NH Family Hikes

Mud Pond

Length: 1.2 miles out-and-back

Difficulty (click for info): Beginner

Elevation Gain: -50 feet

Rating (click for info): 7/10

Type: Boreal Bog

Driving Directions:
Trailhead and parking area are off Rt. 116 in Jefferson, NH, 6.0 miles east of Rt. 3 and 2.7 miles west of Rt. 2. The parking area is a short distance down an entrance road (signed for Mud Pond) on the south side.

About the Hike:
Found in the less-visited northern part of Pondicherry National Wildlife Refuge, Mud Pond is a serene destination perfect for nature lovers, bird-watchers, or anyone else who enjoys the peacefulness offered by a bog. It is very easily reached via a handicap-accessible gravel path and boardwalk. The gravel path leads out into a clearing and proceeds straight for 0.3 miles, then begins a series of switchbacks leading down a gentle grade. The path passes a view of Owl's Head (a peak of Cherry Mountain). At 0.4 miles from the parking area, the gravel path ends a boardwalk. The boardwalk leads into the dark, spruce-filled swamp. The ground in the swamp is dominated by grasses and ferns. The wooden path winds over the moist ground, crossing a few places of open water. Near the end, the railings of the boardwalk open at an area signed "Wildlife Crossing".

The path then emerges in the open bog and ends at an observation deck with three benches. Here, around the edges of the bog, you will see some of the common bog plants, such as the pitcher plant, bog rosemary, and larch tree. Closer to the center, grasses encircle the open water. You will want to spend some time here enjoying the stillness of the bog.

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