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.
The trail starts off wide and gently descends toward the pond.
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.
Once on the boardwalk, you begin the walk over a wet peat bog with cedar trees, moss, and lichen everywhere.
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.
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.