Snow Pond

fA couple of weekends ago the sun was shining bright, the temps were up, and we were on a mission to visit Mud Pond at Pondicherry Wildlife Refuge in Jefferson, NH. This short hike on a handicapped accessible packed trail with switch-backs leads down to a boardwalk and out to Mud Pond. We come here often and in all types of weather conditions and seasons (the parking lot is plowed in winter). The trail has only been open since 2011 and has already endured some senseless vandalism, but it has a core group of volunteers that continue to make this a great short hiking spot.

Lindsay and Alden are ready to hike.  Alden likes to hold the poles.

Lindsay and Alden are ready to hike. Alden likes to hold the poles.

The kiosk at the Mud Pond Trail.

The kiosk at the Mud Pond Trail.

The trail starts off wide and gently descends toward the pond.

Andrew walks down the trail.

Andrew walks down the trail.


The “stick woods” at the beginning of the trail.

The sun was strong and the melting had begun, some of which had refroze the night before. We found a large ice rink in the woods where the daytime water had overflowed onto the snow.  Andrew slide out and through the trees calling out for Alden to find him.


Lindsay and Alden begin the trek on the boardwalk.

Once on the boardwalk, you begin the walk over a wet peat bog with cedar trees, moss, and lichen everywhere.


A large cedar tree (apologies for Lindsay’s finger!).


The “wildlife crossing” on the Mud Pond Trail where the boardwalk dips down to the ground and there are no railings.  We didn’t see any evidence of wildlife using the crossing though, just foot prints of someone that didn’t read the sign.



Alden enjoying his ride.



The green color of this lichen caught Lindsay’s eye.



Andrew walking on the boardwalk.



The last of the boardwalk to the open platform on Mud Pond.

At the end of the boardwalk there is a platform to view Mud Pond. This time of year there is no open water and the pond is completely blanketed with white snow.  Any other time of year you can find pitcher plants on the floating peat mats around the open water, but with the snow we could only point out the black spruce and tamarack trees.


The sun was so bright that we couldn’t see the picture viewer on the camera so Lindsay took a dozen shots. Luckily we got this one good one!

After enjoying the sunshine at the snow covered Mud Pond, we hiked back up to the parking lot. This short hike is one that we will undoubtedly do again. It’s short enough to stop on a whim, but long enough to feel like you’ve gotten out into the wilderness.


Andrew and Alden

6 thoughts on “Snow Pond

  1. I am so happy to see you guys ventured to one of my favorite spots for a winters day hike. Alden is the luckiest little boy to have such fun and active parents!

    Mud Pond Trail at Pondicherry National Wildlife Refuge is a very special place; in fact in May 2013 it was designated a National Recreation Trail by the Secretary of the Interior.

    The green lichen that caught your eye is Lobaria pulmonaria. Dave Govatski told me about it and here is the wikipedia description “a large epiphytic lichen consisting of an ascomycete fungus and a green algal partner living together in a symbiotic relationship with a cyanobacterium—a symbiosis involving members of three kingdoms of organisms. Commonly known by various names like tree lungwort, lung lichen, lung moss, lungwort lichen, oak lungs or oak lungwort, it is sensitive to air pollution and is also negatively affected by habitat loss and changes in forestry practices”. So as I said, Mud Pond Trail is a very special place especially when you can see cool things like Lungwort still alive and thriving.

  2. What a really pretty green on the lichen, too…it is a special place. Good to see Alden getting into the mix of nature with mommy and dad. When he is ready for a trip to Roger Williams, let me know! 😀

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