Explore the most popular birding trails in Sandwich Range Wilderness with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Parked across from trail entrance at brook path lot. It was raining in the morning so everything was very slippery. I do not suggest this trail on a rainy day or within 2 days of rain really. We went up big rick cave trail to view the cases which were awesome BuT the trail up old Paugus trail was treacherous due to non existent trail markings. We were rewarded for our rough hike through those woods with beautiful peaks at the top of Paugus. These peaks continued along the Lawrence trail. Coming down Lawrence to cabin trail was a good move, well marked others than one miss of a sign we were at kelly trail junction and had to turn back to find the cabin trail. If you don’t want to see the caves which were awesome you would find an easier trip up and back using cabin to Lawrence only

rock climbing
10 days ago

Hiked Big Rock Cave Trail to Old Paugus, back down Cabin Trail. The steep section of Old Paugus is poorly marked, so if you find you are trying to scale a very large boulder at the top of the section, you went too far, and will find no trail at the top. The lack of trail blazes and outdated/limited signage made this seem more like a test than a hike. My opinion, I’d make this two separate hikes- one for the Big Rock cave, a second one using the Cabin Trail to reach the summit. Big rock cave is impressive.

28 days ago


1 month ago

Clouds blocked any view I would have on both peaks, but the trail/woods were interesting in that so much of the area was moss covered. The ascension rate was aggressive, but plenty doable, with a couple very steep climbs. 5 1/2 hours round trip, which includes both peaks and a 15 minute rest at the summit.

Fairly easy hike at the beginning with moderate uphill climb as you go on. Cool brook crossing to a set of man made stairs provides a neat photo op. The cascade is small but beautiful with a view to Waterville valley.

Did this hike Saturday (8/25), went up Sabbaday Brook trail and came back down the Pine Bend Brook trail, hitting the summits of middle and north peak of Tripyramid. I agree that there were pieces of both trails that were pretty steep and I would definitely not recommend doing either on a rainy day or after a rainstorm. The steep parts of Pine Bend had more roots to get a good footing on, while some of Sabbaday had more open faced rock. We counted 6 real stream crossings and a couple other small ones that had plenty of rocks to cross. Since there hadn’t been too much rain recently for our hike, we didn’t have to do any wading across and could just balance rock to rock.

My wife and I just finished this hike with our 2 dogs and 8 month old in a carrier. CAUTION: there is a yellow jacket nest in a rotted stump in the middle of the trail after the trail splits to the right. It is roughly 200 yards in from the split. Wife and I were both stung multiple times but ran away so tough to judge. But really other than that it is a great trail with some beautiful spots along the brook to stop. Once you get to the rock staircase, the incline definitely gets steeper.

This was not a bad hike, however, as with other reviews, the trail is barely marked with many water crossings. It got to a point where we just didn't care if we got wet. We just waded through. At some points, the water was over my knees but I'm short. There was not much elevation for about the first 3 miles or so, after which it became very steep. We hiked after a week of rain, so this steep rocky part of the trail was very challenging both up and down. We did Middle Tripyramid on this hike. I still need North Tripyramid but am not looking forward to doing this trail any time soon. Some in my group hiked Pine Bend and tell me its worse.

7/27/2018...FYI if you are looking to hike this trail, we tried today and the "stream" crossing was a gushing river and we weren't willing to attempt its crossing. Dog tried and almost washed away. Great disappointment. Walked back and attempted Drake's Brook Trail and ran into the same problem. Moral, don't attempt this hike during or right after a wet spell!

First start to 2018 hiking. This trail was a beautiful hike. there was great view points some i didn't get to mark on the recording, but i did get pictures! The terrain of this hike had many rooted trails following rock trails that you had you physically climbed over.Elevation gain was high in the first mile or so then tapered off for .3 of a mile then it would jump back up. This hike i would not recommend to newer hikers yes it is part of the 52 with a view in NH, but keep in mind its the highest in elevation on the list. Give it a shot its worth the views!!! Look at the picture i took.

3 months ago

There are two areas to park to do this hike (depending on the trail you want to start with); about a half mile from each other. They are labeled but there is no defined parking area at either so you have to be on the lookout for them, and then park on the side of the road. The trails go right through the yards of some properties, but it is clearly labeled where to go to stay on the trail. Overall the hike is very woodsy, not nearly as rocky as others in the area. The trail can be extremely narrow and not well labeled at times and it certainly does not seem to be hiked very often (I saw no one on the trails nor any other cars at the trailhead before or after). There are a few points that offer views, primarily to the west and south, but there are also many trees obstructing full views. The “summit” (the highest point on the trail anyway) offers slight views but is generally unimpressive. I turned this hike into a 9 mile round trip starting on Bickford Trail and then after reaching the summit continued on and took Cabin Trail down. The hike itself was not terribly rigorous. Much of the hike up was fairly flat and, when it wasn’t, there was seldom a challenging elevation gain. I didn’t see any animals more interesting than a fawn, but there was plenty of evidence of moose and bear.

3 months ago

I was told there would be “limited” views on this hike. Not sure if the person who told me this hiked it blindfolded, because I found this hike to be beautiful. Noon Peak and Jennings Peak where spectacular vistas. The summit of Sandwich Dome had wonderful views of the Sandwich, Presidential, Pemi and Franconia Ranges. There’s a small pill bottle currently serving as the summit canister, which is sitting right on top of the cairn. We took Sandwich Mountain Trail up and Drakes Brook down. I recommend doing it this way since Drakes is more gradual. Drake’s Brook followed a beautiful river most of the way, with only one major crossing. Definitely would do it again.

Short hike with a nice reward of a series of picturesque cascades. The trail is fairly easy most of the way, only becoming steep and narrow at the very end where you then cross over into the middle of the brook for a pretty neat finish. I had heard that this trail is wet, but other than a couple of spots where you had to avoid some mud, I did not find that to be the case. There were several small stream crossings and one larger stream crossing that were very easy, even a smaller child could handle it. There are several trees down, but they are easy enough to scramble over. I hiked with 2 dogs and they loved the ample water opportunities!

Steep. The inclines are very steep and covered with ice.

Pretty strenuous on the steep portions, but with no real views and pretty much nonexistent trail markings I won’t be doing this one again.

Pine Bend Brook Trail wasn’t bad at all but Sabbaday Brook Trail was just terrible, we did most of it at night and once you start crossing the brook (7 or 8 times!) you have to search for the trail almost every time because there’s no cairn or obvious blaze to mark the stream crossing exit. After what turned out to be the last crossing we searched for the trail without any luck, until we decided to just bushwhack by dead reckoning and staying near the brook. 10 minutes or so later we came to the wide portion of the trail, and found that the trail was closed for maintenance. Ya think? It just doesn’t seem like it’d be too much trouble for someone to hike it with a couple cans of spray paint every year and refresh the blazes.

The steep portion of Sabbaday Brook Trail (the first 1/2 mile of the descent) is crazy steep - over 1000’ in 1/2 mile - and looks like it’d be almost suicidal in the rain. It was definitely a challenge going down.

The challenge is really this trail’s only strong point, if you’re not hiking the 4Ks then don’t bother.

Friday, September 08, 2017

I'm 65 and haven't really done much hiking in years, if not decades! Went with my 20 and 30 something kids. Some stretches going up were quite steep and it's pretty much uphill from the start. There is a nice viewing point well below the summit. I decided to save my remaining leg strength for the trip down and stopped at 3600 feet or about 300 feet below the summit. Probably didn't need to, as going down proved easier than I expected. Much of it by a brook. Nice. Old guys, give it a go, but pace yourselves!

Sunday, August 27, 2017

What a great hike! I'm still feeling it in my knees today. The first 1.25 miles or so are very steep, with an elevation gain of about 2000 feet. From there it's pretty easy until you get about 1/2 mile from the summit, where it gets steep again. The trail is pretty narrow, with lots of rocks and roots to slip on and trip over. The trail could be marked better, most of the blazes I saw were pretty faded.

The summit is really anticlimactic given the effort to reach it, but you do have a good view of the eastern end of Waterville Valley and Mt. Tripyramid. There are also a couple ledges on the way that offer good views, though obviously from lower elevations. If you're not too tired I recommend taking the steep 0.2 mile trail to ~3460' Jennings Peak, with its great views to the west.

I took Sandwich Mountain Trail both ways, but according to the map the Drakes Brook Trail looks to be relatively moderate until about 1/2 mile from the summit. Maybe I'll take that trail if I hike the mountain again.

All in all a great hike, challenging and physically punishing for this out of shape 48 year old guy.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Don't go to Mt. Mexico road as there is no trailhead located there as the map indicates. You need to park on 113A at the big rock cave or cabin trailhead both start at the same place. The loop trail is about 7.5 miles following the route we took. About 2500 feet of elevation gain total. All Trails is not accurate so if your following the map there are trails that don't appear on the app. And also it looks like your off trail most of the time. All trails have blue blazes on them and some are few and far between. The views to the south and west are nice near the top. Nice trails look lightly traveled.

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

very beautiful Trail the forest changed from pines to beautiful beach nut trees back to pines beautiful rolling Falls throughout the entire wilderness the end had a very steep climb to a trail that ended with no views only disappointed about that the rest of the trail was absolutely beautiful

This trail had some unexpected challenges. We left 5/17 and it was in the 90s at base. The ascent to Passaconaway was relentless, the. The decent into Whiteface brought waist high snow drifts. We ended up camping out two nights after trudging up the bleak Sleepers trail to the Tripyramids. From there down Sabbaday was a good hike with stunning views and well worth the blood and sweat.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Great winter hike, we got a neat perspective from Jennings even with the clouds. Very steep terrain but we managed with microspikes.

Challenging. I descending from the Tripyramids. There were numerous stream crossings. I did it last year when the water was hight.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Blazes are very faint and trail is hard to see at times.

Hiking the tripyramids from this trail will give you some challenges, the trial is barely marked, the yellow blazes are worn or hard to see, you must cross the sabbaday brook 4 times so be observant for where the trail picks up again on the other side, one part of the trail after a long straight section seems to lead you out onto a clear island next to the stream but the trail is a sharp left before this, always back track if you lose trail. Getting to the ridge it becomes rocky and very steep leading to the summit sign, I hiked down at night and required a lot of my seances of direction, I had to be observant and stop to search for a blaze or pink tape, It was a treat to see sabbaday falls at the end giving me a feeling of relief.

Monday, July 01, 2013

Today was a humid day and it has been raining on and off for a week before this hike and the trails were showing it. Slippery rocks, roots and it looks like it does not get much sun on this trail. I won't be going on this trail again, not much for views and lots of moss on the rocks. The pictures I took was from Jenning peak, which is on the way to Sandwich Dome. Sandwich Dome peak was disappointing, narrow views and not much room for hikers (4 comfortably).

25 days ago

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