Peaked Hill Pond is a lovely destination in the Southern White Mountains and an easy day hike for kids and harried parents. The trail to the pond is a short 1.6 miles in length and easy to follow. Fishing is also an attractive option, by float, or with waders. It’s also just 3 miles from Exit 29 on Interstate 93 and therefore easily accessible from points south or west.
- Difficulty: Easy
- Distance: 1.6 miles to pond. 3.2 miles round trip.
- Elevation Gain; 450 feet
- Water: Bring at 1-2 liters per person. Natural water sources are available but filtering is recommended.
- Trailhead Directions: Peaked Hill Pond Trailhead. (GPS: 43.89800, -71.68874) Turn left from Rt 3, 2.1 miles north of exit 29 on Interstate 93 just before the Shamrock Motel. Drive through two concrete tunnels and turn right onto an unpaved logging road after passing a woodlot, where they split firewood. There is a large parking area about 1/4 of a mile up the road. Do not park along the road itself.
- Blazing: The trail isn’t blazed, but the footpath is obvious and well signed at all trail junctions.
- Recommended Maps and Guidebooks:
- Season: May-November; while technical accessible year-round, the trail is used by snowmobilers in winter, so caution and snowshoes are advised. May and June are bug season, so bug dope and head nets are advised.
- Camping: The shoreline is private property and public camping isn’t permitted without permission, even though it’s obvious that people have camped there in the past.
- Peaked Hill Pond Trail – 1.6 miles (3.2 miles, out and back)
On the Trail
Pass through the closed gate at the end of the access road. This tiny building is a collection point for maple syrup and uninhabited. Turn left before the sugar shack onto the heavily eroded dirt road at the bottom of the hill and walk up the path along its right side.
This type of road and trail erosion is pretty common in the White Mountain National Forest, where limited funding is available for flood repairs. However, the erosion shows how such roads were constructed by piling local stones to form the road foundation illustrating the level of effort required to build them.
Continue up the forested trail. To the right, you can see tubing strung between maple trees to tap the sap and collect it at the downhill collection point. The days of tapping maple trees into buckets and manual sap collection are long gone.
While there are a number of side paths that leave the main trail, each trail junction is well signed.
As you walk along the trail, you can hear a rushing stream at the base of the hillside. This is Bagley Brook, which also drains the east end of Peaked Hill Pond. This looks like a great stream to fish for wild brook trout, though I confess I’ve never climbed down the steep hill to cast a line. A more accessible approach is available at the east end of Peaked Pond, if fishing is of interest, although I’d recommend waders since the banks is quite muddy.
The trail ends when you reach the pond and a shoreline campsite. There’s a canoe and rowboat stashed out there, but I doubt they’re available for public use. The campsite is on private land that the owner has made accessible for public use, but I doubt that extends to boat use.
Every time I hike out to Peaked Hill Pond, I am mesmerized by the reflection of Peaked Hill on the water. I’ve often dreamed of climbing it although there is no trail leading to its summit, but that’s another adventure for another time.