, Network
Madison (NH)


Click here for more information and a trail brochure.


Pine Barrens Trail - 0.7 miles (red blazes) - This trail, a Class VI Town Road, cuts across the West Branch Pine Barrens from the Route 41 kiosk to East Shore Drive near the south end of Silver Lake. Note: This is NOT a loop trail.

Accessible Trail - 0.8 miles (green/yellow blazes). This graded, five-foot wide trail is constructed from hard-packed sand and gravel, making for flat easy travel by the young, old and explorers of all abilities, including those pushing strollers or using wheelchairs. It offers an easy excursion through classic pitch pine-scrub oak barrens, and the opportunity to  experience a variety of unique birds and other wildlife seldom encountered elsewhere in the state. The trail crosses under a power line just before reaching an observation platform overlooking the West Branch of the Ossipee River at the terminus of the trail, complete with a view of Mount Whittier and the Ossipee Mountains.

This trail can be accessed from the parking area on Route 41.


Cooks Pond Forest Loop Trail - 2.4 miles (green and yellow blazes) - This loop meanders through oak forest, pitch pine-scrub oak woodland and eskers, providing views of Cooks Pond and its associated wetlands.

Cooks Pond Forest Loop Cut-Off - (red blazes) - This trail cuts about 0.5 mile off of the Cooks Pond Forest Loop.

Madison Town Forest Loop Trail - 0.75 mile (red blazes) - This short walk traverses wetlands adjacent to areas recently (2014) treated with prescribed fire through a partnership between The Nature Conservancy and town of Madison. This trail also provides alternate access to the Jackman Ridge Summit Trail


Jackman Ridge Lookout Loop Trail - 2.3 miles (green and yellow blazes) - This moderately uphill trail leads to a viewpoint looking south of Ossipee Lake to the Ossipee Mountains and a sweeping view west of the Ossipee Pine Barrens Preserve.

Forest Ecology Loop Trail - 1.2 miles (red blazes) - This flat hike winds through pitch pine-scrub oak woodland recently (2013) treated with prescribed fire.

West Branch Trail - 3.2 miles (orange blazes) - A popular snowmobile trail, this path begins at Camp Calumet Conference Center. Following the West Branch of the Ossipee River, it traverses through pitch pine, white pine and hardwood forests.The trail ends at East Shore Drive across from the boat access at the south end of Silver Lake. Note: This is NOT a loop trail.

Other Information

trail guide with more information is also available from the NH Natural Heritage Bureau.

The Nature Conservancy asks that you abide by the following rules while on the preserve:

  • No camping or open fires allowed
  • Motorized vehicles (except snowmobiles along designated trails) and horses are prohibited
  • Keep pets leashed to avoid disturbance to birds, other wildlife, and preserve visitors
  • Hunting is allowed on portions of the preserve, but tree stands and blinds are prohibited. Please obey all posted signs and contact NH Fish and Game for dates and regulations
  • No removal or destruction of plants, wildlife, minerals, or cultural items
  • Carry in/carry out trash (and any that you find)

Trail Manager

The Nature Conservancy is a global non-profit conservation organization. Our mission is to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends.

The Nature Conservancy in New Hampshire has been safeguarding our state's most precious natural resources since 1961, conserving 290,000 acres of forests and files and 680 miles of river and estuary shoreline. Our preserves are open for hiking, fishing, skiing, hunting, and wildlife viewing. Learn more at:

The Nature Conservancy in New Hampshire

The Nature Conservancy in New Hampshire
22 Bridge Street, 4th Floor
Concord, NH 03301
Phone: (603) 224-5853
View website

Trail Tips

Leave What You Find
Avoid the introduction or transport of non-native species. Use local firewood from within 50 miles and clean, drain, and dry water equipment when moving between water bodies.
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Trailhead Information

From the intersection of NH 16 and NH 41 in West Ossipee:

  • To reach the preserve's main parking area (West Branch Trailhead), follow NH 41 north for approximately 2 miles and look for The Nature Conservancy's preserve sign on your right. Turn right onto the Class VI dirt road to reach the preserve entrance and parking area.
  • To access the southern portion of the preserve (Jackman Ridge Trailhead), follow NH 41 north for approximately 1/2 mile and turn right onto Ossipee Lake Road. Drive approximately 2.1 miles down Ossipee Lake Road, and there is a trailhead and a small pull-off parking area located on the left side of the road.
  • To access the northern portion of the preserve (Cooks Pond Trailhead), follow NH 41 north for approximately 2.5 miles and turn right onto East Shore Drive. Follow East Shore Drive for approximately 1.1 miles, and turn right onto Leadmind Road. Drive approximately 0.4 miles down Leadmine Road, and there is a trailhead and a small pull-off located on the left side of the road.
Click on a parking icon to get custom directions
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