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Hiking to the Province Pond Lean-to

View of Province Pond from the Lean-to
View of Province Pond from the Lean-to

Province Pond is an easy hike, close to North Conway, NH and Evans Notch on the east side of the White Mountains. It’s a good family hike for young children and an easy stroll with very little elevation gain, along and easy to follow path over old logging roads.

The pond at the end of the hike is quite scenic with one of the few remaining lean-to shelters in the White Mountain National Forest. Surrounded by a number of short craggy peaks, the pond is a peaceful escape and a pleasant place to watch the dragonflies buzz around on a summer’s day.

I led this hike when I was working as a hiking leader down the road at the AMC’s Cold River Camp, a seasonal gig that I do every summer for a week. I wanted to offer an easy nature hike for the guests so they could get out of camp for a few hours, have a relaxing lunch outdoors, and get back to camp early enough for an afternoon nap or a swim in the nearby Cold River.

The Province Pond Lean-to is a great place to observe nature with friends
The Province Pond Lean-to is a great place to observe nature with friends

Paula, one of the hikers who signed up to accompany me, was a former Cold River Camp Naturalist who delighted us all by naming the plants we saw as we walked to the pond. I always admire people who can name all of the wild flowers and plants on a hike. It’s not an aptitude I possess, but one I wish I had the will power to dedicate myself to.

Despite its remoteness, the Province Pond lean-to is still in pretty good condition. The Forest Service, which overseas the White Mountain National Forest, is slowly removing all of the old lean-tos and re-vegetating the areas around them when they decay beyond repair. I reckon the Province Pond Lean-to will be with us for some time to come.

The Province Brook Trail leads to the Province Pond Lean-to. For directions, see The AMC White Mountain Guide.

Total Distance: 3.2 miles with 400′ of elevation gain.


  1. This is a great family hike. Also a nice place for an easy camp out.

  2. I take my boy camping here every summer. Easy to hike into and lots of nature to see. It’s great to watch the stars at night over the pond.

  3. great break-in hike. But this year the barrier at the road is closed because of logging. That makes a 3 mile round trip become a 6+ round trip.
    Lots of birds.

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