NH Family Hikes

Round Pond

Length: 4.0 miles out-and-back

Difficulty (click for info): Easy

Elevation Gain: 550 feet

Rating (click for info): 6/10

Elevation: 1652'

Driving Directions:
Trailhead and parking area are off Wood Road in Gilford, NH. To get there, take Bickford Road from Rt. 11A, 4.4 miles southeast of Rt. 11B and 2.7 miles west of Rt. 11. Heading east, Bickford road is the first right after the Gunstock Mountain Ski Area entrance. Drive 0.2 miles down Bickford Road, then turn left onto Wood Road. Continue for less than 0.1 miles; the road then ends at a house. Just before the driveway, turn left onto an unnamed road with a sign for trail parking. A short distance down this road, there is a parking area with spaces for five cars.

About the Hike:
In the center of the Belknap Range lies the picturesque lake known as Round Pond. Accessible only by trail, this peaceful pond is located on a plateau below Mts. Mack and Klem and is inhabited by a variety of wildlife. The trail runs along the the lake's east shore, providing many viewpoints over the water to Belknap Mountain.

The hike begins on the East Gilford Trail. This path descends past a gate and crosses a bridge over a rushing brook. Just past this, continue straight onto a logging road (East Gilford Fire Road) as the trail turns right. The logging road begins to climb moderately and becomes rocky. It passes a logging landing at the top of a hill and then swings into the forest. It flattens out and leads along the hillside, where more logging has opened up a limited viewpoint toward nearby Belknap and Gunstock Mountains. You can also glimpse Mt. Moosilauke and part of the Sandwich Range. The path continues gradually uphill and soon ends at Round Pond Trail, 0.7 miles from its beginning. Turn left onto this wide multi-use trail, which begins to climb and becomes rocky again. After a long section of straight trail, the path narrows and winds through the forest. 0.7 miles from the logging road, Round Pond-Piper Link joins the trail from the right and they descend 0.1 miles to the northwest shore of Round Pond. Mt. Mack rises directly across the lake, and Mt. Klem is seen off to the left.

Round Pond Trail ends here, while Round Pond-Piper Link turns to the left (this is only indicated by a change of blaze color - red to green). Continue on this trail as it swings away from the pond to go around the marshy north end. It then joins a woods road and returns to the pond. A spur leads downhill to the water's edge, then the main trail also emerges along the shore. Further along the trail is a viewpoint of Belknap Mountain over the water. The best viewpoints end here and the trail again leaves the pond.

Turn around here or extend your trip to Mts. Mack and Klem (see above link).

Printable directions page
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