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Bear Hill

Length: 0.5 miles out-and back

Difficulty (click for info): Beginner

Elevation Gain: 160 feet

Rating (click for info): 3/10

Elevation: 835'

Prominence: 160'

Driving Directions:
Trailhead is on Podunk Road in Bear Brook State Park in Allenstown, NH. From Rt. 28 in the center of Allenstown, 3.1 miles north of Rt. 3 in Suncook Village and 5.7 miles south of Rt. 4/202/9 at the Epsom Circle, turn east onto Deerfield Road. Drive 3.2 miles, then turn right onto Podunk Road. In 0.3 miles, you will reach the toll booth for Bear Brook State Park. The admission fee at the gate is $4 for adults and $2 for children when the park is open. For more information about the park, see the page at NH State Parks. If the gate is closed, park in a large lot down to the right of the gatehouse and walk the remaining distance on the road (adds 3.6 miles round-trip). Continue 1.8 miles on Podunk Road and park at the junction with Spruce Pond Road on the left. Click here for a Google map.

About the Hike:
Bear Hill is one of many features named "Bear" in Bear Brook State Park. This low, insignificant hill is most famous for being the site of a fire tower from 1939-1983. Additionally, it is also the location of a bizarre and massive ant colony. Thus, it is best to visit during the winter, so the ants are not active! From the junction of Podunk Road and Spruce Pond Road, walk a few steps further on Podunk Road to the south and turn right into the woods on a short connecter path to Bear Hill Trail. In just a few yards, bear left onto the Bear Hill Trail proper, which comes in from the right. Just past this, stay straight as an unnamed trail comes in from the left. Climb uphill easily for 0.2 miles and reach another junction just below the top. Stay straight onto a short spur path to the summit as the Bear Hill Trail continues left. Here you will find the huge ant colony, as well as the cement footings of the old fire tower around the high point. A toppled outhouse from the days of the fire tower is found in the woods nearby.

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