NH Family Hikes

Unknown Pond

Length: 4.6 miles out-and-back

Difficulty (click for info): Moderate

Elevation Gain: 1400 feet

Rating (click for info): 6/10

Elevation: 3160'

Driving Directions:
Trailhead is on Mill Brook Road in Stark, NH. Mill Brook Road leaves Rt. 110 7.2 miles east of Rt. 3 in Groveton and 6.5 miles west of Rt. 110A. The trailhead is 4.5 miles down Mill Brook Road. Park on the right side of the road, just after the bridge. The trail enters the woods on the opposite side of the road and the bridge.

About the Hike:
Its name a clear indicator of its remoteness, Unknown Pond is hidden deep in the forest on a plateau below The Horn. To access it requires a 4.5-mile drive on a dirt road and a 2.3-mile hike. The pond's shoreline views of The Horn make it a particularly scenic place, although there is little room to have a picnic.

Like many hikes north of the more populated areas, this hike begins on a long dirt road. From the small pull-off, walk back down the road to the bridge over Mill Brook. The Unknown Pond Trail begins at a small footbridge and sign on the right side. It follows the brook as it heads into the woods and soon a small cascade is passed. The trail eventually leads away from the brook, beginning a gradual ascent. It climbs through an open forest for a mile before coming upon another brook. The trail then becomes steeper and climbs up the slopes of an increasingly birch-filled forest. Soon, all other trees disappear and the trail enters a beautiful birch glade, especially scenic in afternoon light. After leaving the birches behind, it climbs into a darker forest of spruce and fir trees. After passing through a clearing, it descends slightly to a trail junction near the shore of Unknown Pond, a total of 2.2 miles from the trailhead. For the best view of the pond, bear left onto Kilkenny Ridge Trail/Unknown Pond Trail, go less than 0.1 miles, then turn right onto a path down to a clearing on the shore, where a magnificent view of The Horn over the dark water is gained. Return to the junction and continue on the Kilkenny Ridge Trail to a second viewpoint where you can see the water from a different angle. For a longer hike, continue to The Horn.

Printable directions page
Contact us at NHFamilyHikes@gmail.com

Copyright © 2014-2023 NH Family Hikes